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FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ #1. Hey, EveAnna, do you, like, do design and stuff?

Nope. I am really just a professional typist and too busy typing email answering the same questions over and over so that is why I am putting up this FAQ page. Please read on and save my poor wrists and maybe someday I can stop typing and get back to something more interesting like design and stuff! My job is to help everyone with their problems. Even you. I work with minutia.

FAQ #1b. Sounds like you need help. Here's my resume. Are you hiring?

No. We have over 40 people already and we're crashing into each other as it is.

FAQ #1c. I really want to learn about vacuum tubes. I'll work for free. Do you offer Internships?

No. We run a bizniz not a training institute. I wish we had more time to be able to educate people about the wonderful world of vacuum tubes, but we just don't.

FAQ #1d. Ms. EveAnna, what a way cool website!!!!!!!!!!!!.....awe geez, no manley gear here, but the piggy bank is started...been surfin through commonsenseaudio shoppin' for 'tiques....and stumbled, almost fell, into manley labs....ok, so umm, i've been a solid stater, no hitting......pretty much toured your world....couldn't help but enjoy the ride........somethin's gotta suck somehwere.....haaaaaa.....will be back again for cool duds.......what no lingerie???? see I knew i'd find somethin! really now........fantastic product line/gear....my recently passed dadinlaw was a ham radio guy....believed only in "dubes" as he called 'em, great guy...the wifelypoo and I miss him bigtime...i'm just a techy, ion implanters and such...pure electron volts, outta the bizzz...make kitchy cabs...but twirlin on new ideas...just loved the site and all it's personal touches....kudos to you and all the insanity it took to get there............you're inspirational....be the good....drooch....stay hot!!!!!!!!!!

This is a common email. The only guys who write to me who don't like our website are always webmaster geeks who want some work, lotsa work as they don't realise how big this website is. By "how big this website is" I mean nearly 6000 files, over 3500 pictures, nearly 17,000 hyperlinks, and about 300MB of content to manage. It's easy to make a nice website for 5 products. Harder with 140 products, decades of past historic info, and kabillions of other stuff of interest to be found here at manleylabs.com... plus I can trade gear to myself for free to be the webmistress and admittedly since I am the most in the know about Manley gear, I can update stuff almost daily and keep this site super-hip content-wise, even if you think you design nicer graffix.

Anyway, sorry for the diversion rant, and thanks for your fan-mail.

FAQ #2. What's that about your wrist?

I broke my left wrist really well in December 2000. See all the gory details. Actually I also broke my right pinky too while drilling a hole through a wall stud. In January 2008 I broke my leg skiing. Then I broke my 5th metatarsal while making my bed. Neat huh? Anyway, I should spend more time at the gym instead of sitting on my ass typing so, please try to find your answers on this big ol' website first before making me get fat and weak redundantly typing.

FAQ #3a. Is that you standing next to the stack of gear holding the microphone?

If you had read the ALT tag you would know the answer.

FAQ #3b. Who owns Manley Labs?

Some overworked professional typist...

FAQ #4. Do you do endorsements?

Yeah, I think you're great.

FAQ #4a. No, really, do you do endorsements?

No, but we do personal affirmations. You are a good person and everybody likes you.

FAQ #4b. I'm a musician and just got signed and my record is going to make it big really soon. Do you do endorsements?

Well, David Bowie and Prince bought all their Manley gear. You bigger than them? And did you know that all the Britney Spears, N'Sync, & Backstreet Boys vocals are recorded with a Manley Reference Cardioid Mic? See, I didn't know either until someone told me because I didn't give them any gear either.

FAQ#4b Part 2. Yeah well I am famous as those guys so give me free gear!

See, it works like this. I have PURCHASED all of No Doubt's records over the years and bought tickets to their concerts when they play locally cuz I like that band a lot, probably even more than your band. Then Tom Dumont, the guitar player read this FAQ, and then he called me up, and then he bought some Manley gear. He liked my gear so much that he put a link up on his site to mine. I like him so much that I put a link up here to his site and wrote this entry to the FAQ. You aren't giving away free records to anybody and I ain't giving away free gear. It's the mutual admiration society. That's how it works, pal.

FAQ #4c. I'm also a recording engineer and have recorded many big things. Once I did a live sound gig for Ronald Reagan's speech at the Apathy Convention. Do you do endorsements?

Well dang! But wait a minute, if we give all you musicians and recording engineers free gear for endorsements, then who would be left selling to?

FAQ #4d. I'll offer to do some promos and magazine ad pictures of me using your gear. Do you do endorsements?

What's wrong with us using my picture in our ads?

FAQ#4e. Give me free gear! Donate to equipment me! We are the NEXT BIG THING!


FAQ #4f. Well, ok not free, how about selling me some stuff factory direct at a good price and I will tell all my friends how much I love your gear.

No can do. My dealers would get pissed off at me and slash my tires or something like that.

FAQ #4g. Then sell it to me for a cheap price and you can write off the rest of it on your taxes as a donation to a charitable cause because I am sick and half blind and deaf too and doing a project for charity.

I have good tax advice already, thanks, and have enough write offs as it is having just installed a solar power system at the factory (for instance). Or maybe I would just rather give money to our government and then they can give it to you. That's their job. I just build gear, remember? We're not the social services department. That's what we pay taxes to Uncle Sam for.

FAQ #4h. Do you do sponsorships?

I don't even buy Girl Scout Cookies, sorry.

FAQ #4i. Man, what is your problem? Why won't you sell to me direct? I buy all of my stuff direct. Sell me to me direct and I promise no one will ever find out about it. C'mon!

As Dustin Hoffman's character in Papillon, Louis Dega, said, "Temptation resisted is a true measure of character."

FAQ #5. I have a pulse. Can I be a dealer?

Nope, sorry. Manley dealers need to have a real storefront and a pulse.

I am having fun and we hope that you are too!

FAQ #6. Where is my local dealer?

Where are you located?

FAQ #6a. Would you send me a list of all your dealers please?

No. They all cannot help you. Where are you located and what are you looking for so we can put you in touch with the right dealer for what you need?

FAQ #6b. Where is my local dealer? I'm in Zip Code 99999.

Sorry I haven't memorized every zip code yet but I am working on it as a hobby because I have nothing better to do.

FAQ #6c. OK, sorry. I live in Eastern Bongolia. Where is my local dealer? I want to buy some Manley gear.

You looking at finding a Manley Pro Gear Dealer or Manley Hifi Dealer?

FAQ #6d. I live in Eastern Bongolia and I am not so familiar with your gear. Will you send me a Manley Massive Passive so I can test it?

We already tested it and it is working just fine.

FAQ #6e: Hi, I'm from Singapore (international) and i'm interested to buy your product.

But before i place my order i want to ask these :

- Can you ship my order using UPS or Fedex worldwide express delivery service ?
- Do you accept payment by credit card (i will send my credit card info via email) ?

If you accept my request, please send me your special goods with price.

Please reply me soon.

Ray Richard

Hi "Ray", See if most of the info on this page applies to you: http://www.manley.com/scams.php. If it does, then you probably won't be wasting my time with a reply and you can go try on your bogus credit card scam on some other poor sucker.

And if by some insane chance you are legit, then please contact our local Singaporean dealers which can be found linked from the "product" page of the "product" you wish to order so that you can order your desired "product" from them as we do not sell direct to Singapore. Duh.

Have a swell day, EveAnna Manley


----- Original Message -----
From: "irvan darmawan"
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2004 9:55 PM
Subject: International Order

Dear Sir,

I am customer from Indonesia and I'm interested in buying your some product. Can i order directly from you? If i can , i would like to get shipping quote using FedEx Intl Priority. Here is the item specification below :

- Manley Mic/EQ 500 Combo
- Manley Dual Mono Mic Pre

What is method of payment accepted? Do you accept my credit card for method of payment? Please get me the total cost with shipping cost and i will send you payment soon.

Best Regards
Irvan Darmawan

Oh wonderfully my dear Darwinian I am most gratitude for Your embalm! The elves in my factor will be most happiness too when they hear of this great news of the chance of makinghistory to selling You these two items. I will alert them promptly to begining insemination right-away in preparation of this excitement transact. That makes one new inquirement each day for us this weekly from Your stickyfingered country! I can only celebrate the sucess of those five-stars agitprop pluggings I have takenout in the Lycos Yellow Pages as of lately. To this end, this evening I will host a gaiety for the factory dirtynecks complete with feast of cat, chicken, sugar, chippy, tomato and strumpet in celebratory moves on the bouncing riches we have extracting from You and Your inventive colleagues.

Since price is no objection, and for to exude the champion service we are exalted in the universe for, I am more aroused if the chance cum that I might make delivery in person to You. Please to forward rightnow to me Your oblivious ASSociate's credit card informations to me so that I too may share in the benefits of your hardwork in trade for the precious cargoes of Manley Mic/EQ 500 Combo mit Manley Dual Mono Mic Pre sidedish I will bear upon You with my visit. I am most certainly that Your fiend will not maiking protests with more using of his tarjeta. (If he is cadaverous I am sorry for Your losses.)

Tell me, since You are expert on the ways of Javanese people, do You preference Microsoft Java or Sun Java or Cuppa Java? Myself, being patriot, I support Our Troops.

Cheers, Ee Manray, President
Manray Rabs, Inc. 13880 Very Lucky Numbers Ave. China, CA. 666USA

From: tzukamoto
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2004 2:39 PM
Subject: Request Order

Hello Sir/Mam,

At this time I want to bought digital mixer from SONY that is:


I wanted to ask your help to buy this product, if you by chance sold him clearly happily I will buy this product from you, but if you did not have him I wanted to ask for help so that you could help me to obtain this product.I sent enamel to you because you worked in the electronics field especially music and I was convinced you understood many about the equipment of the musical studio.I was convinced also that you would not the difficulty to obtain him. I was current Japanese lived in Indonesia, Jakarta. I have searched in the Jakarta corner but I could not find him. So I really hoped you could help me.

To at this time I only could do payment with made use of the credit card because I more believed and this road more was easy according to me. I also wanted this product in sent to Indonesia used Federal Express. So please responded quickly if could.

Note: I also was needing sony ericsson p900 mobile phone totalling 3 units, if you could and could then.


Hello Sir/Mam Sincerelly,

My most sincerelly most happiness for your enamel too! I will hoped to be very clearly happily to sell you one or many SONY DMX R100 DIGITAL MIXERS because I have one spare unit in my purse that I do not need anymore due to my shift into cosmetics business and I need more arrangement for the lipsticks. And if you are needing excelent numbers in addition, there was a sticky wrapped pallette of SONY DMX R100 DIGITAL MIXERS dropped by cargo plane in the swaying grasses behind the plantation only yesterday! How lucky for us that I live near Cheeno Airport home of the Planes of Fame! Also I found six units sony ericsson p900 mobile phone living in my refridgerador. The expiry date is only from May but I am certain he will still be fresh because he was living in the "STAY FRESH" cabinet next to my lovely collection of farm-raised turnips. There is no other kind for me! Please urgently send only by Feral Ex-Press of course an extra large pea coat with 21 pounds or 9.54 kilos (which ever is most convenient for you) of very fresh (never frozen) Golden Durian stuffed in his pockets and we will call this agreement an even trade because of fresh Durian, he is very difficult if not impossible to obtain here in Left Coast Corner or Arnold's Territories.

Cheers, Ee Manray, President
Manray Rabs, Inc. 13880 Very Lucky Numbers Ave. China, CA. 666USA

FAQ 6f-i Part 2:
From: tzukamoto
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2004 10:32 AM
Subject: Re: Request Order

Were you being playful

Oh no not at all! 100% pure Sirius! Just like you! I admit to was being playful this past Sunday when I jumped off a 110 foot bridge attached only by the bungee but not with You in attendence, unfortunately. You should try it sometime, especially without carribeaner attached strongly! This feeling of rush from succombing to powerfuls of Newtonian Phsyics is only equallled by the orgasmonic pleasure when travelling The road more paved luxury of suplying scads of SONY DMX R100 DIGITAL MIXERS to hosts of fellow jakartonians. This work is easy for me while baseborn ladrones such as Yourself work hard those robandoed placards of plastique.

Please send Durian urgently! For it is not long before that niponese excursionist whose JohnHandCOCK shows on your carbon proclaims to his cownting crows house that his numbers have been using in Indonesian far beyond his short gonefishing in Your most populated country. Time is ticking!

Cheers, Ee Manray, President
Manray Rabs, Inc. 13880 Very Lucky Numbers Ave. China, CA. 666USA

  • (Remember: These are actual emails and real replies! and the "F" in FAQ stands for "Frequently".)
  • More Super Swell Scams Collection here

    FAQ #7. Thank you for all your helpful replies. Are you single?

    No. I have a dog. And some fish. Well, I had some fish, but Mikey killed them all when he was housesitting for me. I don't let Mikey babysit my dog, Max. (Or Dave's dog, Lucy. I'm married to mastering engineer Dave Collins.)

    FAQ #8. Why do you name all your new HIFI products after fish?

    A Shrimp is a crustacean.

    FAQ #8a. What is a "monoblock"?

    A "monoblock" is a hifi term meaning one chassis per channel. We make lots of monoblock amplifiers such as the MAHI, SNAPPER, Neo-Classic SEPP 300B, 250's, and 500 watt models.

    A "stereo" amplifier is two channels one one chassis (like the Stingray).

    Our monoblock amplifiers are commonly sold as a pair. Two chassis come with the pair. The pricing on our website is always listed as the per pair price. One chassis for left and one chassis for right channels. They don't care which one is left or right. Each monoblock is shipped in its own carton/box too.

    And yes, you may order a single monoblock for half the cost of a pair if you need only one channel, like say you want five amplifiers for surround, or 2 1/2 pairs. No problem.

    FAQ #9. I live in Europe and I buy from the States because you make better versions for the USA market. What are those differences exactly?

    You buy "grey market" from the USA because you think you are trying to save money, subvert your government customs collections department for the duties, screw over your local importer who is there to help you, and you have a sick desire to have no warranty on your gear. The only differences between USA and overseas units is the power transformer being set up for 220v (and the mains fuse appropriately adjusted for the resultant current draw) and since it produces the same voltages on the secondaries where the same audio circuitry all is for all units produced for everywhere in the world, there is NO difference between USA and Export units at all beyond the operating voltage on the power transformer primaries. Myth: BUSTED.

    FAQ #10. Is the SLAM! shipping yet?

    YES! Check out our NEWS page!

    FAQ #10a. When can I get one?

    SONY: Soon Only Not Yet (Just kidding. We are caught up and you can get one now. Get hold of your local pro dealer.)

    FAQ #11. Are the micpreamps in the SLAM! the same as the ones in the Voxbox?

    Read the SLAM! page again and note the word "new". The mic preamps in the SLAM! are similar to the input stage of the Steelhead actually.

    FAQ #12. Ahah! The Steelhead is a fish!

    No, the Steelhead is a phono stage.

    FAQ #13. Why didn't you do a remote control and put some more line inputs on the Steelhead?

    So we could design a product called the Lobster.

    FAQ #13a. Why don't you have remotes for all your preamps?

    So you could buy one of these instead. (Update 2009: actually we DO have remotes for all our preamps finally now!)

    FAQ #14. Will the Lobster do multichannel?

    You'll have to ask him yourself.

    FAQ #14a. Are you going to do a surround processor?

    Thinking of Grouper.

    FAQ #14c. I've read that you have a new integrated amp called the Stingray iTube with an iPod dock and some clever features. Very cool! I would like to buy one. Do you know when it will be available?

    Yipppee! The Stingray iTube is shipping now!

    FAQ #15. What do you do for fun?

    I type out these FAQs. Can't you tell?

    FAQ #16. Do you sell tubes?

    I don't know what you're talking about.

    FAQ #16a. I need to retube my Manley amplifier. Do you sell tubes?

    Sorry. Just kidding. Yes, of course we do. Please head on over to www.tubesrule.com

    FAQ #16b. Why should I buy tubes from you?

    We are only as good as our worst tube. We are very selective about which tubes we use in Manley products and we have several different testing and burn-in jigs to test for certain parameters which will be most important for that tube in a given circuit. We will test and select a tube set for you that will be optimized for your Manley piece of gear and in most cases, your tube set will actually be tested in another one of what you have.

    FAQ #16c. Are tubes expensive?

    Not especially. Although I might have made a killing in the stock market had I invested the money I instead put into finding and stocking these large quantities of tubes ten years ago when the USA military were dumping their stocks of NOS JAN vacuum tubes. Seriously, there is the stocking cost to consider in the cost we must charge, development charge of the computerized test jigs we built, then more importantly the time it takes one of our guys to run a little tube through its qualification procedures. Remember, a given tube cannot be improved during testing. It is the way it is, and one hopes it stays that way. It can only be selected, and in selecting that tube that will work really well for your piece of gear, we probably had to throw away several. In some cases we might have had to go through 30 tubes to find the quietest one, or the one with the lowest microphonics, or the one with the best internal matching, depending on what parameters are important for that circuit. That is all factored into the cost somewhat, but no, overall, we don't charge enough for replacement tubes.

    FAQ #16d. NOS? JAN? What does that mean?

    New Old Stock. Joint Army Navy. Yes our military used to use vacuum tubes. As long as the glass doesn't break, tubes are impervious to a nuclear explosion's electromagnetic pulse unlike little silicon devices whose little junctions would go poof! My general thoughts on NOS are I see people paying stupid money on eBay for Telefunken this or NOS that and it's all up to pure luck if that tube you pay $75 for will be a pull, used, half dead, work at all, noisy, a fake, or better performing than what we installed brand new in your unit. We do use a lot of NOS tubes here. We have loads of experience with the types/brands/lots we use and we have thousands more of them in stock. We chose each of these lots based not only on being able to get enough quantity to sustain production for many many years, but of course more importantly because we get a good yield out of them and these types/brands work exceptionally well in our circuits. Not all tubes are created equal. You can get a lot of a thousand pieces of 1960's Phillips 12AT7's that are absolute trash. Brand new Ei's from Yugoslavia will whoop 'em performance-wise and sonically. Or some mid-80's 6072A's that we already rejected here and sold off as salvage stock! That pair of (wow!) Telefunken's you bought on eBay for $150 might be cleaned up pulls. Or they might be re-painted Ei factory tubes.... you never know. If you are dealing with a known reputable source of NOS tubes, such as Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio, you'll be in good shape. I will endorse him as a high quality and trustworthy seller of NOS tubes. I will additionally endorse him as one of my very dearest friends. He has some very special rare tubes and he is a special rare person of the highest caliber and integrity in this industry. However, when you buy a replacement tube from Manley Labs, you are buying a new or New-Old-Stock tube that was *specifically* selected for optimum total performance in YOUR Manley piece o' gear. Each and every one. So weigh that out in your tube purchasing decision.

    FAQ #16d (part deux). I didn't read anything you wrote above as I am not prone to reading anything or doing research on my own so I want you to advise me if the ECC3.14149 and the EL69-666 tubes I just bought on eBay will work in my Manley Toob-o-Rific?

    I have no personal extensive experience with any other tubes other than what we keep in stock and use in our gear and since I haven't personally tested those tubes you hold in your hand I cannot advise you on them. You are on your own. If you have enough money to spend on unknown tubes then you have enough money to send the Toob-o-Rific in for repair if your new fancy toobs cause it to blow up. Or maybe they will work great. Probably the more money you spent on them, the better you will think they work. Good luck and if you need more personal affirmations, please read the answer to FAQ #4a again and again.

    FAQ #16d (part trois) In Dick Olsher's seminal Stingray review, he recommends changing all the tubes. What do you think about using the so-and-so EL84's and the blah-blah-blah 12AT7's? What other 6414's can I buy?

    That review was written a looooong time ago, specifically when there was a political embargo on for products of Yugoslav origin, such as the Ei 12AT7 and Ei EL84/6BQ5. Now there's not, but the factory is again in a funky state and we're our of stock once again on the Ei tubes. Rats. Next best are the Russian ones we are using. All the 6414 types we have ever run across are as good as the next type/brand. What really matters is that we selected ones that had good triode-to-triode matching for best performance as the phase splitter. Whatever you buy off the shelf somewhere will have not gone through that test. We ship the Stingray with:

    • Output Tubes: 8 x EL84 Ships with Russian EL84M (We are out of Ei 6BQ5.)
    • Driver Tubes: 2 x 6414 Ships with GE or RAYTHEON JAN NOS USA or 6414W
    • Input Tubes: 2 x 12AT7EH Ships with: 12AT7EH large plate Electro-Harmonix Russian

    Those are the tubes that we can score large quantities of to sustain reliable and consistent production that we think sound best in the Stingray. Plus all the tubes we install are matched, batched and fully selected based on numerous and specific parameters specifically for best performance in your specific amplifier. Feel free to go spend bunches of more bucks on some other tubes, new, pulls, NOS, or otherwise (how do you know what you really are getting?) that were not matched batched and selected for your amplifier. Just don't ask us for personal affirmations regarding your decision. Keep reading everything in this FAQ#16 over and over. Have at it, but without our blessings or help. You iz on yer own! Because you guys obviously know more than we do about our own products, right?

    FAQ #16e. How long do tubes last?

    Some of them are dead out of the box. Some tubes don't make it through burn-in and after a few days they just go noisy or quit. Sometimes UPS sabotages our shipments and after all our testing efforts the tube arrives broken at your place. Sometimes a tube decides to end it all early and intentionally misbehaves after a few months. Other tubes are real troopers (like my 98 year old neighbor*) and run strong for 30 years. We have documented cases of power tubes in Manley amplifiers going over 60,000 hours non-stop in recording studios 24/7/365 without a re-tube. In one case in particular, the amplifiers were never turned off and had their own dedicated air conditioning for the amplifier rack they lived in. This certainly contributed to their long life.

    *whoops my 98 year old neighbor finally called it quits in Dec. 2002. RIP.

    FAQ #16f. Should I turn off my gear between uses?

    While power cycling is a factor for ultimate tube life, there also is a fixed number of electrons that can ultimately jump off the cathode. In general we do recommend if you aren't using the gear for more than a few hours you should power it down. Do you leave the lights on in your house when you are away?

    Leaving tube gear on 24/7 just uses up tube life, and creates a lot of heat which is tough on other components. While we're on the subject, make sure your tube gear has plenty of ventilation, preferably some kind of positive airflow, especially if installed in a rack..

    FAQ #16g. But it sounds different when you first turn it back on. What is the warm-up time for this gear?

    I generally recommend 45 minutes warm-up time for everything to reach operating temperatures and sound like it's supposed to.

    FAQ #16h. What about break-in time for new gear?

    We burn in the gear for a couple of days before it is shipped out. Folks report that after about a week of break-in that it sounds better. Some of the more fussy people of course report that full break-in takes much longer....

    FAQ #16i. How do I know a tube is broken?

    All the vacuum has leaked out.

    FAQ #16i.i After the vacuum leaks out, where does it go? Is there some way to collect it and put it in another tube, to make it last longer?

    You have to suck really hard.

    FAQ #16j. No really, how do I know a tube is broken?

    Usually a tube whose glass has been broken or cracked usually will have a white powdery like substance inside it where all that silvery stuff used to be. No, it is not cocaine and we didn't put it there..

    FAQ #16k. Does the glass explode?

    I haven't seen it happen. Usually the glass will just crack at the base of the tube if it is going to physically break due to a sudden change in temperature and "all the vacuum will leak out".

    FAQ #16l. Other than outright failure of a tube, how do I know when it is time to re-tube?

    Generally speaking, for the small tubes, if you notice an unacceptable increase in background noise ("hiss") then the tube who is responsible for making the gain in the circuit probably needs to be replaced. The tube(s) making the gain will usually be shorter than the output tube. Common types we use for gain in most of our circuits will be 12AT7, 6201, 12AU7, 5814, 12AX7, 5751, or 6072. The output buffer tube in most of our line-level circuits will be either the 7044 (or 5687, same difference), 6414, or 12BH7. These tubes usually don't cause too much trouble and either work or don't work. Turn the lights off and see if you see the little tubes glowing. Look for one that looks like it has cocaine in it.

    For the power tubes in our amplifiers, after a few years if you notice a small revolt going on where several of the output tubes are misbehaving or getting hard to bias, you might consider doing a full re-tube. Keep the old ones that did not join the revolution as emergency spares.

    FAQ #16m. Can I change a tube myself?

    R.T.F.M and look at our General Troubleshooting page. Do you call in specialists to change your light bulbs for you?

    FAQ #16n. One of the little tubes makes a big bright flash when I turn it on. Is that dangerous?

    Nope. IT IS NORMAL. Do not worry about it. Most of those Yugoslav Ei little tubes do that, and it doesn't mean a damn thing. Not to worry. Please continue on with your life. Ignore. Worry about something else instead.

    FAQ #16o. Channel A has been making the old "bacon frying" noise for a little while and now does not put out any signal at all. Channel B works fine. I'm hoping this just means an errant tube. Is this something I can replace myself or should I send it to you?

    It sounds like a good tube gone bad. Best thing to do here is exchange the tubes one at a time between the two channels to confirm this. This is something you can do yourself if you want; just unplug it, let it sit for a half hour or so to discharge the volts so you don't put your hand somewhere and get zapped, take off the top cover, and exchange the tubes one at a time and see if the problem switches channels. If you find that it's a tube, you can order one from us.

    FAQ #16p. I would like to change the resistors in my Manley unit to my favorite brand. Will this make my factory guaranty become void?

    Yes of course you will void your warranty. We can only warrant the work that we did, and we cannot guarantee the work that you do... logical, no? Have fun. See ya.

    FAQ #16q. I purchased this unit second hand and I want to change out the signal path electrolytics to Black Gates. Thanks !

    Great. So what's stopping you? Go for it. We're not going to do it, so have at it.

    FAQ #16r. I intend to replace the 1.5 Amp Main Fuse in my Manley Steelhead with an 2.0 amp audiophile fuse from FuseMalarkey.com. I know that these fuses improve sonics. I trust that this is safe? FuseMalarkey.com dosen't offer 1.5 Amp fuses, the closest I can get is 2.0 Amp.

    The correct fuse value for that unit operating at 120v is 1.5 amps. End of story. Do not use a 2 amp fuse unless you prefer the sound of the audiophile fuse to the sound of your house burning down.

    FAQ #16s. I was wondering if you can tell me the impedance of your input and output transformers for Variable Mu, and SLAM? I want to play with some other transformers to see what's the difference.

    Hi Kenny,

    Good to hear from you. Unfortunately I don't know the answer to your questions.

    That might seem strange, especially since I designed the SLAM! transformers (not the Lundahls). But to tell the truth so-called impedance numbers were near the bottom of the list of important specs, in fact almost irrelevant.

    The prime spec for the SLAM!'s 3820-LC input transformer made by our good selves was a carefully tailored frequency response because it doubles as an anti-alias filter, and the second important factor was the lamination material mix choice because I intended some iron 'warmth' and the 3rd spec had to do with turns ratios to accurately drop the signal and impedance to the AD converter. Any attempts at replacing it might really f*ck up things. Since taking that passive A/D front-end approach several other companies have 'borrowed' that idea and some have gone on to doing it on the D/A side, but we did it first. The problem most forget about is the capacitive coupling between windings that can cause drastic feed thru spike in the 1-10 mHz range which can cause huge aliasing issues.

    The Variable Mu® input and output trannies are copies of old Sowter parts they used to build for us. Sowter was our supplier for these smaller input and output transformers between 1990 - 1994 before we set up our own Magnetics Department here at the factory. The step down ratios and winding balance (CMRR) are the key specs. Again it is very unlikely anybody has a stock transformer (except Sowter) that is even close. And the Sowter sounds pretty much the same as ours as we're winding practically the same part. There are multiple carefully matched/balanced/bi-filar windings on those trannies, and they sure aren't a 1:1 style or even common ratio variety. The output transformer has a tertiary feedback winding to boot.

    Many years ago when every ad (except ours) seemed to be "Tubes make the sound WARM", I wrote a little thing on our website explaining that it was the transformers that were mostly responsible for vintage color in both tube and discrete units. Prior to that nobody had suggested such a thing (and we have every scrap of print ever written about audio transformers since 1930). Now nobody knows who said it first and it has gotten as out of hand and is as surrounded in myth these days as "tubes make it warm". The truth is: a good transformer is rather transparent, a transformer is very dependent on the source and load (generally one is unknown), the 'rich lows' of some transformers (especially the big old ones) is just distortion due to hysteresis effects of cheap steel lams (modern transformers generally use higher permeability laminations and tend to be cleaner). Sorry to shoot down another myth, but unless your name is Rupert Neve (who started his career as a transformer designer), I highly suggest that you forget those transformer swapping ideas. It will just cause expensive repairs and a lot of time when those boxes will be unusable or dead. Bad idea.

    If you want to believe that transformer sound will make hit records, the best approach is Rupert's 5042 "Tape FX" box, and it is somewhat controllable, low cost, and you can sell it later after you realize that you can't believe everything you read on the WWW and BBs but it DOES sound like transformers and tape, but maybe not like a platinum record. The second alternative is find some big old steel core 1:1 transformers and just put them in line with the signal, but in truth, doing it right requires a tech to find the right Zoebel networks and determine where in the path (remember source and load Z !!) it works without completely messing up the high freqs. Or get a Cranesong HEDD and dial up the "IRON" knob to taste.

    A related story - Great River spent many months searching for an acceptable trannie for their N EQ and ended up driving it with a higher source Z and forcing some DC into a tertiary winding to mess it up enough to get the 'color' people expect these days, because people who don't know transformers have very little clue as to what they are and what they do - just myth and folk-lore. I had a similar task with the TNT preamp and had to deliberately mess up the transformer drive to make the "IRON" knob somewhat audible like people anticipate. By the way that knob allows for "anti-iron" and that effect is very sweet and generally does seem to improve the sound (oops "anti-myth").

    Or you can remove the transformers from those units, cut them open and reverse engineer them, then experiment and try designing 10 or 20 transformer variations (like we do) to get something that A) just works, and B) might be a marginal improvement or at least different, but we frown on that sort of thing and the cost to repair the units will not make you happy. If it makes you feel any better, the top mastering houses in the world are still very happy with their stock Variable Mu's and SLAM!'s and Massivo's and have almost never asked about changing them. In fact more get angry if I suggest that I might revisit the design and try to make an improvement or two. Only a few losers on the BBs ever express dissatisfaction and I think they do it to seem notorious and uber-hip or they are just parroting a few jerks who have no track record but plenty of time to kill on the PC. The important thing to remember today is that it is not the gear, it is how one uses it.


    FAQ #16t. That was a kind way to ask a simple question. But for me, I choose to be an asshole and overreact when I write to you. Please read my letter.

    Oh yes that was my favorite customer letter of all time and as promised, I have posted it on the internet for all to enjoy. Catharsis must be a good thing for you.

    FAQ #16u. What's all this about vacuum tubes? How does a tube work?

    Go read this Taste of Tubes beginner's guide written by those ol' SFI folks. That will get you started.

    FAQ #16v. How do I order tubes from you?

    Either go order them at www.tubesrule.com or go fill in our ol'parts order form and the guys will get that rocking for you.

    FAQ #1w. Why do I have to fill in the form?

    Because if you just send us email you inevitably will not give us all the information we need to help you. And my anti-spam-bot will probably eat your email anyway.

    FAQ #16x. Can I call in my spare tubes order?

    Sure. Give a call to the factory (909) 627-4256 and ask for Gamma in the parts department x311 if you already know what you need.

    FAQ #17. Do you accept credit cards?

    Yes we do: Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. But don't be emailing those numbers. Call or FAX them in. Or order them online using your credit card at www.tubesrule.com

    FAQ #18. What's your fax number?

    Plastered all over the place. FAX: +1(909) 628-4256. Do we even need that thing anymore?

    FAQ #19. Chino. Where is that?

    About 35 miles east of Los Angeles. There's a famous prison here. And 300,000 cows.

    FAQ #20. Sounds appealing. Why are you there?

    I love the smell of cow shit in the morning... smells like... victory.

    FAQ #25. Do you give factory tours?

    Yes, as long as you aren't too creepy. You can email EveAnna to arrange a factory tour if you are in the area. We even allow other manufacturers to come visit. There is also a factory tour available on-line if you are not in the area or if we deem you too creepy...

    Questions 67 and 68. What music do you listen to, EveAnna?

    I rather like Chicago.

    Oh I get it. Clever question and answer. No really. Please tell us.

    I love Tom Jones.

  • (Remember: These are actual emails and real replies! FAQ #69 was submitted to me by Fletcher. He was so stunned at the question that he was unable to answer it himself and enlisted my assistance so I suggested the following answer for him.)
  • FAQ #69. My wife left me about a month ago... how should I set up my Pultec so I can make her voice sound as good as possible on the only video I have of us making love?

    Hmmmm. I see why your wife left you....

    FAQ #150. Will you send me some HIFI catalogs?

    No, we do not have any. Please refer to the HIFI section of our website for real up-to-date info. We will try to make new HIFI catalogs sometime this decade. Or next.

    FAQ #150a. Well, will you print out your website pages for me?

    Why do people think we are Kinko's service bureau? We are a manufacturer of audio gear not a Kinko's service bureau.

    FAQ #150b. Well, will you send me a PRO Gear catalog?

    Nope. We ran out of them in Dec. 2005. Use the website as it's way more up-to-date and informative and interesting too. Or if you want to relive history, you can print out our 2001 Pro Gear catalog from the PDFs here.

    FAQ #124K. Why did you switch all your hifi cosmetics recently from that wonderful gaudy gold and shiny stainless-steel back to your old classic colors: black and that blue-grey color?

    A few reasons: First, I'll go on record and state that I personally never liked the gold look although many audiophiles are like crows and like shiny things. But what I like takes a back seat to what you guys like, so we were doing this 24K gold plated faceplate thing for everyone since about 1994.

    Second, this was a massive headache. We must have gone through ten different plating houses trying to get a flawless job consistently done. We probably rejected getting near to 80% of the panels at times and I don't want to know how much that really cost us over the years.

    Third, especially in humid countries, we were finding that the gold-over-nickel-over aluminum process was really not "lasting forever" and the plating was flaking off the faceplates. I do not like this and neither would you if you had to keep sending customers in Hong Kong and Singapore new faceplates every year. We even tried lacquer over the gold to seal it all in but again, this also was problematic and many panels would get rejected for flaws in the lacquer (sags, dust, runs, etc.) We know you guys will not accept flaws in the finishing. What I am trying to tell you here is that flawless gold plated panels are nearly impossible to achieve especially for large production runs.

    Fourth, I find that the shiny stuff scratches easily leading to more rejects we have to eat and gear not looking as beautiful as it should after a few years. The black wrinkle powder coat now used on the chassis is as tough as nails and the brushed aluminum anodized faceplates are much more durable and scratch-resistant.

    Fifth, We have found the magnetic properties of aluminum chassis to be more favorable. The stainless steel chassis makes the circuit a little more noisier (hummier). The aluminum chassis for the power amplifiers is actually the better way to go.

    I always liked our classic look and the blue-grey anodize which is called "pewter grey." No other hifi manufacturer uses this color and so this yields a unique family look to our products. I have worked with our anodizers to leave the panels in the dye tank even longer so our newest color we are in the process of getting everything switched over to pulls out even more of that beautiful deep blue/purple tint. I hope you will like it as much as we do.

    FAQ #124Ki. That all sounds reasonably explained and I am sorry you have gone through so much grief on this gold issue, but I really prefer the gold and stainless steel cosmetics. Can I order my new amplifier with the gold look?

    Yes you can, at the same price, if we still have parts, and that will vary model to model. Once we have run out of gold plated panels, which we already have for everything except the Stingray, if you insist on having gold faceplates, we can either anodize in a good looking gold color for the same price or charge you a lot more to have to strip, repolish, re-linegrain, then re-plate a set of 24K gold plated panels for you and hope that we do not have to do ten pieces to get you a nice looking pair. Furthermore, to do these 24K gold plated faceplates custom for you, we will also require a bank transfer of $53,000,000.00 (FIFTY-THREE MILLION DOLLARS OF UNITED STATES CURRENCY) sent to the ex-deceased-prime minister's late wife's bank account in Nigeria. (She's been writing me all these letters lately...) We do have some 24K Gold Stingray faceplates if you want to order black chassis and gold faceplate Stingrays.

    FAQ #124Kii. Well, now that I have thought about it, what I really want is a Teal colored hammertone finish to pick up an accent color found in my living room draperies. Can you do this for me?

    Sure, that will fall into the custom category and anything custom will need to be custom quoted.

    FAQ #125. I just bought a Massive Passive. One question: the unit I got is purple metallic. I've never seen one in purple just brushed aluminum. Is this an option? Looks cool though, kinda mean.

    You guys are slow. We changed our official color back in January 2002.

    It is the same anodise color actually as the old one (it's called "pewter grey"), but just left in the dye tank for 3 minutes instead of 30 seconds. Seems that our anodisers had been trying to save a little time over the years and our color kept getting more and more like no color as they would decrease the dye tank time. It's funny how we used to get this deeper color 12 years ago and it slooooooowly got less colorful over the years. I like the original deeper purple-y blue color more than no color so that's where we're at now.

    Most everything we build has run new metalwork (several times) since 2002, so it is pretty safe to say that all Manley gear has the deeper darker color now (with light grey silkscreen) for the mother plates, with engraved black anodize inlaid inserts as before.

    So, if it is pre-2002 and has a lighter silver-y panel with BLACK silkscreen, it is the "old" color.

    If it is post-2002 and has the darker blue/purple panel with the light-grey silkscreen it is the "new" color.

    And now you know!

    FAQ #125a. Aw shite. But it doesn't match my 5 year old silver-y colored Manley Mic pre? What to do?

    For $150 we will change out your old light colored faceplate to a new darker one. (Or a gold plated faceplate to a "Manley Blue" one.) That's what we can do. No we won't do it for free.

    FAQ #125b. What's up with your faceplates? The letters look different.

    Since the first early days the black anodised inlaid inserts have been mechanically engraved. Mechanical engraving uses a spinning tool to cut through the black layer into raw aluminum. In 1994 we bought a mechanical engraver and have been running all our parts on that machine all these years. That machine runs off an Apple II and it is a bit tedious to operate, to be honest.

    In 2005 we moved the high volume VOXBOX and MASSIVE PASSIVE inserts to an outside vendor (in Arcadia, California) to be laser-engraved. I don't think any customers even noticed the difference between laser engraving and mechanical engraving, nobody made any comments or complaints, and I can conclude that we worry about these things far more than any customers do.

    In 2008 we purchased our own laser engraver and are moving most units to use this machine instead. The laser engraver will also be called upon to etch faceplates, chassis, and rear panels that used to be silk-screened. Everything is in process of changing over in 2008. You might even see some new fonts and secret surprises if you look closely enough.

    FAQ #250. What tubes should I get for my Manley 250's?

    For the output tubes, we use the 6CA7 or EL34EH (Russian), and have found these to be quite good. We also used the Slovakian JJEL34's which were pretested for us by my good buddy, Aspen Pittman at Groove Tubes who imported them. I have heard good things about the Svetlana's too but they are hard to procure at times. It's tough to evaluate the lifespan of a tube until it dies so we stick with what we know works and sounds good. The 6414 driver tube is a bit of an oddball, with GE and Raytheon being the ones you will probably find (that's what we have here). The 12AT7 input tube is very common, and we use the Electro-Harmonix version here these days. I am personally a little afraid of untested "new old stock" tubes at high prices. There may be a reason they have been kicking around for 30 years.

    FAQ #250a. Do you recommend I use the XLR or RCA inputs on my 250's?

    The XLRs go through an additional balancing transformer so in the spirit of "less is more" use the RCAs.

    FAQ #250a(i). I have a pair of your amps that only has RCA inputs. Will you add balanced inputs for me? My whole system uses XLR cables.

    The way to add balanced inputs to your amps since the input stage is a single-ended design would require adding a transformer inline. Then you are listening to the sound of that extra part in your system. I don't like adding things you do not have to have. The slight benefit of running balanced cables will probably be negated by having to run through another transformer and depending on the circuit of the balanced output of your preamp, you might get yourself into a double-disservice.

    We need to know what device is feeding your amplifiers, examine at its output circuitry and then decide what the best course of action will be.

    FAQ #250b. I just bought one of your Manley amps. What speakers and cables should I buy? As far as what's "best" speaker, man, that's such a personal choice. What I may like, you may hate... but my fave speakers & cables are listed on my links page.

    Really you need to go to your dealer and try stuff out and find what you like best.

    It's like "what's the best car to buy?" Do you want a truck, SUV, convertible, sedan, sportscar? There are so many choices.... enjoy the exploration!

    FAQ #4-40. Hey I just took delivery of one of your new Manley Amplifried Conanbobulators and when I unpacked it and got ready to install it I hear this rattling noise inside so I took the cover off and found THIS thing running around loose inside. What do you have to say about this quality control issue?

    Damn no matter how often we spray, those little buggers get in everywhere. But you know, we didn't charge you extra for that little 4-40 nut so you don't have to waste your time complaining about it. But please do put Paco's two rings back inside the unit where you found them.

    FAQ #666. How do I bias this thing, calibrate my so-and-so, and how many kilobananas is in my doo-hickey?


    FAQ #666a. Help! There's no bias reading on any of my output tubes and there's no sound coming out of the speakers! Help!

    R.T.F.M - Your B+ fuse is blown. Check and change that. Then get rid of the bad tube that blew up and caused the B+ fuse to blow and you'll have bias and tunes again. In some of our amplifiers, like the Stingray and the Snappers, the B+ fuse is INSIDE. So please read your manual, and then ask questions...

    FAQ #667. But my amplifier that was built by that other tube amp company in Chino isn't listed on your website?

    We do not service any other gear except for MANLEY-branded gear, or Manley-built Langevin gear. I don't care who designed it, or tested it, or where or when it was built, if it doesn't have one of the following logos on it, then we don't service it.

    We do not service VTL gear!

    ***except for VTL-branded CR3A microphone and VTL-branded Tube Direct Interface

    FAQ #667a. But according to your bio page, you used to work there. Why can't you help me?

    I don't fix picture frames I built in high school when I worked at The Framers on Peachtree either. We only service gear with the Manley brand on it or Langevin gear that we built here at Manley Labs. If any of the info in our Tech Support section or any of the Manley gear owner's manuals can help you, feel free to download them and learn from them, but remember they are manuals for our gear. If you need help or manuals from some other company for some other gear, please go seek that help from that other company and not from me. Chino Hills Ford won't service my Lancia and for some reason the local Dairy Queen cannot provide me an owner's manual for my Honda lawn mower. I know this is as hard for me to understand and accept as it is for you, but sorry, that's the way it is.

    FAQ #667b. I need a schematic for a Maytag Serial Number MAV7600AWW. My problem is that when you put bleach in the dispensor, it runs down to the floor. Can you help me?

    Your problem is you do not know how to read so you don't know how find the MAYTAG website. Please have your kids instruct you on how to use Google properly.

    FAQ #667b1. I filled out your service form for model number 14600, our tekno puppy needs a new bone.

    Please learn to read before you fill in web forms. You have written to the WRONG COMPANY. We make audio equipment not toy robotic dogs.

    (If you think I am making these FAQ's up, you are dead wrong!) FAQ #667c. I have an old Langevin thing built in the 1960's. Do you work on these or can you provide me with schematics?

    Sorry, no. We just bought the name and rights to use any of the old circuits. We didn't build the old stuff and never have had parts or real documentation. If we didn't build it and you don't see it on our website, then the usual experts on vintage gear and restoration are your best bet. Try asking your question on USENET rec.audio.pro or searching the groups at Google or any of the other various pro gear web boards.

    FAQ #6414. I'm not sure if I heard back from EveAnna personally, or one of the other engineer/technicians at Manley, but I wanted to say thanks so much information. I had one of the most pleasurable music listening sessions I've had in a while with the Wave in my system. The reason for my original question was that I was having a compatibility problem with my [other brand] pre-amp and [my other brand amplifier]. I had to have the [other] pre-amp turned up to 1-3:00 to get good volume from my speakers (Martin Logan Quests). This is not bad and in fact sounds very good. The only problem being when I used phono pre-amps such as the Klyne 7PX, Thor and Joule's own phono I had to turn the volume almost all the way up and was not comfortable doing that. With the Wave, I am anywhere from 11-1:00 on the volume, which is plenty, whenever I played a cd through the line inputs. I was a little nervous at first having to turn the volume up to 3:00 when I played directly through the Wave's DAC but geeez, the improvement in the sound. Wow! I soon became very comfortable listening to music with the volume control around 3:00 with all the wondrous music I was hearing. Now I'll have to see how the Wave performs with a phono pre-amp and hope I don't have to turn the volume control all the way up. Something tells me that I don't think I will. Thank you very much.

    Yeah that wuz me. Let me help you with another concept here: In the WAVE and in most preamps, the volume control is first in the signal path followed by the amplifying stage. There is no standard for how much amplifying takes place (gain). Some line stages have little gain, some have tons. Add to that that there is also no standard anymore as to how much output anything has. Many phono stages rely on the line stage making up the next 20dB of gain. Most CD/DACs have enough gain to drive the amps without additional gain in a line stage. Passive preamps are not quite right because at least if nothing, you need some low impedance drive to drive the cable without losses. Total system efficiency also plays a factor.

    Say you had a hot output DAC going into the preamp driving amplifiers whose input sensitivity was, say 0.400 V, driving 104db efficient speakers. I'll bet you never could get past 9:00 on that system. Take the same front end and drive some 2V insensitive amps and insensitive 84dB speakers and you might have to be at 2:00 on the volume control to get them same level. So designing preamps is hard because you are trying to accommodate everything and anything. The volume control is your friend and allows that preamp to go from extreme to extreme.

    Now, back to the first statement: the volume control is first in the signal path. Think about this for a minute. It's only job is to stop tunes from getting INTO the preamp. It is IN THE WAY. Ideally, you would want a volume control turned all the way up impeding the signal as little as possible. Master faders in a recording studio are like a big volume control and they are usually set full open all the time and only pulled down to do a master fade at the end of the tune. There is no harm having the volume control at 3:00. Or at 5:00. There is only convention and what you are used to that makes you feel uncomfortable "going past 1:00". There is no speed limit here. If you have to turn it up on any preamp to 3:00, who cares? The end result is still "the same loud" as you want to listen to and the amplifying stage in the preamp is receiving the same amount of level as that higher level source driving it with the volume control back at 11:00. You won't blow anything up. I hope you'll think about this volume control thing differently now.

    FAQ #9999. I just happened to be browsing the web and came across your page: http://www.manley.com/40mpb.php As an English teacher, to those who don't speak English, it caught my eye that one of your links says "click on the link for more bigger views." I just thought I would point out that its not grammatically correct to use a double superlative. Either use the 'er' or the 'more' but not both. I know this is a minor error, but it does impact English learners who come across things such as this. They see it on a website and think since its in print, or on the web, that it must be correct. Then they have to be retaught how to describe things the correct way. Thank you for your time.

    In order to help teach the world English, and just in case second graders or their teachers just happen to be browsing the internet and come across my website, I have posted your comments on our FAQ page and added the following disclaimer to our Owner's Manuals:

    All the strange and extraneous remarks you have noticed so far in this Owner's Manual have been put here on purpose because we know you will keep reading so you don't miss the next quip. In the rare case that you find a mispelling or an error in grammer in this Owners Manuel, please consider that it was put there for a porpoise as their are allways some peeple looking for missteaks and they might as well find them hear.

    And by the way, "retaught" is not exactly a word, and you are missing an apostrophe in the contraction "its". I hate it when people get "it's" and "its" mixed up!

    And "impact" is not exactly a verb either.

    And also, our buddy John adds to the pile: "More" and "bigger" are comparatives, not superlatives. The superlative would be "most" and "biggest". I don't think the original poster is really a teacher of English.

    enough for today.... more FAQs as they come up...