Saturday, February 26, 2011
My Old Stereo Amplifier
A what amplifier?
Lots of people do not know what a Stereo Amplifier is, let alone what a component system comprised of a AM-FM tuner, some with a Stereo Multiplex adapter, a preamplifier, an amplifier and then several speakers of which to attach them to is or should I say was.
I have an old Fisher set up which I brought down years ago, which I presently had it connected to our TV so that I can watch movies and stuff and be able to turn up the volume...so to speak.
Now, kids only have MP3 players or an Ipod to bring them the sounds of music.
A few years ago, it was a boom box.
Many years ago it was a stereo component system.
Well, the Fisher Stereo Amplifier lost one of it's channels. Checking around lately in the stores they no longer sell just amplifiers, they are home theater system......
So now what am I to do.
Although I am capable of troubleshooting to the component level the amplifier, I know that one thing in Mexico is cheap.... that of having stuff repaired.
NOB, to repair the amplifier would first take about half a morning to ferret out where and to whom to take it to. Let alone possibly finding a place anymore.
There are no longer Radio TV shops , several in days past, conveniently located in every neighborhood.
If you still have a local TV Radio repair shop, one then you are one lucky person..... Or you better check to see if the sign you see in the front of the establishment is still what is located behind the door.
The problem for the last 10 to 20 years has been that it is cheaper to simply buy a new better replacement than to fix the old one.
But better then are not! Cheaper......yes, better no way.
I don't even think that Fisher is still around to get parts and stuff anymore. Gone are the days of HH Scott, Harmon-Kardon, Dynaco, and the top of the line Marantz. I know, one of early jobs while in high school was working for House of Sound in San Francisco in the early 60's.
Now it is either Sony, Panasonic or LG. If really cheap some name that sounds expensive, something like Techlab, Dynamic or Axiam.
Now I know the reputation for repair shops in Mexico, they can virtually fix anything.
There was a small store front on Fredrico Tena that I kept passing on my way down to the main plaza for years.
I'll bet he can fix my amplifier.
So, I disconnected it and tossed it in the car to take down to him. He was closed.
So in the back of the car it sat for about a week until one day I saw the door open. Finding a parking space close I retrieved the amplifier and walked in and placed it on his tiny but functional counter.
"Oy' that's old, he said....
Yes, but they don't build them like this anymore, is what I said.
I proceeded to tell him my diagnosis and he confirmed the issue. Come back in a week or so.
Well, I waited about a month for my return, since I know that 50% of the time, a time reference is not upheld.
Returning I paid him 200 pesos for the replacement Amplifier module which also included labor.
I am one happy Hi Fi aficionado again.
No where NOB would anyone even attempt to look at let alone repair anything for 20 bucks.
Can't be done.
You got, overhead, insurance, workman's comp, electric and gas bills, association dues, yellow page advertising, chamber of commerce dues, city licenses, state license, all of which add to the overhead and prevent a competent technician from repairing the same amplifier for a reasonable price.
NOB that repair job would have been at least $250 dollars.
First of all they have a minimum labor charge of $90.00
Then the time it takes to research and order the part, getting it, installing it, testing it, to be sure it all worked, because for some reason it everything didn't work absolutely positively perfect, the store would expect to be sued in small claims count, that will add to the labor bill of about another hour, so now we are up to 180 dollars minimum.
Don't forget the hazardous waste disposal fee, the fee of tossing out the defective part which may or may not include some toxic product.
Now you know why so many businesses NOB have closed.
If my amplifier quits working, after 6 months, I have no one to sue. I will simply disconnect it, return it to the shop and pay another 20 bucks or so to have it worked on.
Plain and simple.
I like simple..........no I love simple.