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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a Proceed AVP over a year ago because it was going to be upgraded soon and wouldn't cost a lot to upgrade and I wanted one unit that could be both my HT and stereo pre-amp. It didn't take long for me to not be satisfied with the pre-amp section so I purchased a Simaudio P-5 pre-amp and put it in the system. I am kind of upset like a lot of others about the long delay for the upgrade and the cost of the upgrade, but until yesterday, I had decided that I would probably go ahead and get it. A week or so ago I called my Madrigal dealer and asked the salesperson that I deal with about the upgrade and the pricing. He told me he would send me some literature that he had just received on it and that he would get me a price and call me back. I didn't receive anything from him and he didn't call back. This was far from the first time that he hadn't called me back when he said he would. Other than the fact that there aren't many audio dealers in my part of the country, I don't know why I have been going back to them, but I have. I called again yesterday morning and another salesperson told me he was busy and that he would have him call me back. I told my wife when I hung up the phone that if he didn't call back, every piece of Madrigal products that I have would be on Audiogon last night. Of course, he didn't call back. I haven't listed everything yet, but I intend to. I have a 333.5, 2 331's and a 360S processor in my system. I had already been thinking about replacing my amps just because of the cost and I wanted to try something different, but this pushed me over the edge.


I just had to share this with others. It can be a frustrating hobby.
 

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I surely do not blame you. Everything that was ever made requires customer support when there are issues or problems to deal with. Madrigal does not fit anywhere near the ideal to put in mildly for me. The better cos. deal with this issue in a different way. I got rid of my AVP and the even the owner of the local shop I go to is getting tired of their lack of response to him and he has to face those customer service issues. I would bet he is at least think of not being a dealer if he has not done so already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dave,

I would rather not mention the dealer or the salesman. This has happened numerous times. As far as I know there is only one Madrigal dealer east of Louisville in Kentucky.

Vic
 

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FWIW - that situation is exactly the reason people like me buy on the internet from ultra-low priced non-approved vendors. If you can't count on getting good service for your extra dollars at the B&M you might as well assume you are going to get sucky service no matter what and save as much money up front as possible.
 

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Well, I think one reason that your dealer might not want to call you back is because he might have some bad news for you.


But first, something isn't adding up in your story. You say you bought the AVP over one year ago, but at the time you purchased, you were planning on getting the upgrade that was due out at the end of 2001, or early 2002. I don't think the announcement for the AVP2 came until late summer of 2001, say, August or September, but who knows what your dealer told you when he sold you the AVP.


If your dealer told you that you were going to be getting a cheap upgrade soon when he sold it to you--you and your dealer may have a little problem, and both you and your dealer may have a problem with Proceed.


Owners of AVPs purchased within 6 months of the upgrade are entitled to purchase the upgrade at a "prorated price." Here is what the website says, and has said, for quite some time:


"For owners who bought an AVP within six months of the update, the cost to convert their processor (to the newer, more expensive models) will be prorated, based on the unit's manufacturing date. Please see your Proceed dealer for details."


Obviously, Proceed had to make this promise if they were to sell any AVPs at all during the period starting from the time of the announcement (wish I knew when this was), and ending on the date of the release of the AVP2 (about a month ago).


Assuming that you bought your AVP from your dealer new; and assuming further that your dealer told you that you would be entitled to purchase the upgrade on a prorated basis when it came out (whatever the hell that means--probably means you have to pay more for the upgrade than other people do), you are in that group of AVP purchasers that get to pay full price for the upgrade thinking you were going to be able to get it on the cheap, but now have to pay the full amount.


Assuming one last detail; that is that your dealer sold you a "new" unit that had been sitting around his shop for a while, i.e., the AVP he sold you came out of his inventory, rather than ordered from Proceed for delivery to you, could make your unit even older than you think it is (Proceed can tell you the date of manufacture from the serial number.


All of the above is just a guess, but if I'm right, if I were in your dealer's shoes, I wouldn't want to be returning your calls either.


Good luck.
 

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I would not necessarily blame the dealer. Just as Proceed implied up until a few weeks back that the upgrade would be cheaper and do not forget the PAV promise/fiasco. When I bought my amps someone from Proceed told my dealer that I could convert my BPA2 to a BPA3 down the road for the rear channels. When I asked about the price fo the upgrade about 6 months back, the same party had the story that the BPA series was not upgradable the way the Amp series was. They have not gotten back to my dealer on the spur of the moment when questions or problems have arisen. On some of the prior software upgrades to the AVP it was on Windows 3.1 vs. Windows 95 for other equipment. Madrigal from what I understand just had a key person leave the co. (for another high end co.) and laid off about 25-30% of its workforce and has other cost cutting going on. I don't think they did anything intentional to mislead anyone, I just think it is a company that has been managed very poorly. Proceed has lost several dealers over the past year and is facing the reality of bad decisions in a less than robust market with lots of competition. I'm sure the dealer is very frustrated having this situation and having a good customer become less than happy and consider going elsewhere. One local dealer in my area with a bunch of stores in my area dropped Levinson and Proceed in the past year and I would not be surprised to see further changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just got out my invoice and I purchased the AVP on May 5, 2001. I believe they did have the unit in stock when I purchased it. At the time I purchased the AVP, my salesman did give me literature from Madrigal that detailed the upgrade. We discussed the upgrade extensively and I believe he even contacted Madrigal about it before I purchased the AVP. I remember that I hadn't read any details on the forum about the upgrade when I received the literature and started to post the details, but I was afraid that the dealer might have some problems with Madrigal if I did.
 

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I don't think they did anything intentional to mislead anyone, I just think it is a company that has been managed very poorly.
This, IMO, is very true. One of the reasons 96/24 capability was delayed so long was because it's priority was on again off again. Proceed pursued, then didn't pursue HDCD (there were several starts and stops on HDCD). They were redesigning the PAV and then stopped it. They promoted the PAV/PDSD combo as their high-end fully upgradeable processor and then dropped it. They touted the PMDT and then let it wallow in a sea of software problems - all the while inferring, nay actually stating, that the problems were typical high-end quirks and if you don't like it you shouldn't have bought it. I was told numerous time how well my PMDT performed and how it's performance was unrivaled. My reply to them is even a lowly $300 DVD player had better performance because it would actually play the disk (unlike the PMDT). They are a company who most assuredly does not listen to their customers. In fact they deceive their customers when it comes to software issues.


The post above makes it sound like Proceed is in financial trouble. I cannot verify this but I have suspected it for awhile. They quit going to CEDIA and CES. Rumors of "brain-drain" have surfaced on and off for over a year. They still don't have the PMDT software right and are farming this out to a sub. The price change on the AVP is not only bad PR it is downright deceitful (IMO). If they had been up front on the pricing a year ago how many customers would have waited to jump ship? If they had kept their mouth shut and not leaked the $1500 figure it probably would have been better but again, how many customers would have bailed? The AVP was (evidently) their most popular product ever and it sure sounds to me like they're trying to strengthen a failing bottom line with inflated upgrade pricing. In my mind that is bad business and it supports the argument that their management has problems.
 

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Geof, you are absolutely right. From what I have heard you can expect to see much fewer Proceed ads for a bit. They farmed out part of their design from what I heard on the PMDT since they did not want to devote internal resources and it did not turn out well. And I suspect in the end, they have hurt themselves the most with good customers who tend to be early adopters and I dumped my AVP rather than pay a silly amount and perhaps have software issues and lack to response. I suspect with the upgrade price they will get some of the people who bought AVPs that were sold cheaply but probably fewer than if they stood closer to their initial representations and I would bet in the end that there won't be a huge difference in revenue to them with fewer people likely upgrading, however, their actions have cost them dealers and customer loyalty and combined with all the various competition it will not help future sales. I would bet now (my prediction before the end of this year) with the new AVP out and if things do not go as well as they could, Madrigal will discontinue some of their amps and come out with newer models that are cheaper to make and try to make up for some of the lost revenue.
 

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Hi,


I am not doing well enough to be able to buy Madrigal products but IMHO their products are not competitively priced against competing products of equal first class performance. A prime example is their MP9 CRT projector which is priced at $60G (an extra $25G for a red filter). Even on a 7' wide screen, the light output is only a mere 7 foot lamberts.


Ben
 

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I too am a former Proceed owner (PAV/PASD), and found the company to be a mixed bag. My dealer also was lousy at call-backs, though once you got ahold of them of them, they were responsive enough. I was usually pushing the product to it's limits, so I usually got support direct from the factory (and I'm an EE, so I like doing my own work anyways). The unit was a breeze to set up and operate. The main decider for me to trade it in (on a Casablanca II) was the feature vaporware. I got tired of waiting over a year for promised new features which I needed. I would still recommend Proceed, but only if the product has the features you require NOW.


Seth
 
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