Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Look for an individual that has experience and looks professional. Those that can answer technical questions well will provide the best service as they know their trade.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. Clean your machine(s) and keep them well maintained.
If you want good performance from the unit get the unit looked at with regular intervals. Heads wear, motors need oiling and component change value with time. This is all taken care of by a Technician who knows what to look for and follow good technical practices.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Where have you worked in the past, what kind of equipment do you work on? What is the level of your technical ability and what education do you have?
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. It is simple. Do they want the equipment they have worked on by someone who does not know this type of equipment and one who asks what is an open reel? Do they want the equipment worked on including modifications needed to work with present day formulations or do they want it adjusted for a lesser bandwidth due to lack of knowledge or laziness? I often have to fix what others have messed up but I get the machine back in order. They usually sound great. That is what I am told time and again.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. It is simply a matter of professional pride just as it was when I worked at Teac. If it takes a little longer to get a machine set up correctly then that is the way it is. There is no short changing the customer nor doing a sloppy job. This is why when working as a Technician for Teac I had records for the amount of units repaired per month and at the same time a very low return rate and there we were not encouraged to take extra time on units.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. Well, it is often an observation from a unit that was suppose to be running just last week and it was found that the reel deck- X2000R had no belt on the Flywheels.
When buying something, just don't take peoples word for the condition of the machine- test it out or have it evaluated by a Service Technician. Then you will get the truth. This is more common than not.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. Most if not all clients do not know how much time goes into fixing their equipment right. Often times I am charging 2 hours labor when it has been worked on 3-5 hours to get all aspects of the deck right. You only need one little thing to upset the repair experience. It is better to take extra time and get it perfect rather than to ship units back and forth due to rushing through a job. This is one reason a fast turn around is not preferred by someone who expects a lot of detail in repair.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I was in Engineering school just after leaving the Police Department and needed a summer job. I applied at Teac and was hired due to good test scores pretty quick. After several years in tape deck, cassette, CD, VCR and other electronics products, I was called into the Radio business where I ended up owning my own business, working full time for ESPN, Sporting News, Spanish Broadcasting and Moody Radio. A good technical background can lead you far into many directions. I also worked as a contractor in Pro Video.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. There are always times that in deck repair we learn how equipment was made different and specialized. It is an ongoing learning process as you approach new types of equipment and the new problems associated with now 30-40 year decks. There is also a difference between a repair and a restoration. A restoration encompasses a lot more and can be more expensive. That idea has to be thought out before the deck is sent in as the difference in price may offend some people.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. It is determination. I have come across units that I have had here for a long time. They were in terrible shape from Radio Stations or E bay purchases. Many have intermittent problems that any service tech will tell you are a headache to fix. Still I take them on and eventually get them back into shape. I often tell clients with bad units that I go from the perception that all units can be fixed eventually and it is that the impossible take a little longer. I have never had a Teac deck I could not repair.
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. I am constantly trying to better my parts stock organization to be able to put my hands on a part that is needed quickly. I have seen too much time wasted when looking for a part I have but can not put my hand on right away. This is what happens when you have all the parts I have in a small location. I have also had parts made custom that were only available from the manufacturer but offered no more- thus, I am the only one that has them now.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. Where can tape deck owners learn more about the field of recording and deck maintenance?
That would be Tapeheads.net where a number of experienced Technicians and other fine people that know what they are talking about. The membership is better than 6000 and most are willing to share what they know. I am there to help on a regular basis.
Where to buy fresh Tape? http://www.splicit.com/index.html