Okay, so lets face the elephant in the room... errr, uhh thread, I mean.
We all know that Longevity recently sent out one of their newest units, the ProMTS-200 for me to review and use in my videos, and things... Haven't gone so smoothly.
I spent last weekend on Vacation, hanging out on Lake Erie and spending some time in and around the city of Cleveland, Ohio with some people I know up there.
I knew things weren't going well on the internet, so I temporarily uninstalled the "YouTube" app on my iphone and decided to take a couple days away from this issue.
When I got home lastnight, I felt great, but I've received a couple emails from Simon, of Longevity, and one of them asked me to add my thoughts to this thread:
And instead of further hijacking that thread, I decided to just start my own and explain everything in depth. I understand this may be like pouring gas on a fire, and although I was completely "over" this problem, Ive been asked to come back to it, and I'm also aware that rumors are circulating all over the internet about whats really going on... So, fine, I'll sit down and type this out and explain it to those who want to know. I thought we'd worked to great lengths to let this all blow over, but if people want to hear of this story, here goes.
A couple weeks ago... I received a couple boxes from my first sponsor company... Longevity. I knew they contained a ProMTS 200 and a TigWeld 200, but I had received no further information, and by this point, I knew the routine pretty well. I'd just open them up, make a couple unboxing videos, use them for a while, torture test, and review them...
And I was pretty thrilled.
I knew of the ProMTS, and its specs were impressive. It looked to be a solid unit, and the accessories I had seen looked great as well.
So, I did what I do best... Started making a new video.
I began the shoot on Tuesday... I got the unboxing started, and finished it up on Thursday morning...
I discovered I had some issues... The machine had drive rollers for another machine, and it was missing a gas hose, and a regulator fitting. I think these were all the problems it had, idk, I'm getting ready for school right now and dont really have time to go through a 36 minute video at the moment.
Anyway, I had some issues. I tried to call Longevity's tech support on Thursday afternoon and didn't get through to anyone... And I tried to reach Simon as well, to no avail.
Before all this had happened, both myself and Longevity were planning on this being a Saturday video. My weekend videos generally get more views than those posted on weekdays, so I had told them I'd post the video then, and they were pleased with that.
Now, back to the unboxing.
I bought a new air hose and a couple fittings from a local store, after cannibilizing a different welder for that missing fitting. I fired up the ProMTS and it was a very nice machine once we had gas going to it.
This is where I'll add in that I got no manual or other instructions with the unit. I was later informed that I was supposed to get a CD-Rom containing a manual, which would have been nice to have. I also learned that Longevity puts the manuals to their machines online, but again, I was unaware of this at the time.
But thats okay, I've welded a *couple* times before, so it'll be alright...
I got to work, and had the machine putting down metal in no time. The Stick mode seemed really nice, save for a stinger lead that didn't work so well with 3/32" electrodes. I thought it had a nice arc, and was very controllable, and I even used it in another video on the 7018 "Z" weave. It worked very nicely...
The MIG mode was a little harder, being a fully synergic mig, it does a lot of the work for you. It sets the WFS, and you simply tell it how many amps you want, and what size wire you're running, and it sets itself. The MIG gun was of very high quality, and again, onve its dialed in, it has a very nice MIG arc. I will say that this is one of the best inverter MIG platforms I've EVER used...
And then there's the TIG mode. I quickly figured out that it operates on a "Lift-Arc" system, which I got used to in no time. I commented that I liked the torch, it also was of very nice fit and finish. Nice, hard red plastic beautifully accented the "grippy" rubber that other parts were made from. It was a flex-head 26 series, with a thump amperage control, and I really liked it.
I got the machine set to TIG mode, and started working with it, but I knew something still wasn't right... I was getting bad porosity and I couldn't get the amperage wheel to work at all.
But, by this point, I had still heard nothing from Longevity, so I decided to wrap up the video and post it at our previously agreed upon time. Sure, some things weren't perfect, but I'd done all I could think to do. On saturday morning, this video posted, right on time, to thousands of my YouTube fans:
And it wracked up views, and only minites after posting, people started hammering on Longevity and bashing the unit.
I did all I could to emphasize that I thought it was a good unit, with good accessories and just had a few problems, but at the end of the day, this was the hand I was delt, and I had to roll with what I got.
The Longevity guys were NOT happy, and released their official response video shortly thereafter:
This was a good video to see... They were very professional in making it, and addressed the problems I had tried to solve myself.
After a little trial and error, I got the TIG torch working. Turns out nothing is wrong with it, but you have to set the machine to "SPOOL GUN" in order to make the amperage control work.
I received a number of emails, and phone message from the Longevity guys, and they were understandably, pretty unhappy that I had released that first video while the machine was having issues.
And I sat down to think of my next move.
I felt as though some people made this out to be MY fault, when in reality, I just took something I received and made the video about it that I had said I would, and as I always do. At the end of the day, its NOT my fault that the machine arrived with missing parts. I wasn't the one who failed to put a manual in with the machine. I wasn't the one who dropped the drive rolls for another machine in that box. I know I sure didn't short anyone out of a gas fitting or decided not to include a gas hose. Ya know, "Dont Shoot the Messanger" kind of applies here.
But anyway... In talking to Simon, he explained that this was simply a "Demo" unit, and not a production machine, that they had pulled from their warehouse and sent me. According to him, this is a non-production, trial run machine, and thus, should be expected to have a few minor issues.
And at the end of the day, like I said, that TIG torch worked just fine, it however wouldn't function because I didnt have the machine set to "Spool Gun".
So, I was wrong about something I said in the first video. Exactly one week after my initial video posted, I released this, to the public:
with the following statement:
"I made this video because I had said that the torch had some issues when in reality it did not... I unintentionally spread misinformation and no matter what the cause of that was, I apologize"
And then, I got bashed along with Longevity and again, with the machine. A number of people called "BS" on the "Demo Unit" story, and a few Longevity supporters got into a comment war with the haters.
This just made things worse, but I made it clear that the amperage control functions flawlessly, and that I was wrong in the last video, and that was my aim.
It was the first I had heard this this was a demo unit as well, and I wish I had known that beforehand.
I would have got the machine setup, and THEN made the video... I would have been like "These were the issues we had, because this is a new machine and not yet on the market, but they'll be fixed before they go up for sale"
With that being said, you can currently buy ProMTS's, and I've discussed product testing with other companies in the past. Their conditions are ALWAYS along the lines of "Whatever happens with the unit, NO ONE needs to know about it right now, we'll send you one when it reaches the production phase".
But regardless, this would be a reason why the unit had the issues it does.
Let me be clear, Longevity has been great to work with... Its overall been an extremly beneficial relationshup for both of us, and although I do have the occasional issue with one of their products, its never more serious than "It didn't come with a plug", or "it needs a gas hose", or something along those lines. I've never had any problems with their units, and this ProMTS issue is something that could have been solved with a simple phone call, but its spiraled almost out of control and has been a miserable experience for both myself and Longevity.
Don't get me wrong, I am NOT starting this thread to bash my sponsors, I won't do that. Just like I wont put them in head-to-head comparisons with eachother or use filler metal from one in the machine of another, without their consent. I consider things like this to be unprofessional, and not something I will do, much less while I'm in the starting phases of my internet career.
I had previously been informed that Longevity wanted to let this all blow over, they said it would be the best way to let this mess settle down, and I was willing to go that route over making this a huge internet debate, as I didnt see anything but bickering and mud slinging coming from that. But now they want to hear my side in a public forum (props to them, that takes guts), and I know many other people want to, as well.
So, here we are. These are the issues I had, this is how I fixed them (or tried to), and this was the outcome.
The ProMTS is an inanimate object and immune to taking sides... So, I'll say it IS a nice powersourse, and the accessories that come with it ARE very nice. But, it still should come with a gas hose, standard fittings, parts that work with it, and a good printed manual.
The only thing is, I am not willing to, or attempting to, take the fall for these problems which are clearly not of my doing. So no, I'm not apologizing for making Longevity look bad, I apologized in that video because I said something didnt work, and it, in fact, did. At the end of the day, whatever I get, is whatever makes the video, for better or worse. This honest approach to things is what gives me and my reviews credibility and makes them worth watching. 'Merica
But regardless, this is the full story of the machine, and the three videos as it happened, from my side of the fence.
Just thought I'd share