Kudos to Roger M, his product, and his services

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Kudos to Roger M, his product, and his services
« on: 3 Mar 2008, 11:02 pm »
I recently purchased an RM-200 amp. I sent off my payment via check to the dealer, and seven days later I had the amp. I figured two weeks for the check to clear, plus shipment of another three-four days. Consequently, when I received the amp I was without cabling. All I could do was to look at the amp, and occasionally turn it on and watch the tubes light up. Very depressing.

I spent two days looking for a long run (25 feet or so) of balanced cable, and learned that finding such a cable was going to be more expensive than I was willing to pay. I do believe that cables, to a point, make a difference, but above a certain price point the laws of diminishing returns really kicks in.

After some posting  exchanges here, I called 805-687-2236, and Roger answers the phone. I ordered 25 feet of balanced cable for a shade less than $100.00. Super. I ordered a pair of Cardas adaptors. They arrived after a couple of days. Super. Before the cable arrives, I begin to think I ordered the wrong adaptor. Cable arrives after a couple of days, and, sure enough, I ordered the female XLR adaptor when I should have ordered the male XLR.

A quick run to Sam Ash music, and a purchase of two male to male XLR adaptors, and I think I am in business. Hook everything up. Nothing. Problem was, I chopped up my long runs of speaker cable to shorten the lengths that I now required. There was no returning to my other amp.

Panicked, I sent an e-mail off to the dealer. By this time I am going berserk, having been only able to look at this beautiful amplifier, and now, so close to the promised land, I am turned back. Like I'm going to be able to wait until the dealer replies? So I call Roger. This is Thursday evening. We talk for about 45 minutes until about 7:40 p.m., Roger's time. When clients do that to me, I often tell them to call me at the office the next day.

So Roger convinces me that he'll get it running, that he would call the dealer, and that he'll get back to me on Friday. On Friday he calls, I tell him I'll leave work early, he tells me to get a volt meter and some fuses, and call him when I get home. I get home about 2:30 p.m. Roger's time. He is on the phone with me another 1.5 hours as he has me dismantling the amp, testing various wires, fuses, capacitors/resistors, etc. with the volt meter. At the end of all this he tells me that the amp should work.

I did not do anything except test voltages. I hook everything up. And it works. The only thing that I can figure is that a fuse came loose during transit, and through the course of following Roger's instructions, I tightened it back up. After we were done, Roger instructed me to bang on the top of the amp. Bang, he said, to the point where it would hurt my hand. If that is not confidence in the construction of the amp, I am not sure what is.

There was a ground loop hum. I disconnected everything, per Roger's instructions, and concluded that my television cable was sending in some nasties. Disconnecting the processor from the system, everything was dead quiet. And I mean "put your ear to the speaker and cannot hear any hum" quiet.

Sure enough, it is working without a hitch, and sounding glorious. And looking great. This is solid maple, from stem to stern.

I venture to guess a lot of companies would have connected me with a technician, who would have instructed me to do something, and then, call back if that does not work, repeatedly, trying for the simplest explanation. Be forewarned, I think Roger tries to teach his customers in addition to solving their technical problem. You may be on the phone a while. I got the distinct impression there are no shortcuts with Roger, no "try this, and call me back if it does not work."

I also learned that Roger will sell direct if you do not have a dealer in your area. For many of us, there is no opportunity to personally audition a MR product. Based upon my experience with this peach of an amp, and Roger's attentiveness, it is a very safe purchase.

Roger also informed me that he intends to have a pre-amp out in the next year or so, which is fortuitous, as my pre-amp is the next piece I intend to upgrade, and based upon my experience, it is a no-brainer. He queried me as to what price point I am looking at, and what features I'd need. Perhaps if enough people chime in, he'll build that last pre-amp that any of us need.