Liability and Policies
1) Sound Quality
Sound quality is subjective. There is no guarantee that every customer will like the sound that we consider reference quality.
Our components generally improve on the high-frequency extension and dynamics in a system. This can occasionally aggravate other system components and even cables to produce more sibilance than was present before the new component was added. Also, noise elsewhere in the system can be unmasked when our components are installed. If the customer is not using a 75 ohm digital cable or their DAC is not matched well to 75 Ohms for instance, reflections will result, with resulting jitter and fuzzy high-frequencies.
We recommend that the customer not judge the component immediately, but swap other cables and components out in order to determine the true weak-points in their system. It is easy to go down the garden-path of tweaking trying to remedy these things, but patience and perseverance is a superior method to achieving a really stellar system.
System synergy does exist, but is usually limited to the amplifier/speaker synergy. We do not recommend using cables for instance to "tune" the sound of a system in order to eliminate sibilance.
Break-in is required for both cables and components. Capacitors, particularly electrolytics perform based on the voltage applied to them. Chemical reactions actually occur when voltage is applied and these reactions take time to stabilize. Also, dielectric insulating materials can store some charge, which must be dissipated over time. Even if a device or cable is taken out of use for a week or two, it will require some break-in again to dissipate the stored charge. 4 weeks of break-in is not unusual for a component.
There are the risks that the customer takes when they elect to have their components modded by Empirical Audio Legacy. These mods usually void the factory warranty. Empirical Audio Legacy will do their best to improve any component that customers entrust us with. However, sound quality is subjective. There is no guarantee that every customer will like the sound that we consider reference quality. There are also system considerations. When we mod a component, the high-frequency extension and dynamics are usually improved. This can actually aggravate other system components and even cables to produce more sibilance than was present before the mods. This may not be the fault of the source component that we modded. It may be completely sibilance-free. The source of the sibilance is now elsewhere in the customers system and was previously masked because the high-frequency extension/dynamics of the system prior to modding was limited. When these limits are removed, sibilance occasionally results. Likewise, when we mod a source device, we generally speed-up the edge-rates and match the output impedance to precisely 75 ohms. If the customer is not using a 75 ohm digital cable or their DAC is not matched well to 75 ohms, reflections will result, with resulting jitter and fuzzy high-frequencies.We will take steps to try to make every customer happy, but this does not include refunds, removing all of the mods, buying the component or paying a third party to remove the mods. In order to achieve the best possible results, it is sometimes necessary for the customer to send their Transport, cable or DAC so these can be "tuned" as a system.
3) Shipping damage
For items damaged in shipping, the customer is responsible for transfer of the package to the carrier and making the insurance claim. For a claim to be made, the item with box and packing must immediately be given back to the carrier. Empirical Audio will not be responsible for damage that occurs due to negligence, such as omission of original packing for product returns from the customer.
Payment for all products is in advance of delivery. All monies due must be paid in order for the product/modified component to be shipped. The warranty will not be in effect until the balance is paid in full. If the balance is not paid within 30 days, the warranty will be voided.
2) Order of work
Jobs will be executed in the order in which the orders were received. Builds are generally done in batches, so lead-times may vary from one batch to the next and with different products. It is best to inquire to determine the current lead-time before finalizing your order. The final sale may be delayed in order to insure that the order makes sense for the customer and they are willing to wait the lead-time, giving the customer the opportunity to opt-out.
Empirical Audio does not share customer information with any other entities. The only information we request from our customers is the minimum necessary to configure, purchase, ship the product and maintain a warranty service. We occasionally send out product announcements to our existing customer mailing list. If you would like to opt out of this mailing list, just put "remove" in the subject line of the mailing and we will delete your address.
4) Online Ordering
When collecting your payment information to purchase a product, Empirical Audio uses industry standard 128bit SSL encryption to communicate between servers, authenticated by GeoTrust. Your payment information is processed by PayPal. We never store your credit card number or CVV code.