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Techies- What will you refuse to attempt to repair?

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
34,660
Let's assume you will repair tube guitar amps. All types?

What about that huge list of semi-related audio gear inc PA, home audio/powered subs, rackmount gear (digi and analog) the vast array of keyboard instruments, studio-oriented mixers and computer interfaces, stompboxes (they range from 1 transistor to complex A/D/A processors).......ummm tv's?;)

EVERYTHING breaks. If you do repairs someone will ask about fixing their XYZ.
Where is your line?
 
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Zingeroo

Member
Messages
4,344
Surface mount components. I wish I had time to get good at soldering that, but my skillz just aren't there.
 

SatelliteAmps

Member
Messages
6,170
Whatever isn't worth the time. Most of the surface mount or pc style equipment is not meant to be fixed, but meant to have full boards replaced. Some pieces of gear are worth it, but a lot of cheaply made stuff isn't.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
34,660
When it comes to guitar gear and automobiles, if I can't fix it myself, I won't own it.
What I meant was what will you not accept, or try, to repair, even by customer request.
Some things look easy, obvious even, then, it turns out that you have gone down the rabbit hole and into Wonder (blunder) Land.
 

Zingeroo

Member
Messages
4,344
A buddy did some work to a Marshall Haze 40. Did some mods, and really liked it. Then he changed the tubes. Well, a tube had a short, and the resulting mayhem nearly killed the amp. It did take out the fuse, but apparently even more fragile than the fuses are the internal traces, because it fried and lifted a whole bunch. So he said he would never work on one of those amps again.
 

Jerry Glass

Member
Messages
870
I repair anything tube audio; mainly guitar amps but also tube audio equipment and juke boxes. I don't refuse to work on anything but owners of low-buck equipment usually choose to not fix. I do have a short black-list of people that I won't do work for but that's a different story.

There is another shop in the area that specializes in SS/digital that I refer all that work to and another that specializes in effects. Though there is some overlap in service, we seem to shovel everyone to the correct shop for what they have in need of repair.

My inventory is focused on tube equipment and I really don't have the space to add more stuff...plus, I'm getting older and the eyes aren't as good as they used to be so the tiny writing on SS components gets really fatiguing.
 

WaltC

Member
Messages
2,126
plus, by the time you explain to someone with a 79.95 solid state practice amp that it will cost $85 to get it repaired and the repair warranty will be 90 days tops, they usually say thanks and go to Guitar Center to get a new one ...<G>
 

AR-305

Member
Messages
974
I also try to stay as close as I can to guitar amps and tube hifi. I have a buddy in town I refer all the video related stuff and another shop I send all the tape decks and not so high end hifi to. For most all digital stompbox and modeling, surface mount stuff ( a couple of brand names come to mind) I recommend the customer contact the manufacturer as they usually have a flat rate repair/replace program which is less than I will mess with micro traces and lead free solder for.
 

phsyconoodler

Member
Messages
4,305
Price often reflects whether it's worth fixing or not.Most solid state amps bigger than 15 watts are usually fixable.15 watts and less are usually throw-away.
Fender has a 'no-fix' list of amps that are simply exchange within the warranty period.some amps on that list are Frontman amps 15 watts and less,Champ XD's,Super Champs,the Mustang series,all the modelling amps below 15 watts,remarkably even though they sound like poop,the Cyber-twin amps are fixable.
There are more but I can't think of all of them right now.
Made in China stuff is at the top of the list.Most of the made in usa stuff is fixable.
Traynor sent me a list as well and basically they don't want to fix stuff older than 10 years old anymore.They did however add a statement at the end of the long list of 'don't fixes'.

It reads" however,all old tube guitar amps by their design,can be repaired and seem to last indefinitely.""parts are always available"

What a remarkable statement! Just proves that profit is at the top of the list for just about every company these days.

What happens to a nation that forgets or cannot repair it's older equipment?
Remember any phone numbers these days without your I-Phone?
It sounds funny now,but it's getting really serious when a population cannot deal with a mechanical or electrical item or even remember their own phone numbers.
 

Chris Scott

Member
Messages
9,268
Price often reflects whether it's worth fixing or not.Most solid state amps bigger than 15 watts are usually fixable.15 watts and less are usually throw-away.
Fender has a 'no-fix' list of amps that are simply exchange within the warranty period.some amps on that list are Frontman amps 15 watts and less,Champ XD's,Super Champs,the Mustang series,all the modelling amps below 15 watts,remarkably even though they sound like poop,the Cyber-twin amps are fixable.
There are more but I can't think of all of them right now.
Made in China stuff is at the top of the list.Most of the made in usa stuff is fixable.
Traynor sent me a list as well and basically they don't want to fix stuff older than 10 years old anymore.They did however add a statement at the end of the long list of 'don't fixes'.

It reads" however,all old tube guitar amps by their design,can be repaired and seem to last indefinitely.""parts are always available"

What a remarkable statement! Just proves that profit is at the top of the list for just about every company these days.

What happens to a nation that forgets or cannot repair it's older equipment?
Remember any phone numbers these days without your I-Phone?
It sounds funny now,but it's getting really serious when a population cannot deal with a mechanical or electrical item or even remember their own phone numbers.

Man, that last paragraph basically says it all.

My most recent experience with EV and JBL pro audio stuff has only served to reinforce what you are saying - planned obsolescence, and the customer can eat $hit!
 

reaiken

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,920
Surface mount components. I wish I had time to get good at soldering that, but my skillz just aren't there.
SMT is actually almost as easy as through-hole (in some cases easier), and, as a bonus, you don't have to take the board out to get to the other side.

All you need is a hot-air desoldering station (available all the time on ebay new for around $89 or less) and a flux bottle with pinpoint applicator, and some fine-pitch solder. To remove a part, coat it with flux, grab it with the tweezers, and hit it with some hot air and it will lift right off. To replace the part, clean the pads, add a bit of solder to them, coat the entire footprint with flux, hold the part in place with the tweezers and heat it up and it will float right in. Clean off the flux and you're done.

BGAs are a bit more tricky, you need a BGA rework station for that, but they can also be had new for $229 on ebay (T862 model).
 

zzmoore

Member
Messages
7,224
I do not do this for a living but.....Peavey amps with the tri-fold boards can be time consuming and problematic.
 

phsyconoodler

Member
Messages
4,305
Agreed.The 3 sided peavey boards are a pain.I just did one and two of the connecting bare wires broke,and I was extra careful too.
I still fix them though.
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,241
Agreed.The 3 sided peavey boards are a pain.I just did one and two of the connecting bare wires broke,and I was extra careful too.
I still fix them though.

Glutton for punishment:)

I just refuse Peavey and most PC board amps that involve removing the board or 30 wires to access the board.
 

Ken Zuercher

Member
Messages
101
I groan when any of my friends and acquaintences buy a recent or new Fender amp, especially Hot Rod Deluxes, I cringe. they just don't hold up and I fix them anyway but complain. Almost always due to to much stress on the very thin circuit board traces, both mechanical and heat. Also many bad solder joints! You can use circuit boards in a tube amp but not 1 oz copper! I don't use them at all in my amps.
Ken Zuercher,
Zuercher Amplification
Toledo Ohio
 

Rambergwest

Member
Messages
914
Oh what the heck I will take a shot at anything but the multi layer pc board amps just suck time like no other and seem to never stay fixed for long in my experience. Once a board with cheap traces has been flexed or messed with you just keep getting problems and I don't like "warranty for life" on my workmanship. I don't refuse many jobs but have a very strong disclaimer about PCB repairs and will only spend so much time regardless of how deep my customers pockets are.
 






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