TT-400 Delivery and Conclusions
I receive a lot of deliveries. A lot. Not all of them are as large as this unit but it just so happens that only a week before this unit was delivered I received a bed delivered from the same company, Plycon. The bed delivery was a thing of beauty. The drivers were courteous, friendly, careful with my purchase, and set up the bed without making a huge mess. I went so far as to call the manufacturer of the bed to compliment Plycon on the delivery.
This delivery was slightly different. I live on a street with low hanging power lines. A whole lot of fun during hurricane season. Before the furniture was shipped, I informed Diamond Case that a semi-truck, their preferred method of delivery, would not fit into my neighborhood much less down my street. Still, Plycon called and said that they could not find a smaller truck to deliver the unit. They asked if I could meet them with a truck. I have a small SUV that the unit wouldn't fit into so I said "No." I waited over a week for them to deliver when they finally called back saying that they were going to give the semi a try.
Needless to say, it didn't work. The driver called me and asked me to bring my SUV. Wanting to emulate an actual customer (who probably would be anxious to get his furniture) and not a reviewer (who would be perfectly happy to wait a month or more) I set out in the rain to get my delivery. This is what was told would happen and what did happen (in bold ).
1. The credenza will be delivered by a 2-man team (true) that will utilize a lift gate to lower the furniture from their van/truck (no, it was a semi)
2. They should either carry the furniture or use a furniture dolly when delivering into your residence/facility (they never entered my "facility". They called me to bring my small SUV to meet them. They loaded the piece into the SUV with my help. They then asked for directions out of the neighborhood and left)
3. The casters will be a bit dirty from riding in the back of the truck; ask the delivery men to wipe them clean before bringing your furniture inside. As an extra precaution, if you have light colored carpeting or hardwood flooring, you may want to request that the delivery men lay down some protective covering to avoid smudges or soiling. (They are a bit dirty but I didn't get a chance to ask them to wipe them)
4. Once the furniture has been unwrapped, inspect it carefully. Should you notice any damage, it's most important to make a note of it on the drivers' paperwork before he leaves and give us a call, as well. (I was asked to sign the form without unwrapping the furniture. When I said that I didn't know if there was any damage or not because it was still in the box, the driver stated, "Well, it's probably fine then.")
When I arrived with my SUV, I waited for 10 or 15 minutes while the driver talked on his cell phone. When I asked his assistant who he was talking to, he said the company. He added that the driver was only supposed to go from warehouse to warehouse and not to residential areas (obviously, he drives a semi). I took from his statements and demeanor that the driver was upset about having to deliver to me. I specifically asked if there was anything else that they were supposed to do after they loaded the piece into my car and the driver said no. By the time I got home with a piece of furniture sticking out of my car and no way to get it out, I was pretty steamed. Why am I mentioning all this? Because if your street doesn't allow access to semi-trucks, you need to realize that you may not be getting the white glove service that I know Plycon is capable of giving. Instead, you may be stuck out in the rain staring at the back of your car wondering how you are going to get that huge thing out by yourself. Or your delivery may be delayed quite a bit beyond initial expectations.
As Diamond Case is a factory-direct company, this is an issue which needs attention. Were they to only work with dealers, I wouldn't even mention this, but since it is a real-world possibility for some, consumers will need to triple check to ensure their deliveries will go smoothly.
Suggestions and Recommendations
I find it easier to make suggestions for good products than bad ones. For bad products, my suggestions usually entail "try not sucking" or "do what you say you can do." In this case, the TT-400 delivers. These recommendations are meant to improve upon an already superior product.
- The optional lighting system runs a little hot. I'd look into cooler running lights, perhaps LED technology.
- I wouldn't mind seeing more lights. The lighting is a little too one-sided within the door. Lights on each side of the window would make the effect more balanced.
- While the removable back works well, the screws are time consuming to remove. A quicker system for releasing the back would be welcome.
- Adjustable shelves shouldn't require tools
- The open architecture is great but some integrated wire management system, even as an add-on, would be appreciated. This would help manage longer wires that aren't cut to length and help separate power cables from interconnects.
Conclusions and Overall Perceptions
Delivery issues aside, this is one fine piece of furniture. The beauty of the TT-400 is that it satisfies your need to house and tweak your equipment and your significant other's need for a fine piece of furniture that stands on its own. Make no mistake; this is a no-compromises solution. It is pricy but so is Ethan Allens' and they know next to nothing about home theater. In this case you really do get what you pay for. Rarely do I review something that works as good as it looks. In this case, I have. The finish is gorgeous and damage resistant. The access to your equipment is unparalleled. The fit and finish is beyond reproach. Honestly, once you get it in your house, I don't know how you couldn't be happy with the TT-400.
The Score Card
The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:
Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating
Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.
Audioholics Rating Scale
- — Excellent
- — Very Good
- — Good
- — Fair
- — Poor
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