I had watched Onkyo's THX series with interest since the introduction of the 9100's. Audioholics had a good things to say about 99% of onkyo's releases.
Two years ago in February I bought the 9400... it basically sat idle 99% of the almost two years I had it.(maybe watched 20 Blu-rays) Then about a month before the two year warranty was up, I found out my subwoofer hadn't been actually working. (the light would turn from red to blue, indicating signal and the amp powering up, but usually I have it turned down low - or off until watching blu-rays or Rocksmith)
Their forum tech suggested to unplug the powered sub and wait a few minutes and re-plug it in. Well that worked for a bit, but over time it just got worse and worse. From lasting through a movie, to working less than 2 minutes.
Onkyo wouldn't send me a new amp, and told me to send it to ABL in WI for servicing. Had the UPS store pack it and send it in.
One day at work I received a random email from someone with a blocked picture stating here's a picture of the damage. With no more explanation of what the picture was. So of course I deleted it. Same day when I arrived home, there was a message on the answering machine from ABL stating the subwoofer had came in damaged, and that the damage was taped up, so they assumed I knew the damage was there.
Their phone number for whatever reason was blocked from paulbunyan telephone. I would get a message stating the phone number didn't accept land line or cell phone calls (????)
Anyhow, that night I sent back two e-mails stating that the subwoofer was in pristine condition other than the amp was cutting out. Filed a claim through the UPS store, and told ABL to let UPS come and determine what needed to be done before they worked on the subwoofer. (I had no idea what extent of the damage was)
Weeks went by without any response. Then I received another email from ABL stating that the warranty work was completed and asked what I wanted to do with the damage.
Anyhow I reminded them that I had created a claim through UPS, and asked why UPS hadn't came and assessed the damage. The tech said that UPS had came and inspected the subwoofer and wanted to take the subwoofer, which the Manager at ABL wouldn't allow, stating they had warranty work to do.
(from the email received)
"UPS came to verify the damage I am not sure what they have determined. I do know that they wanted to take the unit and my boss said they couldn't take it because we are currently waiting on parts. The parts that are on order is the volume control board and the woofer. If you have any other questions don't hesitate to email me.
So, I called UPS and they told me they couldn't do anything since ABL had refused UPS to pickup the subwoofer (a month earlier at this point), and ABL says they aren't responsible to have it fixed. (subwoofer was sent out January 28th 2014, they received it February 2nd 2014.. and it's been sitting there since)
"Tylor, UPS can still come and pickup this unit for inspection, it is just that last time they were here they wanted to "pickup" the unit not inspect here and while we do not have a problem with that we were at that time in the middle of repairing the warranty portion that was covered by Onkyo.
ABL would never tell UPS that they could not have a unit for inspection, we just told them they could not have it then.
As far as ABL being responsible now, ABL did not ship or package this unit therefore we do not take responsibility of the damage.
As a side note I am not even sure if UPS will approve the claim anyway as it appears (at least to us) this was not shipping damage, but that is between you and UPS. The damage is so small, the top right plastic edge is cracked only slightly, that I am not sure they will think this happened in shipping
As far as the work performed the volume control was "open" which needed to be replaced, that control is mounted to the amp board.
The woofer was replaced because there was low slightly distorted output from the woofer.
David J BurkPresidentABL Electronics388 Robbins.Troy, MI, 48083"(I asked by email what caused the amp to cut out, and the tech said they replaced the volume control board - which I assume was the gain control - which worked perfectly when the amp wasn't cutting out - and the woofer since it had "low freq distortion"....right... as I stated I play Rocksmith and Rocksmith 2014 on this system, I also have a Fender Mustang IV amp, and a Ampeg BA-115 amp. If the onkyo subwoofer had "low freq distortion" both my other amps have the same "distortion")
A little over two months ago they contacted me and said they had my subwoofer sitting waiting to be sent to me. I asked if they had talked to onkyo and had the damage fixed, she said no. I asked what extent the damage was that the president had mentioned, was it only a cracked/broken grille, was the box behind the grille cracked?.... did it rattle when it was on? --- Lady had no idea what the damage was, but wanted to send it to me. I told her I would refuse the delivery.
Immediately after the ABL phone conversation, I called onkyo's service line, the guy there listened to my story, said that wasn't right and He would get ahold of ABL and get it all straightened out. (because again, Onkyo wouldn't sell me a grille or box directly)
That was over two months ago, no phone call back from ABL nor Onkyo.
It's odd. Up to my 33 years of life, I had never had need of a warranty repair.
Yet in the last year I've had two 55" 4K TV's go bad (one with a green line down the center after less than 3 hours usage, the other with approx. 22 zones of random colored stuck pixels -after a week of random use), had two of four OCZ Revo3 PCI-E drives come in bad, then 1 of 2 bad, that were replacements for the first two that didn't work, then refunded the 4th since the vendor couldn't get another one in. (which is insane, since PCI-E boards have LED indicators stating that some of the memory banks were bad --which one would think OCZ would power up and check before packaging? For a $500+ card one would think) Both my HT-S9400's receiver optical inputs blew out while playing rocksmith while on hold with onkyo concerning the subwoofer.....
If I heard this story from someone I would think it's karma for something, but when I spend over 50% of my free time helping other people IJDK.
So the moral of the story is - I'm out a subwoofer, $120+ for packaging/shipping it to WI, and then getting a e-mail from Techforless while my sub is out on warranty work that they're selling a refurbished HT-S9400 subwoofer shipped for $110.... yeah, $30 less than it cost to have mine boxed and shipped.... lovely.