Welcome, friends. This page is dedicated to bad repairs and to raising awareness about the diabolical workmanship of certain ‘repairers’.
This page is not for the faint-hearted, my focus, to expose bad repairs, by bad repairers. No punches will be pulled here. My biggest hope is that this page might save good people from tragedies like those you’ll see below.
The reality of repairing hi-fi equipment is that it requires aptitude, knowledge, skill and experience. It also requires a serious investment in the proper tools and test & measurement equipment and in time learning how to use it. It’s not enough to say:
“I’m an engineer working at Curtin Uni, therefore I can repair electronics…”
We can’t be good at everything, as ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan famously alluded to in Magnum Force when he said:
“A man’s gotta know his limitations…”
By all means have a go, but if you don’t have the aptitude or destroy more than you repair, give it away and let someone else do the work properly.
Liquid Audio and a couple of fabulous industry colleagues stand testament to the alternative – servicing and repairing hi-fi equipment with care, skill and attention to detail.
Nothing here is just a goof. The cases featured on this page exhibit a pattern of appalling workmanship, perpetrated on customer equipment. Cases are in reverse chronological order, with those most recently added at the top.
Case 3 – Destroyed Harman / Kardon PM-655 Integrated Amplifier
This sad case came to me in February, 2018. My customer bought this new from Vince Ross Audio, back in the day. It worked well for years until it developed a small fault. So the owner went back to Vince Ross, to see who he recommended.
Vince used a particular repairer back in the day, many of you might know of him. This repairer, with a German name, fixed a lot of gear, sometimes successfully, other times not so much. This sad case falls into the not so much category. I should point out that Vince is a lovely guy and I’m sure he recommended this repairer in good faith.
The repairer in question has almost destroyed several boards here in his attempt to repair a volume control. Worse than that, he’s used the lowest quality Jaycar volume pot and ribbon cable to wire it in.
He’s also destroyed the traces associated with much of the front panel controls, so many of these no longer work. He left horrible fluxey residue everywhere he worked, due to use of poor quality solder and failure to clean up. Needless to say, the volume control never worked properly again.
Actually it does now, I had a look and did my best to rectify this appalling work and make the amp reliable for my customer. I serviced the unit and fixed the volume problem. Of course, I couldn’t undo the awful damage caused by the previous repairer.
Needless to say, the owner was horrified when I showed him these images and explained what happened. He couldn’t believe it. He confirmed for me that it had only ever been to the German repairer. Lucky for everyone he’s stopped repairing stuff.
The Gory Details…
Case 2 – Perreaux PMF 3150 Power Amplifier
This incredible case of ultimate bodgery came to me via my good friend Jason, also known as the Speaker Doctor and the Turntable Doctor. Jason does fantastic work and we often share stories and compare cases like this.
Anyway this amplifier came to Jason recently, for repair. The owner bought it from a guy who ‘upgraded’ it. You be the judge on whether these are upgrades…
Case 1 – Kenwood KA-5700 Integrated Amplifier
This lovely little amplifier came to me via a very nice customer. She’d taken this otherwise good amp to a local repairer who told her that, because he’s an engineer, he’s able to repair equipment like this.
I’ve got to be honest, this makes me angry. You can see from the images below that this circuit board, stuffed with original components, has been ‘upgraded’ to include a special new short-circuit, that prevented the amp from working properly. Low-quality contact cleaner, and I use that term loosely, covered literally everything, and necessitated my thorough washing of the chassis.
To add insult to injury, when my customer took the amplifier back to this fellow, he had the audacity to tell her that the unit was now too old and too damaged to be worth repairing! Seriously, the damage was caused by him!
Thankfully, this lovely customer brought the unit in to me and I’ve repaired it. The KA-5700 is now working perfectly, though a little worse for wear after her near-death experience at the hands of Mr Radiowaves…