A Few Nice Words For Upscale Audio

Back in October '23 I started to have problems with my preamp, a 2005 edition Pathos InControl.  Upon turn on there was a hum/throb in one channel.  Hoping for a simply solution I ordered a pair of replacement tubes from Upscale Audio.  When swapping out the tubes I observed that the ceramic collar to a tube socket had basically fallen apart.  Not that that mattered since the hum/throb was still there.  Upscale happened to be the US importer/distributor/service center for Pathos, an Italian company, so I called them for advice.  They told me to ship the unit to them and they would make repairs.

I'm going to make a digression here and say what a total PITA it was to ship the preamp.  I'll never use UPS again, that's for sure!

Upscale gets the preamp, fixes the tube socket and removes an annoying click at "32" on the volume control, but they could not reproduce the hum/throb.  They talked to me and we agreed that they should test it a little bit longer.  Just when they were about to give up a say the preamp is functioning perfectly, it completely stops working.  They determine the problem was a failed circuit board in the power supply.  Upscale contacts Pathos and they are told they don't stock the board, but that they could make a new board.  I authorize the repair.

The first week in January I contacted Upscale for the status of the repair and I was surprised to find that it was ready to be shipped back to me.  It was sitting on my front porch in less than a week.

So thank you Upscale and Pathos for providing first rate support for your product.  All told the cost came to approximately $1k of which boxing and shipping totaled nearly 1/3 cost.  I doubled boxed the preamp when I shipped and Upscale tripled boxed when returning.  A nice touch!


All of my future tube purchases will be from “Kevin’s Stash.”  Perfectly matched and highest available quality.  

I never was able to strike a deal with Upscale Audio. I always ended up buying elsewhere.


That’s a feel good story with a happy ending! Good luck with the preamp and hope it meets your expectations. Thx for sharing!

I find Kevin's videos annoying but for some reason I watch most of them anyway if the gear looks interesting. I did buy a pair of KLH Model 5's from them and it was as smooth as can be, and yeah, they super-box those things; I would consider buying from them in the future something I can't get locally. 

Kevin Deal and his crew at Upscale are Awesome, I recently found out cat had left, sad to see her go, she was an integral piece of the analog department, I wish her well, I remember her setting up a new cartridge on my TT, she did an excellent job, I wish her well wherever she ends up, but the people at upscale are first class, including Kevin, he won't bullshit you, for sure!