Classic Audio Repair, Inc ca reg.E88859
Your Source for repair and restoration of vintage audio
(619)-282-9101 or toll free (800)-544-2100
3401-F Adams Ave San Diego, CA 92116 - <- click for map
   HOURS: 9:30am - 5:30pm  Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri  ||  9:30 - 1:30pm Saturday. CLOSED THURSDAY AND SUNDAY  

New Policy Regarding Console Repairs

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We can repair your vintage console!

Consoles are becoming more and more popular again, as its an all-in-one solution for sound in the home. However, given most consoles are approaching the 50 year mark or more, they are breaking down and are becoming unsafe to operate. - BUT DON'T WORRY! We can make it sound wonderful again.

Whole Console Repair Policy:

1. Consoles are huge, and we have limited space. Therefore we have a waiting list for the service on consoles. This can be lengthy depending on the time of the year, so you need to get on the list. Don't just show up with your set, or you'll be disappointed when you get turned away. Come to the store during business hours, bring any info you can (make, model, etc) and make a $50 deposit. This weeds out those who actually want their set repaired, rather than those that don't.

2. When your number is up, we call you. An appointment must be scheduled to bring in your set. We typically do this before store opening to avoid the customer rush, but can accomodate other times. Set aside 30 mins to unload, and write up your set for service.

3. ALL consoles are taken in on a diagnostic service. This is $120, and applies to the estimate we give you later on once we've had an opportunity to examine the pieces. This pays for our teardown time and weeds out the flakes. The $50 deposit you paid to get on the list applies to the diagnosetic charge so we'll typically ask for another $70. ($50 + $70 = $120) 

4. After the diagnostic service is complete we call with an estimate. The $120 you've paid applies to the estimate we submit to you. If we have to leave a voice mail, txt message, or email you have 7 days to respond. If we haven't heard from you then we consider it a "No Fix" and close out the repair.

5. Be aware that not all problems are repairable at an economic level. Often, automatic record changers must be converted to manual to run properly due to failing plastic parts or broken linkages no longer obtainable. Machines must be modified to accomodate a failure making it non useable that often compromises a feature. We will notify you of this prior to proceeding on the repair. If you back out of the repair the $120 diagnostic fee you've paid is non-refunable.

What if my console's radio and amplifier work well, but the turntable is the only thing with trouble?

If your console needs only the turntable serviced, that can be brought to us for repair independent of the whole console. This saves wait time, and can be done with simple hand tools.

To remove the turntable from the console, follow these guidelines:

1. Remove the back. Depending on make this can be done using a 1/4" nut driver, philips, or flathead screw driver. Typically American manufacturers use 1/4" nut or philips screws. European or Japanese sets use flathead screws.

2. look where the turntable is mounted. There are typically two cables - one for power and one for audio. These will almost always unplug. Do so with caution. Most of these connectors are plastic and brittle and will break easily.

3. Once the cables are unplugged locate the screws coming down from the top of the turntable. On the bottom are usually retainers. Most can be clipped so they hug the screws, allowing you to lift out the turntable. Others are 'e' clips and others you have to squeeze to pull off the screw.

4. Lift the turntable out and bring it to us. We can service and test it here after repairs.


Customer Expectation Vs. Reality

Based on what is on the internet about restoring these machines, customers will often come at us with phrases like "Make it sound like new," "I want the speakers replaced with new ones," or "I want this to be bluetooth ready." 

Folks often also have the misconception of that "its just a fuse" or "I think it just needs tubes." With turntables it will "just need a belt" or "just a needle." On the opposite end of the spectrum are hobbyists that read the discussion forums claiming that we have to recap the machine before we do anything else to it because bad capacitors keep it from working. The price is always a factor too, as most customers are simply unaware that the average restoration service on a console is about 6 hours in length plus parts.

The reality is these machines are old, some in excess of 50 years old. They are far beyond their service life, the manufacturers never expected them to be running 50 years from the date of manufacture, and the fact some are is remarkable. In order to make them reliable and provide enough service in a manner that you can simply turn them on and enjoy them requires lots of time and many parts. We like to estimate it in a way that enough work is done so you don't have to keep coming back for service. This means that the average console repair is $500- 700 for transistorized units, $700-1100 for tube units. If you half-do the job you will more than likely have to come back for more repairs, so why not do it right the first time?

Let us examine your set and we can provide a level of service that allows you to really enjoy your console to the fullest


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