REPAIR, RESTORATION, UPGRADE
& MODIFICATION SERVICES
| WHAT WE
|We offer professional
repair, restoration and modification services for both vintage and
current era quality audio equipment.
With over twenty-five years in audio development, we are well
recognized for our design expertise in high end audio technology
(tube and solid state) and especially with the the classic "vintage"
circuit designs. This experience gives us a thorough understanding of the
factors (such as component selection, signal path management and
circuit operating points) that contribute to achieving the
particular "sound signature" you want. We recognize that this
audible signature can be more of a preference than an "absolute" and
consequently that it demands understanding and considering your
listening preferences, room characteristics and associated
equipment. Therefore, before we begin any repair, restoration or
modification we conduct a thorough interview with you to be sure we
both understand your preferences and expectations. You may choose to
restore its original "sound" exactly and/or enhance certain aspects
such as improved spectral balance, imaging or depth. We then
recommend a selection of circuit topologies and balanced component
selection to meet your goals..
Because we understand and appreciate the emotional
attachment that is a part of the audiophile psyche, we take the
same care with your amplifier as if it were our own. Our
workmanship is professional, clean and electrically & mechanically sound (no
parts hanging in mid air or "hot-glued" into place). Your
amplifier is thoroughly cleaned - both inside and outside,
faceplate, surfaces, and connectors. To be sure there are no
reliability issues all replacement components are
selected minimally to be at least 125% of absolute max operating
To guarantee that your equipment will deliver the
performance you expect, all completed projects are tested and
verified to meet or exceed all stated specifications using the
most advanced state of the art audio instrumentation and tools
including Audio Precision SYS-322G Dual Domain System One Audio
Analyzer, Venable Bode Analyzer, multiple Aglient 34401 6.5 digit DVM's and
power supplies, Tektronix TDS5014B digital oscilloscope, Tektronix
TCP202 (ultra wide bandwidth) and HP 428 Current Probes- no other
restoration facility is as well equipped
- period. Finally all amplifiers are subjectively
evaluated using our high resolution audio to be sure
that audible performance is also as expected.
We Repair, Fully Restore, and Upgrade the products from the following
Dynaco (tube & SS)
Luxman (tube & SS)
Feel free to e-mail with any questions -
it is the most expedient way to reach me and I will usually get back to
you within a few hours.
I have provided our phone number below
however I encourage your to use e-mail or FAX for the quickest
response. Once our dialog reaches the point that a discussion or
interview is required, I will call you to discuss your situation in detail
(so please always leave a contact
number and preferred calling time).
||1686 Hyacinth Lane San Jose,
|HOW WE DO IT
|The first step is to discuss with
nature of your problem and understand how it relates to the balance of your
system and your desired outcome. On many occasions we may have you perform a few simple
tests that will help us insure that we are focusing on the correct
component and in some instances may even lead to the resolution of the
problem without the need for service.
You will then ship your amplifier to our lab where we will perform
an evaluation based upon our initial interview. There
is a $100 charge for this evaluation that will be applied to the
service should you elect to proceed (and is otherwise retained). This charge is necessary since
the only way to establish the extent of the problem is to
an extensive diagnosis and partial repair - it is only at this point
that we can determine if the remainder
of the unit is functioning properly. Once we evaluate your equipment
we will contact you with a list work estimates that will include the
basic repair including replacement of "about to fail" parts
(reliability issues) plus a list of suggested performance
Once you have selected and authorized the work, we
will proceed. Regardless of the
repair / restoration / modification work chose, each unit is subjected to the following checks and
Verify proper fuses installed
Clean pots & switches
Check power supplies & output power into rated load
Adjust/evaluate bias setting
Operate into simulated load for extended "burn-in"
Output Power ~ Load (output power @ clip into rated load)
Evaluate Distortion (THD & IMD)
Optionally - Clean Chassis, Connectors, and Faceplate (If Possible)
We complete a 36 hour "burn in" test that
is designed to identify any "infant mortality" failures.
Most component failures occur during the first 36 hours of their
life and therefore if it's
going to fail for some reason, we'd much rather have that happen
while it's still in our shop. We have a very low return rate, which
we believe can be attributed to our "post op" procedures.
All internal interconnect will be silver plated copper wire with Teflon insulation. In
addition to its outstanding tolerance of heat (compared to often used
PVC insulation) it dramatically improves reliability. Most
important, it has no sonic signature of it's own. The long term
reliability and audible performance of your amplifier is our first
|THE NATURE OF VINTAGE AUDIOPHILE
|What goes wrong with vintage
equipment? Most amplifiers (especially tube) suffer from problems that are
related to heat and the components most affected are the
electrolytic capacitors, corroded tube sockets, oxidized solder
connections, delaminating phonelic printed circuit substrates, and
"tired" switches and pots. Carbon
based resistors may occasionally drift in value resulting in the
circuit parameters to shift from the original optimum. "Re-capping",
a common restoration practice for many vintage amplifiers, is an
extensive effort but usually is needed for a successful restoration.
Tube sockets lose their plating resulting in output tube failures
that quickly outweigh the cost of socket replacement.
Another common problem is the fact that power company line voltages
have increased slightly over the past 30 years moving from 110 to
120VAC. This 9% increase may not seem significant however since many
power supplies were designed with only a 10% margin in the rating of
their capacitors, this extra stress plus the warm environment is all that is needed to
quickly age these capacitors. Our use of replacement capacitors with
higher voltage and lower ESR ratings will significantly improve
We replace defective electrolytic capacitors (power supply and
signal path) with high quality fresh
units rated to withstand
a 25% safety margin when operated at or above 120VAC. This insures the
highest reliability of the repaired unit. This same margin of safety
is also extended to the power rating of the resistors and
semiconductors. All of our replacement tube sockets, switches, connectors, or printed circuit cards employ only mil spec
|PRICES, CYCLE TIME & WARRANTY
|Your actual price will be
established based upon the work authorized that will include the cost of our materials plus our labor in
hours. Our current labor rate is $85 / hour.
All of our work (repair, restoration, or upgrade) is warranted for a
period of 6 months on materials and workmanship and 90 days on tubes
(warranty transferred from original supplier). During our initial
evaluation we will identify any weak components that are near
failure and recommend replacement however since it is impossible to
predict component failure with absolute certainly, original
components are not warranted. All repairs, restorations or upgrades
are tested to insure specification certification. Equipment returns must be requested and
shipped within 15 days of receipt of item. Depending on nature of
return, customer may be responsible for
Repair cycle time varies however typical repair cycles are 10 to 25
working days. We inventory most components however some obsolete
parts may be difficult to source or may need to be fabricated.
Upgrades may be slightly longer. Given the extensive level of work
required for a full restoration, cycle time may extend beyond
|PACKING AND SHIPPING
INSTRUCTIONS (Please Read)
We know you want to protect your equipment. The best choice is to
use the original boxes and fillers.
If the original box(es) are unavailable, please pack your amplifier
Place your unit in a large plastic
Wrap the unit with LARGER BUBBLE
wrap only (1" bubbles - NO "PEANUTS") until you have a cushioning
layer 2 to 4" THICKNESS around the unit to each surface of the box.
Place in a box selected to provide a reasonably snug fit and fill
the remainder of the box with crushed newspaper (open to full
page then crumble into filler). Under no circumstances should you
use Styrofoam Peanuts - they offer absolutely no protection for
electronic equipment almost always resulting in equipment damage and subsequent
insurance claims hassles. Additionally, we will incur disposal costs that
will be passed back to you. If you feel additional protection is
needed, consider placing the box inside a second
box with another 2" of cushion material.
It is safest to keep the tubes inserted into their original sockets.
To insure that they do not fall out, place a SOFT layer of foam
rubber between the top of the tubes and the adjacent surface.
Otherwise, pack each tube separately in bubble wrap and secure in
their own internal box.
Always ship with the covers in place if at all possible secured with
all of the screws in place. Line cords should be wrapped and bound.
We strongly suggest that you insure your shipment ($1000 minimum
suggested) - insurance is very inexpensive (UPS = .35cents/$100, or
$3.50 for $1000 of insurance) Following our packing procedure is
critical for assuring insurance validity. We therefore we reserve
the right to charge you for re-boxing if you did not box it in
accordance with our guidelines.
After shipping and receiving hundreds of electronic equipment
packages we have developed carrier preferences - they are in order
of preference: USPS, USPS Priority, Fed-X ground, and finally UPS.
You may pack your unit as described above or use a "Mailboxes" outlet
to do this for you, but they charge quite a bit for their work and
place surcharges on everything. Instruct the carrier to permit the
product to be delivered without signature at delivery
Please Ship to the Following Address:
1686 Hyacinth Lane
San Jose, CA 95124