FAQs

This is where you’ll find answers to my most frequently asked questions. I suggest you check for your question here first, before sending me an email.

People ask me a lot of hi-fi-related questions, which is to be expected for a specialist in hi-fi equipment service, repair and restoration. Anyway, many of these questions become FAQs.

I’ve compiled a list here of the most frequently asked questions, along with my detailed responses. I hope this helps and don’t forget, if you have a question I’ve not answered here, please get in touch.

Liquid Audio FAQs
I really like your upgrades, can you supply me with a kit, or list of parts?
Sorry, but I can’t, for a number of reasons:
  • Upgrading electronics is actually somewhat of an art-form, relying heavily on the knowledge, skills and experience of the technician making the upgrades. In order to QA the work, I have to do it myself.
  • Sadly, I don’t have the time to assemble kits, or lists of parts.
  • My stocks of NOS vintage audio, lab-grade and MIL-spec parts are rare and not easily obtained elsewhere. Most techs don’t have the parts I have.
  • The changes I make to equipment are determined by your needs, budget, type of equipment and condition. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to upgrading a DAC or amplifier.
  • Finally, I’ve designed my upgrades specifically to benefit my customers and their equipment. Many years have gone into the evaluation, testing and tuning of what then becomes proprietary knowledge.
Why should I repair my vintage amplifier or turntable, when I can buy a new one for a few hundred bucks?
Good question. The short answer is that you should repair your old gear rather than buy new, because new stuff is mostly throw-away rubbish, unlike your old gear.

Put simply, nothing you can buy now for sensible money is made anywhere near like your old hi-fi equipment. Even bottom-end older stuff is better made than most new stuff now. The clincher is that the older gear usually sounds better too.

You’re surely thinking: “But what about all the improvements in technology..?” Marketing BS. I challenge anyone to show me a ‘new’ circuit in modern gear. There have been no new circuits, no significant new parts or technology in audio for decades. New technology is around materials engineering. In other words, how a manufacturer can make something that looks similar, but costs less to build. Compared the weight of old and new 50 watt amplifiers recently..?

Have you ever considered why the really fruity top-end of the hi-fi world go after all the gear from the 1950’s and 60’s..? Think about it, you have uber money, you can have anything in the world, and you choose the valve amplifier from 1957… These people aren’t idiots.

If in doubt, ask yourself this: how many bits 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 after 30 YEARS!

The Hi-Fi store told me that their new $500 turntable will kill my classic deck. Is this true?
Sadly, I hear this all the time and the answer is absolutely no.

Why would a hi-fi salesperson tell you this? They want you to throw away your perfectly good turntable 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 answering: “Well no sir, I recommend you keep your older, better-made turntable, it’s much better than this new plastic deck with wooden platter!” And yes, you read that right, the cheapest new decks use plastic or wooden platters. Facepalm emoji…

I’ve never heard an older deck that doesn’t beat cheap new stuff in terms of sound quality, when properly serviced and maintained. 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.

Hang on, surely newer hi-fi equipment and technology must be better?
Why? Actually, the reverse is usually true!

Remember, we’re not talking about digital cameras here – that’s an emergent technology, so of course they are getting better. There is almost no new audio technology, that’s the point! Older equipment usually sounds better, or at least as good, because it’s made better. 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 a whole industry built around getting me to ‘trade-up’ to newer, inferior equipment?
Yep…
What type of business is Liquid Audio?
Liquid Audio is my passion. It is my ethical, hi-fi service and repair business, specialised in delivering premium quality service and repairs to classic and vintage hi-fi stereo equipment.

I am the business owner, I write all the articles about audio gear on this site and take all the pictures. I’ve been doing this a long time and it’s only me who’ll ever work on your gear, with all the care and attention to detail you see in the articles here on my site.

I’m especially focussed on turntables, amplifiers and CD players. There are very few pieces of gear that won’t sound better after I’ve worked on them. Any doubts, just check my awesome customer feedback!

What sets Liquid Audio apart from other repairers?
A bunch of things actually. Passion, the quality of my work, attention to detail that would make your head spin. I do the very best possible job I can, because I want you to be thrilled with the result.

Have a look at my Hi-Fi Repair Hall of Shame if you want to see what sets me apart from other local repairers, or just read a few of my articles. You’ll get the idea pretty quickly.

I have some simple beliefs:

  • Work ethically and honestly
  • Waste as little as possible
  • Attention to detail is everything
  • Do things once, properly
  • I LOVE hifi and electronics
  • Avoid BS
  • Less is more
  • Work with passion
Why choose Liquid Audio to look after my equipment?
If you’ve read this far, I think you already know the answer to that.

I have to be clear and say that I don’t work like a lot of other people do. Look at my articles, my feedback, and the Hi-Fi Repair Hall of Shame. You want to take your cherished equipment to someone who works with real passion, with care, who’s going to pour some real TLC into it. You want a repairer who’s going to give your gear back in better condition that it arrived. Well, that’s me!

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

In a nutshell, I repair and service a vast range of amplifiers, turntables, CD players and tuners. I also perform major overhaul and restoration work. Check out my Services page for more information on how Liquid Audio provides TLC for hi-fi equipment.

What types and brands of hi-fi equipment do you service?
Liquid Audio is very happy to look at most classic and vintage hi-fi stereo gear, and most brands, from around 1970 onwards.

I specialize in amplifiers and turntables, but do lots of work on vintage tuners, radios and CD players. I have perhaps the only proper setup in WA for aligning FM stereo tuners.

I am not affiliated with any manufacturer, so I’m completely independent and able to choose to do just the type of work I want to. 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 located?
Liquid Audio is situated in Carine, Perth, Western Australia.

Contact me for a more precise location and to discuss your hi-fi gear requirements!

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 for some TLC?
Easy, use the Liquid Audio contact form form to reach out to me – Mike, anytime!

Alternatively, you can call me for a chat on 0439 690 436.

Can you sell me a belt for my turntable or parts for my (insert name here)?
On their own, usually not. I don’t operate a retail store, so if it’s just small parts that you’re after, no. If it’s a cartridge, or something bigger though, then yes I usually can assist.

Let me explain. My mission is to get your hi-fi equipment working properly. I know you might think you only need to replace a belt, but your turntable probably hasn’t ever been serviced, let alone set-up properly.

Honestly, for me to achieve this goal, I need to properly install and test any parts I sell. I also probably need to clean and lubricate your motor and bearing, adjust tonearm ride height, cartridge azimuth, alignment, etc. 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.

Can you repair my equipment while I wait..?
Unfortunately not, and if you want the work done properly you might want to avoid anyone who says they do!

Precision work takes time, space and preparation. If I’m going to properly inspect, service and repair your gear, I’ll need more than just a few minutes to do it.

Can you tell me how much my service or repair will cost in advance?
Maybe – I might be able to provide an estimate, but in most cases this will be guesswork until I’ve had a proper look at your equipment.

To contextualise this, imagine ringing a mechanic and saying “my car doesn’t start, how much will it be to fix it..?!” Wouldn’t make sense right? Having a proper look at your gear really is the only way to form an informed opinion. Electronics sometimes exhibits faults that cannot be understood until digging a little deeper.

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

Do you repair hi-fi equipment under warranty?
No, I’m an independent repairer, with no particular brand affiliations and nothing particular to sell you, except technical work done carefully. I choose not to engage in warranty repair work.

Cherishing Classic Audio

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