When your equipment malfunctions, you have three options: 1: repair it yourself 2: trash it or 3: bring it to someone who knows how to repair it. Skilled as I am number three was my only choice. I got my Dual 1219 turntable in working condition – it was old, was never serviced but it played fine. The automatic was broken and the tonearmlift was malfunctioning. So a couple of month ago – 8 month and 18 days to be exact I brought it in for repair. Finding an someone who was able to repair this beauty proved to be difficult. The few HiFi-Stores around where I live had no clue where to repair an old turntable. Even in the record stores I had no luck – one had a customer who claimed to be able to repair vintage turntables but they had no name or contact information. I had given up all hope to find someone near me and settled to look a bit further away when I got an e-mail from a HiFi-Store I contacted a couple of weeks earlier. They sent me a tip to contact a very small local electronics shop. And to my surprise – the owner said that he has been repairing vintage electronics and turntables since he was 12 years old. The next day I brought my turntable in, explained what I wanted (service and repair of the automatic and the tonearm lift) and left with the information that it might take a couple of weeks due to them eventually having to order spare parts. Since I had a replacement turntable – which broke a couple of month later – this was no problem at that time. But then… silence…
I waited a couple of weeks and as I had not heard a word I contacted them but only got to speak to the son of the owner. He put me off for another two weeks and assured me they would contact me once it’s finished. As another month passed by I wrote an e-mail asking about the turntable but never got an reply. When I finally got someone on the phone two weeks later I got a story of the owner having to undergo surgery and having to do physiotherapy for another three weeks afterwards. Having no means of doing anything (no other repair option) I had to accept this but demanded to be contacted once he was back at work so I could get a timetable for the repair. Another month passed and I never got a call. So I decided to show up in the store and again only got to speak to the son who told me his father just forgot to answer. I made myself very clear that time and left the store. A couple of days later I surprisingly got a call from the owner who apologised and promised to keep me informed about the process. I got a couple of e-mails detailing what was broken and what he has to do to repair it. This involved ordering some harder to get spare parts from Germany which delayed the repair further and further.
Early in september I got the news that the turntable is fully serviced but he needs to replace some part of the tonearm lift which would take another three weeks (ordering from Germany). After I had not heard from him I contacted him again after three weeks. I got fed a story of him being on vacation and so the package with the spare part was sent back and promised that it would be ready in two weeks. He contacted me two weeks later on a friday asking me for another weekend. I already had a couple of scenarios in my mind on what his next excuse might be -but to my surpise I got a message on sunday that the turntable was ready and I could pick it up the next day. After 8 month and 18 days I finally got my turntable back – and in perfect condition. It has been serviced and cleaned properly, lubed and fully repaired. To be honest – I was really sceptical. I believed I’d plug it in at home and nothing would work. But to my surprise everything was working perfectly and smoothly. He even adjusted the tracking force and anti-skating according to my Shure M91-MGD cartridge. The 8 month were damn annoying but I have to say the outcome is fantastic and due to the huge delay I got two years warranty on everything. I had forgotten how much of a difference a good turntable makes compared to a crappy one.
I missed my chance to review many new releases in time and have a lot to catch up to. In the meantime I’ll focus on a few gems I added to my collection the past couple of month. I also plan add a permanent recommendation section for standout albums (in terms of vinyl and sound quality) and a stay away section (like the infamous Emperor repress I reviewed earlier this year). So for my first review post in months will be about a rather new band I discovered just this year – the amazing german duo “Mantar” with their amazing genre-mix of black metal, doom metal, groove metal and post-punk. And since one album does not suffice this will be a review of their two LPs and their live studio sessions.