Welcome to the Vintage Vet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. Below, I’ve tried to answer the most common questions visitors to the web site may have. If you find your question isn’t answered on this page, please Contact Me.
Do you service modern equipment?
Yes, if it has valves! I’m asked to service quite a bit of high-end modern Hi-Fi gear, for example.
Do you service transistor gear?
Hmmm. Generally not. PLEASE don’t ask me if I can sort out your video/telly/DVD player/CD etc. etc. as a poke in the eye often offends. However, I do sometimes weaken and look at classic trannie radios such as those made by Bush, Hacker or Roberts. No harm in asking.
Talking of tellies, do you repair old valve ones?
What do you want one of those for? You can’t watch programmes on it unless you’ve got a special video or a converter. And what you watch will probably be in black and white, too!
As you may have guessed, old tellies aren’t my favourite thing, but once again, there’s no harm in asking. If I don’t fancy the job myself I can perhaps put you in touch with someone who might take it on.
What about cabinet/case repairs?
Big question! Basically, what I can do depends on the type of cabinet or case.
Plastic (including Bakelite). These can generally be cleaned and polished up and have minor scratches removed quite easily and cheaply. It is very difficult (and completely uneconomic) to try to invisibly repair deep scratches, chips or cracks in ‘bare’ plastic or Bakelite cabinets, though it is a lot easier if the cabinet was originally painted (and can therefore be resprayed).
Varnished wooden cabinets. Again, minor damage is quite easy to repair (and it’s surprising how far a little TLC can go in bringing a wooden cabinet back to life). However, for anything serious it’s better to get a specialist furniture bod involved. I have access to a good furniture restorer who can provide a quote for anything up to and including a complete cabinet repair and refinish.
Fabric-covered wooden cabinets. Usually, these clean up quite nicely, and repairs (e.g. to torn fabric) can be surprisingly hard to spot. Missing or damaged trim parts can be difficult to replace, though.
Metal cases/exposed chassis (think ‘50s Hi-Fi). Easy to polish up, but if it needs a respray it can take a while to remove components to enable a decent job, and it is awfully difficult to preserve any transfers (decals).
Can you supply parts?
Yes! See the Sales and Wants page for details.
Can you get me a valve radio/gram/piece of Hi-Fi, etc?
Ebay has knocked the bottom out of the market for most valve equipment. Most ordinary stuff (radios, ‘grams etc.) can be had for only a few pounds or tens of pounds on Ebay. The answer to the question is that I can get hold of most things for you, but your best bet is to look on Ebay and get it yourself. Then you can send it to me and I’ll happily fix it up for you. The usual Ebay warning applies here - be careful out there!
I bought a valve radio/gram/piece of Hi-Fi, etc. (or: got it down from the loft) and switched it on. You’ll never guess what happened...
Oh, I bet I can! What you do with your own gear is up to you, of course, but unless you were very lucky I bet you won’t do that again. Joking apart, unless you know EXACTLY what you’re doing, switching on an old piece of equipment whose internal condition is unknown is a mug’s game (and potentially lethal into the bargain). For example, have a look at this. The kind of thing shown in that link is depressingly common in equipment as it comes to me. Fancy your chances?
Do you want to buy my valve radio/gram/record player, etc?
Generally, no. If there’s something specific I want, I’ll put a request on the Sales and Wants page. The exception to the general rule is valve Hi-Fi, which is always potentially interesting. If you have any valve Hi-Fi you want to sell have a look on the Sales and Wants page to learn more, and then feel free to get in touch.
Repair and Restoration of Valve Audio and Radio