Bad Experience with Amp Builder Rich Lovato

Balance

Member
Messages
1,076
Just trying to give a head's up about my experience with Rich Lovato to the Gear Page.

Rich is an amp tech/builder in the Los Angeles area. I used him as an amp tech from about 2002-2005, and he was outstanding. He would pick the amp up, check it out and call back with his diagnosis in a matter or hours. He would do the repair and get the amp back within days. I bought a two of his pre-made amps, and I thought there wouldn’t be any problem if I had him build an amp for me.

So in February, 2006, I gave Rich payment in full to build an 18-watt amp for me. I also gave him one of the amps I had previously bought from him to sell for me to offset the cost of the new amp. He told me that the build time would be 18 weeks. So here we are in January, 2009, and I have neither amp.

I gave Rich a little over a year before I started asking about the amps. He repeatedly stated that the 18-watter was made, and both it and the other amp were in storage. At one point, I had about six texts from him saying the same thing: he was on the road and would deliver the amp next month. After several months without hearing from him, I filed a case with small claims court.

He had no address to send the papers to, his land phone line had been disconnected, and his e-mail address was no longer valid. After a couple of failed attempts, I ended up serving the papers to his mother. He said he would deliver the amps before the court date or even show up at the court with the amps. The night before the trial, I talked with him, and he was surprised to hear that I hadn’t canceled. He told me he wasn’t going to show up because he took a last minute job for that morning.

I contacted the powers that be at TGP about warning everybody in November, and I sent them the paperwork from the case as well as all copies of the receipts and canceled checks. They gave me the okay before Thanksgiving, but I waited this long to post this because I kept hoping I’d be able to report a happy ending.

The latest news from him was that the earthquake we had in Southern California in October destroyed the cabinets of both amps, so he’d need to remake them and put new tolex and grill cloth on them. All of his tolex and grill cloth with the exception of a roll with pink and white diamonds were destroyed and I’d have to wait for him to receive a shipment from England. The cabinets were made, and he’d tolex them and add the grill cloth and deliver them.
 
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Brian Scherzer

Staff member
Messages
5,148
This is a first for TGP. According to our rules, which are based on the legal advice we have received, we do not allow "deals gone bad" posts EXCEPT if the member has provided a court record of the issue. That was done in this case. The member sent me the court judgment, so the post is allowed to stand.
 

goldenboy

Member
Messages
158
I am in the same boat. Well, a similar boat. After paying in full in Jan 2007 I didn't receive an amp until Oct of 2008. And it was f'd up. Plus, it didn't even have all the features we talked about originally. He promptly picked it up and it took 2 months to get it back and it still isn't right. I have left several messages with no luck getting a return call.

I sadly found out that that there are others who've had the same situation. I just decided not to sue after a lot of anxiety and soul searching. However, I was actively pursuing it though and had the papers in my hand last week. My amp is being evaluated by a reliable tech. It's a small problem to fix (I think) so I'm just going to lump it and have it done right. However, the whole experience of 2 years of waiting, leaving messages, lies, etc. has left me uninspired, to be kind, to finally have the amp.

All I can say is "Caveat emptor." Hopefully people will see this and think twice.

Also, I didn't think the earthquake we had in October was that powerful that it would be able to destroy those cabinets. Anything is possible but after all the BS I've heard in the last 2 years I'm dubious.
 
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Structo

Member
Messages
9,560
Wow, sorry for your guys troubles.
There seems to be a lot of this type of thing with guys that apparently have great products but are terrible business men.

We have no way of knowing what is going on in there respective lives so a lot of the time we give them the benefit of a doubt.
But that soon wears thin when promises are continuously broken and the services or products paid for don't materialize.

It seems to be a rare commodity when a person with a great product is also a good business person. It's kind of one or the other.

Maybe there should be a mandatory business class that people have to attend before a business license is granted. I don't know but I read about more and more of this type of thing happening.

Good luck with your cases.
 

Tinman

Member
Messages
1,948
This is way off topic, but its difficult to believe that you can get a valid judgement after serving the defendant's mother, unless she was served at his residence. Does this guy live with his mom?
 

myles111

Member
Messages
2,954
Just trying to give a head's up about my experience with Rich Lovato to the Gear Page.

Rich is an amp tech/builder in the Los Angeles area. I used him as an amp tech from about 2002-2005, and he was outstanding. He would pick the amp up, check it out and call back with his diagnosis in a matter or hours. He would do the repair and get the amp back within days. I bought a two of his pre-made amps, and I thought there wouldn’t be any problem if I had him build an amp for me.

So in February, 2006, I gave Rich payment in full to build an 18-watt amp for me. I also gave him one of the amps I had previously bought from him to sell for me to offset the cost of the new amp. He told me that the build time would be 18 weeks. So here we are in January, 2009, and I have neither amp.

I gave Rich a little over a year before I started asking about the amps. He repeatedly stated that the 18-watter was made, and both it and the other amp were in storage. At one point, I had about six texts from him saying the same thing: he was on the road and would deliver the amp next month. After several months without hearing from him, I filed a case with small claims court.

He had no address to send the papers to, his land phone line had been disconnected, and his e-mail address was no longer valid. After a couple of failed attempts, I ended up serving the papers to his mother. He said he would deliver the amps before the court date or even show up at the court with the amps. The night before the trial, I talked with him, and he was surprised to hear that I hadn’t canceled. He told me he wasn’t going to show up because he took a last minute job for that morning.

I contacted the powers that be at TGP about warning everybody in November, and I sent them the paperwork from the case as well as all copies of the receipts and canceled checks. They gave me the okay before Thanksgiving, but I waited this long to post this because I kept hoping I’d be able to report a happy ending.

The latest news from him was that the earthquake we had in Southern California in October destroyed the cabinets of both amps, so he’d need to remake them and put new tolex and grill cloth on them. All of his tolex and grill cloth with the exception of a roll with pink and white diamonds were destroyed and I’d have to wait for him to receive a shipment from England. The cabinets were made, and he’d tolex them and add the grill cloth and deliver them.
A few things here from my point of view ....

I live in So Cal and there really has not been a MAJOR quake in many years. If that quake you mentioned destroyed cabinets then my concern would shift to construction of the cabs in the first place! Amps riding in tour trucks hitting potholes and expansion joints on freeways experience what is more like a force 8-10 earthquake many times in any journey. Having a quake as the one you mention was really nothing at all and should have not destroyed anything unless heavy things fell off shelves onto the cabinets or the place the stuff was being stored collapsed onto the cabs :)
 

goldenboy

Member
Messages
158
After several months without hearing from him, I filed a case with small claims court.

He had no address to send the papers to, his land phone line had been disconnected, and his e-mail address was no longer valid. After a couple of failed attempts, I ended up serving the papers to his mother. He said he would deliver the amps before the court date or even show up at the court with the amps. The night before the trial, I talked with him, and he was surprised to hear that I hadn’t canceled. He told me he wasn’t going to show up because he took a last minute job for that morning.
Did you got to court that day? What was the verdict?
 

justonwo

Member
Messages
3,094
I had a similar experience with another builder, though not nearly as bad as what I'm reading here. I'm really sorry to hear the hassle you guys are going through. It's hard for me to believe that little quake damaged anything. My amps at home didn't budge an inch.

Maybe it's those 0.001" balsa wood shelves he stores his ready-for-shipping amps on?
 

myles111

Member
Messages
2,954
I had a similar experience with another builder, though not nearly as bad as what I'm reading here. I'm really sorry to hear the hassle you guys are going through. It's hard for me to believe that little quake damaged anything. My amps at home didn't budge an inch.

Maybe it's those 0.001" balsa wood shelves he stores his ready-for-shipping amps on?
I remember a quake around lunch time last August but one in October? If it was late in the evening I probably slept through it.
 

justonwo

Member
Messages
3,094
I remember a quake around lunch time last August but one in October? If it was late in the evening I probably slept through it.
Oh, I missed the part about it being in October. I thought it was the quake last week. If that's the case, I don't even remember one in October. There really hasn't been anything of note around here for years, as far as I can remember.
 

Structo

Member
Messages
9,560
I don't remember anything about a quake in October.
Doesn't central and southern CA have little quakes all the time?

Sounds like a lame excuse......
 

macmax77

Supporting Member
Messages
12,554
I feel for you guys and i truly expect that you get your problems solved.

Me, i am going to Sam Ash, will get a 100 dollars discount, will have 15 moths to pay without any interest and will get a Fender that will be send to Mr price at Omega amps.

But i truly want you guys to have your problems solved.
 

goldenboy

Member
Messages
158
I remember a quake around lunch time last August but one in October? If it was late in the evening I probably slept through it.
Ah that's right. The quake I was remembering probably was in August. I don't recall anything in October either.
 

billm408

Member
Messages
3,015
Google search returns this as the first hit. Posted in 2004, so this is not new behavior.

[FONT=arial, helvetica]Comments:[/FONT][FONT=arial, helvetica]Rich Lovato asks for money up front before making an amplifier. Purchased a Twin 30 watt with extention cab in May 2004.It is now November and no amp. Rich returns calls when you threaten him or leave nasty notes on his door. This guy has excuses galore. It's amazing stuff too, ranging from "the cabinet wood was bad so the Tolex doesn't stick" to "Bruce Willis asked me to go on the road". Great sounding amp,better than Matchless et al. Lousy service. Recomendation: Buy something else, it's not worth the wait. Or have him make the amp before you pay for it. On second thought just buy something else.[/FONT]
 




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