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realistic expectations rant for cost of recap.

Discussion in 'Pioneer Audio' started by Gavijo70, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Gavijo70

    Gavijo70 New Member

    OP here.. wow I never meant to start a 3 page thread from a simple rant. I never meant to ruffle feathers either. I never said I could not AFFORD a recap on my unit. I was simply pointing out that I could purchase a fully restored 1080 for the price I was quoted for a simple recap of the one I already own. I bought this unit fully expecting to put another 6 or 700 in to it.


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  2. danrclem

    danrclem AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I've already been doing that and I can assure you that I wouldn't touch the 1980 unless I have 100% confidence in myself which may never happen.
  3. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Super Member

    And to the OP.

    Prices in CA are as high as they get in the US and nothing like in your area and others I'm guessing. Don't go by those whacked out rates.

    You don' have to spend a grand to get a recap done. That' the ridiculous route to go.

    Find the guys doing this work on AK and get some quotes. I' sure you'l find someone that doesn' require 100 bucks an hour.

    Good luck!
    Bill Ferris and Gavijo70 like this.
  4. MannyE

    MannyE Exterminate! Subscriber

    Miami Beach
    I'm always amazed when people are surprised that a final tally on the entire journey (acquiring and restoring) a vintage ANYTHING (receiver, car, table) is more than the thing is worth on the open market. As if somehow it should be profitable to enjoy a hobby. It isn't. Never has been and never will be.

    ESPECIALLY when talking vintage audio. Does anyone really think that when you have to scour the entire country for the 3, 4 or 5 techs that can actually do this kind of work at the level we all want the price is going to be low? No. It just isn't.

    Do it yourself (which usually means having or acquiring thousands of dollars worth of equipment AND the knowledge to use it) or pay through the nose for someone who has all the equipment already and has spent decades honing his craft to do it for you. I will happily pay through the nose and all I expect in return is the enjoyment of beautiful music. Certainly not any profit.

    But if I do ever decide to sell my restored receiver, it will probably fetch way more than what a new receiver (that probably cost the same or more) will go for in three years' time.
    botrytis likes this.
  5. rcs16

    rcs16 Super Member

    Baldwin, Ontario, Canada
    In many cases, members manage to do these restorations with just a DMM. You are correct in that if there is a problem or for tuner work then more equipment is necessary.
    AJD1964 likes this.
  6. kydog

    kydog AK Subscriber Subscriber

    That’s a scary thought!! Especially when one has already sent a prized unit out for a restoration


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  7. Gavijo70

    Gavijo70 New Member

    I know what you mean. That’s why I’m currently on the wait list of a well regarded known tech. To me it’s worth the wait.
    rxonmymind likes this.
  8. dr*audio

    dr*audio Fish fingers and custard! Subscriber

    Cleveland, Ohio
    My sister in law lives in Los Altos. She said there are kids with good jobs at Apple that are living in their cars because they can't afford rent. It's crazy.
  9. dr*audio

    dr*audio Fish fingers and custard! Subscriber

    Cleveland, Ohio
    One thing I would like to point out about vintage gear. If you need a tuner or receiver with excellent FM reception, no one is making one now. The only way to get a good quality tuner is to go vintage; 1990's or older. Or the Sony XDR-F1HD tuner. Look at Magnum Dynalab and MacIntosh websites. The specs are not as good as the best vintage tuners.
  10. Reel 2 Reel

    Reel 2 Reel Mad Dog Junkie

    Rockport Texas
    I have the same problen down here ...no service facillities...i am needing service on my SAE TWO A-7 integrated amp. would to like to get it totally recapped while its in for service. Considering some of the AK vendors that advertise here. dont know any of them ...and most look like they only work on the ultra high end / expensive equipment. so I am kinda leary of calling any of them. 20180330_123656.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  11. w1jim

    w1jim I can fix it but good... Subscriber

    Boston western 'burbs
    It's reality time.
    Many people get into vintage hifi because you can pick up some cool gear for a pittance of it's original price (especially when adjusted for inflation).
    The reality is that if you can't do it yourself (sweat equity) it can be quite inexpensive - but if you have to pay someone to do your restorations your paying for labor, and that's a finite resource.

    Your best bet is to buy a restored unit and sell your fixer-upper (IMHO).


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  12. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    SE PA
    I looked at some of the vendors and they don't seem to be McIntosh only, except Terry DeWick but that is known. You ought to call a few of them if you haven't found someone that might be able to help more local. Folks show the good stuff to make you think they can handle anything. In the case of the Mi location, one of the photo shoots was of an SX-950, nothing special about that one.
  13. UncleBingo

    UncleBingo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    A restore on an SX 1050 runs in the $600-750 range around here these days ( Austin, TX). That doesn't include any tuner work. That includes recapping,cleaning all of the pots jacks and switches (probably more than once), resoldering bogus connections as needed, replacing known sketchy or stressed parts, removing faceplate, full cosmetic detailing of faceplate and knobs and labor to replace whatever lamps you need+ bench testing and setting offset and bias a couple/few times and running the unit on the bench for a couple of hours..

    Parts cost can run from $40-80 or so max using good quality Elna Silmic, Nichicon and Wima films as needed. If you need the main power supply caps add more (maybe double the parts cost money on stuff like SX 1250) Turnaround time is usually quoted at 4-6 weeks or so, but many come in under that. I usually quote this by the job after seeing the piece in question, in person. Filthy units simply cost more to work on; if they need scratches polished out of the dial lens, I'm gonna do it. I'm pretty surprised to see some of the dirty stuff that comes in having been "worked on" by other techs (no offense, sometimes cleanup is the hardest part of these jobs).

    I suspect part of the $1000 estimate you got includes covering for worst case scenario (somebody else was in there and made a shit-mess) and a "hassle-fee" for re-packing the unit plus some telephone make-nice time; Phone time can suck the life out of a repairmen unless we're judicious about getting off of the phone. A "Quick question" usually costs me at least $10 worth of time because I feel compelled to provide a thorough answer when possible.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
  14. rxonmymind

    rxonmymind AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Great attitude. Done right it's worth it's "wait" in gold. Haha.

    More importantly both receivers I had restored I had to send back to fix gremlins totally unrelated to their work but they still looked under the hood.
    There is no 100% guarantee that once restored nothing will go wrong again so don't get your skirt bent out of shape folks. That's shipping both ways again on top of what you paid.
    But to have the peace of mind that these techs will back up their work is worth paying for. Every. Penny.
    Now that I'm listening to it, the price paid seems to have faded as the music is front & center working flawlessly & sounding beautiful.
    Thanks Rbuckner & BBergstrom!
    UncleBingo likes this.
  15. kvining

    kvining Active Member

    Planet Houston
    There are a couple of good, reasonably priced techs in the Austin area, look into Austin Stereo Service, very reasonable, very experienced. From my experience with them, my guess is he'd recap that one for about $300. In Houston, Bammel has been in business for decades, he's an absolute ace but pricey, but whatever you take to him will be restored to perfection if you want to spend what it takes.

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