What I cost
(…a bit more these days, I’m sorry to say)
Repair work starts at £40. £20 per half hour after that. Labour costs guide: usually if it doesn’t mean taking out the board or other surgery £40 will cover it, board out repairs usually £80 labour. (I kept my prices at £30 per hour for twenty years, but alas, rapidly rising prices of electronic and other consumables, added to energy and fuel costs, means to stay open I simply must charge more.)
Any amp that I put up on the bench and remove the chassis from will be checked and tested for safety, and inspected for any immediately obvious faults. My bench fee of £40 covers this work and applies to any amp that hits the bench. This minimum fee will also cover repairs that take an hour or less – many do!
I will check, PAT test and service (clean pots and jacks, check and adjust bias) any amp that comes in.
Valves have become more expensive over recent years and I am forced to put up my prices – which had not changed since the year 2000! Cost now is £15 preamp, £20 for common types like EL84, 6V6, 6L6, EL34, £30 or more for 6550 and KT types, sky’s the limit for more sought-after NOS and specials. I have quite a range of secondhand good valves too which can save you some money.
Full restoration of vintage and valuable guitar, bass and jukebox valve amps will likely be £200-£700 labour plus major parts. Some transistor amps are worth restoring, eg the Roland Jazz Chorus, any Marshall 30 watts or over, old Acoustic bass amps, Trace Elliots etc, but many are not. Transistor amps from the 60s and early 70s will need many parts replacing and restoration will be expensive. Unsure? – just ask.
Valve hifi restorations usually about the same or more. I don’t do transistor hifi, you need a specialist with relationships with the manufacturers for that.
Harmonica conversions about £80-140.
AMI jukebox amp rebuilds c. £300 – £700, other tube juke amps considered, similar or higher prices.
I often can’t estimate costs without having the amp on the bench – even then it’s only a ball-park guess as in a repair or restoration you don’t know what is going to show up as a fault next. But I can usually offer a guide to costs and if I can I will. It is possible to ask me to call if costs look like going over a set maximum. I aim to be reasonable, economical and predictable and I won’t ever charge you more than the amp is worth however long it takes. In general I won’t go over a maximum estimate unless there is a very good reason, I will (at my discretion!) put in extra unpaid hours to achieve this, and I will consult with you about any extra costs.