If I can’t bring my equipment to you, how do I choose a good local repairer?

Try to find someone with a technical focus, giving sensible advice and able to provide examples of their good work.

Here are a few points to consider when looking to engage a good technician:

  • Find out who’s busy, who’s recommended by others in the know, and why. Look for examples of a repairer’s good work.
  • Beware of those promising sight-unseen ‘quotes’, prices that seem too good to be true and quick turnaround times.
  • Be wary of ‘recappers’ who might lead you to believe that capacitors are the source of all evil – they are not.
  • Be very wary of people who seem to only tell you what you want to hear. I say it often: there are no miracles, only skilled people and good work.
  • Bad techs rarely have anything of value in terms of tools and test and measurement gear. Good equipment is expensive and these folks usually have a cheap approach to everything.
  • Many are lazy and devoid of original thinking, many have copied our content and approach for example.

Find someone who inspires confidence and who doesn’t give you a quote without inspecting and testing your equipment for example. Whilst it’s true that older gear may need to be re-capped, many or perhaps even most faults, are not capacitor-related.

Work on classic and vintage hi-fi gear benefits from a conservative, technically informed approach. Changing capacitors or connectors for example might sound like good ideas, but tracing and resolving electronic faults is nuanced and very rarely that simple.

I recommend looking for someone who is interested in finding the cause of a problem and resolving it. If they are able to recommend further work that will benefit the equipment, that’s helpful too.

Generally, the people you want to use will be referred to in the hi-fi community and they will be a specialist, rather than someone who thinks that repairing a toaster is similar to repairing an amplifier.

Ask around at the best pure hi-fi stores in your area. These stores use people they can rely on and may be able to point you in the right direction.

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