SoundStage Direct

Re: SoundStage Direct

Postby Jimmie » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:06 pm

In June I purchased a Prime Signature from Seth and paid via credit card. 2 weekends ago he indicated VPI had shipped to him and that I would finally be getting the TT. Last week end no one answered phones ,e mail or text.at SSD. I received my Soundsmith MiMIC cartridge back that I had sent for mounting. I think Jay sent it to me. I protested the credit card purchase and have received my money back from the credit card company. Thanks to all in the forum for the heads up. After finally buying the TT of my dreams I reverted to a sinking feeling but feel relived that I got my money back. I know this is probably rough times for SSD. I do wish everyone well. Very sad for all.Hope everyone else that paid up front can get money back.

Jim
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Re: SoundStage Direct

Postby Pelts » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:27 pm

I too placed an order for the Prime and MIMC Cart from SSD in June. After several weeks I emailed Seth directly about any updates but have received only crickets. After getting some timely feedback -thanks Fischerd!, and this post I called my credit card company and asked to cancel order and credit back.
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Re: SoundStage Direct

Postby jon9091 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:22 am

So, for those of us who did buy our turntables at SSD...and relied on them for support, who is our support team now? Jay Saku from SSD was always very helpful. I don’t see any official support number or contact with VPI. It’s always been, contact your dealer for support. Well, our Certified VPI dealer are rip off artists. So, who covers the support now?
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Re: SoundStage Direct

Postby Orchids1 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:11 am

The SSD folks are hardly “rip off artists”. They simply couldn’t make their business model work, which favored their customers and resulted in low margins. So, they went broke. Toward the end, I imagine that their dealings with customers and vendors were dictated by their principal lenders, who may even have been running SSD’s business. By the way, given the size of SSD’s operations, it’s probable that Seth was personally on the hook for the Company’s debt, so he’s busted too. It’s just sad. That’s all. Rich

P.S. SSD had built up some good will value. (Check various Forum topics.) So, its possible, but by no means certain, that SSD will be bought and it’s operations continued under a new owner. If I were the buyer, one of the first things I’d do to preserve the good will value I paid for would be to fulfill open obligations to existing customers.
Avenger (w/mods), SS Paua, Phoenix Eagle psu + tach, Sutherland 20/20 phono, Audionet Pre1G3, Benchmark AHB2 monos, YG Carmel 2 spkrs, JL e112 subs, Nordost/Audio Sensibilty ic, Kubla-Sonsa spkr cable; Auralic Aries renderer, Auralic Vega dac; Amazon Echo
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Re: SoundStage Direct

Postby jon9091 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:18 am

Talking to a number of people who got shafted...rip off artists are exactly what they turned into. They continued to take people's money up front, and weren’t even placing the orders for the products. Their web page is still up and running, advertising VPI turntables...even though they are no longer a dealer. They sent the exact same form letter to numerous people about their order being delayed for a few weeks...but it was never coming. That’s fraud.

I feel bad for the good employees that lost their jobs from this mess. Hopefully, they can find new situations.
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Re: SoundStage Direct

Postby Brf » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:56 am

jon9091 wrote:
Anyway...my question was....who handles the support for all of us who bought turntables from this dealer?


First, one must make a distinction between Warranty and Support.

1) Warranties are backed by VPI, therefore, regardless of the Dealer's status, VPI still warranties the table.

2) Support can be divided into to sub-sets:

a) General turntable support with regard to cartridge set up etc, third party peripheral components / accessories etc. Most brick and motor stores that specialize in turntables can perform these services, therefore, one is free to choose

b) VPI product support with respect to VPI upgrades and VPI proprietary accessories. These can only be purchased through VPI's Dealer network who undergo factory training on VPI products, setup, and accessories. People place a different value on the before and after sale support services offered by a Dealers.
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Re: SoundStage Direct

Postby Orchids1 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:28 pm

Jon, My point is that, at some stage, Seth lost control of SSD, and SSD’s operating decisions, including those pertaining to customer orders, were almost certainly being made by Its lenders. While I suppose Seth could have refused to implement those lender decisions, assuming he was still technically in a position to do so, someone who is personally liable for a few million dollars of company debt is usually very cooperative. Lenders require a personal guaranty by the owner of a small business primarily to make sure that the owner follows the lenders’ orders to the letter. (A small business owner’s assets, apart from his equity in the company, are typically not very substantial or meaningful to a lender.) Also, there are conventional lenders, and there are unconventional lenders, such as certain types of funds. My guess is that SSD’s lenders fall into the latter category. Most unconventional lenders are very tough, if not downright nasty and scary, and they could not care less about SSD’s customers; Seth was in no position to refuse their orders.

Now, I have no insight into SSD’s actual circumstances, but I have had lots of experience representing funds that make medium and large unconventional loans, and I know the drill when a company violates the financial covenants in the loan documents or defaults in repayment of a loan. SSD’s loan was probably relatively small, which usually makes matters worse for the borrower and it’s owner. Several weeks ago, after reading a couple of posts, I saw this coming and warned members to stop ordering from SSD. I hope most readers did so. Rich
Avenger (w/mods), SS Paua, Phoenix Eagle psu + tach, Sutherland 20/20 phono, Audionet Pre1G3, Benchmark AHB2 monos, YG Carmel 2 spkrs, JL e112 subs, Nordost/Audio Sensibilty ic, Kubla-Sonsa spkr cable; Auralic Aries renderer, Auralic Vega dac; Amazon Echo
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Re: SoundStage Direct

Postby Peer Gynt » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:17 pm

SSD was probably grasping at straws at the end.

Anyone who bought with a credit card and did not get their product should be able to get a full credit.

It might be a bit harder with a debit card. I won’t use debit cards.
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Re: SoundStage Direct

Postby Pianist » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:44 pm

Perhaps unrelated, but Seth unfriended me on Facebook several months ago! I don't know if he didn't like some of my political posts, if he simply deleted his account--not sure what happened.
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Re: SoundStage Direct

Postby VinBob » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:43 pm

Peer Gynt wrote:SSD was probably grasping at straws at the end.

Anyone who bought with a credit card and did not get their product should be able to get a full credit.

It might be a bit harder with a debit card. I won’t use debit cards.


Yes, Debit Card lesson learnt for me as I lost out on an album - Funny thing is, the Bank told me that I had to file within 60 days of when they last sent me my last statement which they never did - not to mention,it can take 60 days or more before an order is filled with SD as they can be super slow on some items!

I guess it could have been worse, but to not honor people's orders in some shape/form is pretty poor. Such a shame, as I had met Seth when I upgraded to my Prime who was awesome to deal with and the after sales support I got from Jay was superb. I will miss them as they were my closest dealer and I could literally drive to them if I ever needed to. Does anyone know what happened exactly and what the current status is with Soundstage Direct? Not that I am planning on ordering from there ever again...!

Cheers,
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