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SPE Expert Amps

Discussion in 'Stolen Radios, Scams and Rip-Offs' started by K4LRX, Nov 27, 2015.

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  1. K4LRX

    K4LRX QRZ Member QRZ Page

    In answer to the post of KB0IXM yes you are correct about the company being concerned and wanting to find out what was happening at SPE? They are concerned about their image and gaining sales in the U.S. I for one have been impressed with this amp, in fact downloaded a copy of the 1.3 amp and have been reading it for the last six months. The debacle started with SPE, Larkins quitting the business, told not a single customer, refused to answer inquiry e mails and shut down her phone with an answer machine. So, what is everyone supposed to think she has $3700 dollars, so far as the old saying goes someone else got the elevator and you know what I got!

    Now, she claims the checks have been mailed, rumor mill has them going out on the 5th of December, tomorrow if that check does not come, it will be a full week. I have shipped qsl cards to several foreign hams faster then that, a week from Texas? I am having my doubts. If I had been Larkins larger checks would be sent via certified mail, just to make sure all got their refunds. If you are thinking of buying an amp, try Bob Hardy at the Expert America, you get an invoice e mailed to you and when the amp arrives you pay the man. I prefer to order something from namely HRO you got your purchase in a few days. No prolonged waiting, or paying in advance.

    The big problem with Expert is they build per order, so they do not have a back log of items sitting on the shelf like the U.S. manufacturers do. If I were you and wanted one of these units, go the route I suggested. Yes, you are going to wait a while, but the product is well worth the wait.
     
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Six months is a long time to wait for a piece of equipment.:)
     
  3. K3PD

    K3PD Ham Member QRZ Page

    By what criteria did you determine that Bob Hardie's company, Expert Linears America, is not "well capitalized? " Are you saying the distributor is the cause of the supply problem? If this is your position you obviously don't know what you are talking about!
     
  4. K4LRX

    K4LRX QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Granted, it is, but take a look at the ads and what it does and how it does it. No one else on the market has anything this small, generating this much power. Well, keep posting about this and who knows, perhaps that check will arrive in the mail, it must have been sent on the back of a turtle.
     
  5. K4LRX

    K4LRX QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Read the proceedings on this, yes it was SPE Expert that created all this problem, had they followed through with the orders and not cancelled them all, I would be enjoying this product. However, many hams also have them and are praising the work and technology. No, not against Bob Hardie, in fact we had conversation on the phone yesterday, his reputation is that of honesty. These are two different outlets, SPE Expert and Expert Linears USA. SPE produced the problem, letting us believe the units were ordered and they were cancelled with out any notice to customers.

    Hope this clarifies the question by K3PD. In fact the funds never reached Expert in Italy, that was verified by Larkins, she cancelled all the orders to Expert and never sent them any funds. Well, do not want to argue with anyone over this, but let me see, I have $3700 dollars in this project and it is still out there as of this day.
    Not good. We are awaiting the turtle from Texas with that check strapped to his back.
     
  6. K3LI

    K3LI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Does anyone now approximately how many amps a year they sell in the U.S.? If it is enough, I would be willing to buy enough to keep a minimum inventory of 6 or 8 amps for resale.
     
  7. K4LRX

    K4LRX QRZ Member QRZ Page

    First of all not sure of the exact figure, you might want to talk to Bob Hardy, or maybe direct to the factory. The idea is catching on and concept of a small package, plus little input power needed is indeed a plus. Personally,stocking some amps on the shelf would certainly cut down the wait time.

    Now as to the events today, no check in the mailbox, I think one more week would be reasonable to wait. that is if indeed it was sent?

    You might want to download all three manuals and look them over, plus there are several videos on YOU Tube about Expert AMPS. My objective for buying one is to go totally solid state with both stations. I have a THP Hl 2.5 and it is flawless, but it is much larger then the Expert. Only one input and output, does a great job.

    During my search to find some answers I contacted Expert in Italy, one Guido Pontifico I think that is right, his English is pretty good, but you may have to break it down to more simpler terms for him to understand. Of course if you speak Italian no problem.
     
  8. N8MSA

    N8MSA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I stated this because neither (or perhaps now the only) US distributor has any significant inventory, and obviously doesn't have the scale of HRO or DX Engineering; this is self-evident. I've had numerous conversations with Bob Hardie of Expert Ampliers USA, and he will freely admit that he's "small". This doesn't mean the Expert Amplifiers USA is 'bad', but what it does mean is that they don't have enough capital to maintain a large inventory of amps - and parts. The same is true for SPE itself, Acom and OM Power - they make these in small batches to help control costs and reduce risk - these are more of a 'craft' product than most transceivers.

    The downside for the customer is order and support cycle time, with the complimentary risk to SPE and the dealer network of lost sales. SPE wasn't always in this position: SPE amps used to be sold through SteppIR Antennas and Array Solutions, whom both ultimately ceased distributing SPE products. SPE used, after Array Solutions dropped them in 2007, another 'small' operation with all of the challenges faced by such operations:

    https://k9zw.wordpress.com/tag/array-solutions/page/2/

    I own two of these amps, so clearly I am not afraid to buy from very small businesses such as Expert, and SPE, but there is a certain amount of risk involved and the principles of all of the parties will attest to this when asked.
     
  9. K4TVI

    K4TVI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think you are dead on right. Small international manufacturer and US distributors. How can a distributor serve selling a single product line with (3) high priced amps that you cannot get in a reasonable amount of time. Add in the Euro exchange rate floating, you are responsable for the warranty work, and shipping cost. What happens to the warranty if your supplier has a car accident or gets sick. But this is almost the same with Alpha Amps. How many times have they been sold. Alpha was started by my friend don Payne K4ID and one tech. D & B repoeted they had nine (9) employess when they were RF Concepts. Ham Gear is risky business. I want to return to the old days when you could drop off the equipment at the factory for repair or they would tell you what / how to replace and ship the parts: E. F. Johnson, Heath Kit, Henry Radio, R. L. Drake & Ten Tec. We have shipped our manufacturing over seas.

    I thank we will receive a partial refund this week. Rachel left me a phone message with an apology and followed up with email.
     
  10. K4LRX

    K4LRX QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Nice comments, the first commentary from K3PD sounded a little harsh, but this time much more to the point and good explanation.

    John, I got an e mail from Rachel stating a letter and check was on the way, that was about five days ago, so nothing yet. I think we all have learned from this and gained some knowledge, I know I have.. If there is another six month delay on the product, then I will just forget it. Not worth the hassle. However, maybe, just maybe with my order sitting in Italy and ready to ship something can be done to expedite the shipment. We shall see what happens? In any event, will post when I receive my refund and if not, you will hear even more displeasure with this debacle.

    Well, maybe catch you guys on the air sometime, let's see what tomorrow brings in the mail box?
     

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