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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:22 am 
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Hi Chris,

Looks like the "sky is falling" again, eh!

Call me when you get a chance.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:15 am 
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Trying to call ... busy. I'll try again in a bit.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:48 pm 
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[
No, not unless something nasty happened to them. Replacing outputs or drivers (any parts really) can get you into trouble big time. Your amplifier might oscillate with some transistors if they are a lot faster or slower than the originals. That and most people don't match the transistors, especially the diff pair. These must be matched if you want good sound. However, a "meter" or tester won't do this. You need to build a jig in order to match transistors.

If your amp changes it's sound with different drivers, either it is broke, or was broke. Please don't mess around with stuff that really does require training. Most technicians aren't trained by the way.

-Chris[/quote]

Thats a sobering final statement


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:06 am 
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Hi FRAUDBUSTER,
Yes, it should be.

One fact about the consumer repair business is that it doesn't pay enough to keep a person with formal training around. I do it because I love audio and restoring equipment. But with the low wages I see many technicians are self-taught and are missing massive amounts of information needed to competently do the work. Why are they still in the business? Because, it is amazing how robust parts are. I have seen stereo amplifiers repaired with four (4) different case styles of transistor. One in particular should have blown up right away but it actually lasted one year!

I've also seen many techs who lack a moral centre. I was incredibly lucky to have been mentored by a series of excellent technicians. Mostly because I asked for help in understanding when I didn't know something. But that apprentice system no longer exists. I had all kinds of factory training too. That is mostly gone now. I was self-taught, but also received formal instruction at Ryerson. Eventually I sold my shop when the market tanked in 1998 (I think) and went to work, first at a calibration lab for test instruments, then as a technician in commercial telephone systems. I received formal training in each endeavor. The important point I'm going to make is that the last jobs paid a lot better and I was mentally on vacation. These jobs were far easier to do and most times didn't challenge me. I continued to service audio at home in order to keep the interest alive. Back to a lack of a moral centre, being mentored includes learning about what is right and what is wrong. People lacking good morals normally don't last long being mentored. Most really good technicians are also very good people, generally very nice.

So there are some amazingly competent technicians out there, and they aren't being paid what they are worth. There are also some real crooked and incompetent people out there as well. Lots of them these days. One thing is for sure, you can't be a good technician with only a high school education, and it is a lot harder to do the work properly without being mentored by someone who is very good at this job. I have met hacks who were mentored, but by a short-cut loving tech without a good understanding of electronic parts that you get in post secondary education.

That is what it's really like in the market these days.

-Chris


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:41 am 
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anatech wrote:
So there are some amazingly competent technicians out there, and they aren't being paid what they are worth.
That's for sure. I earned my tech certificate at GBC with an eye to maybe changing careers. Then I found out how little the techs made and decided to stick with my old trade. I think back in the early '90s it was something like $12/hr+piecework. The faster you were at diagnosing the problem, the more you made, but still....that was nearly half of what a licensed electrician made for hooking up electrical boxes. The problem, as usual, is that the electronics tech trade is not licensed, so any hack can hang his shingle and bring down the median wage.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:21 pm 
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kvn63 wrote:
FRAUDBUSTER wrote:
and all capacitors replaced? What ever happened to "if it aint broke dont fix it"? And where is the expiry dates on the output transistors and capacitors? Im sorry but its a cash grab total replacing critical original output transistors in lets say a marantz sansui pioneer etc unless they are blown. Before when took things for repair they fixed just the bad trans capacitor and resistor now when you take it in to everyone they want to overhaul the whole thing. Its really unneccessary.


There is no need to replace output transistors if they are working, and in many cases it may be impossible to do so.

Think of it like a vintage car you can just fix what's broken or you can do a full restoration back to factory or go for the full on Resto-Mod. All of these have there advantages and disadvantages, opinions vary widely on the subject. Some people believe the designer was all knowing and picked those exact parts for a reason, others believe that the accountants picked the parts. One thing is for certain, the quality and tolerances of modern parts are much better than they were in the 70's and 80's.
As the owner of the piece you are the one that has to decide as you are the one who will be paying for it and listening to the item afterwards.

Personally (unless it has great value as an unmolested vintage piece) I believe that if you change one resistor you should change them all, as putting 1 new low noise metal film resistor on a board full of old carbon resistors just doesn't make any sense to me, same holds true for capacitors, as for transistors unless they are common available transistors (available in enough quantity to be matched) or they are defective, I leave them alone.


I restore vintage cars for a living. I will not "just fix up" a car; I restore every component back to factory-correct condition. That is the only way I can offer any warranty for my work. With that said, I never recommend spending $200,000 on a $100,000 car. For my vintage units, I want (and request) that all resistor packs, relays and caps be replaced or rebuilt(in the case of relays). It is a false economy to "just replace the bad one".....if one has gone bad, the others are on their way to destruction. Worse, if certain components are not replaced, their failure may well destroy the unit.

You can all choose to do whatever you want with your vintage gear. For me, my opinion is that it is better to treat your equipment right and replace what is needed, not just what has already failed.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:33 pm 
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Hi brownslane,
For your analogy with old cars, you are working off historical information, as we all do. The truth is that capacitors are very often good in well designed equipment that uses good parts to begin with. It matters how hot the part was run as well. So in a Pioneer receiver where most power supplies are upside down under the chassis, they need replacing. "They" being almost everything. With a Marantz receiver, the transistors are normally just fine, and so are the larger filter caps that everyone likes to replace. Sure, some go bad, but that isn't the average. Equally, none of us have a crystal ball, so something can always fail. These things fail in new sets under warranty even if you bench test each and every piece (Revox did).

Now the question becomes, what is the best way to spend the customer's money? Replacing those filter caps will subtract a few hours that you can work on the set. When you do any service, you are spending your customer's money and you have to do the best you can to make his dollar go further. Having said this, I do check the filter capacitors by looking at the waveform across them. I test the smaller capacitors using an HP LCR meter and find that some of those 40 year old capacitors are better than the new ones. I see people replacing the good ones, missing the problem capacitors and many other mistakes.

You know how I service my own equipment? The exact same way I service a customer's unit. I do have the lucky situation that I have followed my earlier repairs over decades of use with people that bring them in every decade for a check-up. I do warranty my work, but I don't cover stuff I didn't work on or replace. Same as when you get your car repaired. Otherwise you would have to replace every single component in order to warranty the entire set. That's just nuts and your customer base will not want to pay for this either. So it boils down to a budget and how you can make the most of it for your customer.

-Chris


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:10 pm 
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anatech wrote:
Hi brownslane,
For your analogy with old cars, you are working off historical information, as we all do. The truth is that capacitors are very often good in well designed equipment that uses good parts to begin with. It matters how hot the part was run as well. So in a Pioneer receiver where most power supplies are upside down under the chassis, they need replacing. "They" being almost everything. With a Marantz receiver, the transistors are normally just fine, and so are the larger filter caps that everyone likes to replace. Sure, some go bad, but that isn't the average. Equally, none of us have a crystal ball, so something can always fail. These things fail in new sets under warranty even if you bench test each and every piece (Revox did).

Now the question becomes, what is the best way to spend the customer's money? Replacing those filter caps will subtract a few hours that you can work on the set. When you do any service, you are spending your customer's money and you have to do the best you can to make his dollar go further. Having said this, I do check the filter capacitors by looking at the waveform across them. I test the smaller capacitors using an HP LCR meter and find that some of those 40 year old capacitors are better than the new ones. I see people replacing the good ones, missing the problem capacitors and many other mistakes.

You know how I service my own equipment? The exact same way I service a customer's unit. I do have the lucky situation that I have followed my earlier repairs over decades of use with people that bring them in every decade for a check-up. I do warranty my work, but I don't cover stuff I didn't work on or replace. Same as when you get your car repaired. Otherwise you would have to replace every single component in order to warranty the entire set. That's just nuts and your customer base will not want to pay for this either. So it boils down to a budget and how you can make the most of it for your customer.

-Chris



You probably show the customer how it sounds and that the unit works after you service it. Most techs ive been to call me that its ready to come pick it up but its usually unplugged and in a corner then hands it to me. Im assuming it works but thats not how its supposed to be.

I had to beg one tech with a supposedly good reputation to listen test the two receivers he had allegedly fixed.

Thats the last time i took anything to them because one of the receivers sounded very noisy and distorted while listening and tuning the tuner section.

THere's a significant difference between auto repairs and audio.

Sound is such a different animal more than anything mechanical


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:26 pm 
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Hi FRAUDBUSTER,
I normally just hand the unit back along with the old parts and an itemized list of parts and short form for labour. If a customer wants to hear it, that can be arranged as long as the bench doesn't have a complicated repair all spread out on it. There is sometimes a good reason why a customer can't hear the repaired set right then and there, but if they let me know ahead of time, I try to arrange things to accommodate their wishes. The other issue is that represents unpaid time on the bench. Not a problem if it is an occasional thing, but when you have someone who wants to do a longer listening session, that gets ridiculous. There has to be some give and take without abusing either person for time. In other words, as long as everyone is reasonable, there shouldn't be any problems.

Some techs don't even listen to the repair. I have heard of one fella who only uses headphones (useless) and has a very short fuse on top of that. That's taking things way too far.

-Chris


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:50 pm 
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anatech wrote:
Hi FRAUDBUSTER,
I normally just hand the unit back along with the old parts and an itemized list of parts and short form for labour. If a customer wants to hear it, that can be arranged as long as the bench doesn't have a complicated repair all spread out on it. There is sometimes a good reason why a customer can't hear the repaired set right then and there, but if they let me know ahead of time, I try to arrange things to accommodate their wishes. The other issue is that represents unpaid time on the bench. Not a problem if it is an occasional thing, but when you have someone who wants to do a longer listening session, that gets ridiculous. There has to be some give and take without abusing either person for time. In other words, as long as everyone is reasonable, there shouldn't be any problems.

Some techs don't even listen to the repair. I have heard of one fella who only uses headphones (useless) and has a very short fuse on top of that. That's taking things way too far.

-Chris


Agreed and it takes less than 5 minutes for me hear it works fine unless its a specific issue agreed upon . More than ten minutes is unfair to the techs time.


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