HIGH QUALITY REPAIRS
HIGH QUALITY OVERHAULS
(The guarantee obviously excludes repairs carried out free of charge!).
How do you go about having a piece of hi-fi equipment repaired here at London Sound?
And why? And why not go for a cheap bodge instead!
And what about recaps, mending, restoration, rebuilds, rebuilding, servicing, renovating, overhauls - well, all words concerning the same - read on, and you will see what we can do for you. And our unique 12 month guarantee is explained, (don't waste time with repairers lacking confidence to guarantee their work properly). Also see below for notes about changing capacitors etc.
Don't want to wade thru the lot? Email Mike Solomons with your queries at:-
For free technical help and advice, please email Mike Solomons at the above email addresses
020 8868 9222.
The picture above is me in the workshop at the back of our shop, with the computer that you'll be emailing to in the background, (well, actually the old computer - we've just updated).
If another repairer has told you this, he may be right - but. That BUT is a very big but! For example, if the output transistors of an old amplifier have failed, it is not unusual to find that transistors of that type number are not available, but that other suitable substitutes are currently in stock! It can happen that we are unable to find spares, but then we either modify the equipment to use other parts - or make them!
High standard of workmanship, (we couldn't give a 12 month guarantee otherwise)!
With rare exceptions, all repairs are carried out by Mike Solomons, who has over 45 years professional experience, (it was a teenage hobby before then!). (Or, as Mike Solomons has often said, "put another way - nice people like you bring me interesting equipment to work on - then actually pay me for it! What better way to earn a living! For you, the benefit that, happy in my work, I do my best for you.")
We give Free Estimates and stick to them.
We operate from a high street shop with, (during our opening hours), an open door, (not a private home or industrial estate with a locked door to block out complaints).
This is not a selling operation, (so either we repair, or make no money - no false advice to buy new!).
All equipment repaired guaranteed 12 months, (apart from repairs carried out free of charge). Clearly, in writing, with no unreasonable exclusion clauses!
We specialise in older equipment, (Why? Usually good equipment is quite old when it first breaks!) How old is 'older equipment'? Most units repaired here are between ten and fifty years old, some even older!
We hold a wide range of spares and service manuals.
When spares are not available, we have the required knowledge and data to substitute and repair. Our facilities include basic woodwork and metalwork, for re-construction, and modification where required, as well as, as you would expect, full electronic research and development facilities.
We are here to stay - Mike Solomons personally owns the freehold of the shop - without a mortgage - so you won't come here one day to find we've gone because of a rent review, (He says, "I now give them, but fairly, not suffer from them!").
Email, telephone, write or call into the shop, for a free estimate. Note, our estimates are completely free, you only pay us if your equipment is repaired in accordance with the estimate.
Free means free!
If such repairs cannot be carried out, then we charge exactly nothing, even if we have carried out a partial repair then found major further difficulties! The only cost to you is transport.
A particular area of concern covers capacitor replacement. For reasons that defy logic, it is fashionable to replace all of the capacitors in older units. Years ago, there was an equally bizarre fad for changing all of the resistors. This followed on from the routine replacement of valves. We do not replace components for reasons of fashion, (that is all it is). If a capacitor is faulty, then we replace, but if it is not faulty it is better not to disturb the circuit. In some extreme cases, I have found noticeable deterioration resulting from replacing large numbers of capacitors with "better" new ones, with one particular tuner completely ceasing to operate after its owner "replaced all the caps", (that was a very expensive and frustrating repair!).
ALL REPAIR WORK is guaranteed for twelve months. "All" means "all", not just some. To avoid any ambiguity, unlike other repairers, the whole equipment is guaranteed, not just the parts fitted and labour. Whether old or new, whatever the equipment age, the guarantee on repairs is the same. We've even guaranteed the repairs on some mid 1930's vintage radio and radiogram units for twelve months - without difficulties! How? If the work is done properly, it isn't a problem! We only exclude repaiurs carried out free of charge, damage beyond our control and wear, (e.g. damage caused by overload and cassette heads wearing out).
Not quite the same as buying new, as you don't have all the shiny new instruction books to read, packaging to dispose of etc! Neither do you have to research, purchase, or learn how the new item works - and find out what to do if it doesn't quite have the same facilities as your old unit!
Most repairers of audio and hi-fi equipment either do not mention guarantees or warranties, or issue highly restricted ones. It is not unusual for the guarantee to be for 30 - 90 days, occasionally 3 months and rarely 6 months.
The London Sound guarantee is for 12 months.
The guarantee length is only part of the picture as we also have to look at what is guaranteed.
Normally a repairer will guarantee the work he has actually carried out. This is of very little use as it usually means that if the unit goes wrong again shortly after repairs have been carried out there's almost always a "get out clause".
The London Sound guarantee covers all faults that may develop over the 12 month period specified on the bill and has only two exclusions. One concerns items that wear, e.g. styli that, if used heavily will deteriorate during the guarantee period and the effects of externally applied damage. The resulting effect is protection that is similar to that offered on brand new equipment with no exclusion for age.
So - how much will it cost?
OUR ESTIMATING PROCEDURE:-
1) On the 'phone, we can often give a rough guide. It is also possible by email and by ordinary mail - it just takes longer, as we may ask questions, and have to wait for replies. "Longer" isn't all that long - apart from holidays, we usually reply to emails within 24 hours - often, during the day, within minutes.
2) Usually, when you bring the equipment here, on a brief assessment of the fault while you wait, we will give a free estimate. We will also give you a further much higher figure, to be a 'fixed ceiling', not to be exceeded without your written consent. This procedure is called a Qualified Estimate, and is much safer for you than an ordinary estimate, which can legally be exceeded, sometimes by a large amount!
3) If you agree the estimate, the goods will be accepted for repair. You will be given a written copy of the estimate, with the upper ceiling figure clearly in writing, so you know you are safe. Normally, you will soon receive an invoice on completion of repairs, which will not exceed the 'fixed ceiling'.
4) However, if repairs cannot be completed within the original agreed estimate, a further written estimate or report will be sent. In this case, for your protection, unless a revised estimate is agreed by you in writing, with an advance payment made to prove acceptance, you may collect the unrepaired equipment, with no charge at all to pay.
5) BY MAIL. We can also carry out repairs by mail. Even then, the estimates are free, but the cost of carriage both ways is your responsibility.
So why is London Sound Different?
From the start, I have tried my best to carry out repairs to a high standard. Why? It is far better to do the work properly, than to try to evade responsibility for cutting corners and getting it wrong. Everyone would agree with that, but not everyone has the skills, integrity and self confidence!
I have to admit that, many years ago, in the early stages of my business, I lacked the required confidence, and only gave the usual 3 month guarantee. However, on the rare occasions when things went wrong within less than a year, I never felt able to charge. And yet as I became more experienced, breakdowns after the first few days became rare - and I found myself having discussions with regular customers about repairs carried out five, six seven or more years previously - with the equipment still OK!
A typical example of such a discussion occurred in 1980, as London Sound moved into its shop in Eastcote. I remember it well, as a man with me at the time, (the B.T. engineer fitting in a 'phone with our "old" number, which had provided some problems), had been deriding the idea of customers remaining loyal over a period of years. On the 'phone, a man said, "You repaired my Rogers Cadet III about 8 years ago. Don't worry, it's still OK, but I have a problem with another piece of hi-fi - - -" Not only had the Rogers remained in good working order for 8 years, but so had my reputation! Amazingly, another owner of a Rogers Cadet III telephoned me with an almost exact copy of the first message, in 1990, when we moved to the present shop!
So firstly, why do breakdowns occur within days? Sometimes what we jokingly call a "faulty customer" - a failure to use the equipment correctly! But sometimes it is genuine - and then, whether after days, months, or even a year, if I am wrong, I always prefer to put things right, rather than argue. As, I would hope, but rarely find, should anyone else.
So what triggered the decision to give a written twelve month repair guarantee? It was those discussions with past customers, with tales of equipment which I repaired lasting for such long periods after the work was done! I simply decided to claim credit for what I was doing anyway!
For technical help and advice, please ring Mike Solomons on 020 8868 9222.