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previous: MatthewMcCloskey Yeah me too! The shiva kicks butt f... -- 2/19/2001 3:56 PM View Thread

Re: Surprised you're selling the Shiva!

2/20/2001 4:19 AM
Randall Aiken
Re: Surprised you're selling the Shiva!
"As to the Aiken...well, I got in a bind and could not continue to wait, so I just canceled. Randall had some family priorities which I later found out, and so was gone for a bit and unresponsive to e-mails, I thought he was history, maybe going under or something, so I just bailed after it had been 5 months already, and I needed an amp. We did get in contact later and he was really cool about everything and explained his situation. I wrote him back a couple times since but have not heard from him so I hope things are ok for him. Good guy, just some bad luck. "
Well, since this is out in the open, and people have been emailing me about it already, I'd best do some damage control before the rumors start flying.  
Here's the complete story, straight from the horse's (my) mouth:  
After the summer NAMM show, where I introduced the Invader amp, I started taking orders (but no money - I *never* accept any money before a product is ready to ship, and always offer the option to cancel an order at any point prior to shipment, and even offer a week free trial period to return the amp, no questions asked, for a full refund).  
Matthew was one of the first orders, taken on September 22. At the time, I quoted a 4-5 week lead time to have the cabinets and chassis built, based on time estimates given to me by my vendors. My original cabinet maker bailed out on me after I bought all the tools and equipment for him, including table saw, router jigs, clamps, etc., and wood, tolex, and hardware for several cabinets, never delivered a single sellable cabinet. In fact, the NAMM show was supposed to have eight cabinets, but I only got the one combo and head out of the guy. I should have canned him earlier, but he kept saying he was "just about finished", when he really wasn't working on them at all.  
I finally had to bite the bullet and go find another cabinet builder. Since I was late on a few other orders, I gambled and placed an order for several cabinets with the new guy, instead of just one to see if he got it right. He got them wrong, and that batch wasn't sellable, but the quality of the cabinets in general was quite good, so I placed a second order for more cabinets. That first batch took a month, so I figured the second batch wouldn't take longer than that. I was wrong. It took a bit over three months, because he was out of the dark green tolex, and the manufacturer kept promising him delivery every other week. I finally got the first sellable cabinets just last month (they turned out great, fortunately, and I am quite pleased with the workmanship).  
Because of the delays involved in the cabinet work, I had held off on releasing my chassis to the silkscreener for production, because I didn't want to tie up the cash on a large chassis run until I was sure I had good cabinets ready to ship, in case I had to fork out another couple thousand dollars on yet another cabinet vendor. This, of course, turned out to be a mistake, and caused yet another delay.  
As Matthew mentioned, around that time he had tried to email me and I was out of touch for a week or so, because of some family problems, which unfortunately are still ongoing, but I'm trying to deal with them as best I can. I had no desire to have this brought up in a public forum, so I will not discuss it further, here or anywhere else. As anyone who has dealt with me before will tell you, I normally answer all my emails and phone messages promptly, and always try to help people whenever I can.  
Matthew cancelled his order, and I called him to apologize for the delays, and to try and make it right by him. He was very gracious about the whole deal, and I fully understand his frustration at not being able to get delivery in a timely fashion as I had promised. Had I known it would have taken this long to get things going, I would have never taken the orders in the first place. For his trouble, and as a small token of my appreciation for his patience, I sent him the Celestion G12H30 speaker I had ordered for his amp, free of charge. He wrote back that he had received it, and gave me his impressions of the tone, and thanked me for it. That email didn't indicate that he wanted a response, so I let it go at that. That was the only email I've received, so if there were others I've missed, I apologize.  
Because I am 100% self-financed, these problems have also delayed the introduction of my other products. I will be shipping amps out shortly, and will get those other products on line as soon as I am able.  
That's the whole story, and I apologize for having to air it here. My thanks to all of you who have been patient with me while I try and get this thing going. With any luck, I'll have a good showing at this summer NAMM in July, and I hope to see some of you there.  
Randall Aiken

Matthewmccloskey Randall,I hope I didn't cau... -- 2/20/2001 5:15 PM
Dave Charneski Thanks for the info, Randall. -- 2/21/2001 2:02 AM
Michael Re: Surprised you're selling the Shiva! -- 2/21/2001 3:02 AM
andy fuchs Randall, I truly sympathize. In abo... -- 2/24/2001 10:25 PM