Leak valve and transistor amplifiers, tuners and other products including the TL 10, 12, Stereo 20, troughline tuners including stereo, Stereo 30, 30+ & 70, Delta 30, 70, as well as the 2000 receivers.
VALVE RADIO REPAIRS
All repaired radios guaranteed 12 months, (obviously excludes repairs carried out free of charge!).
This page concerns repairs to all vintage valve radios and radiograms
How do you go about having a valve radio or radiogram repaired here at London Sound?
And what is our interest and connection with valve equipment - by Mike Solomons.
Don't want to wade thru the lot? Email Mike Solomons with your queries at:-
The picture above is me in the workshop at the back of our shop, with the computer that you'll be emailing to in the background, (well, actually the old computer - we've updated).
My interest in electricity dates back to before I was 4 years old, and developed into elementary electronics at 11, (I can still remember building a very basic radio and taking it to school in the summer following my 11th birthday!).
The hobby was restricted by the cost of parts, so I soon developed an interest in old radios that could be obtained very cheaply from the local radio and television shop. My teens were therefore spent building radios and amplifiers from parts removed from old radios that were beyond repair. I also remember once rebuilding a very old television to receive foreign television programs - before the very first satellite television transmissions! On the other hand, this did not interest my electronically minded friends who mainly spent their time with transistor equipment. As a result, I am probably one of the youngest professional engineers left working with valve equipment. Old enough to have grown up with valves, yet young enough for my brain still to function well! How old? I was born in 1948 - work it out for yourself!
As with all repairs carried out here, London Sound provides free estimates for the service, overhaul and repairs on even the oldest of valve radios and radiograms, and also provides a full 12 month guarantee, in writing. Please note the guarantee covers the whole of the radio or radiogram overhauled, not just the actual repairs.
If another repairer has told you this, he may be right - but. That BUT is a very big but, especially with vintage valve equipment! As my experience with these units goes back to my years as a teenager hobbyist, I am used to substitution where original parts are unavailable - and have been doing it now for over 50 years! It can sometimes happen that we are unable to find spares, but then we either modify the equipment to use other parts - or make them!
High standard of workmanship, (we couldn't give a 12 month guarantee otherwise)!
With rare exceptions, all repairs carried out by Mike Solomons, who has over 45 years professional experience, (it was a teenage hobby before then!). (Or, as he has often said, "put another way - nice people like you bring me interesting equipment to work on - then actually pay me for it! What better way to earn a living! For you, the benefit that, happy in my work, I do my best for you."). As Mike grows older it's becoming a semi retirement occupation - he says "it's still fun after all these years!".
We give Free Estimates and stick to them.
We operate from a high street shop with, (during our opening hours), an open door, (not a private home or industrial estate with a locked door to block out complaints).
This is not a selling operation, (so either we repair, or make no money - no false advice to buy new!).
All repair work guaranteed 12 months. Clearly, in writing. The only exception is for repairs carried out free of charge.
We specialise in older equipment, (Why? Usually good equipment is quite old when it first breaks!) How old is 'older equipment'? Most units repaired here are between forty and seventy years old!
We hold a wide range of spares and service manuals.
When spares are not available, we have the required knowledge and data to substitute and repair. Our facilities include basic woodwork and metalwork, for re-construction, and modification where required, as well as, as you would expect, full electronic research and development facilities.
We are here to stay - Mike Solomons personally owns the freehold of the shop - without a mortgage - so you won't come here one day to find we've gone because of a rent review, (He says, "I now give them, but fairly, not suffer from them!").
Email, telephone, write or call into the shop, for a free estimate. Note, our estimates are completely free, you only pay us if your equipment is repaired in accordance with the estimate.
Free means free!
If such repairs cannot be carried out, then we charge exactly nothing, even if we have carried out a partial repair then found major further difficulties! The only cost to you is transport.
ALL REPAIR WORK is guaranteed for twelve months. "All" means "all", not just some. Whether old or new, whatever the equipment age, the guarantee on repairs is the same. We've even guaranteed the repairs on some mid 1930's vintage radio and radiogram units for twelve months - without difficulties! How? If the work is done properly, it isn't a problem!
The only exception, is that we do not guarantee repairs carried out free of charge.
Not quite the same as buying new, as you don't have all the shiny new instruction books to read, packaging to dispose of etc! Neither do you have to research, purchase, or learn how the new item works - and find out what to do if it doesn't quite have the same facilities as your old unit!
Where you get a guarantee on repairs, (some repairers give no written guarantee at all), the "Industry Standard" is usually either one or three months.
It gets worse than that, as most repairers' guarantees are usually very tightly restricted just to the basic repair carried out - so, for example, if a volume control is replaced, but weeks later the amplifier fails again - as long as the volume control itself still is OK, you automatically have to pay again in full for repairs!
So - how much will it cost?
OUR ESTIMATING PROCEDURE:-
1) On the 'phone, we can often give a rough guide. It is also possible by email and by ordinary mail - it just takes longer, as we may ask questions, and have to wait for replies. "Longer" isn't all that long - apart from holidays, we usuaslly reply within 24 hours.
2) Usually, when you bring the equipment here, on a brief assessment of the fault while you wait, we will give a free estimate. We will also give you a further much higher figure, to be a 'fixed ceiling', not to be exceeded without your written consent. This procedure is called a Qualified Estimate, and is much safer for you.
3) If you agree the estimate, the goods will be accepted for repair. You will be given a written copy of the estimate, with the upper ceiling figure clearly in writing, so you know you are safe. Normally, you will soon receive an invoice on completion of repairs, which will not exceed the 'fixed ceiling'.
4) However, if repairs cannot be completed within the original agreed estimate, a further written estimate or report will be sent. In this case, for your protection, unless a revised estimate is agreed by you in writing, with an advance payment made to prove acceptance, you may collect the unrepaired equipment, with no charge at all to pay.
5) BY MAIL. We can also carry out repairs by mail. Even then, the estimates are free, but the cost of carriage both ways is your responsibility.
So why is London Sound Different?
From the start, I have tried my best to carry out repairs to a high standard. Why? It is far better to do the work properly, than to try to evade responsibility for cutting corners and getting it wrong. Everyone would agree with that, but not everyone has the skills, integrity and self confidence!
I have to admit that, many years ago, in the early stages of my business, I lacked the required confidence, and only gave the usual 3 month guarantee. However, on the rare occasions when things went wrong within less than a year, I never felt able to charge. And yet as I became more experienced, breakdowns after the first few days became rare - and I found myself having discussions with regular customers about repairs carried out five, six seven or more years previously - with the equipment still OK!
A typical example of such a discussion occurred in 1980, as London Sound moved into its shop in Eastcote. I remember it well, as a man with me at the time, (the B.T. engineer fitting in a 'phone with our "old" number, which had provided some problems), had been deriding the idea of customers remaining loyal over a period of years. On the 'phone, a man said, "You repaired my Rogers Cadet III about 8 years ago. Don't worry, it's still OK, but I have a problem with another piece of hi-fi - - -". Not only had the Rogers remained in good working order for 8 years, but so had my reputation! Amazingly, another owner of a Rogers Cadet III telephoned me with an almost exact copy of the first message, in 1990, when we moved to the present shop!
So firstly, why do breakdowns occur within days? Sometimes what we jokingly call a "faulty customer" - a failure to use the equipment correctly! But sometimes it is genuine - and then, whether after days, months, or even a year, if I am wrong, I always prefer to put things right, rather than argue. As, I would hope, but rarely find, should anyone else.
So what triggered the decision to give a written twelve month repair guarantee? It was those discussions with past customers, with tales of equipment which I repaired lasting for such long periods after the work was done! I simply decided to claim credit for what I was doing anyway!
For all contact details, please look above or at Basic Information.