If you are having an amp bias adjusted, then the amp is usually ready the next day! Most retube jobs get done two days. For repair work my turn around time is normally measured in weeks. Rush amplifier repair service is billed accordingly. Pricing info is available on the rate page as well as helpful sidebar information on maintenance schedules and common failure modes. There is FREE useful information you want to know.
Check out my FREE information page; about tubes is written for the musician. When your're finished go to 12AX7A and see for the first time tubes presented for their tone, distortion and dynamic characteristics. Cap off your knowledge there, all the terminology used is explained there. I also show you how to cook up a custom amp sound without a technician! Make sure you get to 12AX7A.COM, players of every skill level find the information there helpful.
If I do not provide warranty service for your brand amplifier, I may accept the repair under non-warranty status. This happens quite a bit, since I do quality work.
AMP REPAIR SHOP POLICIES: These are our rules for Cranky's, but they affect you and I want you to know why they are there.
1) I will accept any
Fender Amplifier for service. I love Fender.
2) I will perform amp maintenance on any brand. I want to love everyone.
3) I will retube any amp.
4) I will modify any brand amp, regardless of the year of manufacture.
5) I will repair Marshall tube amps if they were made prior to 2000, there are exceptions. The reason for this is that its not profitable. If that changes, so will our policy. We will however sell you the parts if we have them.
6) I may determine that your amp is not worth repairing. When this happens (very rarely) its usually because the service documentation is being squatted upon and can't be had at any price, OR because the cost of the repair may come close to or exceed the value of the amp., OR there are 200 unidentified parts in the amp. Schematic squatters drive amp values down, as they become impossible to service. I simply don't have the time to reverse engineer these amps. Most of the time these amps ARE however worth testing and attempting a repair without a schematic. My minimum bench fee ($60.00) will be applied. ENGL refused unless you can show me they are silkscreening the boards to identify the parts, and you have a schematic!
7) I will charge you to test tubes you bought elsewhere, if you're not willing to test them yourself on our "public use" tube tester.
8) I STRONGLY urge anyone who owns a serious piece of gear to get a schematic from the manufacturer. I don't have every schematic. I will give you a phone number if you need it. This allows you to get good service just about anyplace you may find yourself. Our time is something we need to charge for, and this is one thing you can and should do for yourself!
9) I refuse to provide warranty service for several amp manufacturers. I will work on them however. Choose any or all the below reasons why: They have all actually happened in my experience
A) The manufacturer attempts to force us to use their parts, and charges exorbitantly for them.
B) The manufacturer requires us to return parts that normally costs less than the shipping charges (otherwise refusing to reimburse us for our labor and for parts we already paid for from them, to fix their customers amp!) I find out about it long after the customer has picked up his amp, so I take a financial beating on the entire repair.
C) The manufacturer takes unreasonable time in sending parts. This damages our reputation. I have had to wait up to several months for parts in the past.
D) The manufacturer refuses to extend dealer prices to us unless we become a RETAILER or service center for them! HA! What's that all about?! Let me tell you: the manufacturer is saying that selling an amp somehow qualifies you to fix them! Nobody does service better than a service-only shop (like mine) period.
E) The manufacturer cannot provide legible schematics.
F) The manufacturer consistently sends the wrong schematics.
G) The manufacturer is unresponsive to these issues.
H) The manufacturer supplies us with bad replacement components. Tubes do go bad sometimes just sitting in a box, but it can be grotesque when good parts are unobtainable.
10) I may ask you to procure the parts from the manufacturer. This is because of reason #9A through #9H. You may refuse if you want, but our position is that the only way this situation is ever going to change is if the manufacturers start to get flack from their customers. All you consumers have a voice that can be heard over the whimpering of little repair shops that are supposed to be keeping all this gear working for the (big) manufacturers. If you find that you get poor treatment from your amp manufacturer, then you can do something about it, other than think your repair shop stinks. I don't think that consumers are ever treated nearly as badly as repair shops are, so this works for now.
I provide amplifier service for most of the major retailers in Massachusetts. It is common practice for the stores to markup our repairs by 10%. Not all stores do it, but is is the norm for the industry, and a fair fee for handling your concerns, your amp, being willing to, and for taking the point financially.
I am trying to provide personal service in a world that became Fortune 100. I do appreciate your taking the time to read this.
IF IT APPEARS THAT I AM PLACING THE BLAME ON ANYONE SPECIFICALLY OR NAMING NAMES, I AM NOT. I HAVE NOT NAMED ANY PARTIES SPECIFICALLY INVOLVED IN THESE PRACTICES. IF THERE APPEARS TO BE MENTION OF ANY WRONG DOINGS BY SPECIFIC AMP MANUFACTURERS, THAT IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL. IF THERE IS A GRAMMATICAL ISSUE, MY APOLOGIES. RETURN CORRECTED VERBIAGE AND THE OFFENDING MATERIAL WILL BE REPLACED.
TO AMP MANUFACTURERS: Do you know if your policies read like this? If they do, smarten up. You could never build a business like this, so how could you expect to sustain one like this? Many of you are turning your backs on your customers, and walking the fence in regards to your legal obligation to service what you sell. Amp manufacturers rely on service centers to meet that obligation, but tarry them with prices and policies. Keeping your gear working as promised under terms of warranty, etc., is an obligation; not a profit center. If you would honestly like to straighten out your act, I can think of no one better qualified than me to consult you. Or you could just deny that there is a problem...
UPDATE: 3 Decades have passed and nothing has changed.
Give me a call toll-free at 1-800-FIX-ME-UP. All e-mail is answered eventually, maybe you will be the lucky one.
The Guitar and Amp Technician
Mentorship Program provides training and certifications. I have
an extremely high success rate for my mentees. I teach motivation,
ethics, business skills, and craftsmanship as well as guitar repairs
and tube amplifier repairs. Find out about this great opportunity