NEW MFW-15 amps (May 2010) *pics* - Page 31 - AVS Forum
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post #901 of 2662 Old 09-05-2010, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSatch View Post

I think the version 1 amps worked fine from the release of the MFW until Nov and Dec of '08 when tons of problems showed up due to crappy parts being used in a design with little tolerance for error. I have one from Spring of '08 that's been rock solid. When the amps starting having problems at the end of '08 they investigated and came out with version 2 after a long delay. I have two MFW15s from this era that had their version 1 amps die as well as version 2 replacements die. The version 2 amp was supposed to solve all the problems, but they starting failing too so version 3 came out. I've never really gotten a great answer about version 3. I've heard it runs cooler and may be solid, but some have had problems with far less output.

The output seems to be the achilles heel so far with the v3. But from what I've read it's been pretty rare to happen. Not sure why that is and I would love to know why exactly that seems to be the case. I have 2 v3 amps and they're almost identical to my 2 v2's that I have in terms of output. Haven't read of a v3 failing yet but they haven't been out that long compared to the other versions, plus, there probably is a lot more of the other versions out. I wouldn't think there would be all that many of the v3's out and about anyways.

1 main problem if you bought a MFW that does have a v3 in it. The driver is a crappy knock off! It's gotta be

The drivers in my 2 v3 MFW's bottom out much easier than they do with my 2 v2 MFW's. I think that sometime in the last year or so, av123 started selling the MFW with some cheap knock off driver to save some money. They just threw an Eminence sticker on it to make it look legit!

I mean, think about it. They probably used up their stock of Eminence drivers. Apparently from what Mark Seaton has said, av123 still owed a bunch of money to Eminence. Since AV123 was no longer on good terms with Eminence, they would no longer be able to get more drivers from them. They decided to start making a cheap replacement specced out on the original driver. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone. EOS

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post #902 of 2662 Old 09-06-2010, 12:31 PM
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Thanks guys for all your comments on the V1 amp.

My guess is the very first batch came from SAC and it seems they are ok.

I just might ask Mr. Pu about this and see if I can order some.

Not sure yet though.

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post #903 of 2662 Old 09-06-2010, 12:34 PM
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What?

Another victim of Schifter?
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post


I mean, think about it. They probably used up their stock of Eminence drivers. Apparently from what Mark Seaton has said, av123 still owed a bunch of money to Eminence. Since AV123 was no longer on good terms with Eminence, they would no longer be able to get more drivers from them. They decided to start making a cheap replacement specced out on the original driver. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone. EOS


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post #904 of 2662 Old 09-06-2010, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnixMan View Post

Thanks guys for all your comments on the V1 amp.

My guess is the very first batch came from SAC and it seems they are ok.

I just might ask Mr. Pu about this and see if I can order some.

Not sure yet though.

The amp itself may not have come from SAC - more likely it came from Mark's "friend" Stephen, and the factory he contracted with built the first batch to spec before cheaping out on later batches.

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post #905 of 2662 Old 09-06-2010, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnixMan View Post

What?

Another victim of Schifter?

I think that the challenge might be finding someone Mark and/or AV123 did business with who wasn't a victim in the end.

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post #906 of 2662 Old 09-06-2010, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Hey Murrel. I just wanted to say thanks for giving people another option for buying amps. All these questions you're getting are the norm when it comes to the MFW-15. It's existence has been knee deep in controversy and it just comes with the territory. I was curious if you happen to know how many watts the v3 puts out? I've heard some different figures and was hoping to get more of a definitive answer.

Thanks

Here is what I was told

Knee deep....more like chest deep!

V1 amps 330 watts
updated V1 amp board 400 Watts
V3 amp 450 Watts. this board has a different gain structure from what I was told. Meaning that you may have to turn the gain up more than the other amps.

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post #907 of 2662 Old 09-06-2010, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrel View Post

Here is what I was told

Knee deep....more like chest deep!

V1 amps 330 watts
updated V1 amp board 400 Watts
V3 amp 450 Watts. this board has a different gain structure from what I was told. Meaning that you may have to turn the gain up more than the other amps.

Murrel

LOL

Cool info. Good to know! Thanks!

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post #908 of 2662 Old 09-06-2010, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrel View Post

2. UL certified? not sure but probably not

Really?? I hope you have one helluva attorney and/or large insurance policy then. Seeing that you've already admitted that your batch of amps is "probably not" UL listed, I imagine you've just opened yourself up to a huge liability in case there are any amp failures with not-so-fun results, such as electrical burns/shock, fire, loss of property, etc...

From some info I found on the web:

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/electrical-...section-7.html
The UL stands for "Underwriters Laboratory". It used to be an Insurance Industry organization, but now it is independent and non-profit. It tests electrical components and equipment for potential hazards. When something is UL-listed, that means that the UL has tested the device, and it meets their requirements for safety - ie: fire or shock hazard. It doesn't necessarily mean that the device actually does what it's supposed to, just that it probably won't kill you.

The UL does not have power of law in the U.S. -- you are permitted to buy and install non-UL-listed devices. However, insurance policies sometimes have clauses in them that will limit their liability in case of a claim made in response to the failure of a non-UL-listed device. Furthermore, in many situations the NEC will require that a wiring component used for a specific purpose is UL-listed for that purpose. Indirectly, this means that certain parts of your wiring must be UL-listed before an inspector will approve it and/or occupancy permits issued.

Hey, just food for thought. For your sake, I hope you know what you're doing...

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post #909 of 2662 Old 09-06-2010, 08:16 PM
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mak99,

The UL does not have power of law in the U.S. -- you are permitted to buy and install non-UL-listed devices. However, insurance policies sometimes have clauses in them that will limit their liability in case of a claim made in response to the failure of a non-UL-listed device. Furthermore, in many situations the NEC will require that a wiring component used for a specific purpose is UL-listed for that purpose. Indirectly, this means that certain parts of your wiring must be UL-listed before an inspector will approve it and/or occupancy permits issued.

if you read the piece that you posted you are allowed to purchase and install non UL listed devices. Which also means that anyone can sell a non UL listed device. It is also stated that if you have a failure and damage from a non UL listed device that the purchasers insurance claim may be reduced due to the installation of the non UL device.

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post #910 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post

Uh... It's currently listed at $225±25.

OK, just being optimistic(-25) and since shipping wasn't mentioned, I assumed this was their shipped price.

Probably wrong on both accounts though.
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post #911 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 06:04 AM
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Yea probably wrong on at least one

But then again maybe I should include shipping and then just raise the price $50.00???

Quote:
Originally Posted by NicksHitachi View Post

OK, just being optimistic(-25) and since shipping wasn't mentioned, I assumed this was their shipped price.

Probably wrong on both accounts though.


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post #912 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by sandbagger View Post

Yea probably wrong on at least one

But then again maybe I should include shipping and then just raise the price $50.00???

Yeah and call it a "heat wave buster extravaganza sale"

I know, I'm cheap, but I'm still wrapping my head around a $250 replacement amp for a $399 sub.

Did I mention I'm cheap?
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post #913 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 08:57 AM
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But then again maybe I should include shipping and then just raise the price $50.00???

I've told you a thousand times to stop using the VA321 shipping calculator.
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post #914 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrel View Post

mak99,

The UL does not have power of law in the U.S. -- you are permitted to buy and install non-UL-listed devices. However, insurance policies sometimes have clauses in them that will limit their liability in case of a claim made in response to the failure of a non-UL-listed device. Furthermore, in many situations the NEC will require that a wiring component used for a specific purpose is UL-listed for that purpose. Indirectly, this means that certain parts of your wiring must be UL-listed before an inspector will approve it and/or occupancy permits issued.

if you read the piece that you posted you are allowed to purchase and install non UL listed devices. Which also means that anyone can sell a non UL listed device. It is also stated that if you have a failure and damage from a non UL listed device that the purchasers insurance claim may be reduced (mak99: or most likely denied) due to the installation of the non UL device.

Murrel

Well, as long as you clearly state this when you sell/advertise your amps, maybe that eliminates any liability on your part should any of these problem-plagued amps burn out. But I'm sure you know how sue-happy people are in this country...

I equate this to someone running a standard power cable inside a wall for a wall-mounted TV, in lieu of using code-required in-wall wiring (ie, Romex) and proper outlets. If there's a fire of any sort due to this, the homeowner/renter will not be covered by insurance if it's determined that the incorrect wiring was the cause. This is why I gladly spent about $80 for the PowerBridge system when we wall mounted our TV last year.

Again, I hope you understand all the risks associated with selling these amps, especially with the spotty history of them. I personally have begun unplugging my v2 amp when not in use as a safety precaution, as it's just not worth the risk in case it burns out while we are away from home. I'd hate to be denied a low-to-mid-six-figure claim due to our insurance company pointing the finger at a non-UL device as the blame...

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post #915 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 10:29 AM
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Regarding the UL questions...

UL certification offers 3rd party documentation you have done due diligence and made all reasonable efforts at safety. It is typically BIG up front money for smaller run products (think >$10k for a product). It is not a requirement for use in homes in the US. Some codes, inspectors or insurers may require it for certain spaces, but this falls under the "authority having jurisdiction." In the past it was much more of an issue in commercial or public spaces. There are other certifications which may be required for different designs, where some of the switching power supplies and amplifiers could emit too much RF in some circumstances. There are some cross country agreements where types of UL certification also insure you meet other standards, potentially adding more value. The only way you can certify an amplifier to be placed inside a speaker is to provide a full case for the design, else you have to certify each complete subwoofer model.

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post #916 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 10:38 AM
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Thanks for the explanation, Mark. That's frequently a matter of debate and confusion...

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post #917 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnixMan View Post

A quick question for those in the know...which might just be a very few.

What's wrong with V1 amp?

Hi Hugh (also for all others reading along),

The V1 amp was sourced by CrealM (basically a representative/broker) through a very large Chinese amplifier builder. The output stage (the part that makes the input signal large to drive the woofer) used a design from the build house. It was not my choice, as preferred options Doug G. and I presented were passed by (10-20% more expensive ). After the 2nd large batch started failing, Doug and another engineer identified a common point of failure due to some loose tolerance parts which could drift into a point of thermal instability, especially in the small amp chamber. Instability means once past a threshold, the design would continue to drift toward a failure state. Obviously the first batch mostly worked, but that result proved not repeatable given the push for cost cutting.

Later amps of the exact same design (at least they intended it to be the same) from CrealM's own build house was also problem ridden. The V2 amp retained the input signal circuitry and the power transformer from the original amps and replaced the output stage with the new design which was built in the US and assembled and loaded on the Chinese sourced amps replacing the original output stage. The V3 amp came after AV123 ran through the China sourced amp parts (plate, input section and transformer). A new input section was created, the separate adjustment panel was eliminated, and the power supply and all parts were sourced and assembled by QSC. From what I understand, these were about 2-3x the cost to build as the original V1 amps. For what it's worth, IMO, murrel is likely to loose money handling and delivering the V3 amps at $225, and should be charging about $250+ shipping unless everything is boxed, packed, and ready to ship without any handling, pick up or checking prior to shipment to buyers. I'd suggest pushing harder on QSC for the pricing if they want to get rid of the parts, or stick to $250 so as to not have anyone else get sucked into the money pit of AV123.

I had no involvement with the development of nor hands on knowledge of the V2 or V3 amplifiers, so much of the above info is 2nd hand from those with some involvement combined with what I've observed from owners.

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post #918 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 11:35 AM
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Hi Mark,

Thanks for the info.

I won't touch this amp business then...too much hassle.

Hugh
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post #919 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

Regarding the UL questions...

Mark, thanks for the expanded info on UL, I guess I didn't realize that this was such a fuzzy issue. I do understand the expensive process to have UL test & certify a manufacturer's "assembled" product, like you stated.

Regardless, I assume it's better to have a UL label than not, even if not necessarily required for residential use...who cares if the office burns down, all our toys are at the house!

BTW, I'm looking forward to that email/phone call from Kevin, saying "your Turbo kit is now available!"

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post #920 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 05:59 PM
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FYI I may have fixed the hum issue on the MFW15 amps. I am going to run it for a couple of days and I will let you all know

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post #921 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrel View Post

FYI I may have fixed the hum issue on the MFW15 amps. I am going to run it for a couple of days and I will let you all know

Murrel

Fingers crossed! Let's see, it took you a day to fix it and AV123 had how long and couldn't do it?
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post #922 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrel View Post

Steve do any of your amps work at all?

I got a very early V3 that wouldn't scare an 8" driver let alone drive a 15 incher. Any idea what could be done with it? I for one prefer the V2 amp if only because the only V3 I have been exposed to sucks balls.

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post #923 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonk View Post

My impression was that the design itself was more-or-less serviceable (possibly closer to "less" than "more" due to budget constraints) but the manufacturing implementation became a real problem - when the manufacturer in China started cutting corners, there was no room for error and they started failing in large numbers. The V2 amp was actually just a V1 amp with those sub-par components and one particularly problematic board replaced by QSC. Eventually they ran out of Chinese-built V1 amps to modify and QSC built a new amp, which is where V3 comes into play. Most likely the original V1 vendor refused to build more - with or without black market parts - due to non-payment. I don't know what tale QSC heard that convinced them to build the V3 amps without cash up front, but it must have involved some cost-cutting since the V3 eliminates the separate control board.

Sorry if this has been addressed on page 31, but there is more of a difference between V1 and V2. Yes they replaced the amp board but they also changed eq, the V2 is a better sounding slightly more powerful amp.

Is it better, quality wise I don't think so, the first V1's ran great but I think the V2 is better sound wise.

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post #924 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlipschHead281 View Post

I got a very early V3 that wouldn't scare an 8" driver let alone drive a 15 incher. Any idea what could be done with it? I for one prefer the V2 amp if only because the only V3 I have been exposed to sucks balls.

To be perfectly honest I have never had a V3 on my bench so it would be hard to say. But sub amps of this type are very simple and usually quite easy to work on.

The V2 amps I have in my shop all have the hum problem. If I have it figured out it will be a quite simple and low cost repair. I do not expect to take in the repairs. I believe it will be easy enough to have it done locally or if you are good at soldering you can do it yourself. When I am confident that this will fix it I will post the parts needed and where they go.

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post #925 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 09:03 PM
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Murrel did you happen to get the v2 amps that were sent in for hum related warranty repair/replacement. I was one of the poor souls that sent one in just before the doors were closed. Just curious if the amps were still labeled with the owners names or if any had even been looked at before the s**t hit the fan. Mine developed a bad hum, but otherwise still worked - boy, if I had only known I would have kept the damn thing and had it fixed pending your results with the repair.

Mark and Kevin, how about modding the TURBO AMP to run 2 stock MFW-15's - perhaps even w/ the updated driver. Lots of multiple MFW owners out there - you could sell the amp with 2 sets of block off plates. (not sure how well that amp would power 2 subs) Although I'm sure you guys have enough on your plate already!
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post #926 of 2662 Old 09-07-2010, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by heterology View Post

Murrel did you happen to get the v2 amps that were sent in for hum related warranty repair/replacement. I was one of the poor souls that sent one in just before the doors were closed. Just curious if the amps were still labeled with the owners names or if any had even been looked at before the s**t hit the fan. Mine developed a bad hum, but otherwise still worked - boy, if I had only known I would have kept the damn thing and had it fixed pending your results with the repair.

Mark and Kevin, how about modding the TURBO AMP to run 2 stock MFW-15's - perhaps even w/ the updated driver. Lots of multiple MFW owners out there - you could sell the amp with 2 sets of block off plates. (not sure how well that amp would power 2 subs) Although I'm sure you guys have enough on your plate already!

heterology;

yes i do have about 22 of them can you email me your RA and i will see if i have it tomorrow. simplysound@msn.com no worries if i have it and this works ill take care of it for just parts and shipping


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post #927 of 2662 Old 09-08-2010, 03:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrel View Post

To be perfectly honest I have never had a V3 on my bench so it would be hard to say. But sub amps of this type are very simple and usually quite easy to work on.

The V2 amps I have in my shop all have the hum problem. If I have it figured out it will be a quite simple and low cost repair. I do not expect to take in the repairs. I believe it will be easy enough to have it done locally or if you are good at soldering you can do it yourself. When I am confident that this will fix it I will post the parts needed and where they go.

Murrel

Any plans to put it on your bench?

Also, since your familiar with the V3 amps what impact will it have if the "inductor" on the amp board is bent up out of the saddle. Some of the V3 amps this inductor is seperated from the board and bent to the side attached only by the leads. I have one bent one and one which is not damaged. I have not had a chance to check the damaged one, but any ideas what impact this will have on amp performance.
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post #928 of 2662 Old 09-08-2010, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicksHitachi View Post

Any plans to put it on your bench?

Also, since your familiar with the V3 amps what impact will it have if the "inductor" on the amp board is bent up out of the saddle. Some of the V3 amps this inductor is seperated from the board and bent to the side attached only by the leads. I have one bent one and one which is not damaged. I have not had a chance to check the damaged one, but any ideas what impact this will have on amp performance.

NicksHitachi,

Not really I really am doing this to give people a option to buy the V3 amps and to help the folks that sent in an amp and did not get one back.

if someone has a V3 that is bad and wants to send it to me I would be glad to take a look at it.

as far as the inductor out of the saddle it is probably fine my only concern would be it shorting across other components.


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post #929 of 2662 Old 09-14-2010, 07:57 AM
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Well...ain't this a real kick in the 'nads. I had an MFW 15 amp hum, buzz and emit a loud groan. I go to the AV123 site for support and find out they're "kaput".

I knew MLS was in trouble, but jeez-Louise.

Haven't read everything, but have read enough that the biggest fears with AV123/MLS, were all true. I feel a little silly right now because I believed MLS when he told me....well....all the BS he told everybody else. I almost did a little side business with him, too. It didn't feel right, so I didn't go forward. Glad I pulled back from that now.

Anyway, I have one fully functional MFW (must have missed the cut off date of 2008 when the "cheap amps and drivers" were used). I do have a 2nd one that's been nothing but a problem (an obvious victim of the cost cutting that appears to have been done).

Not sure what I'm going to do with either of them as I have an Epic Phoenix and an EMOTIVA Ultra 12 that are just two great subs. The "good" MFW was going to end up in a 2nd HT, but I don't think that's going to happen now. I don't want to even mess with the hassle it could possibly create. The 2nd one is just junk. The driver is junk. The amp is certainly junk. The assembly was junk. I replaced both the amp and the driver with even worse junk that was sent to me under warranty. Obviously, the extended warranty on the MFW is junk, too.

KlipschHead....want to offer you a public apology. I was supposed to send you the cabinet for the "bad MFW". I ended up with appendicitis, and then 3 weeks later having a heart attack and didn't ship it. I'm good now, but I should have dropped you a note telling you what was happening.

Anyway, if I can find someone to haul away the MFWs, that's what will happen to them. They cost way too much to ship. And, given their relative worth now, it wouldn't be worth the cost.

Glad to hear some folks are stepping up to take care of those who are trying to get their MFWs working. I'll just write down this little endeavor as a lesson learned (albeit an expensive lesson).

Music so high you can't get over it....music so low you can't get under it!
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post #930 of 2662 Old 09-14-2010, 07:59 AM
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Well, you could Turbo kit them, or wait for the new driver & amp from Mark and Kevin.
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