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Just curious if anyone has an opinion? How long is too long to wait for basic repairs from a technicians shop on say an amplifier or preamplifier undergoing routine maintenance?
Thanks for all the responses to this thread. As it turns out 24 hours after I posted the thread, I called the shop and they said it was ready. The unit being looked over was a McIntosh 7270 power amplifier. I've owned it for 8 years, bought it used and felt that it may need looked at. Funny noise at turn on, one switch (meter control) didn't work correctly, a couple lights out and it was running hotter than I had ever remembered. If I played a couple of cd's at moderte listening levels the amp would be hot to the touch. It even shut down on one occasion due to excess heat. It never used to do that.
The outcome of the 5 week visit to the shop was: verified "low ripple voltage" across main power supply caps, intermittant connection to the left amp board causing noise on left output (repaired), adjusted bias and dc offset, replaced muting jfets, replaced all electrolytic signal caps, replaced lights, deoxed, cleaned, set meters, etc., etc.,
On the parts list were the bad switch, optocouplers replaced on both driver channels, 12 lytic caps, bulbs, a jfet tranny, and a whole lot of "diagnosing". Total bill, $531.37 and as far as I could tell 380.00 was in diagnostics.
The results have been impressive however, I am clearly picking up on the improved tightness/cleanness of the bass and subtle details in the music seem to be more noticeable. Air around the music seems more spacious and there is less congestion as higher volumes. Overall there is a "punch" to the music I felt was missing. Plus the amp can run for hours without sweating now. Worth it? A definite yes and I will say when I got the unit back it was spotless, not sure what they did but it almost looked "waxed".
Now the McIntosh MX117 . . . ugh!
Glad it worked out BETTER than you expected.
That kind of work usually does take a while. From the bill you can see why.
Enjoy and post more reviews on how it sounds rebuilt.
I feel your pain.....I got a new arm, but the counterweight is too light to accommodate my cartridge.....sent the old one back for exchange, but am drumming the table awaiting a proper one.
Are they waiting (or worse, searching) for parts? Many semiconductors are no longer made and either NOS or substitutions have to be made.
If a distributor is out of stock, 90 days is not unusual for a lead time.
It depends on the gear, the scope of the work, and the issue(s). If everything is in stock and it's a simple repair I'd give them 30 days. If not, it's a waiting game and there is no default answer.
You should have some idea why the delay is taking place, and the shop should be forthcoming and give you some information as to the problem.
and before putting it in the bag, I checked the pockets. Well waddaya know, I found a ticket for a pair of shoes that I had taken to the cobbler four and a half years previously.
The next time that I was in that part of town I stopped in to the cobbler's shop and, smiling, handed him the ticket. Now visably older, the elderly cobbler strained to look at the ticket. Finally he went into the back room and I could hear shoes being moved around.
Upon his return he did not have the shoes with him, but handed me back the ticket. "They'll be ready a week from Thursday." he said.
Must've been an audio technician in a former life.
A quick call or an email updating an anxious customer can put them at ease. That was when there was customer service. Sorry, but as much as some of this stuff costs, and the potential margins, there really isn't any reason the store selling a 20 k amp shouldn't be expected do it all for the customer, including sending a failed component back to the manufacturer for them.
Again it depends are you talking about a service center for warranty work or custom repairs and restoration.
If it's custom I know a few guys that say it's a years waiting list. And don't bother me or it will be longer.
It all depends on your communication between the two of you
"If it's custom I know a few guys that say it's a years waiting list. And don't bother me or it will be longer."
His post mentions 'routine maintenance'. So is it a break-fix-repair or 'routine maintenance'?
What is routine maintenance for an amp or preamp? None of mine ever came with instructions on so-called routine maintenance. Oil change? Tire rotation? ;-)
Audio Classics ?
Aligning an older AM or FM tuner makes sense and would probably fall under the 'routine maintenance' category. But I think the MX117 is a "preamp / tuner". I wouldn't expect the preamp section to require 'maintenance' in the form of alignment like a tuner. It should either work or not. If it stops working something probably flat-out broke.
There are several alignment adjustments in a tuner that do not exist in a preamp or power amp. The front-end ganged tuning capacitor and it's trimmer caps, local oscillator, and I.F. strip consisting of multiple 455-KHz tuned circuits (10.7-MHz typical in FM sets) will all need alignment over time.
But I have yet to own a premp, power amp, or integrated amp that required 'routine maintenance'. They either break or age to the point of deterioration but this is not the same issue as 'routine maintenance'. Maybe a tube swap, but do we send our gear in for repair or 'routine maintenance' for a simple tube swap? I suppose some folks might.
As an aside, I'm reminded of the days of carrying a bag full of TV tubes to the corner store to use their tube tester when our family TV started acting up. ;-)
For me - in the NYC metro area - I only know of one guy I'd trust (Ben Jacoby). He's a good guy and does his best to do the work as quickly as he can. But basically you're at the mercy of his work load. Badgering him is counterproductive.
here or anywhere.
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination" -Michael McClure
... a well organized shop used to have a turn-around time of under a week unless special parts needed to be ordered. But that was decades ago when repair shops were in every legitimate audio dealer and there were typically two or three technicians there.
I suspect today electronic repair shops are a dying breed and virtually all of them are one-man shows. The problem is that anybody smart enough to be a first rate technician is usually smart enough to be a design engineer. Guess which career path is more financially rewarding? I would imagine that you are dealing with a smart, yet quirky guy running a one-man operation either out of his house or in an area with very low rental costs.
The first problem is knowing what you are doing and having the correct tools for the job. The second problem is finding the needed information such as schematic diagrams and/or service manuals. In the old days everybody made those, but in today's world almost everything is made in China and cheaper to replace than repair. Why bother to make a manual? That means the guy is on his own and trying to reverse-engineer the product. This could take time.
The only good news is that with the exception of specific parts like chassis parts and power transformers, one can literally build a reasonably good piece of high-end equipment sourcing all of the parts from either Mouser or Digikey.
My local repair service is as you said ... a small two man operation. Both of them are refugees from the service department of one of the old-line electronics salons that folded a few years back. The wait time issue they have is that there are very, very few competent repair sources in my area, and with the popularity of 1970's mid-fi boat anchors, they literally have mountains of that stuff stacked up awaiting attention. They have customers who re-sell these "treasures" that they find in flea markets and estate sales and they will bring in five or six of them at once. Good for my repair guys, but bad for wait times.
When it's been long enough you've purchased replacement gear for the interim it just might be too long lol.
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