Writing my PrimaLuna story …. With pleasure.
Learning from my mistakes …. That could be the title of my story.
It all started in 2008. I bought myself a Shanling amp and CD player. Why? Because Shanling was the only brand with a tube CD player. Or at least that’s what I thought. The amp was OK (sort of) but the cd/sacd was a real nightmare. The worst part of it was that no one in the entire Scandinavia was able to fix it.
Golden Age Music, who was the importer of Shanling, made a world record for bad, bad customer service. I nearly trashed the full system. Fortunately I did not. In one last desperate attempt to fix them, I ended up at Audio Consult, not far from where I live. Anders, who is running the shop, is a real pro. The store is the flagship store for Audio Note in Denmark. They carry 2 or 3 other brands, among them PrimaLuna. ;0)
When I arrived at the store it was my intention to give the cd repair one last shot. To my big surprise Anders said: NO ……?!?!!?!!! As to Why he said NO, he was honest enough to tell me that the repair would not last. He had several Shanlings in for repair and none of the repairs lasted more than 2 or 3 months. There I was with a “so-so” amp and no CD player.
What do you suggest I do, I asked? Anders said, take a walk around the store, tell me what you like and I will power it up, so you can listen to it. It took me about 5 minutes. You have to know I have a very bad habit. I like things that look nice. Never the less -there they were, the ProLogue Two and the Classic CD Player. Standing side-by-side.
My first thought was YES ;0) … BUT … they are Made in China … Oh No …
Anders said – read the reviews, you don’t have to worry about that – and besides there is the 2 year guarantee here in Denmark. I have been living in Shanghai for 2½ years dealing with Chinese production quality, so I was suspicious ALL THE TIME. At the same time he hooked them up and while doing that, he asked me “What are you looking for in your next set up”. I said music – only music. Anders smiled, gave me a stack of cd’s, walked away and said “I will leave you to it then”.
From this point on, I could go on and on about the sound, and describe it in my amateurish way. I will not do that, because it has been done so many times correctly by the Pro reviewers’ – by the way I didn’t read one review before I bought my set. I did only more than 6 months after ;0).
I will tell you why I find the reviews’ to be true. The way for me to find out is to listen to jazz pianist Bill Evans. I have been listening to Bill Evans for more than 20 years. The Riverside albums are the holy grail to me. I have every edition of them out there.
I took some of the cd from the Riverside recordings to The Shop, and started listening. After about 20 minutes of listening I was convinced, This was a must have. I didn’t even look at the price tag. I have them both, I said to Anders. And he went No again …
You have to know how it sounds in your own home. So I will bring them up to you and then you make your final decision. Within 24 hours I sent Anders the money.
Before the PrimaLuna’s my girlfriend often said to me: “PLEASE put on your headphones”. When I had the PrimaLuna’s for about two weeks or so, she stopped almost in the sweet spot and said: “This sounds so much better than the old set up. All the hysteria is gone…….. ;0). I like the calmness and the fact that the sound is out in the room and not only in the speakers. You don’t play nearly as loud as before”.
I was at a loss for words. She had never ever before uttered one word about the sound quality. She has always accepted my passion for music – but never in the 3½ years we have lived together (in 2009) she had commented on neither the sound or the music I played. Now she plays music herself …!
The other reason for me being so happy about the PrimaLuna’s is not the PrimaLuna’s itself, but the People behind the brand. Once and only once I have had trouble with my new setup. And it was NOT the PrimaLuna’s fault.
However this is an important part of my story. I was trying out some new connecter cables and all of a sudden the amp went dead … I took the cable back to the store and at the store the cable worked ok. So maybe the amp was the guilty part? I wrote a mail via the customer service address on your website . It was in July, the middle of European Holiday season, so I did not expect an answer as fast as I got one. The Gentleman who replied to my questions actually was on vacation as well. To make a long story short, you agreed to let Anders do a repair (if necessary). You made a few suggestions on further trouble shooting. While kindly referring to the fact you were trusting your product. And by all means you were right. It was bad soldering on the cable and not the PrimaLuna.
This service level, your blog and the FB site is for me solid evidence of standing behind what you do, and more importantly who you are as a brand. Letting your customers in on product development is a rare quality. It means a lot on the subject of customer relations and how important this is. In me you have a lifelong customer – “it’s simple as that”.
A lot of my friends are into music and hifi. All of them are amazed by the sound especially the musicality. These are folks with gear setting them back more than half a million Danish Kroner (around US $ 90,000.-) in Audio Note equipment. So here I am once again listing to MUSIC – with utter joy and a big smile on my face, knowing, that whatever I am hearing, is what Mr. Evans wanted it to sound like.