FAQs

People ask me a lot of questions, to be expected, given that I specialise in the service and repair of hi-fi stereo equipment in Western Australia.

Many of these questions are repeated, so I’ve compiled a list of the really common FAQs for your interest, below. Perhaps your question is answered here!

Liquid Audio FAQs
Why should I repair my vintage amplifier or turntable, when I can buy a new one for a few hundred bucks?

OK, good question and this requires some understanding of how manufacturing and the ethos of manufacturers has changed. Put simply, nothing you can buy now for sensible money is made anywhere near like your old hi-fi equipment. Even the bottom-end older stuff is better made than most newer stuff now. The clincher is that the older stuff sounds better too.

Your surely thinking “But what about all the improvements in technology..?” There have been no new circuits, no significant new parts or technology in audio for decades. New technology in audio gear is simply around materials engineering – in other words, how to make something that looks similar, but is more cheaply built, saving money.

If ever in doubt, ask yourself this: how many items of audio gear that you buy now, will be working in 5 years time..? I regularly service and repair equipment that has only just come in for its first service in 30 YEARS!

The Hi-Fi store tells me that a new $500 turntable will kill my classic Pioneer belt-drive – is this true?

Sadly, I get this question all the time and the answer is no. Why then would a hi-fi salesperson tell you this? Simple, they want you to throw away your perfectly good turntable that just needs a little service, and sell you a new deck – it’s how they make money!

Can you imagine walking into a hi-fi store, asking the question and them saying: “Well no sir, I recommend you keep your older, better made turntable, it’s a much better option that this new deck with wooden platter!” And yes, you read that right, the cheapest new decks use a plastic or wooden platter…

I’ve never heard an older deck that doesn’t beat cheap newer stuff in terms of sound quality, once cleaned, serviced, lubed. Turntables from the 70’s and 80’s were made during the golden age of analog and turntable engineering. Nothing affordable is made like this now.

But hang on, surely newer means better in hi-fi…?

Actually no, usually the reverse is true, even with digital. Older equipment usually sounds better, but don’t just take my word for it, go and listen to some older gear and compare it. I do this every day and am still amazed by how good some of the older gear sounds. Much of this comes down to the use of better parts and fewer cost saving techniques and materials in older equipment.

So you’re saying that there’s a whole industry designed to get me to throw out older, better gear and replace it with newer inferior equipment??

Yep…

What is Liquid Audio and what do you offer?

Liquid Audio is my passion. It is my hi-fi service and repair business, specialising in delivering premium quality service and repairs to classic and vintage hi-fi stereo equipment. In particular, I specialise in turntables, amplifier and CD players, plus the rejuvenation and restoration of classic hi-fi gear.

What sets Liquid Audio apart from other repairers?

I’m driven by some very simple ethics and understandings:

  • I work ethically and honestly.
  • I hate waste and throwing out perfectly good gear that just needs servicing.
  • Attention to detail is everything in audio – just using the right type of capacitor, for example in a critical audio circuit, can positively influence the sound of that circuit.
  • I have a lifelong background in science and working scientifically and believe in doing things once, properly.
  • I am passionate about older equipment and how good it can sound, compared with new gear, especially when given a little TLC.
  • I actively avoid audio BS and instead focus on what really improves the performance of audio equipment.
  • My driving force is to work with precision and attention to detail that others simply don’t have. It brings customers back to me again and again.
Why choose Liquid Audio to look after my equipment?

Perhaps because you are as passionate about hi-fi as I am and you want someone like me to look after you and your gear. Maybe you want the best possible result for your hard-earned dollar. Investing in a Liquid Audio service, restoration or modification will give your gear some of the best TLC available, anywhere.

What sorts of services do you offer?

My core business involves servicing, repairing and restoring classic and vintage hi-fi equipment from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s.

What hi-fi equipment do you service?

Most classic and vintage hi-fi stereo gear, from around 1970 onwards. I specialize in turntables, but do lots of work on vintage amplifiers and turntables and have perhaps the only proper setup in WA for aligning FM stereo tuners.

What hi-fi equipment don’t you work on?

Most stuff that isn’t actually hi-fi gear, like radiograms and stereograms, three-in-one systems, tape decks, home cinema gear, toasters, video recorders, kettles etc!

Where are you located?

Carine, Perth, Western Australia. Contact me for a more precise location!

What hi-fi equipment do you have for sale?

Easy, the fastest way to check my current inventory is to visit my For Sale page.

How do I get in touch?

Easy, use the contact form form to reach out to me – Mike, anytime!

Can you sell me a belt for my turntable?

My mission is to get your classic hi-fi equipment working perfectly. To achieve this, I offer a complete service for your gear. I don’t operate a retail store, so I don’t generally sell parts to the public, unless they are part of a service or repair.

I will happily supply and fit these parts to your deck as part of a service that will maximize the benefits of fitting those parts.

Can you repair my equipment right away, while I wait?

No, and if you want the work done properly you might want to avoid anyone who reckons they can!

Can you tell me how much my repair will cost?

That depends, but probably not. Often, audio gear will exhibit faults that cannot be understood until digging a little deeper. I generally need to inspect equipment properly to be able to make sensible estimates. Some service costs are standardised, ask me about those.

Do you repair equipment under warranty?

No, I’m a completely independent repairer, with no particular brand affiliations and nothing particular to sell you, except work done carefully.

 

Cherishing Classic Audio