Audio Repair Services, Info, etc. - Glenn McDonald (Echowars)
Sorry for the delay...I’m always behind in my work, and email takes a
backseat usually. I’m unaware of any ‘real’ criticism at AK other than
the ordering process can be a bit slow. I tell those who are looking for
manuals that if they want the closest thing to the original (and
sometimes even better) then the person to contact is you. Anyone who
might say different knows not of what he speaks.
I would not object to a link at all...but I must tell potential
1 - I’m slow as molasses in January. One of the bigger problems with
those who do this in a big shop is that they survive only due to a
volume of material moving through the shop. A well-known repair guy in
Southern California is known to have said that ‘If a unit in on my bench
for more than 2 hours, I’m losing money’. The typical unit on my bench
is there for three days, and for me to spend a week on one piece of gear
is not unheard of at all.
I don’t charge by the hour, I charge what I feel is a fair price
considering the time involved, whether the problem(s) sent me on a
‘fishing trip’ for 10 hours before I got wise to it, and the overall
difficulty level of the repair in general. In the end, I’m lucky to make
minimum wage for my time, but I get a lot of nice lower-end amps and
receivers that would never get fixed if I didn’t do it, as nearly
everyone else charges by the hour.
2 - Related to #1, I take a great deal of pride in my work. I don’t
claim to be God’s Gift to audio repair, and I certainly don’t claim to
have all the answers (and I have no problem telling someone so). But I
have extensive resources at my disposal, and can nearly always find a
solution to difficult problems. That said, nothing leaves here until I’m
satisfied, and that means slow turnaround.
3 - I don’t have the resources to do tuner alignments. I have a
small-scale operation here, working by myself, and although I’d like to
get the necessary gear to do tuner alignments eventually, but there are
a lot of guys out there that know more about tuners than I ever will, so
preamp and amps (both separates and those incorporated into receivers)
are more than enough to keep me quite busy. I farm out the tuner work to
a few very good techs I know.
4 - Motto: “Do it right the first time”.
I got no web page (but that may change). For the above reasons, mainly
because I’m slow and methodical, it’s not uncommon for me to turn down a
repair job until I get some gear finished and shipped out. I just don’t
have the room for wall-to-wall busted gear waiting for my attention.
I’m not sure what you might want to put on the page. I’ve been fooling
with audio gear for close to 30 years, but only been repairing for
others for about three. Most of my career has been working with
robotics, which is where I likely acquired my picky nature.
Hope all is well with you!!
From: !Rick at StereoManuals.com
Sent: May 14, 2005 9:21 AM
To: 'JR McDonald'
Subject: RE: AKAI RTR GX-267D service manual
(customer info deleted)
Anyway, nice to connect with you. I used jump on AK occasionally and
read the traffic so I'm familiar with you somewhat and was aware you did
electronics work at least as a sideline or hobby. Do you do it regularly
as a career or business?
I have had precious little time go to AK or anywhere else much over the
past couple years particularly. I've had a TON of things interfering
with my StereoManuals plans and progress. I guess the biggest was mucho
problems with elderly parents which remains a problem that keeps
bringing up unexpected "happenings" that require time diversions. Oh
Since I'm "on here" with you, let me say that I'm aware that probably a
bunch of AK guys may think it's damm near impossible to get pricing, etc
from me regarding manuals. I've made it abundantly clear on my site that
we've had a lot of problems in fully implementing our plans. As a
result, so far this year alone, I've got more than 1600 emails
"backlogged" that I simply have not been able to respond to.
Continuously about 20% of all who write get backlogged. Since early
2003, something like 4000 +/- still remain.
All of them are in our archives and I still do intend to reply to each
at some point if for no other reason than to apologize. Something
changed here a few days ago so I'm very optimistic now that we may
finally get this email problem behind us and actually start attacking
that backlog. Also, I believe I am FINALLY going to be able to start
posting the real lists of our manuals on the site. Many of them will
have full descriptions and prices.
I've heard nothing but good things about your electronics work. As with
you, we do great work (I think). We make real, genuine efforts to
produce each page of each manual to the best of our ability which makes
what we do much more time and labor intensive than most of our
competitors who scan, click "print", and walk away till it's done.
Are you interested in having a page on our site
regarding your work, what you do, prices, contact info, etc.? You could
be listed there and/or a link could open a dedicated page. It could have
tips for vintage audio collectors or anything you wish.
Keep in touch.