Saturday, December 27, 2008
Pioneer SPEC 4 Amp Repair
I first saw and heard a SPEC system set up back in 1980 when I was stationed in Guam while in the Air Force. I never forgot it and 20 something years later, I finally got a chance to get my hands on a SPEC 1 pre-amp and a SPEC 4 power amp in very good condition. I had already had the other pieces of my system and was using a nice Pioneer SA-9500 II to power the restored Bose 901 Series IV's, which took me the better part of a month to bring them back from the dead. When I hooked up the SPEC 1 and 4, there was no comparsion. The depth and clarity of the music that the SPEC components produced went way beyond what the 9500 II could muster. I was in heaven...... for a while. About six months later, I got up one morning and went to turn on some tunes like I did every morning and flipped the power amp switch on and nothing. No lights, no nothing. I knew I was in trouble. I live in North Alabama and there was no repair shop anywhere around here that was capable of this kind of work, but I took a chance and carried it to a local electronic shop anyway, mostly out of desperation. Here, let me give a word of advice to anyone who needs a vintage stereo component repaired: if the place you take it to has alot of TV's sitting out, turn around and walk back out the door you came in. That guy kept it a month and was no closer to repairing it than the day I brought it in. Finally, I'd had enough and starting looking around on the net for a real repair shop to ship it to. I looked a several ads and read their sales pitch and then I saw and read the reviews for Austin Stereo Repair in Austin, Texas and knew this was the place I wanted to work on my SPEC 4. Mike, the guy who runs the shop, was very nice and kept me informed of everything and every step of the repair process that he was making. The turn around time was a bit longer but that was entirely my fault. He told me exactly how to pack the amp to ship to him and like a idiot, I didn't listen to him and tried to save a few bucks by not wrapping it in bubble wrap. The amp arrived with a busted bumper on the back. It could have been alot worse and I learned my lesson. If you ship to him and he tells you how to pack it, take my advice; do it! Finally, I got it back and let me tell you, I cannot write a good enough review for the work Mike performed. It sounds better than it did before it died! Also, this guy must be a clean freak because you can eat off the inside of this amp! Austin Stereo has my business from now on. Thanks Mike!