Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Albion QC and flaws Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2016 11:29 am    Post subject: Albion QC and flaws         Reply with quote

Hello
I know, that to some, this topic is like bad mouthing your favorite uncle. And,to me, they are still top mark. But the last five Albions I have owned have had flaws,some guards out of plum with the blade,grips off center with the pommel,or structurally.
I work as welder and steel building construction, so these things my be more apparent and annoying to me than others.
Or I may just be anal. My deal is, that some of those flaws could have been caught just by holding the sword up and looking.
Are they that far behind that they cant do this? $1000+ for one of their swords would seem to warrant it. The ones I bought new from them ,they fixed ,when i bitched,which I appreciated. They fixed one for me.that I bought second hand,the rest were my tough luck. I`ve seen photos on the net of some of their swords that allso seemed out of whack. Granted it might have just been tricks of the light. Has anyone else had these problems? Please chime in.

regards
View user's profile Send private message
Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 4
Posts: 4,392

PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2016 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have eleven Albions, and had no QC problems with any of them. Most of them were bought more than eight years ago. I've only bought Maestros from them in recent times - no problems with them.
View user's profile Send private message
Nicolas Gauthier




Location: Quebec city
Joined: 18 Oct 2012

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2016 3:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ive owned 6 albions since 2012, some were perfect, others were not.

One had the diamond cross section a little bit off center on one side of the blade.
One had the profile taper toward the tip a little bit asymmetrical.
One arrived with a couple of tiny dents on the edge.

I think thats not acceptable for a 850-1000$ sword. Im very anal too. Or maybe im asking too much and i should not worry about these little flaws.

I ordered two more albions a couple of days ago, i hope they will be OK :/
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,698

PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2016 3:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The evaluation of these flaws is highly subjective. What might be an unacceptable deviation for one person might be an interesting quirk that makes the sword more charmingly individual to another.
View user's profile Send private message
Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 4
Posts: 4,392

PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2016 5:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure how egregious these problems are. I don't think you should expect machine tool perfection in these swords. The originals certainly not that way and often didn't have absolute symmetry. How big are these imperfections?
View user's profile Send private message
Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2016 5:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
I'm not sure how egregious these problems are. I don't think you should expect machine tool perfection in these swords. The originals certainly not that way and often didn't have absolute symmetry. How big are these imperfections?


Hello
I had a second hand Knight(the one they did fix) that the guard was a full 1/4 inch out of plum(right angles) from the blade.
And a Sovereign that the grip was allmost completely over to one side of the pommel. Both should have been seen by someone before it left their door. Both were second or more hand,when I got them. Others had slightly less obvious flaws.
I guess the flaws didnt bother the previous owners.That may be why they sold them. I realy dont expect perfection,just not glareing imperfection . If a smith had handed his lord a sword that wasnt up to snuff in the old days, that lord may have handed the smith his own head. With modern tools and methods, perfection should be closer ,not further away. As I said
Albion does repair first owner swords and sometimes second hand ones. They are the best available swords you can buy.
And I will buy more. But I do think,takeing the time to put things on straight,wouldnt cost them that much.

regards
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Couture




Location: Canada
Joined: 08 Sep 2014

Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2016 2:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd defintely echo OP's statement. I own two Albions, both ordered new, within the last year or so.

Back when I was deciding whether to get my first Albion or not, I read a LOT of reviews. The general consensus of all the reviews I read just wasn't the same as what I received. The reviews all mentioned perfect grip seams, excellent polish, crisp lines that all match up, no pitting, etc.

Both of the swords I received, while they were undoubtedly of much higher quality than my other cheaper swords, just did not live up to the expectations of what I'd expected after reading reviews. I encountered noticeable grip seams, grinding marks/poor polishing on the blade and fittings, lines that didn't match up (i.e. central ridge on the guard didn't match up to the central ridge on the blade), more pitting on the fittings than I would've expected, and a spot on the guard where it looked like someone had slipped on the grinding wheel.

Were they worth the price I paid for them? Probably. But they certainly didn't live up to their reputation.
View user's profile Send private message
Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,641

PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2016 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sad to hear all of this because there really is nobody that hits some of the small details that they do, the way they do, in a production model. Custom commissions do it but not something that in theory is a stock offering. At their best they can completely change your opinion of what a sword can be, of what it should be. Unfortunately it appears they might be having a run of not their best.
"The goal shouldn’t be to avoid being evil; it should be to actively do good." - Danah Boyd
View user's profile Send private message
Jimi Edmonds




Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
Joined: 25 May 2009
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 145

PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2016 10:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I echo this also, I purchased a Sempach in October 2014, and while a very fine sword the pommel was at a slight twist looking down from the peen and wasn't in line with the cross, plus a couple of other minor shaping flaws.

I was a little disappointed though if you didn't look for them you wouldn't know.

I look upon it as it makes the sword 'hand made' as they are hand put together and finished also look at originals some were far from good!.

Still I really like and enjoy my Sempach, but that being said Albion could notch up the QC. especially for what we are paying.
View user's profile Send private message
Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 333

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jun, 2016 1:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A good Albion is as good of a sword as you could ever want, the only problem with them is they aren't all good. I've owned several Albions and have had the chance to handle and/or cut with quite a few more, out of all that number I have purchased two directly from Albion. The first was a Soldat I ordered in summer of 2012 or 2013. It didn't arrive till spring of 2014 but it was well executed and came with an apology and a coupon for the long wait. I wasn't thrilled by the delay but it was worth it and the customer service experience was good. The second was a Senlac I ordered in the fall of 2015, it arrived this spring and broke my heart. I liked the pattern even more in person than I did in pictures but it was missing fully one quarter pound of steel, needless to say it didn't come anywhere near the specs of the sword I ordered and it was ground so thin at the zwetsche that thrusts were essentially ineffective as any resistance would cause the point to simply fold over. I had serious doubts about its service life as a tatami cutter as well. I contacted Albion, they said send it back and I'm waiting on the replacement.

Albion has a quality control problem. The kind of troubles they are having don't make a whole lot of sense, they're the kinds of things anyone experienced with swords would notice at the first glance or immediately upon picking up a piece. They've shipped Museum Line swords with blades significantly shorter than spec'ed. The video below shows how they blank the blades, again it makes no sense at all how these things happen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru-0GwYGUzY

The best Albions are better than the best ancient equivalents in any way I care about but they are modern made swords that bear the markings of modern manufacture. They're different from the ancient swords in the same way an mp3 is different from a real vinyl record or the way an LED is different from an incandescent bulb. Introducing workmanship defects into Albions whether deliberate or not doesn't make them look more like ancient swords it just makes them look like messed up Albions. I guess my biggest fear is the quality control problems are the result of some kind of cost savings measure as that would tend to indicate Albion is on shaky ground and it makes me sad to think these magnificent swords might go out of production.
View user's profile Send private message
Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 28 Jun, 2016 6:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have noticed that a few of my Albions have suffered from blade curvature. One is my Castellan, but since I bought it as one of the “antiqued swords” for $500, I'd say I was taking my chances. However, I am not sure if the sword has always had the curvature or not; it's only been recently that I've noticed it. Another was my Templar. This sword was purchased used from myArmoury, so there's really no good reason to assert it was Albion QC.

This evening, I was looking at another of my swords, one that I bought new in 2014 from Albion. Sure enough, it looks like the blade has subtle curvature in it. So there definitely seems to be a pattern here.

What I would like to know is: what are all the different ways that a sword blade can become curved? How many could be attributed to use, whether test cutting or practicing with people, or (improper) storage? Is the natural tendency for a sword's blade to curve a bit over time if it has been used, or not? In what situations during the manufacturing process will there be a curvature of the blade?
View user's profile Send private message
Jason Elrod




Location: Winchester, VA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Likes: 48 pages
Reading list: 38 books

Posts: 715

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jun, 2016 7:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Albion seems to be having an employee turnover problem which could account for the QC issues.

I cancelled a Soldat in March do to delays and my uncertainty over the final quality of the product.

Just my personal preference, I was willing to lose my down payment then be frustrated with a $1200+ sword.

I'm sure Albion would have taken care of any issues I would have had if the final product didn't arrive to my expectations but it was not something I was willing to deal with at the time.

To each their own.
View user's profile Send private message
Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,739

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jun, 2016 10:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason Elrod wrote:
Albion seems to be having an employee turnover problem which could account for the QC issues


If I had to guess, I'd say this is the likely culprit. I haven't spoken to anyone at Albion in quite a while so I am indeed making a guess. Albion's always had a problem retaining shop employees. When you're going through a regular turn over of employees who have to be trained to specific tasks, it's hard to maintain QC. Given my recent experiences with makers in eastern europe, including quality of product in relation to price, communication and delivery time, doing business with Albion and their issues seems less and less attractive. The ones I still own are great swords but I don't know if I'll be buying any more. This is coming from someone who's been a big Albion supporter since day one.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Michael Beeching





Joined: 22 Jan 2014
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 270

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jun, 2016 2:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just want to chime in and state that I find all of the recent quality control threads very interesting. I'm the assistant engineer at my place of employment, and getting a consistently high standard of product is always a challenge. Machines can reduce inconsistencies/variances in a product, but even then shortcomings can be identified. Ultimately it is the eye of discernment which determines whether or not a product goes out the door, and there is always pressure to get product out the door.

What really impresses me is how far so many of these companies are willing to go to make sure that a product that is not satisfactory is either repaired or replaced; we try to do the same. The real challenge for the company is to try to determine where the problems come from and try to and prevent them from happening in the future. A good company makes every attempt to learn from failure and strives to constantly improve standards. With the companies in these threads being American companies, those standards are the only things that keep us competitive.

That said, I do feel for the end users who feel shorted on their purchases. Every maker critical of their work cringes every time something goes out that isn't perfect. They also hope those imperfections do not draw the ire of the end-users. When a failure happens, everyone involved gets burned. The real challenge is what happens afterwards, and so far I've yet to be disappointed by the showings of the notable companies of late. My great hope is that the resolve to overcome these problems, again, prevents them from happening in the future.
View user's profile Send private message
Howard Waddell
Industry Professional



Location: Wisconsin, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003

Posts: 717

PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2016 8:24 am    Post subject: Apologies         Reply with quote

To everyone who has had an issue:

All Albion swords are guaranteed for life against defects in materials and workmanship. That has always been our policy, and always will be. Send it back and we will fix it.

We are not perfect, no do we claim to be. But we work very hard to create the best product we can. Sometimes, things get by us. We have ramped up our quality control and are doing our best to check everything at least 3 times before it goes out the door. We have managed, over the last 15 years, to maintain a less than 1% return/defect rate. But, with the number of swords we make - and just one unhappy customer is enough to give us grey hairs - even that is not good enough.

Last Fall, we lost some key staff people with almost 30 years of combined Albion experience. That was a huge blow, and one from which we have been working hard daily to recover. Peter has been over once this year already to help us train new people. Eric McHugh has "come back out of retirement" to help us and train the new folks - he has been up numerous times.

I believe that we are now (after a year of struggle) to our previous level and will shortly be able to exceed that and be better than we have ever been.

We will always do our best to make our customers happy and are always willing, when we make a mistake, to acknowledge it and correct it.

Best,

Howy

Albion Swords Ltd
http://albion-swords.com
http://filmswords.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 333

PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2016 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's good to hear and I'm looking forward to seeing my new Senlac. Come to think of it when Eric was working on my Dane axe he mentioned making a trip to the shop and that Peter was visiting, too. I wish you all the success in the world because goodness knows there's more of your swords on my want list!
View user's profile Send private message
Steffen Kappel





Joined: 16 Feb 2019
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri 15 Oct, 2021 1:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
I know this post is years old but I just wanted to tell my story even if nobody ever will read it. I bought a Albion last year
I paid for it over the course of a year because a thousand dollars is a lot of money for me. It was always a dream for me
since I started collecting swords almost 20 years ago to get in possesion of a albion because of all the praises and excellent
reviews of them.
After a good nine months or so I finally got my Albion and the first thing I saw was a completly crooked grip.
Long story short I sended it back to Albion on they fixed that for me. First I was happy, till a few weeks later I started
to notice a little cracking sound from in my hilt. This only apeared when I piked up the sword after it was standing on the
wall for a few hours and after you gave it a little swing the noise was gone. It always came back and after a swing it was gone
so it wasn't a big deal.
Some time later my sword began to get a strange rattle noise when you taped against the blade with the finger or a little
pice of wood. I collect swords for some time and I know that this sound was not normal. I contacted Albion. They agred to take a look at it but I had to send it back at my cost. That was another 100 bucks for me (I live in Germany by the way).
After the recieved my sword they contacted me and told me that they cant hear anything strange in the blade. I don't know
maybe I'm stupid or something else but I also showed the sound to my girlfriend and even she aggred that the sound was not normal. After that Albion told me that the shipping back to me whould be another 240 bucks. I told them that I could not afford that so they searched an alternative for me whitch whuold cost me only 100 Dollars. Still to much for a sword witch starnge rattling noises, so I decided for a refund. They refunded me 80% of the price I paid whitch is fair I think.

In the end now I'm still dissapointed and my dream of a Albion is crushed. I don't know maybe I expected to much, but on the other hand with all those more than positive reviews. Maybe Albions quality has gone a bit down hill over the years.
I don't know. There customer service was great but in the end I will never have my dream sword and this also made me
step away from the hobby in general. Just a to bad experience to have anymore enjoyment out of swords.

Maybe I'm the only one this ever happened to but at the end I'm just sad and it destroyed the hobby for me. Even a refund and good customer service can't fix that.

Have a good time my friends enjoy your swords and I hope nothing like that will ever happen to you Sad
View user's profile Send private message
Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,641

PostPosted: Fri 15 Oct, 2021 7:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Too bad it didn't meet all of your expectations. We all develop expectations. Whether they are informed by the vendor or not. Sometimes, things just can't meet our expectations of those things. It sounds like you found an amicable way to solve your expectation concerns. Sometimes that is the best you can do. Good luck and thanks for sharing!
"The goal shouldn’t be to avoid being evil; it should be to actively do good." - Danah Boyd
View user's profile Send private message
Stacey M




Location: California
Joined: 23 Mar 2019

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat 16 Oct, 2021 6:26 am    Post subject: Albion         Reply with quote

I agree. They do seem to be a little ...off lately. I read it was way way worse in Euro Albion

Fortunately I think this thread and others like it will get their attention and maybe go back to their original level of quality.

I think in general companies do have highs and lulls in quality.
View user's profile Send private message
Holger Mahling




Location: Germany
Joined: 23 Oct 2012

Posts: 85

PostPosted: Sun 17 Oct, 2021 4:22 am    Post subject: Albion QC         Reply with quote

My last two Albions have been a mild catastrophy... quite asymmetric pommel on a Baron and a Ringeck with a very... hm... overall rough look; cant describe it better. Sold both without loss, thank the gods, but i am cured at this time. Will try out VA Craftsman line or Lockwood next. Or i stay in Europe with the Sulowskis or Kopiuch.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Albion QC and flaws
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2022 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum