Wonder what it's like to work with us?
Repairs can sometimes be complex, but our process shouldn't be. We've put together some FAQs around our process and policies so you know what you can expect when you bring an instrument into our care.
Questions you might have before the repair
Depending on the issue you’re experiencing, it can be quite hard for us to diagnose and estimate a repair just based on your description. This can be for a variety of reasons:
- There are just too many possible reasons for the problem and we need to open up the instrument to go through the process of elimination
- It’s a rare instrument
- The company that made the instrument doesn’t release schematics, which makes problems take longer to pinpoint
- Once we fix one problem in the instrument, others may then become visible - for example, if the instrument simply won’t turn on, once we get it running, we may begin to find additional problems
If your instrument presents problems that are common and we’ve dealt with before, we will normally have an estimate we can share with you ahead of time. This typically applies to common repairs around power supplies, cleaning controls, or standard maintenance.
It’s often hard to provide an estimate ahead of time (see “Can I get a quote?”) - but on average any straightforward repairs can fall between $150-450 on the lower end and $500-800 on the higher end.
Some repairs that involve refurbishment or deep repairs with expensive or rare parts can climb much higher, into the $1000-3000+ range. In these cases, we work with our clients to develop repair packages so they can find the right level of repair for their budget.
We normally perform any repairs up to $300 without sending an estimate. If we believe the job will go beyond that, we'll contact you either before initiating repairs or as soon as we have a better idea of the scope. There's a nonrefundable bench fee of $120 if you decide to decline the repairs.
Currently we have multiple waitlists depending on the complexity of repairs. For most repairs we are looking at 1-3 months. For more complex repairs, the waitlist is up to 7+ months at the moment.
Our wait times are constantly evolving, but we will always try to bring you in as early as we can.
Because the waitlist sometimes just doesn’t work out for our clients who have shows or studio sessions coming up quickly, we have two levels of service we offer as a flat fee on top of the repair:
Priority Service is $120 and the turnaround is usually 4 weeks unless parts or complexity of repair poses an issue
Rush Service is $180 and the turnaround is usually within a week, with the same dependencies.
This fee is applied on top of the normal repair costs for parts and labour. When you select one of these options, we will be able to bring you into the shop during the next business day (or sometimes sooner).
Please keep in mind that our emergency services aren’t available for every instrument and every problem, and we will let you know if that’s the case.
If you are having an emergency and need an immediate repair done within 24 hours, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject: URGENT and we will get back to you.
This is a tough question to answer, but one we get all the time. After decades working in the repair industry, we have seen a lot of situations arise for buyers and sellers. The last thing we want to do is be caught in between.
The most important thing we care about is the instrument - is it healthy? Does it sound good? Does it feel good to play? Even when estimating how much a repair might cost for someone who simply wants to get their instrument running, it can be difficult to know what the price may come to for a variety of factors (see “How much can I expect to pay?”). This includes the fact that until we repair one thing, e.g. a power supply, we won’t know what other issues exist.
Due to all these factors, we don’t offer diagnostic services to outline the work to be done, since we can’t know the full scope until we begin actually repairing the instrument. We need a commitment from the buyer or seller to repair before agreeing to take on the instrument. We care about the instrument and our reputation - we don’t like to let an instrument leave our shop until it is in good working condition.
At the moment, our policy is not to share any information on work done or required other than with the owner of the unit. If you’re purchasing a unit that requires some work, have the owner reach out to us for an estimate or to share any repair history. If we have done work on the instrument, our work is always outlined in detail on the invoice.
We do a thorough amount of triage and testing around problem areas you’ve noted and check on known or common problems we’ve seen before.
In some cases we’re able to test all functions, and you’ll see that noted on your invoice. However, in some cases we won’t. This is because of the thousands of permutations of tests that can be performed on some instruments depending on the number of voices, number of controls, and number of capabilities. In some cases it can take up to 3 hours to test all functions.
If you would like us to test all functions, however, please let us know, and we can work with you as to the best way to address this.
Questions you might have during the repair
Once you drop off your instrument, we’ll send you an email confirming our receipt of it at the shop and that’s now in our care. We aren’t always able to begin repairs on the instrument immediately, but within 1-2 weeks you should receive an update from us regarding what we’ve found and an estimate if you haven’t already received one.
If things are looking straightforward and we either don’t need parts or have them already, our next email may simply be the invoice!
We normally perform any repairs up to $300 without sending an estimate. If we believe the job will go beyond that, we'll contact you before initiating repairs. There's a nonrefundable bench fee of $120 if you decide to decline the repairs.
Once we have your instrument in the shop, it may take a week or so before we have it on the bench. Once we do, the turnaround is typically one week before we either have repaired it, or come to a conclusion regarding parts required to complete the repair. We will normally check in with you around this point, whether to invoice you or update you on the estimate.
Once we order the parts - which can normally take 1-3 weeks to arrive - we will finish the repair and ensure the problems you’ve indicated have been addressed.
This is the case for the majority of instruments that come through. However, If it’s a difficult repair, it may take over 4 weeks, and sometimes climb into a few months, to complete the repair. We will normally indicate this with you once it’s been on the bench and we have a better idea of what we’re dealing with.
Questions you might have after the repair
We warranty our labour up to 2 months from the date of invoice, which is the date of completed repair. Sometimes we are able to warranty parts, and that will be noted on the invoice. If you are experiencing anything wrong with your instrument after you’ve picked it up, let us know and we’ll work with you to determine what the next steps might be.
We try to accommodate instrument pickup as much as we can, but we have limited space at the shop and can only hold instruments for so long without it impacting our ability to serve other customers.
For this reason, and for the below FAQ ("Once I pick up my instrument, how should I keep it in better shape?"), we charge late fees on our invoices and storage fees on instruments left with us outside set time frames.
Late payment fees: We charge an interest rate of 5% per week on invoices not paid within 2 weeks of the date of invoice.
Storage fees: We charge $20/week for each instrument not picked up within 2 weeks. If there are extenuating circumstances or other issues why you are unable to pick up, please reach out and we will see what we can do.
Vintage instruments need attention. When they get left in a closet or sit in your rack for months without being turned on, they naturally start to decline.
When you bring an instrument to us to repair, we exercise it rigorously to determine if the repairs are holding and to uncover any other issues. When you pick it up, it's been exercising, it's healthy, and it's strong enough to withstand significant use.
When you get your instrument home, turning on your instrument a couple times a week and playing it will help keep it healthy. So enjoy playing your instruments and they will last longer and play better for you.
Some general questions you might have
We specialize in vintage synthesizers, drum machines, and other electronic instruments built between 1960s-1994. Instruments from this era were built with components that were and still (mostly) are available to repair when they die or get damaged. Instruments past this era (1995+) are typically made to be thrown away, or to have entire circuit boards swapped out in order to repair. They also were built with parts that are simply not made anymore.
We do however repair some modern instruments! It all depends on the problem. Shoot us an email or submit the form and we’ll be able to let you know if we can help with your unique situation.