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  • #16
    Wow, to think of being able to do $40-$70 for an hours work, that would overrun my one man show. But of cause, I'm in one of the countries with the highest individual tax and VAT rates in the world. Converted to $, the charges here is around $100 to $150 pr. hour, but VAT is 25% and at the end tax takes half, so roughly outta 100, I get 40. Which again still is alot in comparison, but then again anything from milk to gas is around 2-2 the US price.
    Anyway, same experience here with the multilayered charge politics, customer sure needs to feel he's making a good deal, but it's kindda oldschool that low charge gets more work in, my experience is that they will pay higher prices, as long as you can do what you say you can do, fix stuff reliably, give an extended warranty on the work itself, and be large with the pre- and post help on the phone. Be solid with your work, helpful in any way, never talk down to the customer no matter how much an ass they might be, and last: be honest when things is out of your expertice, not worth fixing, or at least give a heads up on the extra charge if you can see it add up before you throw time and parts in. Customers hate surprices.
    What I do to be competitive is charge the average in the business, have no basic prices, no start up fee, just treat every single repair as a "between you and the customer" case, special needs attended. They will pay double if you give them attention, understand what they try to explain you in their non-tech talk, and can back up the work. Not saying that I ever charge double if I smell green, but charging too low is not equal more work and loyal customers. And for certain, it will close your shop if it's your fulltime job.
    And worst: don't start talking like you know everything and use extra 15 minutes, leaving the customer hanging. Goes the same way around, gently stop the babbling customers that have read too much on the internet

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    • #17
      FWIW---Peavey's shop at the factory in Mississippi charges $55.00 per hr. and I think a 1 hour minimum. I had one of their tech's tell me that he could not imagine a problem in an amp that he could not find and repair in one hour. They will charge you $5.25 packaging and handling then you have shipping cost both ways. So if shipping cost you about $30.00 total you are looking at $85.25 per hour for one hour of work.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by fredcapo View Post
        My approach was in one case where someone wouldn't/couldn't pick up a repair was to offer to buy it from him. In that case it was a nice unit and he was happy to get cash and I got it pretty cheap.
        At least in CA, I was always told it was illegal to buy customer's units. Too easy to take advantage. "Yeah it's not economically repairable, but I will give you $10 for it for parts..." Then they put in a diode and sell it for $300. Happens all of the time.

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        • #19
          Peavey's rate is probably the cheapest in the country. Hourly rate means it is a bargain to the customer when they have the experience on their own products to be able to fix anything in one hour. No many shops can compete with that, since few stock enough parts to consistently get one repair an hour done throughout the day and week. Chasing parts, shipping, studying the schematic on unfamiliar products etc really lowers productivity if the only effective work done is moving units onto and off the bench as the only income producing activity of the shop which drives prices up. Unless someone specializes in on category of equipment, they will not be able to stock enough of the needed parts to maintain the productivity rates as Peavey or any shop doing depot type maintenance. To get that level the entire shop must be optimized so it is very efficient and the techs only have to repair.

          Several people commented how legal problems would not occur or the risk is not high. That means the people saying that are not in actual business. Protecting your business from lawsuits is one of the key responsibilities of the owner. Policies have to be created to minimize the risk because any suit, even if unfounded can put a shop out of business.
          You are at risk no matter how proper and justified your policies are because it is the customer who determines if they were wronged, not you. They might be full of sh.....t but you still have to spend $10-100k defending it.
          An employee if fired, files a complaint with the various agencies that regulate labor relations, you will be spending more of your time preparing responses and hearings than spending time on the bench.
          If someone thinks using a cleaner in their mixer, like DeOxit, so it must be poison and therefore you are responsible for every headache or cold they ever had, you still have to defend it even if it does not get to trial( I had that one, cost $22k to prepare for the case although it was thrown out early).
          If someone drops their amp on their foot opening your front door, you are responsible until you prove otherwise.
          So you create policies and practices to reduce the risk such as put a sturdy cart at the entrance for them to put their unit on it before having to walk across your lobby to the counter. You create an internal policy of never taking a customer's unit for lack of pickup or let anyone touch a customer's unit unless you are fully confident in their ability to not damage it. You learn to not promise any completion date until it is already completed.
          Ask anyone doing regular business, a lawyer needs to be on retainer at least to advise on legal ramifications of any policy or claim made by the shop.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by mac dillard View Post
            FWIW---Peavey's shop... had one of their tech's tell me that he could not imagine a problem in an amp that he could not find and repair in one hour.
            They must not accept Classic 30's

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            • #21
              I am sure it does. The Classic 30 is one of the simplest popular amps on the market and easy to repair and keep running. What is wrong with the Classic 30?

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              • #22
                I have no beef with the Classic 30 electronics and they sound nice enough, but my experience is that disassembly and reassembly would take a large portion of the stated hour to repair.

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                • #23
                  It is sort of like working on single board mixers, getting the knobs and jack nuts off to remove the board, seems tedious and slow but time it sometime. It is quicker than it seems.
                  The Classic 30, as you know, to get to the electronics, the 3 connected pc boards need to be removed from the chassis to do anything. It seems like a long time but if you have the right tools laid out, the pc boards are out and can be worked on in 10 minutes max.
                  The hardest part is getting the whole amp out or back into the case. The wood swells a little and it becomes really tight with age. A bigger problem is the glued covering can hang up on the sharp edges of the chassis. I found that a very thin sheet of metal can be slid between the chassis and the cab, that keeps the covering from popping up and hanging on the chassis or worse, tearing. I found a thin panel that is coated on one side with Teflon which I cut into 5 in wide strips a foot long. Sliding those between the chassis and cabinet on either side, allows sliding the amp out without damaging the vinyl/tweed and chrome chassis easily. Reassembly is aided by the same panels. They came from cutting up a thin cookie sheet.
                  Without those aids, getting the amp out can a problem if the covering lifts or tears in prior removals, a very common problem. Be sure to glue the covering down smoothly before reassembling. The tight fit is worse in humid climates.

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                  • #24
                    Probably does take a lot less time than it seems to. The other thing with these is I don't like powering them up outside the cabinet beacuse they are so flimsy with only the bus wire between the boards. They are fine amps for the price but in my opinion serviceability is not their strong suit. Very good tip about making some sheet metal slides, I will try that one! Might help protect Fender faceplates during removal as well.

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                    • #25
                      Oh foo, all you have to do is take a couple C30s apart, and then you are familiar with it. Hand me a C30, and I will have the boards out ready for soldering certainly in less than 10 minutes, probably less than half that. That's not bragging, that's just doing it a few times.


                      Pull tubes and rear cover.
                      Pull chassis bolts, disconnect speaker wires, and pull chassis. Free the reverb bag if you must.
                      Pop off the row of knobs and spin off the pot nuts. Spin off the jack nuts. Don;t forget the ones on the bottom side.
                      Pull the little 4-40 screws around the tube sockets.
                      Fish out the two bottom jacks by their ribbon cable and set them out of the way of the boards.
                      The bare wire jumpers between boards act like a hinge, so fold the top board down to the other board so the pots clear their holes, and turn the boards so the tube sockets lift from their holes.
                      There, boards are out.
                      Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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                      • #26
                        C30s really aren't that big a problem after you've had a couple of them apart.

                        I just fixed a CS1000X which needed 8 new power transistors, a bunch of resistors and electrolytics and twenty years cig ash and belly button fluff cleaned out of it. I'd never worked on one before, so it took ages. But I can't see any way that this particular amp could be dismantled, diagnosed (although the scorch marks and vapourised components gave some pretty strong hints) and reassembled in less than an hour. I note that someone elsewhere on the forum was complaining about Peavey charging $250 for a similar job on a CS800...

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                        • #27
                          They charged $250 from parts, I'd wager. You get a base to collector short on an output transistor and it will kill the entire row of them. Replace a dozen transistors at $6-7 each or more and that adds up. For a bill that high it is possible a new driver card was installed. Hard to say.

                          Those wind tunnel amps are like anything else, once you are familiar with them, they are simple enough. But if it takes an hour? Fine with me, $55 is a winner deal. I charge at least an hour minimum for such an amp.

                          CS1000 -
                          on the bottom, pull the screws that mount the board stack.
                          take the top off.
                          my memory may be faulty here, but seems to me I have to pull off the volume knobs and take off the pot nuts.
                          Take out remaining screws that hold the rear panel to the chassis.
                          Pull out the rear panel with the board stacks still attached to it.
                          There should be enough slack in the wire harness to allow the board stack to be set on edge next to the chassis.
                          Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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