FAQs

Welcome to the FAQs!

These are answers to questions I’m most often asked about Liquid Audio, servicing, repairs and classic hi-fi gear. I hope you find these FAQs helpful, but if you’ve got a question I’ve not answered here, please get in touch.

How long will my repair take to complete?
Good question, depends on what’s wrong with your equipment and how busy I am!

Bear in mind though that I am always very busy and heavily booked, I have been since I started this business. There will always be jobs ahead of yours. I try to fit smaller repairs and servicing in between some of the big restorations I do though.

Remember – everyone wants their job completed quickly, everyone wants their job to receive the utmost care and attention-to-detail, there’s a whole bunch of shonky operators out there, and there’s one of me. Think about this equation for a minute…

You describe Liquid Audio as an ethical business – what do you mean?
To me it’s simply about 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. I do everything from photographing the details of my work to documenting some of the appalling goofs I see every day. I do it because I love saving hi-fi gear and helping people. 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 very happy to assist customers needing post-purchase inspections.

I’ve been involved in several cases where good were damaged in transit or not as described. In each case, where I’ve acted on behalf on my customer, they have been financially reimbursed. A Liquid Audio inspection pays for itself many times over in cases like these.

Can you tell me how much a repair will cost without inspecting my equipment?
Not unless you can provide me with a detailed list of faults, their causes, damaged parts, bill of materials and a repair schedule!

Seriously though, for servicing, I can often provide a good estimate, but for repairs, generally not without inspecting the unit first. I need to properly examine your equipment to determine what’s wrong with it. Any technician doing their job properly will be of the same view.

But I really want you to tell me how much my repair will cost over the phone!
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 via phone or email?
Yep, 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 customer 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 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. Often, repairs are worthwhile, but sometimes a combination of faults and poor condition make repairs challenging, and repair costs high.

It’s important to understand that I am not responsible for the condition of your unit or the deal you got when you purchased it. Ever owned a car you had to sell, because it became too expensive to maintain? You might get a good example, or one that isn’t so good.

I will happily advise on what’s best, given the condition and faults your unit displays.

Is Liquid Audio service & repair work guaranteed?
Yes, 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.

Keep in mind that old hi-fi gear may have been abused, rarely serviced and contain hundreds of very old parts. I cannot and do not warranty the old parts that come with your unit. If a problem relates to the age, condition or old parts contained within your unit, it isn’t 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.

I may ask for a part payment for work completed or for parts purchases in expensive repairs and restorations though. 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 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, which is handy.

I fix equipment that’s been to 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, can you supply me with a kit or list of parts?
I don’t supply kits and parts lists for a number of reasons:
  • Upgrading electronics effectively, relies on the experience, knowledge, skill and of the technician making the upgrades. Damage often results when people without necessary experience attempt modifications.
  • My stocks of vintage audio, lab and Mil-spec parts are rare and not easily obtained elsewhere.
  • Upgrades and mods are designed to fit your needs, budget, and equipment. There is no one-size-fits-all solution that I could assemble into a kit.
  • Putting kits and parts lists together is a real pain in the bum to be honest, I really don’t have the time to do it!
Why get my vintage amplifier or turntable serviced or repaired, when I can buy a new one for a few hundred bucks?
Because you own a beautiful, heavy, well-made and better sounding amplifier or turntable that will last 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 stuff you can afford now. The older gear usually sounds better too.

You’re thinking: “But what about all the improvements in technology..?” Marketing BS. Improvements are focussed on trying 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 the new $500 turntable would kill my classic deck?
Yeah, of course they did. It won’t though. In almost all cases, older turntables are better than cheap new ones.

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. Almost nothing is built this way now.

Hang on, surely newer hi-fi equipment & technology must be better?
No, there is no ‘new technology’ in analog audio, analog electronics design dates back to the earliest days of tubes and transistors.

Even CD specifications date back to the late 1970’s, players and DACs from the 90’s were mature technology by this point. The analog world has no new devices or technology.

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

So, there’s actually an industry built on getting people to ‘trade-up’ to newer, inferior equipment?
Yep…
How is Liquid Audio different from other repairers?
In many ways that I think matter to my customers – passion, quality of work,  professionalism, attention to detail, value for money.

Liquid Audio is a small, specialist repairer. I own the business, do all the technical work, administer the website, write the articles and take all the pictures. I’m immersed in this and have been for a long time. I work with all the care and attention to detail you see in the articles here on my site. Check out my customer feedback.

Why choose Liquid Audio to look after my equipment?
If you’re enjoying my website, you probably already know the answer to that.

Likely, you care about the little things as much as I do. I don’t work like most others in this space, for good reason.

What services does Liquid Audio offer?
Liquid Audio offers specialist service, repair and restoration for classic and vintage hi-fi equipment from 1970 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 takes care of most classic and vintage hi-fi stereo gear, and most brands and models, from 1970 onwards.

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

Is there any equipment you don’t work on?
Yes, I don’t cater for 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 sell pre-owned hi-fi equipment?
Yes, Liquid Audio sells a range of pre-owned gear. Visit my For Sale page for the latest stock.
How do I get my hi-fi equipment to Liquid Audio?
Easy, use the contact form form to get in touch with me, Mike, anytime!

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

Do you sell belts, stylii and other parts?
Yes, I can supply and fit almost anything you want, as part of a service or repair.

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 don’t operate a retail shop front though, so I don’t sell parts alone.

Can you repair my equipment while I wait?
Not really, things need to be booked in and then wait their turn in most cases. Let me know if something is especially urgent.
Do you do take on manufacturer warranty repairs?
No, I choose not to engage in warranty repair work.

I do work in collaboration with a number of major distributors though, which means I am authorised to work on their equipment.

Cherishing Classic Audio

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