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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
Repair project for local band's Vox Jaguar and Arp Omni
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havah1138



Joined: Feb 25, 2012
Posts: 4
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:31 pm    Post subject: Repair project for local band's Vox Jaguar and Arp Omni Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If this isn't the best section of the forum for this I apologize, this is the section that I've used for circuit troubleshooting advise for the past few years and I know there are tons of professional, knowledgeable gear enthusiasts out there who might possible be able to shed some light on this.

I've been into DIY synths and refurbishing analog instruments for a few years now, I've been attending college for electrical engineering, and I've recently been taking on projects for local bands who love analog gear as much as I do and I want to help them bc they can't find anyone else locally who won't price gouge them for repairs or try to get them to "upgrade" to something new that is h opposite of what they want - like a new MOTIF or something. My problem isnt fixing the gear so much as know what to charge them, so that they're treated fairly but I'm still able to be compensated for the work and replenish my parts supply.

First, I'm working on a VOX Jaguar v304 type 2 - it had a constant sustaining note and a popping sound when the voice switched "mellow" "bright" etc were switched on. I've replaced some germanium transistors for ones from a farfisa compact that is fixing the note issue, and the popping is narrowed down to a capacitor issue and bad ground connection. I'm also replacing some caps and things in the keybed that might cause problems later.

The ARP OMNI has many run of the mill issues, bad tantalums, all sliders need to be cleaned out bc they're quite sticky. Of course I'm giving everything a good cleaning and getting rid of oxidation and bad connectivity. Replacing jacks, and getting the synth section up and running which hadnt worked since they bought it.

For anyone who has worked on instruments professionally and understands that we do this stuff because we love classic gear and like meeting others who do as well, but that we have to support ourselves to continue this passion - what is a fair estimate for these? If you need more details or pics let me know. Again, if you want to direct me to a different section then please do, I just want to advise on a quote that I can give these guys. Thank you so much.
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Mongo1



Joined: Aug 11, 2011
Posts: 411
Location: Raleigh NC

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I will tell you this - please read it over and over and over. It will serve you well.

ALWAYS GIVE THE ESTIMATE BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING

Remember that musicians as a whole are always short on money, and they generally have no idea how much work it is to fix this sort of stuff. You will therefore almost certainly get yourself in a position where you'll have a pissed off customer who runs around telling everyone that you ripped them off. You're a pirate. etc etc etc. And why? Because you charged them more than the price of a Big Mac to fix some beat to crap piece of gear that they pulled out of their Uncle Bob's attic.

And once you have given the estimate - stick to it if you can. You will probably know pretty soon if you have gotten in over your head, so if that happens - communicate honestly with them, and keep them in the loop. Never surprise them at the last minute.

Regarding how much to charge - it's up to you, but in general I'd say set a price per hour, with an X hour minimum. Plus parts. Don't be afraid to charge for your service - remember that you have a service they want. If they don't want to pay, they can do it themselves

Good luck
Gary
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havah1138



Joined: Feb 25, 2012
Posts: 4
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you very much for the advise. This is very much the type of perspective based on experience that I'm looking for - I've suddenly found myself in a position where bands and musicians are realizing that I'm the only person(or one of very few) in my area who actually specializes in vintage gear, and I'm getting a lot of requests for work. Like I said, I'm very excited about working with people with similar interests, and the prospect of making some income while doing something I love sounds great.

However, while I feel fairly confident about my abilities working with the equipment, the business aspect of doing something like this is completely new to me - I want people to feel like I'm offering reasonable fees, and be able to come to me with their stuff rather than part it out or take it to a music shop that doesn't typically work on analog or vintage gear. I just don't have any reference for what people usually charge for this stuff.

Much of the equipment I'm working on right now are synths, organs, and electric pianos that these bands have already sent to other techs, and came out dissatisfied with the work bc the problems came back after awhile or were never totally fixed to begin with. The vox jaguar, for example, had some parts replaced that were not even compatible with the circuit and I've had to pull them out start fresh. I've thought about just asking one of them what the last tech charged them for working on their instrument, just to have some kind of reference, but I'm afraid that might come off strange or unprofessional in a way.

I think you're right about giving an estimate up front, and I try to keep people as up to date on the technical details as possible without bombarding them with jargon that they won't understand or care about. I even take pictures every few steps of the repairs so I can show them what I've done. I'm just afraid I'm going to throw out a number that's going to scare people off just when I'm starting to get a lot of repair requests, and miss an opportunity to eventually become to go-to technician around here for this type of thing.

Anyway, I really appreciate you insight, those are all good points and definitely apply to the predicament I'm in here.
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