That depends on the particular circumstances associated with your piece of equipment.
We focus on broken and often ‘unrepairable’ hi-fi equipment and fix almost all of it. This is significant, because:
- Much of it is complex, older equipment, presenting with multiple faults
- Many pieces have visited others who could not effect repair
- Repairing this type of equipment requires a fault-focussed component-level approach that many don’t offer
Think about it this way: if repairs like this were easy, there’d be no demand for our services, yet we are almost always fully booked, without advertising. Naturally, there will always be circumstances where repairs aren’t viable, or even possible within sensible limits. There are also intermittent faults that may be challenging to isolate and completely resolve. These considerations are part and parcel of working with complex, older anything, but especially electronics.
In cases where repair costs are likely to exceed equipment value or customer budget, we may deem the work non-viable. We consider the condition, faults, value and work needed to properly repair a piece of equipment and even the customer when making this call. Let’s look at some examples:
- A customer doesn’t want or cannot afford to have the equipment properly repaired
- Critical parts and/or substitutes are no longer available
- A repair is not worth pursuing due to equipment condition, value, or customer issues
It’s important to understand that we are not responsible for equipment condition, faults, customer budget, parts or manufacturer support availability, or overall repair viability. These elements are beyond our control, something which should be obvious but is worth mentioning.
I recently worked on an old amplifier, in poor condition, with various issues. The owner had emptied an entire can of WD-40 into it, it had been modified without documentation, messed with by various people, and was dirty, damaged and not well cared for. It was brought to us only after everyone who shouldn’t have touched it, had. I don’t want equipment when it’s too late.
Mike, why even bother looking at equipment like this?Level-headed enquirer
Generally, I wouldn’t, but I didn’t know about the internal condition or the customer when I agreed to help. Unfortunately, after several hours of working through issues with the unit, I decided that further work was not viable due to a combination of issues beyond our control.
This doesn’t mean the amplifier can’t be repaired of course, only that it cannot be economically repaired, given the issues, condition and type of equipment. Despite doing my best to help this customer, carefully explaining the issues and only charging our minimum, we were blamed for not fixing the amplifier and I wasn’t even thanked, despite doing my very best with something I wouldn’t even normally look at given its terrible condition.
This is an example of a customer I chose not to assist again.
It’s like an 85-year-old visiting the doctor, wanting to be cured of arthritis. When the doctor examines the patient and determines that the required joint replacements and therapy are beyond viable, does that become the doctor’s fault or responsibility? Should the doctor provide their time and expertise for free, simply because the patient doesn’t like the answer?! Of course not.
There are no miracles, but plenty of affordable gear is viable to repair, especially if it’s in good condition and hasn’t been tinkered with.