Why do you need to inspect equipment before providing repair cost estimates?

Because anything else involves guesswork based on incomplete information and there is no place for this in a technical field like electronics.


I’m proud of our reputation for precision and the trust people have for Liquid Audio, but it’s not by accident. Diagnosing exactly what a piece of equipment needs and why is part of our repair process, and guesswork plays no part in this. Everything is determined by careful, hands-on assessment, testing and measurement. Sight-unseen estimates are rarely possible due to the inherent uncertainties involved.

This isn’t how I became a trusted specialist!

Your amplifier won’t turn on for example. Is it a blown fuse or blown output devices? There is simply no way to know without inspecting the equipment. The repair costs are hugely different too, so this isn’t something you’d want to get wrong. See where this is going?

How would you feel if you threw away a perfectly repairable piece of equipment because of someone’s bad guess? This has happened so many times to customers I’ve later done work for and they’ve all kicked themselves over it, repeatedly. Do you want advice from someone who thinks guessing is a good idea?

Common Sense

Nobody can know what your particular equipment needs or precisely how long that unknown work will take, any more than they can tell you why your car runs roughly, without inspecting it. Each piece is unique, no two examples of the same model have the same service history, condition, modifications or fault presentation.

What faults are present? What are their causes? Does it contain work like this? Has it been regularly serviced or previously repaired? These and other details can only be ascertained through hands-on examination, and this is the only way to generate an accurate estimate of the work needed and final costs.


There is an unrealistic expectation amongst some that quotes should be provided before someone has even seen or assessed a complex piece of electronics. This is partly driven by the mistaken view that the lowest quote is the most important element when selecting a repairer. There are, of course, far more important considerations.

Some businesses provide guesstimates dressed up as quotes because it gets work through the door where customers expect them. Perhaps they need the work more than I do, but this is effectively a ruse to accrue work and only fuels this unrealistic expectation.

Delivering what must by definition be the lowest ‘quotes’ or the customer goes elsewhere leads to corner-cutting, poor workmanship and poor results. Our honest, transparent approach may lose us the occasional job, but most people respect and value it.

Service and routine maintenance are different and there is some scope for pre-inspection estimates in these cases.


Find out more with these repair-related FAQs:

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