Most high-end & pro sound audio manufacturers frequently experience both dealer and/or end-user requests for custom product modifications and/or “upgrades” of numerous types. For some these requests represent an additional source of income, so you gladly provide the service (even if to a highly limited degree). On the other hand, some may view such requests as somewhat of an insult to their engineering prowess, and therefore refuse to even entertain the idea. Then there are those that wouldn’t mind doing so except that it simply isn’t profitable for them because they have no system in place to process such requests or for various other reasons.
If your organization happens to be in the latter group above and you have no fundamental objection to “allowing” limited modifications and/or upgrades to be performed on your products, then TDSS might be able to offer a solution that benefits both our parties. If you are interested, our preference would be for you to designate TDSS as an authorized provider of such services, wherein we would be limited towhatever level and/or types of alterations that you would feel comfortable with. In return, at the most basic level you would be willing to provide TDSS with technical assistance in the way of product documentation, which in its simplest form could consist of little more than a schematic circuit diagram. On the other end of the spectrum, an alternative option would be for you to provide TDSS with more advanced assistance in the way of consultation and review of any proposed modifications - possibly even providing more detailed technical information and/or suggestions for the substitution of certain components with those you believe to offer the potential for improved product performance.
Our ultimate desire would be that you not only approve of any such product modifications, but upon your review thereof you would then authorize TDSS to provide them such that as a result, the end-customer avoids any consequence of voiding the product warranty from having had us perform the service. Of course, such collaboration would likely make an ideal adjunct to any concurrent RMA/Warranty Service that TDSS might also provide, but the two need not be associated if you have no need or desire for us to provide both services.
Although our experience and area of capabilities extends to pretty much any audio product – analog, digital, solid-state or tubes – our area of greatest expertise is with Class-D/Switching power amplifiers. Specifically, aspects such as internal and external RF radiation remediation (shielding & grounding techniques) and mechanical damping of the chassis & circuit boards have shown to not only offer significant sonic improvements, but often help to improve amplifier heat dissipation, stability, reliability and overall lifespan as well. Furthermore, our philosophy is that the only part alterations or exchanges that we would suggest on our end would be those of a “passive” nature (such as internal wiring, Input Stage coupling capacitors, etc.). Unless we are approved and guided by you to do so beforehand, we will never offer any type of modification or upgrade that involves changing basic circuit components vital to the product's operation. Generally speaking, those types of components would be ones that reside within or have a significant effect upon the operation of an amplifier’s negative feedback-loop. We would only endeavor to go beyond that limit upon YOUR prior recommendations and approval.
We would also like to suggest that you consider the possibility that a relationship with us in this area of service to the interested audio consumer *might* include secondary benefits for your organization as well. With TDSS having secured your prior authorization before any work is performed, you can have the peace of mind knowing that only the work you approve of is being attempted and that your product is not being “hacked” into oblivion.
Another benefit is that your products will tend to retain a higher resale value - BETTER than they would if the same work were to be performed by some "rogue" third-party provider that you have little to no knowledge of and no control over. Some of them will even go so far as to pit themselves against you by claiming that you're not already including such upgrades and superior parts in your stock products because you are solely profit-driven in your design decisions. First, we know better and second... that doesn't sound like much of a friend to us. Whatever the case, we prefer to seek a more professional approach and business relationships that include cooperation and co-profitability solutions for all.
Regardless of your response to these service providers mentioned above and/or a decision to simply ignore them and let the "Buyer Beware," you might want to consider that in the end, a voided warranty only makes the resale of a product more difficult. Consequently, its perceived value suffers accordingly. Most would agree that a high resale value for their company’s products only serves to strengthen and improve their overall image. A product in good shape and still in use many years down the road that, in addition, actually performs better than originally advertised, makes for a better marketing tool than virtually any other form of advertising investment. When the audio enthusiast first "comes of age" and sets upon a quest to assemble their very first audio system, they usually reminisce a bit on the quality sound they remember hearing come from an older relative's or family friend's "Hi-Fi" system. They usually remember the brand names of the system's major components as well. Just something to think about if you plan on being in business for a while. Working together with TDSS rather than simply being left perpetually at odds with other upgrade providers while also leaving your customers in a quandary of compromise, we can probably go a long way in helping to make that happen... "being in business for a while," that is.
A final thought regarding your customers:
We all know that the devout audiophile's hope and expectations for continued improvement of his system's performance is typically metered in small increments rather than large, single gains. In fact, the audiophile knows this better than anybody as they are the ones that tend to obsess over the relatively modest differences that cables and other accessories are claimed to make. Therefore, it is often difficult for them to resist the far greater temptation of having a modification or upgrade installed in their (and your) product, even if doing so means voiding the warranty. Armed with the knowledge (or at least a sense of belief) that such upgrades frequently offer greater gains than the simple changing of cables and such, they find themselves in a quandary of forced compromise no matter their decision. If they opt for the upgrade service, they risk their warranty coverage. If they choose against it, they feel their system's potential performance is being limited and that the only option left to them might be to purchase a different product altogether... and very possibly that could mean one from a different company. Their logic goes something like this: "After all, why not sell the thing and get something new. Seeing that it's a stock unit anyway and there's nothing really special about it, why not move on and at least enjoy something "new" for a while?" Now take that same unit and "personalize" it for them in a way that's different from the rest. With audiophile pride of ownership being what it is, the only way you may get that unit from them now "is out of their cold, dead hands."
To be sure, a "once happy" customer is hard to loose and is usually best avoided - one at a time. Why not give them a "legitimate" way out of their quandary by providing the services they seek without forcing them to suffer "unnecessary" consequence? Whether you're not set up to do so yourself or you just don't have the time, TDSS can provide upgrade services for your customers with terms profitable to your interests as well as ours. Keeping your customers happy is the best way to keep your customers - period. We can help. If you'd rather that we not, then we suggest that at the very least you should consider doing so yourself.
In closing we invite any high-end audio manufacturer to contact us regarding the above possibilities. Rest assured, a main priority for TDSS is that any such arrangement between our two parties be profitable to both. Another is that respect for your advice and instruction will be our guiding principle in the providing of any modification or upgrade service for your products.
The following have in the past and/or do now support TDSS in the upgrades we provide for the listed companies’ products. As a result, in the event a TDSS modification or upgrade has been or will be installed in their products, the original manufacturers' warranties will remain uncompromised, unaltered and fully intact :
Legacy NuForce, Inc. Upgrades
Several upgrades involving the Reference Series and MCH Series (multichannel) products have been developed by TDSS and shown to increase product reliability and lifespan, as well as greatly improve their overall sonic performance.
NuPrime Audio Upgrades
TDSS is the only authorized RMA/Warranty service provider for NuPrime Audio here in the USA. In addition, we are the only entity authorized to provide product upgrades of our own design, such that their installation does not void, nullify any aspect thereof or affect the manufacturer’s original product warranty in any way.