FAQs

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

People ask me a lot of hi-fi-related questions. This is absolutely to be expected, given that I’m a specialist repairer of hi-fi equipment. Anyway, many of them become FAQs, with similar answers.

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

Liquid Audio FAQs
I like your upgrades, can you supply me with a kit or list of parts..?
Sorry, but no I can’t, for a number of reasons:
  • Upgrading electronics is somewhat of an art-form. It relies heavily on the knowledge, skills and experience of the technician making the upgrades to implement them correctly. Therefore to QA the work, I have to do it.
  • My stocks of specialised NOS vintage audio, lab and MIL-spec parts are rare and not easy to obtain elsewhere.
  • The changes I make to gear 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, what I do is designed specifically to benefit my customers and their equipment. Many years have gone into the evaluation, testing and tuning of what then becomes somewhat 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 that you should almost always repair your old gear rather than buy new, because cheap new stuff is throw-away rubbish.

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..?” All marketing BS. 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.

Have you ever wondered why the really fruity top end of the hi-fi world goes after all the gear from the 1950’s and 60’s..? Think about it, you can have anything in the world, and you choose the valve amplifier from 1957…

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 told me that a new $500 turntable will kill my classic belt-drive. Is this true?
Sadly, I hear this all the time and the answer is no.

Why then would a hi-fi salesperson tell you this? Put simply, 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 a much better option than this new plastic 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, 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, even with digital.

Older equipment usually sounds better, or at least as good. Don’t just take my word for it though, go and listen to some older gear and compare it yourself.

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 there’s a whole industry built around getting me to ‘trade-up’ to newer, inferior equipment?
Yep…
What type of business is Liquid Audio and what do you offer?
Liquid Audio is my passion. It is my ethical, hi-fi service and repair business, specialising in delivering premium quality service and repairs to classic and vintage hi-fi stereo equipment.

I’m especially focussed on my work with 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?
Simple – the quality of my work and depth of my experience. I work really hard, with attention to detail that would make your head spin! I do the very best possible job I can, because I want you, the customer, to walk away thrilled with the result.

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 and have done for four decades!
  • Avoid BS, it wastes everyone’s time
  • Work with passion and offer something unique
Why choose Liquid Audio to look after my equipment?
If you’re reading this, I think you already know why.

You want someone who’s going to give your equipment back to you having really put some love into it. You want a repairer who’s going to give your gear back in better condition that it arrived. You probably also want someone who’s known for being meticulous in how they work, almost to a fault. You also want to take your hi-fi equipment to a proper hi-fi electronics guy, not a DJ or guitar amplifier repairer. Well, that’s me! (the hi-fi electronics guy that is!)

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

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?
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.

In terms of brands, 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 Liquid Audio doesn’t work on?
Yes, at Liquid Audio I steer clear of most stuff 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..!

Where is Liquid Audio?
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 hi-fi equipment for sale?
Yes, I usually do.

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

How do I arrange to get my hi-fi gear to Liquid Audio?
Easy, use the Liquid Audio contact form form to reach out to me – Mike, anytime!

Alternatively, you can give me a ring on 0439 690 436.

Can you sell me a belt for my turntable or parts for my xyz..?
I don’t operate a retail store, so if it’s just small parts that you’re after, probably not. If its a cartridge, or something bigger, then yes, I can assist.

Let me explain. My mission is to get your hi-fi equipment working properly. I know you think you only need to replace a belt, but your turntable probably hasn’t ever been serviced and 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 ridge height, cartridge azimuth, alignment, etc.

I will happily supply and fit almost any 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..?
Sorry, no, and if you want the work done properly you might want to avoid anyone who reckons they can!

Precision work takes time, space and tools. 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 on the phone?
Generally not, certainly not until I’ve had a proper look at your equipment.

Imagine ringing a mechanic and saying “my car doesn’t start, how much will it be to fix it..?!”

Guessing is never helpful and having a proper look 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, 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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