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VALVE OUTBOARD & AMPLIFICATION

Innovation Reliability Quality
Unit 1a Chocolate Factory 2, 4 Coburg Road Wood Green N22 6UJ Tel 0208 829 8927
AMP REPAIR & RESTORATION
"I play guitar in a gigging band so keeping my amps in top condition is a priority. Theo has worked on my vintage amps Marshall JTM50, Marshall JTM30, '65 Fender Pro-Reverb and '64 Fender Princeton. They all were very good to begin with but Theo spent some time with each in his workshop and a few days handed over some truly impressive guitar amps. They all seem to have acquired some kind of magic. They are the same amps in character but now have some warmth and sparkle that makes playing a delight" "Theo has also built me a custom 12 watt classic with reverb - all valve which is like nothing i have ever played. It is the most responsive amp I have ever gigged with and I'm pleased as punch" Dan Turner
The main issues that affect repair are design faults, long term use and/or abuse and equipment which has been quickly and badly repaired or modified. Often faults and diagnosis are straightforward and a minimum fee labour charge can apply.
However, sometimes amplifier repair is complicated due to intermittent and knock on effect problems. Therefore thinking time is needed, especially with design faults where modification might be necessary. Old used amps may require restoration work. See below for more in depth detail about what I do.
All equipment is guaranteed and work includes service reports if required. I must see inside the amp before giving an estimate.
 
Fender bassman 5E6Rogers Cadet IIIFender 400PS
 
CHARGES
To make sure that the equipment works correctly, long and repetitive testing is necessary. If during testing the equipment misbehaves there is more repair time. Suggesting an hourly rate is not straightforward as some people may think.
Testing Prices range from £15 - £40. Labour is a fixed rate of £50 for work up to three hours per item.
There are factors to be considered when restoring and repairing a valve amp which has been used a lot over the years. Pubs, recording and rehearsal studios can be hot and humid places. The amps get hot during use and then cold when they're left in a car overnight, they also run on dangerously high voltages. I take safety very seriously. There are also design faults associated with modern tube amps (see below for more detail).
Restoration labour is from £150. This fee is not based on an hourly rate but reflects my attention to detail including mechanical work and lengthy testing to improve safely & reliability. This is not normally done in other workshops. Some amps need both repair and (some) restoration so labour can be between £50 - £150.
In most jobs I require a deposit, but this deposit and any testing fee will be deducted from the final charge if the job goes ahead.
The answer to the question 'is the amp worth it' in most cases is subjective depending on how much you like the sound and its user friendliness. I'm not a dealer and therefore not qualified to give you a commercial value answer.
Fender concert
As an example of hi-fi restoration this text is from a customer selling a Rogers Cadet III Stereo valve amplifier on Ebay.
"When I got the amp a couple of years ago, I had it fully serviced by my good friend Theo Argiriadis as it was producing some noise from its speaker outputs. Theo knows these amps inside out, and carefully checked out the amplifier, replacing some tired capacitors and resistors in the process. He also recommended fitting a standby switch to the rear of the amp to allow the amp to warm up before switching on the HT circuit and hence prolong the life of the valves (the new switch on the rear engages mains power, the original front switch turns on HT). After testing, he commented that this was one of the best Cadets he'd heard. We decided to leave the original Mullard output valves and Brimar pre amp valves for the time being as they were still within spec and sounded good. Since this service, the amp has had occasional use and has performed faultlessly."

"While the amp was in the workshop I decided to have Theo modify it to separate the pre and power amp sections. This allows you to use the amp as either a straight power amp or preamp. It also enables you to biamp or connect an active subwoofer to your system. Theo used good quality gold phono sockets for the modification and with the links in place the amp operates as a normal integrated amp."

 

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