Repairs / Restorations

It’s always a good idea to give us a call before stopping by because we do not repair everything. Although each case can be different, repairs cost $75.00 per hour of labor plus parts. We require a $50 (cash only) deposit before disassembling any item for repair analysis. This is our minimum charge; it covers the first 40 minutes of bench time and allows time for reassembly if you do not want to move forward with the repair.

Customers will always be asked for pre-approval of any repair exceeding $150 total cost. If you feel your item is not worth up to $150 for repair, please just let us know in advance. Call or email Jack for further information: jack@audiotechaustin.com

We also operate on a CASH accounting system.  That means no credit cards, checks, or credit.  It also help keep business expenses down and the quality of our work high.

The Truth About Today’s Modern Amplifiers

We LOVE repairing and restoring classic vintage amps made before 1980. Please call ahead if you need repair of an amp made after; but other than some custom boutique amplifiers, the newest amps we usually work on are the Fender Hot Rod series and some Fender “re-issues.”

The sad truth is that most of today’s big amp manufacturers are simply exploiting their once trusted brand names.  By producing good-looking and good-sounding amps often priced below $1,000,  they have duped customers into believing that lowest price amp is best quality deal.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  With the exception of some hard wired boutique amplifiers, the sad fact of the matter is most major brand name amplifiers made after 1990 become unreliable after 10 to 15 years of age; they were designed and built for manufacturing speed and corporate profit.  We don’t say this because we are snobs; it’s because nobody wants to keep re-repairing amps purposefully designed to fail and become unreliable after a certain number of hours.

We repair old vintage models like this Fender here. We work on newer model amps as well.
The vintage Fender amp (above, left) is wired with quality components and parts.  The newer Fender model (above, right) displays how cheaper, less reliable parts are currently the norm in today’s amplifier production process.  Whenever possible, we always try to replace these faulty low-cost parts with top quality parts to make your amplifier more reliable and road-ready. But often times, the bigger, better parts simply won’t fit.
Orville Many of our guys aren’t just professional techs; they are also working musicians. Here at Audiotech Austin, every amp we work on is given a final “listen test.”  Our guys actually know how different amps are supposed to sound because they have been playing through them for years.

2 thoughts on “Repairs / Restorations

  1. Mike

    Hi Jack,
    I’m looking to get my Fender Showman retubed/biased (power tubes only). It recently had a tube replacement as well as caps, pots, etc…but then blew one of the 6L6’s. Anyway, I’m just trying to get a general estimate on cost and turnaround time.
    Thanks!

    -Mike

  2. Jack

    Hi Mike, That’s a pretty simple repair; the trick is finding a 6L6 that is a close enough match for the 3 new ones you have in there. I hate to turn away business, but the least expensive way out for you is to go back where ever you bought those 6L6s and see if they can match up new replacement tube up for you. Unfortunately, we don’t have a good selection of 6l6s in the shop right now.

    Here at Audiotech Austin, we stock pre-tested and matched Sovtek 5881WXTs which New Sensor test burns for 24 hours before retest and shipping. Each tube box is marked with the tube’s tested plate current. In a situation like yours, where one new tube has been broken, these numbers would help us to match a new replacement tube.

    By the way, the 5881 is a commercial 6L6. Though it has slightly less output (20 watts versus 25) its soft clipping characteristics provide more “usable” power to those who prefer warm smooth even order harmonic overdrive. We have found the Sovtek 5881s to be the best buy in today’s market.

    Though we would not recomend mixing 5881’s with 6l6’s, we are always happy to open up an amp and bench test it for a minimum charge of $25.

    Good Luck and Best Wishes.
    Jack

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