map-marker Baltimore, Maryland

Owner Alfred Kayser has contempt for U.S. Government and attempts not honor his published guarantee!

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Sme Tonearms - Owner Alfred Kayser has contempt for U.S. Government and attempts not...
Sme Tonearms - Owner Alfred Kayser has contempt for U.S. Government and... - Image 2
Before doing any business with Alfred Kayser, you should know that if he talks you into doing his rewiring service which he touts as superior to stock, he will attempt to not honor his guarantee thus you will not be able to return the tonearm to him. He also is a very dishonorable person who tries to intimidate his customers and rants about the U.S. Government. Through my perseverance, I was able to win a dispute through my card issuer, American Express. I will begin by forwarding the text of an email that Mr. Kayser sent to me on 12/1/2015 (also attached as a photo). In response to Mr. Kayser stating that I am wasting his time, I replied by stating I would take all the time in the world to defend my rights, Mr. Kayser writes back and I quote: “Go get a grasp on reality David, who do think we are the god dam CIA making innocent people disappear during the night. Or perhaps your own government doing illegal incursions into foreign countries to execute foreign nationals without due process or trial ??????” This statement is quite offensive and disturbing to me as an American citizen. It also is the culmination of Mr. Kayser’s continuing attempts to intimidate me as a customer. Mr. Kayser seems to have a deep seated contempt for the United States and it is evident that this animosity spills over in his contempt for me, an American customer. This extraordinarily awful treatment began on November 10th, when I had very politely asked to return a SME 3012r tonearm which I had purchased from Mr. Kayser for the sum of $2,613.38 USD. Dear Alfred, I am sorry but the tonearm is not going to work out and I would like to return it. The main reason is that the arm will not allow the headshell to be level in terms of what is necessary before fine tuning the azimuth. The fine azimuth adjustment was not near enough to get it to level. I double checked that the armboard was level. I will place item in return mail to you tomorrow. Is there any particular instructions I need to follow delivery? The reason I had felt confident purchasing a used item from Mr. Kayser is his unconditional 100% money back guarantee. “As with all the products we sell. If your not 110% happy with the products & services you receive from us we will give you a 100% money back guarantee. On not only the price of the product but as well the cost of the shipping. That's how confident we are in all the products we sell." Mr. Kayser will not honor the terms of his published guarantee. I would like to highlight the fact that his guarantee is unconditional since Mr. Kayser is now claiming that items which receive his standard wiring service (see terms below) he promotes and encourages customers to purchase voids his guarantee. In terms of actively promoting his rewire service, Mr. Kayser states on his website: “What are the greatest weaknesses’s of any early SME tonearm??? The internal wiring followed closely by the early four pin horizontal SME DIN connector, of course!” “No one else in the world employs two independent continuous runs of 4 X 33 fully RF shielded wire further encapsulated in an additional outer fully shielded RF jacket. We actually use (8.5 feet / 2.5 Meters) of 4 X 33 to accomplish a (4.25 feet/ 1.25 Meter) run of cable. Our custom bottom end completely eliminates the original SME bottom end. With our custom stand off and strain relief system all mess & clutter on the bottom of the tonearm are eliminated. And miracle of miracles, there is no longer a connection point there. As it should be.” So, in essence, Mr. Kayser is trying to rig the system in his favor in a “bait and switch” scheme. He touts his rewire service and talks poorly of the original wiring and then uses that as cover to not accept a return. Mr. Kayser has from the very beginning placed the blame on my set up procedure and also placed unwarranted burden upon myself to prove to him that the tonearm is damaged. Mr. Kayser will not consider the possibility of internal damage which cannot be seen. What am I supposed to do? Hire someone to take apart the tonearm for inspection, potentially risking the ability to return it if Mr. Kayser later says it has been tampered with? It is supposed to be a “hassle-free” return. Mr. Kayser’s policy is such that if a customer is not 110% happy they are entitled to a 100% refund. A customer not being “happy” can take many forms but no one except Mr. Kayser interprets it as you have to prove a fault. It is not a fair expectation of me to be required to get into a back and forth with Mr. Kayser who clearly did not honor his guarantee in the first place. How would I have an expectation of fair treatment when from the beginning he showed a complete unwillingness to honor his own guarantee policy? His further comments (in chronological order) through multiple emails also point to his blaming and hostile attitude: “What you are stating in this email below is impossible.” “You most assuredly have something wrong in your setup procedure.” “nothing to do with the arm” “deeply wrong in your setup” “Believe me there is nothing wrong with your arm.” “Your problem David, (if one truly exists) is in how you are doing your setup.” “Supply us with high resolution pictures of the so called problem.” “Clearly there is no damage to the arm or you would have already supplied pictures long ago.” “Were done David..” “Don't you dare ever speak to me about honour , sitting there hiding behind a key board. You have no idea who I am or what i have experienced in my fifty three years on this globe.” He also gave false and misleading information to my card issuer, American Express (attached) which I had to point out the deceit, copied below. American Express Dispute Resolution To Whom it May Concern: In addition to the correspondence which I provided on 12/18/15 to American Express which is referenced under document number PO45098, I wish to state how I have been a victim of Mr. Kayser’s unfair and deceptive business practices and also provide a point by point rebut to the false and misleading information contained in Mr. Kayser’s communication to you dated 12/9?/15. I wish to reference again that Mr. Kayser offers an unconditional 100% money back guarantee on his website for all products and services including a guarantee directly on the page of the vintage item I purchased, the SME 3012R. You will need to click on the tab “trade in” for the guarantee subheading for the SME 3012R. In fact, a simple Google search for his domain returns a total of 83 times that his 100% money back guarantee is published on his various webpages. That goes to show you how aggressively he markets his 100% money back guarantee. Full guarantee copied below: “As with all the products we sell. If your not 110% happy with the products & services you receive from us we will give you a 100% money back guarantee. On not only the price of the product but as well the cost of the shipping. That's how confident we are in all the products we sell." I should be allowed to return the item per his 100% money back guarantee. Mr. Kayser’s unfair and deceptive business practices by not honoring his published 100% money back guarantee is illegal per State consumer protection laws. Furthermore, per the Code of Federal Regulations: If a product is advertised as having a “satisfaction” or “money back” guarantee, then that “constitutes an offer of a full refund for any reason.” 16 C.F.R. 239.3 says: (a) A seller or manufacturer should use the terms “Satisfaction Guarantee,” “Money Back Guarantee,” “Free Trial Offer,” or similar representations in advertising only if the seller or manufacturer, as the case may be, refunds the full purchase price of the advertised product at the purchaser’s request. (b) An advertisement that mentions a “Satisfaction Guarantee” or a similar representation should disclose, with such clarity and prominence as will be noticed and understood by prospective purchasers, any material limitations or conditions that apply to the “Satisfaction Guarantee” or similar representation. Canada, where Mr. Kayser is located, is a signatory of consumer protection extension of laws to internet commerce. Also, Mr. Kayser’s business is subject to Canadian Law: Competition Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-34) PART VII.1DECEPTIVE MARKETING PRACTICES REVIEWABLE MATTERS Marginal note:Misrepresentations to public • 74.01 (1) A person engages in reviewable conduct who, for the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, the supply or use of a product or for the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, any business interest, by any means whatever, o (a) makes a representation to the public that is false or misleading in a material respect; o (b) makes a representation to the public in the form of a statement, warranty or guarantee of the performance, efficacy or length of life of a product that is not based on an adequate and proper test thereof, the proof of which lies on the person making the representation; or o (c) makes a representation to the public in a form that purports to be  (i) a warranty or guarantee of a product, or  (ii) a promise to replace, maintain or repair an article or any part thereof or to repeat or continue a service until it has achieved a specified result, if the form of purported warranty or guarantee or promise is materially misleading or if there is no reasonable prospect that it will be carried out. Any business is required to follow their written published guarantee not make up the rules as they go as Mr. Kayser is attempting. Since Mr. Kayser’s business practices also meet American Express definition of “deceptive, and unfair practices relating to the sale, advertising, promotion, or distribution of goods or services to consumers”, I would like to make a formal recommendation to American Express that Mr. Kayser’s business be placed in the “American Express Consumer Protection Monitoring Program” or suspended so that future customers are not abused. Should further information be necessary beyond complying with the money back guarantee provision, following is a point by point response to Mr. Kayser’s communication to American Express dated 12/9?/2015 Please see scanned copy of his 12/9/15 with paragraphs numbered. Paragraph 1 and 2: I contacted Mr. Kayser by phone. We discussed two alternatives: 1) A new SME M2-12R or a vintage SME 3012R. Mr. Kayser stated that both the new and the vintage models would be the same price: $2,000. Mr. Kayser touted his rewire service and quoted $350 each for both his new and vintage arm. Due to Mr. Kayser’s sales pitch, I was led to believe that there would be an improvement over the original wiring. I will highlight that he actively promotes a rewire service on brand new current production tonearms as he did to me with the SME M2-12R. For proof beyond our phone discussion, see his website itself: All prospective SME tonearm buyers should also be sure to check out our Re-Wiring Section and Custom Bronze Parts sections. Keyword is “All”. This is further proof that Mr. Kayser aggressively promotes his re-wire service on both vintage and new tonearms. During the phone call, Mr. Kayser quoted the same amount, $350 to rewire both a vintage SME 3012R and a brand new SME M2-12R. This is exactly the same cost and service as listed for his standard rewire service on his website and further indicates that the service he performed on a SME 3012r which I had never seen is not custom: Cost of Re-Wiring - The cost of re-wiring your SME arm is $350.00 plus shipping. This includes: - Complete restoration with Cardas & Top Line parts. - Rebuild and replacement of all worn parts with original SME parts - Original SME NOS Manuals and Templates. - Original SME NOS Tonearm Tools. His assertion that I had already agreed to purchase the arm and later asked for it to be modified is completely false. First of all, there is no executed agreement until payment has been made. Secondly, the agreement was an invoice generated by Mr. Kayser and includes the rewire service as a separate line item. Also, his assertion that the item was customized to my specification is completely false, as well. See attached invoice which details his rewire service: “full Cardas Gold Rewire with Double 4 x 33 Continuous Run 1.25 Meter”. The service listed on the invoice is exactly the same specification as listed on his website: “No one else in the world employs two independent continuous runs of 4 X 33 fully RF shielded wire further encapsulated in an additional outer fully shielded RF jacket. We actually use (8.5 feet / 2.5 Meters) of 4 X 33 to accomplish a (4.25 feet/ 1.25 Meter) run of cable. Our custom bottom end completely eliminates the original SME bottom end. With our custom stand off and strain relief system all mess & clutter on the bottom of the tonearm are eliminated. And miracle of miracles, there is no longer a connection point there. As it should be.” Again, this is not to my specification, but Mr. Kayser’s. As you can see in his invoice to me, the description of the rewire is exactly the rewire service he describes on his website at exactly the same cost: $350. It was not done according to my specifications, but his. Irregardless of the fact that Mr. Kayser pushes his rewire service, it is a service also covered by his own 100% money back guarantee per his own website page covering his rewire service: We guarantee that !! Or your money back ! Paragraph 3: The standard rewire service was actively promoted by Mr. Kayser and done to his standard specifications, not customized per my specifications. If his specifications are indeed superior to the original wiring as he claims, then surely he can re-sell the item or convert it back to original condition. If you offer a 100% money back guarantee on both products and services, you should be prepared with a plan to take back a customer return. Only Mr. Kayser can convert it back, as he surely has the original parts in his possession. Paragraph 4: If this were true that the original wiring is indeed acceptable, then why did Mr. Kayser tell me and others through his website that there would be an improvement by following his standard rewire service? Was I deceived? Paragraph 5: This is totally false. Mr. Kayser actively promotes his rewire service on current production tonearms, not only vintage. See his own webpage for proof, as referenced above. In my initial conversation with him, Mr. Kayser wanted to sell his rewire service on a brand new current production SME M2-12R. Paragraph 6: I do not have to prove the arm does not work, per his unconditional money back guarantee if I am not “110% happy”. However, in full disclosure, the arm does not work. “As with all the products we sell. If your not 110% happy with the products & services you receive from us we will give you a 100% money back guarantee. On not only the price of the product but as well the cost of the shipping. That's how confident we are in all the products we sell." Paragraph 7: Serial numbers are important. Many people place a high value on being able to demonstrate that an item is authentic. My watch, for example, would be worth next to nothing without a legitimate, authentic serial number. Paragraph 8: Mr. Kayser knows nothing about my personal life and this points to his continued unprofessional behavior by making false claim and assumptions. First of all, I do not have a wife. Secondly, I do not have an “audio habit”. However, as has been demonstrated, Mr. Kayser clearly has a habit of intimidating customers. See his rant in an email to me dated 12/1/15 whereby he proceeded to go on about the illegal activities of my U.S. government. It is unclear what makes Mr. Kayser think that he can be deceptive in his business practices. It is simply bad business and not sustainable in the long-run.
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Reason of review:
Poor customer service

I had a very bad experience with Alfred Kayser from SME Tonearms to go in all the details, but with every conversation agreed price on repair was going higher and higher so I told him that I don't need his services and I will pick up my 3 tonearms given for repair. At my arrival, I got to discover that he has rewired two of them and completely burned the contacts beyond usability.

The third was not even touched, thank good. He ask for the payment for two .When I refused to pay for bad work, he wanted to keep them. After I payed him and got them back, under treat that I will write bad reviews, hi did give me my money back.

Wasted time and end up with two tonearms that are complete garbage now...Vulgar and foul language man that i wish I never met. Stay away from him

Jin Wsr

Here is what I wrote in Audiogon....i am feeling taken advantage of from SME Tonearms Canada chrisr0072 posts 01-03-2021 5:47pm You decide about his SME 3009 rewire option....Alfred's Canadian Website says that he charges $350.00 for rewiring using top quality parts, includes any original SME parts to make the arm as good as new(bearings etc). Includes manuals, tools and templates and Top LIne Swiss made Neutrik 18k gold RCA connectors.

Seems like a good deal. After emailing SMEtonearms Canada inquiring about this service, Alfred called me and said it was in USD as most of his work is with international clients...I said ok...but you should make it clear on your i sent him my tonearm. He then received my tone arm and called me...said it was actually 400 usd...he said he hadn't gotten around to updating his website. I said absolutely not...I will only pay 350...he agreed, but then said parts would be extra....I was busy so I said email me a quote....He sent me a Paypal invoice to for 680.54 USD.

350 for rewiring, 35$for shipping, 295.00 for parts and taxes. I emailed Alfred, included a "cut and paste" from his website with costs, told him it says these parts are all included in the 350.00 rewire charge on the website and to return my tonearm without doing the work.. Alfred emailed and said call me...your tonearm is in pieces in an acid bath. So I called him.

I asked him why the extra charges....he again said he hasn't had time to update his website. He actually was getting angry with me for questioning his charges...i had to calm him down before things got out of hand...he told me all these excuses about how much NOS parts were worth now and that the price he quoted me was the best he could do...and that my tone arm was in pieces. It was in great shape when i sent it, I just wanted to upgrade the internal wiring. The only way for me to get my tonearm back was to pay the invoice.

I figured I would file a complaint with PayPal after I received it. After 2 months from the day I shipped it to Alfred, I received it today. Alfred had charged me $35.00 usd for express shipping...he actually said he doesn't use Canada post as it takes too he sent it Canada post parcel which cost him $19.35 CAD I unpacked it. The tone arm looks good, but the cable looks name on the phono cable but very thin.

Those Top Line Swiss 18k gold Neutrik connectors(made by WBT) he said would be put on are ones made in Europe, but not Top Line. The ones put on are made by Rean which can be bought online for $2.49 each. In the head shell, one of the connectors is broken off the wire which I will have to get resoldered. He did not upgrade the wiring in the head shell...still original.

You would think as well, the ground wires would have a spade connector on them...they were clipped very short and i have to strip and get my own spades. The templates were included but no manuals.

Original tone arm tools....i guess that is the very tiny hex key included. So...from the original time i read his website...that price of 350 plus shipping turned into 835.00 cad plus 42 cad shipping....sure hope it sounds good once i get the head shell clip resoldered...and it will sound a little better if Paypal give me a partial refund.


I have known Alfred for years and he is one of the most dishonest people I have known. The only thing that matters to him is your money in his pocket.

I have never trusted him and would NEVER do business with him. I would even go as far as to say that his expertise is grossly overstated!!!

Buyer beware!



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Arlet Ssk
map-marker Markham, Ontario

Resolved: SME Model 10 Alfred Kayser

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Updated by user Jun 27, 2016

I would like to completely retract my comments regarding SME Tonearms and Alfred Kayser. It turned out that I was wrong.I made an error in submitting these comments.

Alfred and his company are fine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his pricing and costs.

Original review Aug 15, 2015
I bought a used Model 10 tonearm that he said was traded in by a customer. He charged me 1900$USD. The brand new Model10 turntable costs roughly 6000$USD without an arm and 6500$USD with the Model10 tonearm. That is a major screwing in my opinion.It is my fault because I did not do my homework. I have not asked for a partial refund yet but I will. He will probably tell me to *** off. Buyer beware with this clown! I am hoping that this site is visited before buying. He will try to ***.Unlucky me. I will wait and see what his response is but i do no expect a very positive answer.
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  • Very dodgy
  • Kaysers shady business practices
  • Very shady
Reason of review:
Pricing issue

Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution

1 comment

I am not sure where the poster found their prices, but for comparison, the U.S. distributor for SME, Acoustic Sounds, has the Model 10 turntable listed without the tonearm at 7K and with at 9K a difference of 2k.

I am not affiliated with Alfred Kayser, although he has been very helpful in giving me advice on a vintage SME 3012r.

Pollyanna Tdg

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Verified Reviewer

Alfred Kayser, is a Crook

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Alfred Kayser, took me for $811. I sent him a tonearm to be restored. When he received the tonearm he informed me it was missing a key part. This part was integral in it functioning properly according to him. He then led me to believe he had the part in his vast inventory of parts that was the biggest in the Northern Hemisphere. A ploy to get me to agree to letting him do the service. I gave him the go ahead. After he performed the service, he informed me he did not have the part, and how difficult it would be to find it. His $350 service ultimately cost me $811 not including shipping the tonearm to him. A true confidence man. His 100% guarantee that he states on his website,, is pure Rubbish. CAVEAT EMPTOR! The man is a smooth talking shyster.
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  • Kaysers shady business practices
Reason of review:
I was bilked of $811

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