Audio Service Department
“The only service center in Canada that I endorse 100% without hesitation is Innovative Audio in Surrey, British Columbia. We looked into many options for product support in Canada and Innovative Audio is the only facility we’ve investigated where competence and customer service are on equal footing. I trust them to render fair and objective opinions and have excellent service at honest prices and as such would recommend them without reservation.”
Kent English, Pass Laboratories, California, USA
Why should I choose Innovative Audio to fix my equipment?
At Innovative Audio, we pride ourselves on having one of the best reputations in Vancouver & the Lower Mainland for repair services. Not only for warranty repair work, but also with real cool stuff that includes everything from vintage audio equipment to pro music gear. We provide the best service at the best price every time.
When you get your item repaired by us we will do everything we can to make sure your item is repaired properly, using high quality parts, for the price we promised. When possible, we will use original parts for your items and will only use best replacement parts should original parts be unavailable. WE NEVER USE SUB-STANDARD OR ‘FAKE’ PARTS – EVER! In addition, our repair facilities are outfitted with state of the art test equipment to insure absolute precision when repairing any item. With all that behind us, we offer a full 90 day replaced parts and labour warranty on any and all repairs performed in our shop.
We have items shipped to us from all over North America to be repaired and we are proud of that.
How much will it cost to repair my equipment?
This question, without a doubt, is the second most asked question we get asked. (The first is ‘Can I get that without tax?’) So, what do you do? The best possible answer I can give you is to bring in the item. Please do not ask us by phone to give you a ‘ballpark idea’ as it is simply impossible and we will not do this. It would be like us asking you “My computer isn’t working, how much will it cost to repair?’.
First, we have an estimation cost of $50.00 for most units. $100.00 is required for consoles and tube equipment. This is paid up front when you drop your unit off and afterwards, should you decide to have the repair done, this amount is deducted from your total invoice. Once an item is in our shop for an estimation, it is handled carefully and checked over thoroughly. When we evaluate an item, we take the information given to us by the customer and use that as a starting point. Sometimes these estimations can take 45 minutes other times it can take up to two hours. Once an estimate is done we will then call the customer with our results. Under no circumstances will we repair a unit without authorization. Once we receive approval to proceed, we can usually have your item repaired within a couple of weeks depending on availability of parts. The reality is there really is no way to tell how much a repair will cost in the end without actually getting at least an estimate, regardless of the company you take your equipment to.
The following list is a small sample of the types of equipment we specialize in:
|Guitar Amplifier Speakers
|Processor / equalizers
|Mini disc players/recorders
Here is a partial list of brands we have experience with:
|J A Michell
|B & K
|B & W
There are only a 100 names or so on this list and it grows constantly. If you happen to have an item made by a manufacturer not listed above we can still probably help you out.
Some of the 1,000’s of parts we keep in stock for customer repairs
Yes, we repair eBay and other ‘on-line’ purchases
We have all been there. Sitting for days waiting for an auction to end with you as the highest bidder and that wonderful feeling at the end when you actually won! But then, comes the nail biting shipping nightmare…
I won’t go into details but suffice to say we have pretty much seen it all. McIntosh amps simply destroyed by carelessness, rare tube equipment smashed due to improper care and attention or worse, poor packaging. We cannot promise success on every piece we get that has gone through the ‘courier crunch’ but we have had our share of victories.
We have also found that sometimes, an item was sold that was not as advertised. In these cases, and the item sold was described as working perfectly but in reality was never plugged in and all sorts of problems are soon discovered. Blown outputs, burnt out lights and other ailments are the usual suspects but sometimes the problems simply cannot be repaired due to unobtainable parts or parts costing ten times more than the item is worth. We will never promise you miracles, but we can certainly do our best to help you out.
Beware the ‘experts’!
Too many times we have had customers enter our shop armed with information they had gleaned from forums on the internet. Now I for one am all for getting as much information I can on particular subjects before making a purchase but I draw the line on these ‘internet experts’. For the most part these are individuals that seem to have vast amounts of information on virtually any topic known to man kind and dwell solely on the forum sites doling out witticisms to anyone and everyone they can. I have no idea if they have actual jobs as some of these people seem to be on these sites at all times of the night or day. In all fairness there are quite a few that DO have good, if not incredibly informative advice, but by and large these are often far and few between. On the other end of the scale are those that offer horrible, if not dangerous suggestions that more often than not lead to disaster. Over the years we have had dozens of items brought into our shop that have suffered the consequences of these people and it seems the problem is getting worse, not better.
The best (or worst) example of this was a question posted by a customer to a person on one of these forums regarding an amplifier that they had and the person on the forum – whose name a really wish I can put here – sent an email back with diagrams stating that the ‘best way to clean an amplifier was to run it through a dishwasher with the case off at high temperatures, then immediately plug it WHILE WET to dry out the circuits’. This would not only ‘de-solidify the carbon build-up around the capacitors, but also revitalizes the PCB (printed circuit boards) so that the voltage can travel better from point to point thereby giving better sound’. Also contained in the email were 6 attached comments from other people who had apparently tried this with ‘amazing & astounding sonic results’. I really shouldn’t have to explain why this has WRONG written all over it, but should you need further explanation, I think now would be a good time to visit us and we’ll give you OUR tried and tested advice!
I cannot caution people enough when getting advice from the internet as there are simply too many nut jobs out there. If you feel that just because the information is free it has to be true than you are treading a dangerous path. Remember, you are getting advice from someone whose name is unknown, where they are is unknown, phone number unknown, knowledge & experience in electronics unknown, telling you how to perform surgery on audio equipment that may be irreplaceable or hideously expensive, and IF something should go horribly wrong who can you blame? Just be careful.
Do you fix or calibrate turntables?
Absolutely! We also carry the largest assortment of belts, mats, headshells and various other accessories anywhere in BC! That’s a bold statement but true! With our new and used stock, we either have what you’re looking for or can get it for you in short order. We also carry new cartridges and styluses from Audio Technica, and Nagoaka ! With a huge selection of turntables either in stock, or on the floor at anytime, we probably have just what you are looking for!
At Innovative Audio, we know that buying a turntable is not easy, so we decided to add a special service to help you out. Starting September 1st, 2011, any turntable bought at Innovative Audio will include 2 free calibrations. Simply bring back your table at 6 months and one year of purchase. Your table will be checked, calibrated, weighted properly and adjusted where needed free of charge twice over a one year period! Turntables get moved, bumped and jostled over time and we understand that sometimes, things happen. Please note that this does not cover any repairs needed or replacement of parts (stylus, cartridge etc).
Why repair my old stereo when I can buy new for $150.00?
Remember the adage: YOU ONLY GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! Today’s systems just aren’t what they used to be unless you’re purchasing the higher end models and I don’t mean the receiver that costs $150.00 either. The stereos of yesteryear were big, built to last and above all else reliable. Repairing something ‘old’ may seem crazy when you can buy a new item like a DVD player for $19.99 and new speakers for about $29.99 as well as a complete ‘surround sound’ stereo system for the price of a tank of gas! But what will that get you? New products from names no one has ever heard of are bursting on the market everyday with prices that are simply too low to believe! I do not know about you, but before I plunk down a chunk of cash I want a product that has some history behind it.
TIP: Products on the market today simply do not have the tolerances to make mistakes when connecting your speakers or components. Having said that special care should always be taken when connecting any component to another component. Rule of thumb – always turn everything off and double check all your connections before turning anything on!
How do you tell if the stereo component is worth keeping?
Weight. It’s that simple. The heavier a receiver is, for example, the more likely it’s worth keeping. The reason is also simple. That weight is the transformer(s) within the unit being able to supply the power needed for the output of the amplifier. These are normally the amplifiers and receivers pushing out 120+ watts of proper ‘old school’ power. If you damn near have a hernia lifting the beast, the odds are it’s worth the repair bill. Whether you have an older 2 channel system or a new home theater receiver, if it’s really heavy, and it does not work, look at getting it repaired. Another good indication of whether to invest any money in your unit is its age. If you’re a 2 channel nut, the more likely it is that you DO want to spend money on it.