I’ll preface this by saying every single person that I’ve ever talked to at PS Audio has been nothing but extremely nice, but sometimes actions speak louder than words.
Around January 2020, I purchased a complete “Stellar stack”, i.e… P3, GCD, M700 monoblocks… the whole shebang. The system sounded fantastic, until it didn’t. In late December, the channels became imbalanced. I was able to troubleshoot the issue down to the GCD. The volume in the right channel was much quieter than the left.
My service story goes like this:
After a couple days of calling, I was able to get ahold of the service department - an RMA was issued. A week later I received my unit back. It worked for about an hour, but it didn’t last. The sound became imbalanced again. This time, the left channel was much quieter than the right channel.
After a couple days of calling, I was able to get ahold of the service department again - another RMA was issued. A week later I received my unit back. This time the channels are “balanced”, but something is off. Normally, I could get to 70+ SPL w/ the volume on level 14. Now I have to turn it up to at least level 20 get an equivalent SPL. To me, the soundstage sounds like it has collapsed and it just doesn’t have that “wall of sound” that I won me over.
This gets me up-to-date… convinced the sound difference was in my head, I decided to use the unit for a couple of weeks. But now my wife also started remarking on the sound quality and I’m convinced that something is definitely off. In order to confirm my suspicions I decided to order another GCD, so I could do an A/B comparison. I’d also like to be able to use my system in case I need to send my product back for service again.
I placed the order for the new GCD about 12 business days ago and, unfortunately, it still hasn’t shipped. I reached out to the service department and explained the issue. As always, they were extremely courteous and said they would find out the status of my order and send me a follow-up email. It’s been 24 hours since that conversation and I haven’t had any more communication.
While it’s not “BHK money”, I put forth a healthy amount to have my dream stereo. I fully understand the limited capacity with which most companies have been forced to work under w/ COVID, but I also have a system at home that’s usable, but sounds subpar to me. Now, I also have $1,700 invested in an order that’s currently in limbo.
In the end, this is just a stereo (not the end of world), but I do feel a little disrespected. I’m not sure where to go from here…
Call them back, again.
Get it worked out.
I believe they will make it right.
I doubt trying indirectly via the forum (if that is your intention) will be particularly fruitful.
That said, @jamesh is a good contact for service follow up and troubleshooting. Copied him here by including his forum “hashtag”/icon here.
Best of luck to you.
Welcome, @heman_34 !
This is not good and I can appreciate the frustration. As already mentioned, @jamesh is quite active on the forum and very helpful.
If you do not hear from James in a day or two, do not hesitate to email Paul directly.
Glad everyone you’ve talked with has been pleasant, but this sounds very annoying. I’d be quite frustrated having to send in the GDAC twice and would always be on edge regarding its performance.
I do apologize for our lack of communication as far as shipping the new unit goes. Our operations team has been doing their best, but it’s been next to impossible to give accurate ETAs because of insane delays at the ports. We were recently in touch with our supplier for the transformers we use and then gave us some like a 5-8 month lead time. Luckily I don’t have to be part of these decisions, but I believe we’re going to air them in to cut down the time as much as possible.
Regardless, this is just an excuse, and I really hope don’t feel as though we aren’t valuing you more because it’s a GDAC. Heck, it could be a noise harvester and we’ll treat you as if it’s P20.
I’ll do my best to work with operations and see if we can get the new GDAC out the door ASAP! Sadly some of these things are out of our control right now.
This is the first post I’ve ever made in a forum; honestly wasn’t expecting such a fast response, lol.
My intention was just to share my story - in case someone else was going through a similar issue. But after a quick glance over my original post, I guess it kind of has a “woe is me” vibe - not exactly what I was going for. Don’t get me wrong, Jamesh is right on the money… this is definitely annoying and I do feel disrespected, so I appreciate the feedback and help.
I guess I was also a little curious if this was par for the course (lack luster support after the sale) or just a fluke. I’m fairly new to the higher tier of the hobby (I’ve always had cheaper systems), so I don’t have much experience with pure “hifi dealers”. Based on the fast response, it seems this forum has an active community, so my hopes are on this being a fluke (due to circumstances w/ COVID, etc.).
I don’t know, I consider the GDAC, P3, and M700s to be a damn good high tier system. Sure, there is always the higher tier stuff, but just because you don’t have a company’s flagship system doesn’t mean you should expect half-(you know what’ed) service. Specially from us. I do apologize if this is how you felt. I really appreciate your patience and I’m hoping we can get that new GDAC out to you soon!
You are understandably frustrated and disappointed. It can help to vent, and we are happy to provide support and empathy.
Hang around and join in the other discussions. We are happy to have you here.
@jamesh I appreciate the transparency into the current situation (parts on backorder, etc). I wasn’t aware of this when I placed my new order or talked to customer service. To be honest, if I can get my GDAC repaired back to its original working condition, I’m likely to return the new one. In light of the current situation, I feel like that might not be fair to other customers also waiting in line.
If you can help me get in touch with the right person, it might be worth cancelling my new order and possibly sending my unit back in for round 3.
You bet. If you don’t mind, send me a quick email confirming you want to cancel the order for the new one. email@example.com I’ll also make sure you get in the right hands to have the original brought back and looked at.
There are a number of industries that are having supply chain issues due to COVID. Try ordering a new kitchen appliance or even parts for one. Even some of the car manufactures are having to cut production due to lack of parts and computer components.
It’s precisely the combination I have, and it sounds amazing (irrespective of all the M1200 fans out there who are so, um, enthusiastic ). Seriously, it’s great gear in and of itself. But I can understand the frustration.
Regarding channel imbalance, I’ve thought for some time that I was hearing slightly higher levels in the left channel than in the right, actually dating back to the equipment I had in place before the PSA gear. I was concerned about it until I noticed it with the new equipment as well. So I thought it might be the room, but the effect was replicated through headphones, too. I stopped worrying when I played some mono material and the image was rock solid and stable and equidistant between speakers. I finally concluded that among non-classical music engineers and producers there seems to be what I’m sure is an unconscious and very slight bias in favor of the left channel. At least that’s what it seems to me.
I’m not suggesting that’s the OP’s issue. It sounds worse than that, not to mention the fact that the emphasis at some point seemed to shift to the right. I only mention it as a curious phenomenon I’ve noticed.
Thanks Craig. I’ve nearly had mental breakdowns thinking the left channel was a little more hot. I’d spend so much time going through the system to make sure the balance or cabling wasn’t off. Turned out for my case, it was very track specific. A number of masters seem to have the vocals a little hotter on the left, and then guitar more on the right. If I change to a different track, my sanity is returned once there is balance. I would stupidly only play the same off center tracks to try and make them sound more centered.
During my weeks of tweaking speaker placement I too found the left channel to be hotter. Even went to the trouble of cleaning all my connection, swapping speakers L-R and switching speaker cables too. So I turned to the weapon of last resort —the balance control.
Another disc, or a FM station (yes, I still use a Tuner!) would then be hot on the right.
Now I know to not worry about it. All is good.
I too have the same system and have gone through near ridiculous tweaking because I heard one channel slightly louder than the other. Nice to know others have gone through the same histrionics. For me the song My Little Room by Norah Jones gave me peace as the vocals are supposed to be, and in my system are, dead center ear height in the soundfield. Cheers all.
Thanks again for the help jamesh. I sent an email w/ the order details your way.
+1 on hearing left channel hotter in several recordings. My rule of thumb to get out of this paranoia is to use a mono recording. Should any side be hotter in mono, you definetely have a setup problem…
OK, me too. For the past couple of weeks I have been certain that the left channel was a little hot because I had to adjust my seating position to accommodate it. I even went so far as to push the setup button on my Stellar GCD and there it was: Balance +1 left. Returned to zero; issue resolved.
I know this isn’t the OP’s problem, but the post reminded me to never take for granted that settings haven’t changed.
Ford has 10’s of thousands of new F-150’s sitting still waiting for some electronic bits. The world’s supply chain has a lot of broken links due to Covid. It may well be another year or more before things get back to “normal”
With COVID-19 going on, they are accommodating their customers. Myself included (twice in the past year (M700/DirectStream Sr. recently) . The M700 was repaired & returned within 2 weeks and the DSSr. also around 2 weeks. M700 was a repair based on my incompetance. The DSSr. was “no fault found”. Both were under warranty. I try not to send things to them to check out just for my curiosity because they are busy and trying to accommodate RMA’s as best they can under these trying times.
I understand your frustration and as you can see, everyone is doing their “sound” best to help you out.
Try getting a Chinese based/Asian Audio to give you the same service…good luck with that.
Patience is a Mother…er.
What’s worse is that in the 1960s various producers or engineers liked to mix the vocalist off center for whatever reason; several Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. albums are mixed with them noticeably right of center.
I originally thought this was a system issue until I noticed the placement was the same across LP and CD, and speakers or iPhone.