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Old 26th January 2015, 11:50 PM   #1
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Default I need help, how to charge to renovate sophisticated Solid State amplifiers

Some folks are asking me to receive high end vintage amplifiers in my home to replace all electrolitic capacitors (including power supply), to clean the unit, to clean switches and potentiometers and to adjust bias.

They are Solid State devices only.

I have no idea how much to charge for that purpose..... i am sure this represents a lot of work, in some units you have to disassemble the unit to replace parts... in my imagination this is not an easy task and also not a cheap stuff to be done.

Sakis Petropoulos is someone can help me a lot with informations about.but i have lost his email adress.... i do imagine others can do that too.

The one used to do this kind of job, in Brazil, has passed away..then people is asking me to replace the man.

Thanks in advance by your kindness to help Uncle Charlie.... also thanks to moderators to delay a little to move the thread, because the ones can help me are in this Solid State forum.. after moved, the message will be lost in the universe black hole and will be read by extra terrestrials only.

How much is the question.... if parts are to be included or not...if shipment is to be included or paid separate.... well...all i know is how to make the job..but i do not have an idea how to charge.... i need help!

regards,

Carlos
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Last edited by destroyer X; 26th January 2015 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 27th January 2015, 12:35 AM   #2
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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find out what the old man used to charge?

charge for the parts and charge for the shipping. You may need insurance - or at least get customer to sign a waiver that you are not responsible if repaired amp fries their cat or sets fire their house...

then charge for your time as you go along or do you offer fixed price deal based on your estimate of time - this for you to decide, but if me, I would want to see the amp before setting fixed price.

and add some extra for beer :-)
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Last edited by Bigun; 27th January 2015 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 27th January 2015, 01:52 AM   #3
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Work out roughly cost of parts.
Work out roughly how long you think it will take.
Work out how much per hour you wish to charge.

The hard part with most recaps is physically getting at the old cap to replace it.
Some units will have to be dismantled to the last screw.

Freight is always a separate cost that the owner has to pay.

Recaps are normally 'expensive' due to the amount of time spent.
The labour will always be more than the parts.
It's your time, what are you worth ?

Never do 'love' jobs. They will always come back to haunt you.
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Old 27th January 2015, 02:31 AM   #4
rayma is offline rayma  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by destroyer X View Post
Some folks are asking me to receive high end vintage amplifiers in my home to replace all electrolitic capacitors (including power supply),
to clean the unit, to clean switches and potentiometers and to adjust bias. I have no idea how much to charge for that purpose.....
i am sure this represents a lot of work, in some units you have to disassemble the unit to replace parts... in my imagination this is not
an easy task and also not a cheap stuff to be done. How much is the question.... if parts are to be included or not...if shipment is to be
included or paid separate.... well...all i know is how to make the job..but i do not have an idea how to charge.... i need help!
Considering the situation, I'd recommend telling them that the charge is the cost of the parts/shipping/etc, plus $X per hour labor
(whatever amount that you'd be happy with). This way everybody will be happy. I wouldn't give them an estimate of the total however,
since they might take it literally.
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Old 27th January 2015, 06:51 AM   #5
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Default That's already a good idea folks

I was thinking something alike... then you reinforced my thoughts.

Thank you,

regards,

Carlos
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Old 27th January 2015, 06:56 AM   #6
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Default We can apply insurance...but even this way, watch the way

stuff is handled in Brazil...when i have to ship something i have to prepare a huge safe case...watch how these folks do the job.

A shame.... i cannot educate them...they are majority..... i do think i will have to give up.... no way to make safe shipment of heavy stuff....if the subject is pcboards assembled or parts included no problem...we put inside a safe case...but a heavy equipment will for sure be damaged.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr1rOk-j3hs

regards,

Carlos
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Last edited by destroyer X; 27th January 2015 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 27th January 2015, 08:12 AM   #7
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A well-known classic audio workshop 'round here will send out prepared bulletproof packaging to customers if they are unsure of how to safely get their equipment from A to B. Something to consider. And yes, it should withstand at least a 1 m drop without damage, preferably more. Double boxing recommended.
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Old 27th January 2015, 09:21 AM   #8
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Carolos ...this one is going to be long ...

here is how we do things at east electronics ....

Couple of facts
1) In vintage equipment you have to fix everything ,,,,making a patch will mean that costumer will come back with complains and you don't want that
2)Most of repairs are fairly simple but expect every now and then a ball buster to consume plenty of time ...

Standard service procedure
1) replace of all small capacitors *1
2) check for specific type of resistors that go open *2
3) check and redo poor soldering
4) replace oxidized or dirty or loose trimmers
5)replace relay ( S) if existing inside
6) replace bulbs if exist
7) clean pots and switches *3
8) Check for problems in the small semis
9) Repair damages if any shorted outputs / PSU problems
10)do cosmetics cleaning of the all unit inside out
11) Do bias offset distortion bandwidth test
12 Fill in your data base ( model + S/N,brief description of the things done and problems solved )


*1 use better quality , upgrade PSU and others if possible and if size helps

*2 In Japanese audio and some US there a specific brand of resistors that go open to very extreme values like from 150R to 1500 you need to learn to recognize them and replace them no questions asked

*3 Clean pots and switches is not a simple story .. for dirt of any type you can use anything you like even coffee, milk , tide ZK , even beer !! your real problem lays in silver plated contacts that go black ( like the silverware of your grandma ) NONE of the existing sprays can do that !!! Even worst if some can clean it then you need to deal with oil leftovers that in the near feature will attract dust or "burn " the plastics inside the switch .Beyond that spray leftovers increase crosstalk between ch inside the switch if not washed properly .

At east electronics after we tried everything we have developed 2 ways for that One is a dentist ultrasonic gun (cost over 1500 euro) modified in a way that works for the silver oxide and second a chemical solution that is not based on petrol oil or benzine , Its based on ammonia and a few other things that actually do not dry up the switch or magnetize dust in the feature . Still this solution even though totally clean the silver oxides needs to be washed out and then the last thing you have to do is to apply small amount of spray for lubrication and wash it out with pressurized air.

The above method proved to be the best for long time run .

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--For small amplifiers like Kenwood KA3500 AKAI AM2450 Luxman L200 L220 we charge the costumers something between 60-80 euro If big capacitors needs replacement also we charge almost 100 if the amplifier is burned its the service value+ cost of parts to be replaced

--For bigger amplifiers like Sansui AU5900 or AU717 or Kenwood the prize will be about 100 if big capacitors to be replaced 120 if burned cost of service + cost of parts

--For receivers prizes of standard service will start about 120 and end up to often 170-200 depending on the damages ...


For a small amplifier like KA3500 we can do that properly within one hour which is cost effective but also require 4 people working for you

A Sanyo Plus 55 which is a repair between 120 and 170 euro can be also done with in 2.5 hours when 4 people are working on it

a sansui AU 717 can be done also in 4-6 hours for a complete restoration all included


That's my input If there is anything else i can help you with i am at your disposal.

Kind regards
Sakis
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Last edited by east electronics; 27th January 2015 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 27th January 2015, 11:27 AM   #9
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Small add on

east electronics repairs as we speak 1000 audio devices per year ... We think that today we hold the greatest part of the pie in Athens

The competition is authorized services that work inside and outside in the companies that trade or represent the audio equipment .

Now days more and more representatives shut down the indoors service and work with freelancers and outside service centers which normally can cover guarantee service but nothing else recapping or this short of upgrade is out of the question . Also equipment that is categorized as vintage is outside of the picture anyway .

One of the reasons that ended up in this type of failure ( for our competition ) is that they charge and work by the hour

In reality you actually make money from small easy amplifiers to repair and you make them quick and even though charge them properly .

This will give you a margin to lower the cost and prize for an amplifier that has a tricky failure that will consume time or an amplifier that one way or another is hard to work with .

Also in reality you need to explain to the costumer what is exactly you are going to do what will be the benefits from that and in total how much his amplifier will become everlasting . In our case after that the 95% of costumers will go for that and even more add goodies like new and better binding post , better power cable , or a gourmet new potentiometer which of course will add to your profit .

Kind regards
Sakis
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Last edited by east electronics; 27th January 2015 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 27th January 2015, 01:11 PM   #10
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Default Many, many, many thanks dear Sakis Petropoulos

You are "the expert" related the stuff...will read several times and will follow your instructions alike going following the treasure map.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzxxqXFbtz4

Dear Sgrossklass

I use to call my local Postal System....the Company, like Hindenburg...i call them hindenburga....a fat enormous woman filled with evil..... Hindenburg ballon used to trow thing into soldiers in the WWI...the same way these guys trow our packages.....man!....they are animals!..... i can understand why some guys have prejudice about someone..... it is clear to me....very clear.

regards,

Carlos
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Last edited by destroyer X; 27th January 2015 at 01:27 PM.
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