$80 an hour for amp repair?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by phishaholik, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    I just got a Peavey 400 off the classifieds here and it crapped out on me the second time I turned it on. I had to call four different amp techs before I even found one to work on the amp. I finally found Music Technology in Springfield who said they would work on it. The receptionist wouldn't let me talk to a tech and told me it would be $80 an hour to work on it and turn around time would be around a month. Is this the norm for the amp repair business? Can anyone recommend a repairman in the DC metro area? The amp is waaaay to heavy to ship anywhere.


  2. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Dude! $80 an hour? That's more than I take! :)

    Seriously though. it sounds like a lot. Especially if it takes several hours to fix your amp.... but obviously, people are willing to pay that price (seeing that there's a month turnaround time), so it must be worth it, eh?

    Perhaps I ought to move to your town and establish my business there....
  3. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    $80 per hour isn't unreasonable, but I wouldn't take it to them without getting an estimate up front about how long it will take to repair it. If they are going to take 4 hours, then it is hardly worth taking it in.
  4. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    They said that I needed to pay $60 when I drop it off to cover the estimate and they would call me to let me know how much before they started to work on it. Here's their web site.


  5. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    It depends on how good they are. I'd rather pay a sharp guy $80/hour who does the repair right and in under an hour than $50/hr to a knob who takes four hours.

    Here at QSC we charge $85/hr for labor, and I'd estimate that 95% of the repairs don't take longer than an hour.
  6. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    If the $60 for the estimate is applied towards the cost of repairs when they do the repair job, then I'd say that the price is fair if they have a reputation of doing good work. You need to weigh the cost of repair against the cost of simply replacing the amp. There are times when it just doesn't pay to repair something.
  7. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    i paid $90 an hour plus parts when a 'chip' failed in a preamp because they were the only authorized repair shop for that brand that i had easy access to
  8. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I just paid $120 today to have a dishwasher repaired. The part cost $29.95 and the rest was labour and taxes. It took 20 minutes. None of these guys work cheap and if they're good they shouldn't have to.
  9. jamesblue

    jamesblue Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2005
    Central Maryland
    I'm in Maryland and am taking my Classic 400 to a place near Chuck Levins in Wheaton MD. I tried just now to use Peavey web site to look for Service centers, but it seems to be down right now.
    Mine is NOS so the warrenty will cover the work, but when the web site worked I saw about 10 authorized service centers in the DC area including the Springfield place.

    Go to Peaveys web site to look up a service center and call around for your best price.

  10. zekmoe


    Nov 9, 2005
    It's 2005 in the USA, not 1955. People are making 100k a year everywhere. It's barely middle class these days.
  11. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Damn! I guess I'd better leave the islands and move back to America... if 100K is barely middle class.

    I hate to rub it in, but there's a guy out here, a semi-retired man in his 60s, who does amp work. He was a lifer in the Air Force, and that's what he did: kept the old stuff working. He's very familiar with vacuum tube technology. He charges $60/hour... $25 estimate fee, and he's been known to let you walk if he didn't find something wrong, or just flat couldn't fix it...
  12. K Dubbs

    K Dubbs Just graduated from OSU, Go Bucks!

    Mar 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Wow, with 100k per year barely cutting it for middle class, it sure must suck to be the average American worker making less than 20k per year. Our country has lots of neat things to look foward to! Just look at all the great stuff that's happened in other countries in which the poor get poorer and the rich get richer...wait...uh oh :help:
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Let's see ... $80 an hour, times 40 hours a week, times 4 weeks would be ... $12,800. Time for a new amp. An Alessandro, perhaps.
  14. specplyrz

    specplyrz Banned

    Nov 11, 2005

    I used to work for a huge retailer, and that quote sounds about right. It was based on block set prices. So, I could replace a pump in a dishwasher in 45 mins, however it was "blocked" for 2 hours time. The customer would get very mad at a 250.00 charge for 45mins of work including the part. This retailer was a rip off, knowing you really had no where else to go. I had many a heated discussion with management over ripping off customers. I left the company......and they were/are involved in fraud lawsuits currently.....serves them right.

    Now I can see 80.00 an hour for an electronics tech....that is quite a bit more demanding than a dishwasher tech, which I have been both. Signal tracing to the component level is a "lil" harder to do than replace a pump in a dishwasher.

    I was always told by my managers that the "block" price we charged payed for our company vehicle and gas, insurance and tools.

    Takes no skill to be a "parts jocky".
  15. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    One thing to take into account is, if you take it to a shop, the $80 per hour does not all go to the tech. He may make $20 per hour or less, the rest goes to the shop and pays the overhead and profit.

    I just found a neighbour who is a hi-fi nut and works on tube equipment. He's apparently very good and works out of his house so overhead is low. Lots of people in the city use him and are pleased with his work. So, now I can get my old tube preamp and Dynaco power amps refurbished at a good price. He was recommended to me by another neighbour who has an all tube, state of the art system that he has over $100,000 invested in. You should see the power amps! Dozens of power amp tubes and they're not 6L6s. He said he spends about $1000 on tubes. Little too rich for me.
  16. The amp tech's dentist charges him a lot more than $80 per hour. So does his doctor, lawyer, and car mechanic. None of them will cut the amp tech a discount because he makes less.

    Next comes the IRS, Workmans Comp, the landlord, the insurance man, the utilities, and the required tools. If the $80 amp tech is an employee instead of sole proprietor, then the owner has to make something out of that $80/hour also.

    This is why I find such amusement when somebody tells me they are doing well because they got a $13/hour job. Especially here in California.
  17. D.A.R.K.


    Aug 20, 2003
    i've used music technology before and yes, they are expensive,
    but they are really trustworthy and do what they say they're gonna do.
    they will not string you along, and will tell you right away if it's not worth it.
    it takes a month there because those guys are slammed with work all the time, thus the 60 bucks to look under the hood.
    unfortunately, at the prices you're looking at to repair that piece, seems like you're probably better off buying a new one.
    what's the exact problem?
    blowing fuses?
    does the amp turn on?
    can you plug into an fx return/power amp in to see if it's a pre-amp malfuncton?
  18. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Tell us more about the problem. Maybe it is something that isnt so hard to fix.
  19. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    I'm glad someone around here has actually used them before. Now I feel a bit better. I believe the problem has something to do with the standby switch. The first time I turned the amp on, I noticed a burning smell coming from it. The second time I switched the amp on, the standby switch didn't work and the amp under power immediately. I didn't notice at first and plugged my bass in and blew a fuse. I replaced the fuse the next day, but the standby switch still didn't put it on standby and the power was fluctuating. The tubes were actually dimming. It still produced the burning smell and I knew that this wasn't good for it, so I switched the amp off. The light above the standby switch was fluctuating too. It might just be a bad connection in the switch, but the burning smell worries me.

  20. Yup, try and find a reputable guy that freelances, will be much cheaper :)