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Fisher repair in NYC?

Discussion in 'Fisher' started by Patrick_W, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. Patrick_W

    Patrick_W AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    Can anyone recommend a competent tech in NYC?

    I have recently purchased a KX-100 that has some problems that I cannot quite figure out. It seems that the right channel will clip when the volume is turned past 5 on the volume knob. I can put the balance all the way to the left and everything works great. Put it in the center, or to the right and a consistent 'thwack thwack' noise comes through once I push levels. I am not sure what is going on. Tube rolling and the obvious fiddling does nothing and I am not proficient enough to trust myself to wade into the weeds of trying to fix it myself. At some point I find it better to "throw it to the pros" as a friend of mine likes to say.

    So, a recommended NYC tech who loves Fisher? I have one that I trust who is an hour outside the city, but damn do I hate the hassle of dealing with the traffic to get there and back.

    Any suggestions on a subway accessible tech would be well appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Patrick
     

     

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  2. jonnyz123

    jonnyz123 Member

    Messages:
    51
    I recently used Blackie Pagano on my 500C. He’s in the east village, but you can drop/pickup at his brooklyn (bedstuy) apartment. Nice guy and I believe he did an honest good job, although I’m not super technical. He had a five week wait when i took mine, so you can’t be in a hurry. He works exclusively on tube equipment, and has done so for around 30 years. He’s not a fisher head but said that’s he’s worked on many many in his time. I think he said “100s”. His focus is function and repairs, not cosmetics. I don’t believe he tracks all the more nuanced mods and stuff written about on these forums, but he def knows his stuff.

    I also came across Bender Electronics, and Stereo Repair World. Also tube guys, but not exclusively, and in long island.

    In connecticut there’s Mike Urban (“Urban Vintage”) who does speacialize in Fisher, but definitely doesn’t solve your traffic problem. Never tried him because he asks for a $250 assessment/bench fee, which may include some repairs by default. Seemed steep for my needs.

    Used to use Fisher Doc (Al Pugliese) in Staten Island but he no longer takes repairs. Just adding here for anyone else who might be wondering about him.

    So, who’s your person one hour outside of the city? And, please definitely update this post with anyone else you find! Even if it’s a year from now. You never know when your go-to person is going to retire, move, or “move on”.
     
  3. sberger

    sberger Hard Core Geezer Subscriber

    Blackie is supposed to be the best according to my NYC vintage tube head friends.

     
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  4. Tom B

    Tom B AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,432
    Location:
    Bay Ridge, Brooklyn New York
    If its solid state, I can always help with repair, service, or restoration. But I try and avoid Tube unit repairs.
     
  5. Patrick_W

    Patrick_W AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    Thanks Tom. I appreciate it. It is a KX100 so you probably do not want to mess with it. But I will keep you in mind. I might have a solid state repair coming up...
     
  6. Patrick_W

    Patrick_W AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    I really like Blackie. He is a knowledgable guy who has had years of amplifier repairs under his belt. He repaired two Harmony tube guitar amps for me. He did a great job and upgraded the power cords on the guitar amps making the amps safer, and they sing.

    However I am not convinced he is the guy for audio amplifiers. I posted earlier this year in the tube forum looking for someone to repair my HK A500. This was after going to Blackie.

    Long story: I purchased an A500 five years ago and had Analogique repair it. After 5 years one of the can caps is leaking, oops. Analogique is not the same shop as it was when I first went to in in the 90s so I went to Blackie with it. I told him about the leaking can cap and said check the other caps and check the tubes. The A500 has 7355 tubes but I had collected 8 extras. After $400 in parts and labor I get it back. Blackie said he replaced some caps and the offending can cap, but the tubes were good. He told he he tested them. I take it home and hook it up, but it still does not sound great, especially the phono. I take it back to him a week later and he hooks it up, goes through the aux and the phono, and tells me that it sounds the way it is supposed to sound. Ok, I think, I remember this sounding better.

    I then find Mark Weiss at Amplifier Experts in CT (about 2 hours away) and he does another $200 parts and labor, finds shorted caps, additional bad can caps and bad power resistors. Oh and all the tubes are bad. However, now the amp sounds great. Really wonderful. I am happy.

    Could the A500 have deteriorated in the three months in between? Possibly. But I did not run the amp as it was not sounding good, so I am not sure how the tubes would go bad, and the caps and power resistors would develop issues without it being used. I think Blackie missed something. Mark did a great job. He has a slightly cheaper labor rate than Blackie, but is not close by. Also he is seriously talking about moving to Japan so I don't think he will be my go-to for the long run. I don't know, maybe the A500 is an odd piece, and it takes patience to get it to sing right. Maybe Blackie is better with Fisher and Dynaco like the Stereophile video shows. I just know I don't like having to take something to be repaired at a different repair shop after picking it up from one shop.

    Thus my question here in the Fisher forum. I bought a Fisher KX100 and when it arrived in the mail it was not working. I think something happened in the shipping. The person I bought it from offered to take it back and refund my money. I however want a working Fisher. This one is nice cosmetically so I fell for it. It looks gorgeous. I am trying to find someone to repair it. With Fisher in it tube prime being local to NYC I thought there may be a local Fisher aficionado here that someone on this forum knew.

    Unfortunately with rental costs of NYC another shop I had used, Cosmophonic Sound, has moved to Long Island. I have heard of Bender and Stereo Repair World, but I do not have experience. I don't mind traveling to get something repaired, but I can combine going to CT and NJ into other trips. I don't have real reasons to go to Long Island.

    I have also heard really good things about Bristol Electronics in Ho-Ho-Kus and talked to them on the phone, but he always has a long turnaround time so I have not gone there.

    The tech I know in NJ is a guy in Boonton NJ who works out of his house. I had him repair a MAC 1700 and he did a wonderful job. I will post his info when I dig it up. I have it in my files.

    Sorry for the long post, but I feel like finding a tech you like and trusting their work is a never-ending search.
     

     

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  7. jonnyz123

    jonnyz123 Member

    Messages:
    51
    Hey Patrick. Wow, it always amazes me to hear how much gear people have, especially in NYC where space is (usually) at a premium. Nice!

    Anyway, my initial instincts on Blackie were consistent with what you say Patrick, in terms of his focus on instrumental amps, but I decided it was my best option, and he did say he’d worked on countless Fishers. The results sound great, but you never know what else could be improved.

    That said, I’m definitely interested in your guy in Boonton as another resource. I’d gladly drive an hour for a guy who does great work. When you have a moment, please do share.

    What was your experience with Cosmophonic in terms of quality, price, personality, etc...?

    Thanks for the detailed info.
     
  8. jonnyz123

    jonnyz123 Member

    Messages:
    51
    Forgot to mention. There’s a guy on ebay named captainfantastic16, who operates out of brooklyn (bay ridge i think) who advertises Fisher restorations for $500. He also sells a ton of tube parts. He seems pretty steeped, but I have no experience with him.
     
  9. jonnyz123

    jonnyz123 Member

    Messages:
    51
    Just remembered something else. There’s a member named @sony6060 (real name may be Jim?) who used to post to this group, lives in nyc, and supposedly does repairs. He stopped posting it seems in 2014, and I have no idea how to contact him. But he seems very knowledgeable. If anyone has info on him, please share. There seems to be no way to start a comversation with him on this forum.
     
  10. Crestwood23

    Crestwood23 keep on chooglin' Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,667
    Location:
    North Jersey
    Sony6060 was unfortunately banned from AK a while back, and I believe moved back to Michigan a few years ago.
    I would also recommend Blackie Pagano in the NYC area, he’s worked on my vintage tube guitar amps for the past 20 years and has always been great to work with.
    I use Tim at Bristol Electronics too, but the last piece he restored for me took 7 months (!).
    I’ve heard good things about the “guy in Booton” too, I’d probably try him next and hope for a quicker turnaround time.
     
  11. jonnyz123

    jonnyz123 Member

    Messages:
    51
    Thanks @Crestwood23. Wow, I wonder why he was banned. Seemed like a well-versed guy.
    I've used Bristol and he does take a while. And that's on top of the time he spends talking your ear off .. in a nerdy charming way of course.
    In case Patrick can't dig up his details, do you know how to contact boonton guy?

    Thanks!
     

     

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  12. Patrick_W

    Patrick_W AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    I went to Cosmophonic to have a Thorens repaired. The unit I had was having issues with hum and they were great. Not too long of a turnaround, reasonably priced and did good work. He was highly regarded as a NYC service shop, but they closed the UES locale and moved to Long Island. There is another fellow in Brooklyn, Jude who runs a shop out of his home. He is good with solid state equipment, but tubes are not his strength.

    The tech in Boonton is named Pete. I thought I knew where I put his invoice so I could give you more details, email etc. But I need to dig deeper. I do have his phone number. You can PM for that. I also have decided I will bring my Fisher to him.

    As for all my gear.... the HK is in a family house I share with my brothers in VT where a lot of my vinyl is. That is why I was concerned about the phono stage. In my apartment I have an MA230 and MR67. Those are gorgeous to look at so I don't feel terribly overwhelmed in my NY apartment. However I do have an office space where I have been running different 70s receivers (HK, Pioneer, Akai, Sony). That is where stuff lingers, but I discovered unused receivers can be stacked for storage.

    Also that is why I picked up the Fisher, I wanted to go tube in the office space as well, and use an FM-3 and run a CD player through the system. That will happen in the new year.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  13. jonnyz123

    jonnyz123 Member

    Messages:
    51
    Thanks patrick. Seems like you may know more repair options than we do. Sorry this post didn’t bear more fruit for you.

    Seems like you were going to say who your final choice is but your sentence trailed off. Cliffhanger!

    Mo spaces mo gear mo problems. Very cool problems though. I was thinking of turning our cellar here in bk into a second listening space, but it’s all stone. Used to have bands and dj’s perform down there and heard a lot of compliments on the acoustics. But that’s apples and oranges to a pure listening setup. Something for another post.

    PM’ing you now about pete.
     
  14. Patrick_W

    Patrick_W AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    I meant to say I was bringing the KX100 to Pete. I just edited the post. My hope for the post was someone in the 5 boroughs would emerge. But it seems that I may have sleuthed out most of the best solutions locally.
     
  15. MannyE

    MannyE Exterminate! Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,075
    Location:
    Miami Beach
    Jesus guys. You say "moved to Long Island" like it was Fiji or something. Even if he moved to East Hampton it's only a couple hours drive. Oyster Bay is only 45 minutes away. How far can this tech have possibly moved? I know how it is. Saying to me "he moved to Brooklyn" meant we were never going to see that person again because we lived in Queens and well, he's in Brooklyn now. I get it. But now that I live in this wasteland called Miami Beach, I would not have any issues driving to Ronkonkoma if I had to.
     
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  16. Patrick_W

    Patrick_W AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    I could see how all the sun of Florida could make you forget the pleasures of driving the LIE....

    I joke, of course. Truthfully you are right. It is not THAT far. The last time I was driving Eastward on Long Island there was a snow storm and I was a little freaked out that no one wished to temper their speed. I grew up in Vermont and in a snowstorm you always drove 20 mph slower. Yes it took longer, but if you stay on the road you get to where you need to.

    The point is well taken, for the right tech, why wouldn't you brave the wilds of Long Island if you knew you would be very pleased with the results?
     
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  17. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,825
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Off hours is the key:D
    Let us know how it works out:thumbsup:
     
  18. notdigital

    notdigital AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,237
    Location:
    NYNY
    Curious: Any way you could put up an audio of this "thwack, thwack, thwack?"
     
  19. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,825
    Location:
    New Jersey
    George,
    I was going to recommend you
     
  20. Patrick_W

    Patrick_W AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    Sure. I will certainly try that this evening. What audio links are allowed? Or can I attach a mp3 here? I can record something on my phone.
     

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