Gries Amps - now this is what I call customer service

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by bbarnard, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

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    Sep 17, 2003
    Location:
    FL
    I'm writing this posts to give props for GREAT customer service to Dave Gries of Gries amps.

    I own a Gries 35 amp. I purchased the amp used and I'm the third owner. At a jam a couple months ago, I thought I noticed that the amp sounded funny. I was going to have it looked at but I decided to plug it in and see if it was still making that same sound. Plugged it in, played it for about 30-45 minutes and it sounded great. So I thought I must have been hearing things or that someone else's amp was doing something. Anyway in early November we had Chris Cain in for a show. He didn't bring the Music Man he usually plays through because he was flying in. He rented a Fender Concert but I told him it he'd like to try the Gries he was welcome to use it. So he tried it before the show and liked it so he said he'd use that. So the amp sat in standby for two hours (two opening acts) and then Chris started playing. He did his first set (over an hour) with no problems. Then about half way through the second set he motioned to me and said that the amp didn't sound right. It was making the same sound again. He played the remainder of the show through the Fender Concert. I then remembered that the sound I heard at the jam wasn't until late in the jam after the amp had been on for several hours. I emailed Dave Gries to ask him if he had any ideas about what it could be. In the interim I took it to my friend Tony (tmac here on the Gear Page) and had him take a look at it. He called me to tell me that he'd found a solder joint where two wires were entering into a hole in the eyelet board but they had no solder on them. One of the leads came from the power supply and he was pretty sure that it could be causing the problem especially if the wires lost contact as the thing heated up. I sent the pictures to Dave and he said yep that could do it and that was clearly his fault. Tony fixed the solder joint and plugged it back in but using his own extension speaker cab. Things worked perfectly and sounded great. However when he plugged the speaker back into the speaker in the Gries cab it sounded horrible. The speaker was shot. I emailed Dave about that too and he worked with me to get a new speaker in. I was clear with Dave the whole time that I did not expect him to be on the hook for this as I wasn't the original owner and it clearly wasn't under warranty for me. He still worked to get the issue resolved. I got a replacement speaker for the amp and put it in. Sounded really good when the master was cranked up but if you cranked the "preamp" volume and only put the master on about 1/4 to 1/3 you got some bad attentuation where you'd expect the amp to do singing type feedback. So I had tmac look at it again. We did some tube swapping and it appeared to be the tube associated with the reverb driver was causing the issue. Took it home and played it some more and while better, it still wasn't sounding "right". Emailed Dave and asked if I could send the amp back to him to go over. Told him to let me know what it would run. He asked if I could pay for the shipping back, and if I could he'd be happy to give it a once over. Told him sure and sent the amp off. He found that I had one of the early models and that he was now doing something slightly different to the preamp section and made those mods. Shipped the amp back to me. I pulled it out and it sounded great....except now no reverb. Checked the tubes to make sure there were no issues with that and then pulled the tank. As soon as I pulled the tank I heard something rattling around. Turns out that one of the pins that keeps the spring assembly from traveling too far had come loose. Emailed Dave again to let him know. He offered to send me a new tank if I'd ship the old one back without me asking! Got the new one a couple days ago and now the amp sounds awesome.

    I have to say that I'm very impressed with his customer support/service. And highly recommend him and his amps. If you are looking for an amp that is in the Fender style you can't do any better than a Gries. I just hope I can scrape together money soon for a Gries 5. Gries is a great guy, sells a great product and it is CLEARLY (as I've found) backed by great customer support.

    Also a big thanks to tmac for all his help in assisting me in figuring out what was going on. And finally, here's a pic of Chris playing through the Gries (a little hard to see but there's a VAC 22 (green) the Gries (black) and the Fender Concert - Chris was definitely playing through the Gries). Also I and several other people can tell you that his sound was awesome.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

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    Where in Gainesville was that picture taken. LOok like an old movie theater turned into bar/concert hall on University that I used to go to. Saw Roy Buchanan and many others there. Talking late 70's. I think it was called the Great Southern Music Hall. Is this it?
     
  3. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

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    Downtown Community Plaza. It was an outdoors gig. I didn't take the picture but it wasn't that dark.
     
  4. fretnot

    fretnot Gold Supporting Member

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    Philly burbs
    Dave is great to deal with, and his amps are top notch. My Gries 35 is kick-ass.
     
  5. facundo

    facundo Member

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    Jul 11, 2006
    Dave makes superb amps, here is my Gries 20 :

    [​IMG]
     
  6. scottlaned

    scottlaned Member

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    Location:
    Richmond VA
    Sounds like a great company. Never had the pleasure of playing one.
     
  7. farlowhigh

    farlowhigh Member

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    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia
    Dave is a great guy and his amps are amazing. I love my Gries 5 and I really think he makes some of the best blackface Fendery amps I have ever heard...and versatile as well...I love that the Gries 5 goes tweed as you dial up the gain and thereby dial out the tone stack...very cool and a really loud 5 watts that could clearly be used for small gigs as well as at home or in jams with friends...great great amps!
    I had a very minor issue with my Gries 5 once and Dave was extremely helpful and prompt and generous with his time.

    my only wants would be maybe an option to add tremolo to the amps and some cool clips on his site so more people could hear before buying...
     

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