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What's the deal with Dumble amps?


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10/13/1999 4:55 PM
Stephen Conner
What's the deal with Dumble amps?
Hi folks,  
 
I'm in my early twenties and I live in Scotland. Therefore I had never heard of Dumble amps until I started hanging out here, and saw you all talking about them as if they were the voice of God Himself.  
 
Could someone explain some of the facts behind the legend for me?  
 
Thanks,  
 
Steve.
 
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10/13/1999 5:48 PM
Don Symes

There's this mad wizard in California Howard Alexander Dumble (NEVER call him Howard!). He builds these amps that are beautifully engineered and are pretty much agreed to BE the voice of God.  
 
The odd things - You gotta pay for the amp up front 15000USD, roughly. If you call him even ONCE before he allows you to ship the amp to yourself, your amp is abandoned never to be seen and your money is gone. You agree to this in the order contract.  
Packaging and shipping are YOUR problem and expense - you provide the case and method of payment when HE tells you to. The boards are covered in a thick layer of epoxy to prevent you learning anything. You also sign a secrecy agreement and agree that H.A.D. is your ONLY source of service.  
 
The reports are that, if you're the kind of person willing to spend 15 grand on an amp you've never seen or heard, you'll be very impressed. If a 5000USD sight-unseen purchase is more likely, the K&M products are said to be in the same sonic category.  
 
Or, you can just add the OD stage to your current amp.
 
10/13/1999 7:11 PM
Gil Ayan
Don: Maybe Get Your Facts Straight?
quote:
"There's this mad wizard in California Howard Alexander Dumble (NEVER call him Howard!). He builds these amps that are beautifully engineered and are pretty much agreed to BE the voice of God.  
 
The odd things - You gotta pay for the amp up front 15000USD, roughly."
 
 
Don, you may be joking... but how would you know whether Dumble is mad or not? I met him once, and he seemed like a normal person to me (albeit quite an overweight guy) and even told me what the Dumbleator was and why he took that approach.  
 
Regarding the price... Again, did Dumble ever offer to sell you an amp at $15,000? I posted the information he had sent me a few years ago on this very BB a while back, giving links to my site for scans of the documents. The price schedule shows the amps cost between $2.5K and $5K, depending upon how much you were willing to wait for the amp.  
 
Now, the thing is that Dumble has always been pretty selective regarding who he chooses to acknowlegde and who not. So, there are very few amps around and given the world we live in, the market itself has driven the prices up to the figures you mention. But make no mistake, that may be the market value of a used Dumble, it certainly is not the price that Dumble has for his customers.  
 
Maybe we feel it's all fine and dandy to say thing about someone whom we don't know, and who's not here to correct misinformation that gets spread around. In your case, it looks as though you did read my web site (for all interested parties, the documents are here (http://home.earthlink.net/~ayan/documents/documents.htm) but chose to quote a few things and "extrapolate" on others.  
 
Go read the docs: the secrecy agreement refers to selling the amp to or having it serviced by someone whom you know intends to hack it for commercial profit. It's pretty clear on the secrecy agreement, I believe.  
 
Also, the "don't call me" deal is spelled out on the document. It says that you will not contact him before the date agreed upon in the contract, so that's part of the deal... right? Now suppose you call him before then, you have to go to the California code to see if the contract becomes void and null, and if so, do you lose your money? I am not a lawyer, but I know it wouldn't happen.  
 
Lastly, I saw that on another post you responded to someone by saying "oh a Dumble is just an amp with a post EQ overdrive and another EQ following it." Is there any particular reason you seem to want to put this guy and/or his work down for? Let's talk about it, get it off your chest Don. :) :)  
Gil
 
10/13/1999 7:26 PM
Bob S.

Gil, it appears you're a Dumble crusader. The facts are: He builds a fine amp, and I don't blame him for guarding his hard earned reputation from countless hours of R&D. I'm going through the same thing right now. I am contemplating security with my products.  
 
As for his sainthood, he is not! From personal experience I've seen money put down, no products delivered, and probably never will at this point. And this has been a bit of his M.O. as I have heard from reliable sources about other ugly situations.  
 
Just thought you should know the facts.  
 
Bob S.
 
10/13/1999 8:19 PM
Gil Ayan

quote:
"Gil, it appears you're a Dumble crusader."
 
 
No, call me a regular cursader. I think it's rather  
 
quote:
"As for his sainthood, he is not! From personal experience I've seen money put down, no products delivered, and probably never will at this point. And this has been a bit of his M.O. as I have heard from reliable sources about other ugly situations.  
 
Just thought you should know the facts.  
Bob S."
 
 
I do know about some people he's had problems with -- and they will tell you it was about his busienss practices, not as a person. The name change was after a law suit, BTW... so if these are the facts you're referring to, maybe you can tell me something else which I may not already know.  
 
I didn't say Dumble was a saint. I did say he seemed like a rather normal person, in response too this guys claimhe was a "mad wizard" and that he never asked for $15,000 for any of his amps, in response to this guys incorrect piece of information. Which part of my post didn't you understand?  
 
Gil  
 
10/13/1999 8:52 PM
Bob S.

I don't understand why you continue to make him out to be a regular guy when in fact he has cheated people out of money!  
This I know for a fact. Business or personal I will not do that.  
 
Bob S.
 
10/13/1999 9:27 PM
Jim Wheeler

"From personal experience I've seen money put down, no products delivered, and probably never will at this point. And this has been a bit of his M.O. as I have heard from reliable sources about other ugly situations"  
 
I TOO have seen this happen - in the mid 80's two friends payed up front a for matching pair - one got his after 2 years, the other is STILL waiting.
 

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