Enleum AMP23-R buyer beware!

My frustration has finally gotten the best of me.  I ordered (put a deposit down) an Enleum AMP23-R back in March based on the word the dealer got from Enleum that the order would be filled in 2 weeks, or the beginning of April.  It's now June 7th and no word from Enleum about shipping any units.  I know my dealer has been in touch with the company and the company is not responding.  They are also not giving any updates as to when units might be shipping.  

This is a bad look for Enleum and frankly has soured any excitement I had for their product.  I would steer clear of Enleum at this point.  I understand that a few units have been released to certain people for review purposes, but that also leaves a bad impression in my mind.  If you promised to release a certain number of units back in March to people who put money down and you can't fill orders now in June, it tarnishes your reputation as a company doing business in the high end market.  It doesn't matter how many rave reviews your product gets if you give the impression that you don't give a crap about your customers.  

The company says Enleum translates to "Enlightenment" which is just marketing mumbo jumbo.  Let's see if owner Soo In Chae will step up to the plate and treat his customers with respect.


garyalex:  Working on it.

ghasley:  Yes, Soo was working with Bakoon and then went out on his own.

I won't comment on this transaction because it wouldn't be appropriate and I have no knowledge to share anyway. However, Jaguar Audio has been a Bakoon/Enleum dealer since 2014. These products are not made in batches of thousands because that requires millions of dollars of capital to produce those quantities. Bakoon production has always been in high demand early on with products like the 12R, 13R, and HP-21 but with Enleum the product has been received with an incredible response and this time the reviews have really captured the imagination of audiophiles. Demand will probably outpace production for the rest of this year but production quantities will be increasing.


Why anybody would buy the Korean made Bakoons/Enleum rather than the Japanese made Bakoons is beyond me.They look fancier but the Japanese made ones are the genuine article and represent much better value.I am a happy owner of a Japanese made Bakoon Amp 5521 Mk3.The best sounding amp I have used.

@fork - I got my 23R from Jaguar Audio earlier this year without a hitch. There are a number of retailers who carry this, and it’s possible that if the OP is still interested, they might have better luck with one of them.

@jtgofish - is the 5521 Mk3 also a headphone amp? The Bakoon 13R, no longer made, was geared towards that, as is the Enleum 23R. I really don’t care whether it was made in Korea or Japan. Excellent products come from both places.

Enleum is a small company and the rave reviews for the 23R have created greater demand than they can supply given the supply chain issues.

Many small high end audio companies have the same issue. Last year I inquired about a Decware amp and I was told the waiting list was about 1 year. I waited 10 weeks for ZMF Verite Open headphone shortly after it launched and that was before the pandemic. Decware, ZMF, Enleum and a bunch of other small companies that have products in high demand are facing the same issues of part availability and work force issues.

I bought my Enleum 23R in December before most of the reviews were published. At the time I bought it, there was only the 6 Moons review. I ordered it on a Monday in December from Jaguar Audio and received it the very next day.

I believe that because of supply chain issues/availability of parts, design changes were made to the 23R. I know the remote control, speaker binding posts and I’m sure other internal parts were changed around the time frame of the OP’s order. Making design changes on the fly is never an easy task. The design changes need to go through design verification testing to insure that the changes will provide equal or better customer satisfaction to the older design.

Of course you can cancel your order but you’ll be missing out on a truly excellent amp. In my system, the 23R has been a game changer. I understand your frustration, but I think that since you’ve waited this long, you might as well wait just wait it out. However, I agree that you should be given an estimate of delivery timing.

I know Enleum is a small company and I understand the supply chain issues.  At least a company like Decware let's potential customers know that the wait time is approx 1 year.  At that point, a customer can make up their mind as to whether or not to move forward. My frustration is when a manufacturer gives a false impression of when product will be shipped and then doesn't follow up regarding a change of circumstances.  If Enleum had said delivery for orders on such and such a date would be 6 months or even an unknown time frame, I can respect that.  That's not the case.  Enleum is not responding to requests for updates so the dealers can give their customers a potential time frame for shipping which is putting dealers in a tough spot.

this is the case in all of audio right now, sorry. especially in Asia. Pass Labs is 12 mos, same as Magico and some other big guys. Luxman is like 8 months. either cancel your order or stick it out but blaming them isn't really fair. they want to deliver product asap.

fwiw, I tried an Enleum and found it pretty overrated. Srajan has hyped this thing beyond what it actually delivers, which is a pure but somewhat not fully fleshed out sound 


Reading comprehension is your friend.

The OP is not blaming them for not delivering but for not communicating. Supply chain issues are unavoidable. Not properly notifying your customers of delays, however, is and should be avoided.

they don't know! duh. if they had a timeframe they would relay to the dealer. also, i'll add that Enleum was months delayed on releasing the 23R as Srajan noted early on.

talk to some small manufacturers and hear what they are going through. 

What prevents Enleum from telling customers that they're sorry for the delay but that it's out of their control or words to that effect?  I don't understand how you can justify the complete lack of communication.

Imagine you’re the owner of a business that’s in the dark concerning supply chain issues with your product and you have hundreds, if not thousands of anxious customers waiting for the solution to all of their audio problems.

How much of your time would you allocate to answer each and every one of them? And then their subsequent and time consuming follow up questions?

The obvious thing is to post the problems on your website, along with some kind of Q&A section that covers most of the queries. That would be going the extra mile but it would still not satisfy lots of those waiting. What’s a manufacturer to do?

All the best,

No excuse for not communicating with clients and potential clients.

Most complaints on here are based on poor communication. It’s really not that hard.

If communicating is too difficult to handle, a company can limit throughput to avoid bad press.

And yes, I  led a large organization. A member of the team that could not reliably communicate would lose their job.

@keithr, you found the 23R overrated by Srajan but did you use it as a power amp as he did in his review?  I’m using it as power amp with my Van Alstine FET Valve CF vacuum tube preamp and it sounds better than the 3 power amps I tried before it.  I tried a similarly priced McIntosh MC275, a Rogue Stereo 100 with Dark upgrades, and my Van Alstine 600R hybrid power amp with NOS Mullard tubes.  The 23R was significantly more transparent than any amp I tried before while maintaining musicality unmatched by the other 3 amps.  See my basement system in my profile for the components in this system.

keithr, if the Enleum sounded 'somewhat not fully fleshed' my guess is it was not a good electrical match with your speakers.The Bakoon amplifiers behave more like tube amps electrically so they best suit genuine 8 ohm speakers not 4 ohm.

After more jerking around toward the dealer (from Enleum), the order has been cancelled.  

@sense63 You did the right thing by cancelling! Its still unfortunate that Enleum could not assure your dealer when they’d have more stock to go around, especially with all the continued challenges with shipping. I think this was a problem with your dealer not managing customer expectations. :) I dunno…?

As much as I’ve been enjoying my bakoon amp-51r and for what it does and can’t do, I think it does what it does extremely well. I called it a day with my amplification journey. (Until probably Soo In comes out with the replacement flagship)

@jtgofish you are absolutely right, the Japanese ones are better value and are the genuine article, and I’m totally with the era of ‘Made in Japan’ but ugh, amongst other things personal to me, I needed that remote, lol!. I dont doubt the 5521 is an absolute killer amp. I respect the folks who run the Japan Bakoon - we know something most dont! ;) (btw, can really close to obtain a Bakoon with Pat, but obviously, a different opp manifested itself)

Regarding the note on not having a fleshed out sound….? Its been well documented from user experiences that Bakoons pair so well with high efficiency drivers such as horns, ribbons, and ultra wide bandwidth drivers. But that can mainly be irrelevant cause like you mentioned, the synergy in one’s system plays such a big role in it. But to everyone’s fair take, it won’t please the masses.  For me, I’m thoroughly enjoying having SET qualities and not having to deal with tubes!

For what its worth, I have mine paired with Deville SQ.

Low 325,Those Deville speakers look very interesting.I wish more companies would make speakers with benign impedance and high sensitivity like that.

My Bakoon works beautifully with vintage Tannoy Monitor Gold 15s .

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I heard about a week ago on Head-fi that Enleum has a Facebook page and they've given updates on delivery.  I think there is a batch that will be shipped in the next few weeks and another batch at the end of September.  

The Enleum 23r is worth the wait.

Far as communicating, that doesn't seem to be Soo In's strong suit, but he has answered me each time I've written, and I get the impression he is somewhat overwhelmed by the unexpected demand.

If you want an incredible sounding amp in a small form factor with unique design, again, the wait is worth it.

See if Mike at Suncoast Audio has any in stock.