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I recently took my Hot Rod deluxe to Long and Mcquade for repair. The problem was one half watt resistor, a $1 part. The labour charge was $72 for an hour. Seems a bit excessive to me. Is this the going rate, I wonder?
 

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I recently took my Hot Rod deluxe to Long and Mcquade for repair. The problem was one half watt resistor, a $1 part. The labour charge was $72 for an hour. Seems a bit excessive to me. Is this the going rate, I wonder?
Seems pretty standard.
 

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My L&M farms out amp work. Others probably do too. If you can find the actual guy you might save some coin next time.
 

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From what I have experienced, L &M will get an amp fixed.

Now take an amp to a really good tech, your amp might cost a little more to get fixed. The tech that I have used for my last couple of services, prints out an appropriate schematic, measures the values each component, and documents that reading on the schematic before and after replacing something deficient or wrong in a circuit. He evaluated previous mods and offers recommendations to get the best out of the circuit. The bonus with my tech is that I actually receive documentation on the overall “health” of my serviced tube amp. That to me is priceless, compared to just getting my amp back repaired, (just enough to work, or not, with a lot of other nagging small issues still there). As if you are supposed to be happy with a minimalist approach vs. truly professional service from someone who cares.

That has been my experience.
 

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Sounds fairly standard. Lots of generic parts are pretty cheap, but modern amps are built for cheap assembly rather than serviceability. Usually major disassembly is required for any simple job.
Consider what you would pay for a spark plug replacement in a modern car where everything is buried. Lots of labour, cheap part.
 

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Look at it this way...a percentage of my repair work is undoing bad work done by a previous bargain tech (and sometimes not a bargain for that matter). I pride myself on fixing stuff correctly and performing quality work with a warranty. Often it requires me to do research on products I have not seen on the bench before. That's what you pay for....and $72 is totally fair.
 

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There's often a 1 hr minimum bench rate for inspection/diagnosis etc. What you paid seems about right then.
 

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Reasonable (min hourly bench rate is going to be 60ish and L&M will mark it up, because yes they do outsource) except that the job should only take a half hour (they may have a 1 hr min policy, but not all techs do; mine doesn't).
 

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There's often a 1 hr minimum bench rate for inspection/diagnosis etc. What you paid seems about right then.
Yep, the $$ billing clock starts as soon as it touches the repair bench to diagnose, repair, and hopefully burn-in/test (and ideally) retest. The latter point is one of a number of reasons why I decided to learn tube amp circuitry/build-repair 10 years ago from a local amp guru, and now I can tweak/fix on demand!
 

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except that the job should only take a half hour
Who told you that? Have you pulled one of those main boards in these amps before? What if the faulty resistor was intermittent and took extra time to diagnose? I don't see how you can make a blanket statement like that and we never even heard about the complaint, symptoms, or any other context?
Not to mention that since they're in there, most reputable techs will also clean pots and jacks as required, re-solder common problem prone areas like board mounted tube sockets and jacks, etc. Then do a power/function test using test measurements and listening tests.
Turning this particular job around in half an hour could probably be done, but it would be like a calf-roping competition. Most techs would like to put a bit more care into their work.
Sorry if I seem overly sensitive, just trying to show that things are not always what they seem. On the other hand, yes, there are sketchy so called 'techs' out there that might bang out this job in 45min and charge 2 hours for it.
 

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I'll fix your amp for some weed.

I've used nonreverb several times over the years to work on my three 60's era fender amps and have been happy with the work and with the bench charges...Don't know if he'd accept weed though :)
 

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Who told you that? Have you pulled one of those main boards in these amps before? What if the faulty resistor was intermittent and took extra time to diagnose? I don't see how you can make a blanket statement like that and we never even heard about the complaint, symptoms, or any other context?
Not to mention that since they're in there, most reputable techs will also clean pots and jacks as required, re-solder common problem prone areas like board mounted tube sockets and jacks, etc. Then do a power/function test using test measurements and listening tests.
Turning this particular job around in half an hour could probably be done, but it would be like a calf-roping competition. Most techs would like to put a bit more care into their work.
Sorry if I seem overly sensitive, just trying to show that things are not always what they seem. On the other hand, yes, there are sketchy so called 'techs' out there that might bang out this job in 45min and charge 2 hours for it.
That's true in a general sense, but I've had more than a few buds with Fenders, and then some of my own amps, (all of which I took to my guy on their behalf) with blown power supply resistors and (maybe my tech is just that awesome) that's what it was. Also there is a known issue with some of the smaller modern Fenders with a specific resistor (which many of problems with my buds' amps were) so the diagnosis was pretty damn quick for that reason. This (OP) was a modern fender so....

Then again, when one of the screen resistors went in one of my amps (not Fender), that took me a bit to find because it was a hairline crack (all the way through) that made contact until a transient bass note shook it open momentarily. My tech did not find that (didn't hear the issue; sound cutting out for a fraction of a second, kinda like a very shitty trem) because he wasn't stacking the amp on the speaker for the resistor to vibrate open (but on his bench with a cable to a speaker off-table). I then opened it up to look myself and was just about to give up and put the chassis back in the headshell when my probe happened to randomly touch that resistor exposing the issue, so I get where you are coming from. My only intent was to point out that there is such a thing as min bench time charge or rounding up to the nearest hour, and not that the tech was a bastard or a moron. If anything I was going to blame L&M for that rather than the tech because they have the power to set the policy on those sorts of things.
 

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Like with any specialized task, it seems like a lot of money for the work, but if you can't do it yourself, you're beholden to the going rate.

We regularly complain about bars not willing to pay us for our work (it's just playing some chords for a few hours, how hard can it be - right?). This isn't any different.

I inquired about removed the captive power cords from my LS700P subwoofers and replacing them with IEC receptables like this:


They quoted $120 for each subwoofer, plus, since it's dealing with power the mods have to be CSA approved, which is another $150 each, bringing the total to $540 (plus tax, I imagine). The parts are $2.00 each. I can easily do this myself and probably will, but where can I source a fancy CSA-approved sticker from? :p
 

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Like with any specialized task, it seems like a lot of money for the work, but if you can't do it yourself, you're beholden to the going rate.

We regularly complain about bars not willing to pay us for our work (it's just playing some chords for a few hours, how hard can it be - right?). This isn't any different.

I inquired about removed the captive power cords from my LS700P subwoofers and replacing them with IEC receptables like this:


They quoted $120 for each subwoofer, plus, since it's dealing with power the mods have to be CSA approved, which is another $150 each, bringing the total to $540 (plus tax, I imagine). The parts are $2.00 each. I can easily do this myself and probably will, but where can I source a fancy CSA-approved sticker from? :p
I've had that exact specific thing done, except it was also replacing the original 2 prong (on my Garnet Sessionman head) and a general once over (it was new to me at the time), for a lot less by a pro /legit tech, just sayin.

I have no problem paying for work, I have a problem with inflated pricing like that.

But do you need the CSA approval if you DIY your own unit (vs make/mod/distribute as a business of a certain volume)? Cuz yeah, these days I would just do that exact thing myself (like when I made a power controller for the gear in one of my racks that don't have power switches or they're on the back out of reach). If so then all us kit builders are cruising for a legal bruising. Even some small boutique makers, whose amps I have seen in the classifieds here changing hands.
 

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They quoted $120 for each subwoofer, plus, since it's dealing with power the mods have to be CSA approved, which is another $150 each, bringing the total to $540 (plus tax, I imagine). The parts are $2.00 each. I can easily do this myself and probably will, but where can I source a fancy CSA-approved sticker from? :p
I install 2 or 3 of these IEC's every month. Depending on how much trouble it is, any where between $50 - $75.00. You do realize the "CSA Approval" charge is going right into the tech's pocket.
The CSA thing is a crock. How many people have three prong cables installed, broken fuse holders replaced, IEC's installed, and any number of repairs that would require minor changes to equipment. Do you really think these techs are having all of it CSA approved. Not to mention boutique amp builders, most of which do not have any kind of approvals.
Also, despite maybe having a CSA sticker on it, pretty much any vintage amp won't meet certification. There is so much misinformation about what needs approval these days, it is almost laughable.
That said, I've seen power cables replaced and IEC's installed by "qualified" techs where they were wired incorrectly, or grounds removed. I even saw a piece of stereo equipment where the fuse was bypassed. So, no that kind of work does not need re-certification, BUT, be careful of who does the work.
 

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If I buy a tube amp from L&M I always buy the warranty. It's not expensive when you consider the cost of 1 single visit to a tech. From here, London, they're sent to Yorkville in TO for repair. I've spoken to the tech there on a couple of occasions, he has always resolved any issues I've had.
 
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