Electronic Engineers - Chicago. Anyone ever used them?

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by michaelj325, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. michaelj325

    michaelj325 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    13
    Greetings, I have a MA 6100 amp that I'd like to get checked out and possibly refurbed. The volume between inputs is inconsistent and, frankly, it just lacks the volume and punch of some of my other amps. My NAD 3020 blows it away... Anyway, It's cosmetically mint and I'd like to get it sorted out / restored to factory spec. I'm in Chicago and Electronic Engineers is on the list of authorized shops, but when I contacted them, I just got kinda an iffy feeling about them. The guy on the phone was fairly curt, their website is basic at best, and they are cash-only. Is it a case of them suffering from a crappy first impression while actually doing quality work or is this the beginning of a nightmare? There's been mention of them in other threads, but I can't find a first-hand perspective.

    Thanks, Michael
     
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  2. bandg69

    bandg69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,710
    Location:
    West Suburbs of Chicago
    Someone from there(I believe the owner but not positive) came out to my place about a year ago and bought my Rt-707.
    He strips the whole machine down and refurbs mechanics and converts to black face with custom cabinet. His communication
    skills were a bit different. As far as tech abilities I didn't really get a vibe one way or the other. I think your MA 6100 is worth more
    than just a shot in the dark. In Chicago there is only one tech I use and he is great. You could also find a AK member who could
    do your work. There are some very very good techs on this forum. Only problem is they are usually backlogged but that's true of
    most that know what they are doing. Good luck.
     
  3. michaelj325

    michaelj325 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    13
    Yeah, I got the vibe that reels are their thing...
     
  4. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,761
    Location:
    west Texas
    As close as you are to Audio Classics I wouldn't hesitate to take advantage of their many years of experience restoring your MA 6100. Have Ryan send you a Box and a recall tag from UPS. Its much cheaper than paying full retail at a UPS store. When you do decide call Ryan, introduce your self and get to know each other. Then explain your issues and feelings about your 6100. Then follow up with a detailed list enclosed with the unit. You might list the components in your system along with the complaints and desire list. Some times knowing what your desires are and the equipment you have will lead to a larger understanding when repairing your unit.

    When I use to service Revoxs and Professional Ampex knowing the desires of the owners was a big influence on how I calibrated the units. True there is nothing to calibrate with a 6100, but knowing your desires will allow the technician and Ryan when performing the final tests to determine if your wishes and goals have been met. Being Klipsch an Altec dealer when an owner of those brands brought a piece for repair they were checked out after repair driving those speakers. Little noises that would not be produced by a Mac speaker or AR for instance, would glare at you with a La Scala or Belle for instance.

    Your 6100 should be more revealing than your NADS, I know my 2505 and other Macs I have owned from that period are. Mac amps are dynamic, but aren't what I would call a slam variety . You need big power to buckle someones knees and a 6100 just isn't big power. Now driving a pair of Klipschorns or La Scalas there's enough power to get your attention. But driving point source or in-efficient speakers, is not really the relatively small 6100's Forte. I always thought of them as a very realistic, but conservative performer. The memory of tubes was still very prevalent when the 6100 was designed and introduced and very much an influence at the time.
     
  5. TR6man98

    TR6man98 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    728
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    If you hesitate to ship, you might consider member c_dk who's a long time servicing Mac units and is in Western Michigan
    .
    Perhaps a read trip would not be so bad?
    Good luck
     
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  6. michaelj325

    michaelj325 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    13
    Yes. He ( c_dk ) already reached out to me. I now have options Thanks all! I find it rather telling that no one here actually has a service story about E E in Chicago...
     

     

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  7. McGuyDF

    McGuyDF New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Chicago
    I have used Electronic Engineers in Chicago before. Yes, the owner is a bit curt but does good work in my opinion. His shop is a mess but that's irrelevant.
     
  8. michaelj325

    michaelj325 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    13
    I ended up at Stereo Rehab with Casper. Found out the amp had been botched by a previous "service" needs a complete restoration. Had been re-capped with all the wrong values. Casper has plenty of rave reviews, so I'm hopeful.
     
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  9. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,121
    Location:
    NEPA
    Send it to c_dk. He's closer and he probably knows the MA6100 better than anybody. With the improvements made in service parts over the decades since it was manufactured, chances are it will perform better than it ever did.
     
  10. McGuyDF

    McGuyDF New Member

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    30
    Location:
    Chicago
    Emailed Casper, very quick response. Might try to get to him tomorrow with my MR77 McIntosh tuner.
     
  11. McGuyDF

    McGuyDF New Member

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    30
    Location:
    Chicago
    So, i took my MR77 to Casper at Stereo Rehab. I was not able to get any stereo stations in - mono was fine. I have a magnum dynalab antenna connected but it's inside my house by a window, so I know that's not the best setup. Decided to have the MR77 serviced, just for the hell of it. Dropped it off at Casper's around 12:30 - it was done by 345! picked it up today though since I didn't have time to get back to him. Hooked it up at home, unbelievable! I can now get my stereo stations! And Casper is a trip - funny dude. I highly recommend using him.
     

     

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  12. hlcass

    hlcass New Member

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    +1 for Stereorehab. Over the past couple of years, Casper has restored my MA5100, MA6100, MR73, MR77 and Mac 4100. All his work has been outstanding. I also highly recommended using him.
     
  13. michaelj325

    michaelj325 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    13
    Just picked up the 6100 and a SX680 that my dad bought new in 1978 from Casper. Ended up spending a couple hours there. He's great. Watched him break the bad news to a customer that his $6K "high end" hand-made integrated amp (from some brand I can't remember or ever heard of, sorry) is nothing more than an empty generic aluminum case, filled with sloppy pc boards, low-watt substandard resistors, a mismash of crap capacitors and computer ribbon cables, and pots that can be bought for 3 bucks from parts express. It was entertaining and educational.
     
  14. McGuyDF

    McGuyDF New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Chicago
    Casper is nothing if not frank! he insulted the hell out of my C28 and then emailed to apologize and said he didn't really mean it. he's such a cool guy.
     
  15. michaelj325

    michaelj325 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    13
    He's not a Mac fan, but did a damn nice job restoring mine. And that $6K amp he was making fun of was junk. I really wish I could remember the brand name...
     
  16. McGuyDF

    McGuyDF New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Chicago
    he is definitely NOT a Mc fan! and he's pretty funny/vocal about it but he sure fixes the hell out of them.
     

     

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  17. seacliffe301

    seacliffe301 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    513
    Location:
    Michigan
    Just curious, what are your impressions of it's sound quality now that it's been brought back to spec? Everything you hoped for?
     
  18. McGuyDF

    McGuyDF New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Chicago
    well, you have to recall, I have my magnum dynalab antenna located INSIDE my house, by a window. that having been said, the sound is 100% better than before. I could not pick up anything in stereo before the servicing of the unit. Now I can get 90% of the stations. Depending on the time of day, not sure why, the stereo comes in better than others but very little static still. If I really cared enough, I'd have a yagi installed on the roof, but since I don't, this is fine. It was definitely worth servicing - and the pointer light finally works now - old one was burnt out. that alone, seriously, was worth the $139, and I'm not kidding...

    [of course, if you're not referring to my post, then this post was useless, sorry!]
     

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