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.
LEAK SERVICE REPAIR OVERHAUL
The favourite Leak amplifiers are the Leak Stereo 20, the Leak TL12 plus, the Leak TL10, the Leak Stereo 30, Stereo 30 Plus and Stereo 70 Also the Delta 30 and Delta 70. The best receiver was the Leak 2000. Notable superb tuners include the Troughline 2, Troughline 3, Troughline Stereo, Stereofetic and Delta FM. The loudspeakers were all variations of the Leak Sandwich design.
12 months guarantee on all equipment repaired
(obviously excludes repairs carried out free of charge!).
How do you go about having a piece of Leak hi-fi equipment repaired here at London Sound?
And what is our interest and connection with the company - 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 twice since the photo).
I was in my teens when I first came across Leak units - a friend owned an early valve unit, the Leak TL12+ and Varislope control unit.
Fast forward to the early days of London Sound, when it briefly merged in an informal way with Sound Distinctive Ltd. Through my partner, Ron Morris, I got to know the Leak team just after the company was taken over by Rank, with their factory at Idle, Bradford.
Whilst London Sound was still with Sound Distinctive, we took on a very interesting project - the repair of a very large number of Leak amplifiers, which were accumulating at the factory, as apparently the service department had not been capable of dealing with them! For a while, I, personally, repaired about 30 amplifiers a week, over and above the other work that I normally would expect to carry out. This was an amazing, (and exhausting), feat, which I have never matched! However, it sealed a very special relationship between me and the factory - hence the reputation, which still survives to this day! Intriguingly, with some trepidation, shortly afterwards I asked my contact at the factory how many of these amplifiers that I had repaired had later broken down, and was told absolutely none! I was not the only repairer who had helped out with this massive repair project, but I understand that no one else managed to match this record!
Hi Fi World
More recently, I wrote a couple of articles for a magazine, Hi Fi World, about the Troughline range of tuners, and another about some early valve amplifiers. Amazingly, the magazine refused to pay me for writing these articles, with the editor, Noel Keywood, going to a great deal of effort to avoid payment! I was, eventually, paid, but only after defeating them in Court! I think that copies of these articles can still be obtained from the magazine.
Now to look at the individual range, starting with the 3000 series. These are not quite "real" Leak, having been manufactured in the far east. I believe that this decision to manufacture in the far east was Leak's undoing, as people who wanted British hi-fi were not happy, and those who preferred hi-fi from the far east didn't look at Leak! There's not much to say about the electronics of this series, although the loudspeakers are OK. All are readily repairable, but they lack some of the magic of the earlier models. However, they do not lack the sound - the whole range is good.
The 2000 range, the tuners, amplifiers, the receiver, the record deck, and all the loudspeakers were, I believe, wholly manufactured in the factory at Idle, near Bradford. However, the cassette deck was actually made in the far east - by Nakamichi! The whole range is good - and definitely worth keeping.
Now we look at the original Harold Leak designs. The Delta range of units were produced by Rank after acquisition from Harold Leak, but mostly were derived from his designs. I do not like the Delta 75 receiver, but the rest of the range is good. The Delta 30 and delta 70 are simply the older Stereo 30+ and Stereo 70 amplifiers with some minor but useful improvements. Sound quality is very, very good, as you would expect.
The tuners were a mixture. The Delta FM tuner was excellent - virtually a copy of the older Sterefetic tuner, and quite as good. Unfortunately the am section in the Delta am/fm tuner was poor - best avoided.
The Leak stereo 70 and Stereo 30+ amplifiers were the last from the factory when it was under Harold Leak. Both truly amazingly good by the standards of the era, and still better sounding than many today! The biggest weakness of these, and the later Delta versions concerns damage from faulty loudspeaker wiring. The protection circuits cannot protect the amplifiers fully, so care is needed to avoid a big bill!
The Leak Stereofetic tuner was a match, or better than any other tuner of its era, and again, still highly prized today!
Then we turn to the valve units. As I mentioned above, I have written on the Leak Troughline tuners, all four versions, (the original, the Troughline 2, the Troughline 3, and the Troughline Stereo). All were streets ahead of the competition, and still amongst the most highly prized tuners in the world of enthusiasts today!
Unfortunately, there is a defect in all versions of the Troughline tuners of the 2, 3, and Stereo varieties, which was, quite literally, bodged in the factory when the units were manufactured. I even have one version of the service instructions detailing the bodging procedures used in my files!
Some years ago, I spent a ridiculously long time looking into this problem, (marginal i.f. instability), and now resolve the problem during all repairs. No, not a harmful "improvement" or change in the circuit - simply re-positioning some components in line with more modern radio frequency thinking! I suspect that the problem was not evident in prototypes - and simply 'crept in' when the tuners were put into production!
The range of Leak amplifiers from the 50's to the mid 60's was wide and very interesting. We hold circuit diagrams, and many spares for repair purposes, though cannot help other repairers with the supply of these rare and valuable parts that are reserved for our customers.
The Leak Stereo 30 plus/Stereo 70/Delta 30/Delta 70 amplifiers incorporate plug-in circuit boards. If you have successfully diagnosed that a particular circuit board is faulty, post it to us with a note including an explanation of what appears to be wrong. Also include your contact details with payment of £90, and we will repair it to Leak's original standards, posting it back to your UK address. Regrettably this service is not currently available outside the UK.
Do please be sure that there are no other faults in the amplifier as damage caused by plugging a repaired board into a faulty amplifier is not covered by the 12 month guarantee.
389B Alexandra Avenue
As always, contact the shop for further advice on your particular unit, and read on below for our general notes on repairing at London Sound:-
If another repairer has told you this, he may be right - but. That BUT is a very big but, especially with Leak equipment! For example, if the output transistors of an old amplifier have failed, it is not unusual to find that transistors of that type number are not available, but that others that are suitable are currently in stock! It can 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 40 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.")
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!).
12 months guarantee on all equipment repaired. Clearly, in writing, covering all functions, not just those repaired. The only exceptions are cosmetic issues and 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 EQUIPMEWNT REPAIRED 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 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 exceptions are that we do not cover "cosmetics" or 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 at Basic Information.