Welcome to the FAQs, answering Liquid Audio’s most frequently asked questions

These are the answers to questions I’m most often asked about Liquid Audio, servicing, repairs and classic audio gear. I hope you find these FAQs helpful. If you have a question I’ve not answered here, please get in touch.

You describe Liquid Audio as an ‘ethical’ business – what do you mean?
To me it’s just about being good to people and doing the right thing. You might call it acting in good faith. It brings like-minded customers to me and keeps everything positive.

Liquid Audio is my passion. It’s just me doing the work and I do it because I love saving hi-fi gear and helping people. I drive an old Prado, I need a holiday… Ripping people off and acting unethically aren’t in my DNA. That’s why I created the Hall of Shame.

Does Liquid Audio offer post-purchase inspections or get involved in shipping damage cases?
Yes, I am only too happy to assist customers in the event that they purchase goods that suffer shipping damage or are not as described.

I’ve been involved in several of these cases over the years. In each case, where I’ve acted on behalf on my customer and written an official report for a shipper or insurer, the customer has been financially reimbursed. Having Liquid Audio perform an inspection pays for itself many times over in cases like these.

Can you tell me how much a repair will cost on the phone or via email?
For simple servicing, I can definitely give you a good idea, but for repairs, generally not.

I may be able to provide an estimate, but in most cases I need a proper look at your equipment to determine what’s wrong with it and if there are any other issues. Don’t worry, I’m not going to suddenly bill you for hundreds of dollars, but I need to properly inspect your unit first.

To understand this, imagine a situation where your car breaks down. To properly diagnose the fault and quote to repair it, a mechanic will need to spend time assessing it. There might multiple problems, factors that affect repair viability, contributing factors, etc.

Some inspection and service costs are standardised though, ask me about those.

But I really want you to tell me how much my repair will cost without seeing it!
Technically not a question, but I see where you are going with this..!

You could always open your unit, troubleshoot and diagnose the faults, test and measure the faulty components, draw up a BOM, check your stock or suppliers for parts and availability, figure out any substitutions needed and then put together an estimate. Let’s hope you found and diagnosed every issue correctly..!

Do you offer advice over the phone or via email?
Sure, I’m always happy to have a chat and will always answer my phone during business hours if I’m available.

In the interests of repairing and servicing my clients’ equipment, I need to keep it reasonably brief though. I may also be able to offer some guidance, but if it sounds like you shouldn’t be messing with your gear, I’m going to tell you. Don’t take it the wrong way 🙂

Can you definitely repair my unit?
That really depends on what’s wrong with it. Most things are repairable, but one should always consider the value of a piece, vs the cost of repairs or restoration.

There are lots of variables. Sometimes a unit has had a hard life or exhibits multiple faults, all of which must be repaired to bring it back to life. Often, this is achievable and worth doing, but sometimes the combination of faults and condition mean that repairs may be especially challenging, and repair costs high.

It’s important to understand that I am not responsible for the condition of your unit or that you may not have gotten a great deal initially. Ever owned a car you had to sell, because it became too expensive to maintain? You might get a good example of the hi-fi unit you love, or one that isn’t so good. I will happily advise on what’s best, given the condition and faults your unit displays.

Does Liquid Audio guarantee service & repair work?
Absolutely, Liquid Audio guarantees all work undertaken to be free from errors, and all parts supplied to be free from defects, for a period of three months.

In the rare event that you have a problem, get back to me within the warranty period and we will work it out. If any of my work is defective, I will gladly remedy it, free of charge.

Bare in mind that old hi-fi gear may have been abused, rarely (if ever) serviced and contain sometimes hundreds of old parts. As I’m sure you will understand, I cannot warranty the old parts that come with your unit. Therefore, if a problem relates to a pre-existing fault or the general age or condition or of your unit, it won’t be covered.

Does Liquid Audio require up-front payment for my service or repair?
No, I trust my customers and at this stage have no plans to request up-front payments.

Sometimes, with complex repairs or restorations, I may ask for a part payment for work completed. This is always negotiable.

I’ve seen a local repairer offering free inspections, what gives?
Actually a Liquid Audio inspection is also free if you proceed with a service or repair.

You would only pay for the inspection if you chose not to proceed or the repair isn’t viable. The bonus is that Liquid Audio won’t destroy your equipment in the process.

I fix equipment that’s been to these other repairers. Even if money is your only consideration, a ‘free’ inspection by someone who ruins your gear doesn’t actually save you anything.

I like your upgrades & mods, can you supply me with a kit, or list of parts?
I’d love to assist but I can’t, for a number of reasons:
  • Upgrading electronics relies heavily on the knowledge, skill and experience of the technician making the upgrades. In the case of my upgrades, I really need to do the work.
  • At this stage I don’t have the time to assemble and sell kits.
  • My stocks of vintage audio, lab-grade and MIL-spec parts are rare and not easily obtained elsewhere.
  • Upgrades and mods are determined by your needs, budget, and equipment. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
  • Many years have gone into the design, evaluation and tuning of my modifications and upgrades. They become proprietary knowledge, which I’d like to keep in-house.
Why get my vintage amplifier or turntable serviced or repaired, when I can buy a new one for a few hundred bucks?
Well, because you own a beautiful, heavy, well-made and better sounding amplifier or turntable that will last a lot longer than any new junk you can buy for a few hundred bucks!

Seriously, nothing you can buy now for sensible money is made like your old hi-fi equipment. Even low-end gear from the 70’s and 80’s is better made than new stuff. The older gear usually sounds better too.

I know, you’re thinking: “But what about all the improvements in technology..?” Marketing BS, ‘improvements’ are focussed on materials engineering. In other words, manufacturers try to make gear that looks similar, but costs less to build. Compared the weight of old and new 50 watt amplifiers recently..?

Ever considered why people in the know and with all the money go after the great gear from the 1950’s and 60’s..? Think about it, you can have anything in the world, and you choose a valve amplifier from 1957…

Still in doubt? Ask yourself this: what electronics you buy today will be working in 4 years time, let alone 40? I regularly service and repair equipment that has come in for its first service in 40 YEARS. That’s engineering.

But the dude in the Hi-Fi store promised me their new $500 turntable would kill my classic deck!?
Did you see that coming..? Yeah, of course they did! It won’t though. In almost all cases, older turntables are better than cheap new ones. And yes, $500 is bottom end for a new turntable.

Look, I hear this all the time. Why would a salesperson tell you this? Because they want and need you to get rid of your perfectly good turntable, so they can sell you a new one. It’s how they make money, they’re paid on commission!

Imagine walking into a hi-fi store, asking the question and being told: “Well no sir, I recommend you keep your older, better-made turntable. It’s a much better unit than this new plastic deck!” Turntables from the 70’s and 80’s were made during the golden age of analog and turntable engineering. Nothing affordable is built this way now.

Hang on, surely newer hi-fi equipment & technology must be better?
Why? There is no ‘new technology’ in analog audio and even Redbook CD specifications date back to the late 1970’s.

CD players and DACs from the 90’s were mature technology by this point. The analog world has no new devices or technology, only ways to save money. By the way, I’m not saying that there isn’t some great sound new gear out there. It’s out there, but you have to pay for it.

Remember, we’re not talking about digital cameras here – that’s an emergent technology. In audio, older equipment usually sounds better, or at least as good, because it’s made better, and the older devices like FETs and transistors were mature technology and superbly made.

Don’t just take my word for it though, go and listen to some older gear and compare it for yourself.

So, you’re saying there’s an industry built around getting people to ‘trade-up’ to newer, inferior equipment?
Yep, as sad as it is, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
How is Liquid Audio different from other repairers?
Passion, quality of work,  professionalism, attention to detail, test and measurement equipment, value for money.

Liquid Audio is in some ways a boutique, specialist repairer. It’s an extension of my passion for audio electronics, delivering personalised, professional quality service and repairs to classic and vintage hi-fi stereo equipment.

I own the business, do all the technical work, administer the website, write the articles and take all the pictures. I’ve been doing this a long time and I’m invested in it. I work with all the care and attention to detail you see in the articles here on my site. Just check out my customer feedback.

Why choose Liquid Audio to look after my equipment?
If you’ve read this far, you probably already know the answer to that.

I don’t work like most others in this sector. Check out my articles, customer feedback, and the Hi-Fi Repair Hall of Shame.

What services does Liquid Audio offer customers?
Liquid Audio offers specialist service, repair and restoration of classic and vintage hi-fi equipment from the 70’s onwards.

I service and repair a wide range of Japanese, European and North American amplifiers, turntables, CD players and tuners. I also undertake major overhaul and restoration work for my customers. Check out my Service & Repair page for more information on how Liquid Audio provides TLC for hi-fi equipment.

What types / brands of hi-fi equipment does Liquid Audio care for?
Liquid Audio works on most classic and vintage hi-fi stereo gear, and most brands and models, from 1970 onwards.

I specialize in Japanese, European and North American amplifiers, turntables, preamplifier, tuners, radios and CD players. I have perhaps the only proper setup in WA for aligning FM stereo tuners. Liquid Audio looks after all major brands of hi-fi gear.

Is there any equipment you don’t work on?
Yes, Liquid Audio steers clear of most equipment that isn’t actually hi-fi gear.

This includes radiograms, stereograms, juke boxes, three-in-one systems, anything by BOSE, home cinema gear, video recorders, toasters etc.

Where is Liquid Audio?
Liquid Audio is situated in Carine, Perth, Western Australia.

Contact me to discuss your hi-fi gear requirements and for a precise delivery address!

Do you have pre-owned hi-fi equipment for sale?
Yes, Liquid Audio sells a range of pre-owned items.

The easiest way to check inventory is to visit my For Sale page.

How do I get my hi-fi equipment to Liquid Audio?
Easy, use the contact form form to get in touch with me, anytime!

Alternatively, you can call me on +61 0439 690 436, from 10 am till 5 pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

Do you sell belts, stylii and other parts on their own?
I don’t currently operate a retail store, so if it’s just small parts that you’re after, generally the answer is no. I can supply and fit anything you want though, as part of a proper service.

My mission is to get your hi-fi equipment working better than it ever has. You might think you only need to replace a belt, but your turntable probably hasn’t ever been serviced, let alone set-up properly.

I will happily recommend, supply and fit parts to your deck, as part of a service that will maximize the benefits of fitting those parts. I will properly install and test the new parts, as well as clean and lubricate your motor and bearing, adjust tonearm ride height, cartridge azimuth, alignment, etc.

Can you repair my equipment while I wait?
No and if you’d like the work done properly, which is why you came to me in the first place, it’s better that I don’t!
Do you do undertake manufacturer warranty repair work?
No, I choose not to engage in warranty repair work.

Having said that, I work in collaboration with a number of major distributors, which means I am authorised and able to work on their equipment. I just choose not to take on the warranty work.

Cherishing Classic Audio

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