hifi engine

Worth repairing ?

Werewoofer's picture

I'm not a electrical engineer or know anything other than the very basics ...I curciut bend and build simple electronic junk...I can clean and refurbish old gear .no problem ...but my question is ... what are the prices and trouble is it worth to have a good repair man charge the few hundred bucks to find the problem and replace a few components...I got a bunch of old . Mac, Onkyo, Yamaha and other good finds but all have a non working issue...I don't have the money to pay for these gems to get full overhauls.....I wish someone would tell me the issue and what to replace so I could do it myself... I know the Mac will be 3-400$ cuz of parts..but what do some repairs that you guys have encountered cost and what was done ... any feedback is greatly appreciated



Re: Worth repairing ?

Regarding techs and their prices, there`s an old joke: a millionaire`s Rolls-Royce`s engine malfunctioned in the middle of nowhere, no chance for authorised service. A local repairman appeared, looked under the hood, took a hammer, banged on some element once, the engine started and kept running smoothly. The repairman asked $500, the millionaire thought it was way too much for 2 minutes of work, so asked for detailed receipt. The repairman`s receipt looked like this:
1) I hit the engine with a hammer: $1;
2) I knew where to hit: $499;
Total: $500.

Whether your collection of non-functioning gear is worth repairing, you have to answer a couple of questions, first being: Do you want to keep these items, or rather fix and sell? If the latter, then do some math and see if it would be profitable enough. If not, sell them as they are, there`s a chance you`ll earn more than by fixing them, with less effort. Maybe invest this money in one or two true gems that will get you big profit when restored. That`s pretty much it. Easy.

If you are a hoarder like me, well, you`re in for a ride, I tell ya.
Question: what do you want to invest in your collection? Money? Time? Effort? How much of each? From what you say, you don`t want to spend much, so you`re left with time and effort.

My story: years ago I was given a Technics SU-V5 in a sad condition. It was releasing large quantities of magic smoke. A repairman was not an option (no money), so I decided I`ll give it a try, never before working on anything like it and having virtually no knowledge of electronics. Before I realised what`s going on, I had a bunch of meters, probes and cables, a signal generator, an old oscilloscope, drawers full of parts, hard drive full of PDFs, accounts on various hobbyist forums, head full of questions and a dedicated work bench. I learned a lot, still learning, repaired a bunch of amps, receivers and other stuff. The Technics is still laying around, unfinished, because it was way too complicated for me back then, and now I know that this series was needlessly overengineered and sounded like crap, so no motivation. I`ll get it working someday, though, for getting me on this path. Fun fact: I got it from a local repairman and now I know why: it was well beyond economical repar for him. In the hindsight the amount of time, effort and money I put into trying to get this thing to work is absolutely unjustifiable in terms of simple economy, but considering the amount of knowledge, experience and confidence I gained on the way - it was well worth it.

That`s pretty much what awaits you if you want to fix your audio things without paying a repairman. Are you up for it? I`m warning: it will be tedious, time-consuming, expensive and frustrating as hell at times.

Not up for it? Look at your collection, pick the most valuable items (or those you`re sentimental about, whatever), sell the rest as they are and use the money to pay for restoration. I know how hard it will be, I should purge my collection as well and can`t get around to doing it, but otherwise you`ll be stuck with a bunch of non-working stuff forever.

Life`s about choices, man.

Re: Worth repairing ?

I waited 5 years for my Rotel ra 1412 to get repaired. Original parts were hard to find and the tech wouldn't put in anything after market. It was worth the 300 for the repair the wait not so sure about. I did have a Pioneer sx 950 repaired somewhere else and had to put the balance a little to one side to make it sound right. Don't think the parts were correct but it worked. I am waiting on the RT 1024 tuner to get finished. He needs a chip that i guess will hold the stereo signal.

Werewoofer's picture

Re: Worth repairing ?

i totally understand the business to a repair shop...yeah he is always swamped with business...im a master tile/mosaic marbel kitchen and bath designer and installer.....and i protect my knowledge ...cuz it sure dont come easy .......did you take electrical engineering course at school young or did you just learn ?i would love to find a beginners class to electrical audio applications .....i can build fairly large curcuts and kits with parts list and schematic .....i just wish i could understand more about what is happening to the current to produce a desired effect .......lol

Re: Worth repairing ?

Woof,

What's your stuff worth? Go the E-Bay, "sold only" listings, that's where the rubber meets the road. Mac tends to hold it's value quite well. The Japanese brands are highly variable. Whatever the flagship model was for that year will hold it's value, the rest you'd better check the sold listings. Luxman tends to fare better than Onkyo, but do your homework.

As for "picking the brains" of your local tech, depends on whether they make their living on repairs or they do it for fun out of shear boredom. I repair for a living. I don't do anything for free. There's always a backlog of paying customers. If I'm going to throw someone a bone, it's because they are doing me a favor in return. I can't do plumbing to save my life. My plumber is plays guitar in a rock and roll band. He has a lot of old tube equipment that needs regular TLC. He gets "free" work.

Best, Steven M.

Re: Worth repairing ?

If you want to find a tech who will diagnose your problems and give you a list of parts to replace, instead of replacing those parts and charging you, that probably won't happen. That's like asking a surgeon where to cut when you need gall bladder surgery, but you don't have the money.
If you have specific problems I can give general information (like check the output transistors when there's no audio); other than that, there is no easy or cheap way.

Werewoofer's picture

Re: Worth repairing ?

Yeah I hear ya on that ...our local repair guy is actually super cool and does extremely good work.. I've been trying for years to get him to let me work,learn and hang out on my own time ... but he declines respectfully and holds on to his knowledge for now .... but his daughter married my cousin and we kinda pal around a little bit now ...he did tell how to fix a transistor amp I had the other day...tested and replaced two transistors ...10$ and 20 min .... that would have been 100$ easy...but anyway ... that's why he makes good money and i pile up ....rare and could be valuable junk...lol. I'll go over some things I got and let you know what's going on with em .. and maybe you could help ....I do appreciate it...