Factory service for products from the 90's

I would hope reputable companies would continue service for amps and preamps from the 90's. Your thoughts?


I am thinking you can get better amps and preamps now for less than the repair + shipping costs. 

Even for "top of the line"  Mark Levinson, LAMM, ARC and Spectral amps and pre's? What do you feel repairs will cost. What are hourly rates?

Nobody wants to stock and pay tax on repair inventory that might sit on the shelf for years. The 90s were 30 years ago, it's not very feasible or business smart to provide repair service for items that old. That is really asking for a lot, 10 years would be exceptional in today's market.  

Interesting. Some of these Top Line products were advertised as a lifetime product. I find the 90's seem like yesterday :)

Wasn't "factory service" but I have had no problem getting servicing or repairs done on my McIntosh gear.  There are several very reputable individuals available.  The McIntosh amp and preamps I own are from the 1980's and early 1990's.  

Wasn’t "factory service" but I have had no problem getting servicing or repairs done on my McIntosh gear.

Some older gear is readily repairable as long as components are available, newer gear with specialized IC chips and the like are basically unrepairable once those components are out of stock.

I hear some Harley-Davidson shops won't work on bikes that are more than 10 years old. Man, that seems like it was yesterday. 

I do too but that only shows how old we are 😀. I encourage you to check out the new stuff if you can. It’s fun. Class D amp, streaming, DSD, DSP, immersive sound. We are old but not dead yet. Let’s live a little. 

A lot of products manufactured in the 90's have discontinued semiconductors. This is the main reason support has been dropped -- they are afraid if they open up the unit for an unrelated repair and accidentally take out a transistor or two that's no longer made, they cannot make your equipment whole again. Lawyer on line 2...

In general, yea they will. Like Audio Research. I lent my 1978 vintage preamp to a friend… he blew out one channel about 15 years ago. We contacted ARC… and they immediately told him how much it would cost.

Many people love an audio component… and after a certain time want to keep it. One of the reasons you buy a product from a company like Audio Research is it can be forever.

On the other hand, if you are chasing the highest quality sound possible… then you sell that reliable product with a company that will support it nearly forever to someone else who can be sure it is a good investment.


Alternatively, you can buy from the new company trying to get into the market. The cost will be lower… and some of the sound characteristics will be top notch… some of the sound characteristics may not be… the ones you discover when owning an audio product over years of use. Also, the company may not be there to support the product.


I recommended a Rouge product to a friend about 25 years ago when the company was new. The amp blew up in the first month. The founder told my friend it wasn’t his problem because it was a tube that took out the circuit, and he did not cover damage to the amplifier created by a tube problem. So, tough luck… pay an additional 1/2 the price of your amp to have it fixed. I absolutely guarantee that would not have happened with Audio Research. I was humiliated as I was the one recommending a Rouge product. If I were to do it again, I would have recommended a used high end brand, instead of a new comer.

Lamm never authorized third party repair or made schematics available. I do have a guy here in Austin who rebuilds pre-war tube amps, so if I needed him to work on the Lamm ML2s, I suppose I could get his help. But, Elina is planning on opening a facility in Florida. Let’s see how that goes- I’d rather stick with the factory, despite the shipping factor (I lived in NY for a long time and had Lamm service my equipment regularly -- we would drive it from the Lower Hudson Valley to Deep Brooklyn). I’m now in Texas, which means shipping by air freight if I continue to rely on the factory. So far, I haven’t had a need-- Vlad went over the amps before I moved down here full time, 5 years ago and I’m pretty well stocked with extra tube sets.

Sorry Vlad passed. He was a good guy.

The simpler the circuit the easiest to repair, that is why vacuum tube power amps and most preamps can be repaired. Only with custom made ic’s and sime mechanical parts things are getting tough but even then substitutes may exist as some reputable individuals. Problem is that they are getting older too.

I don’t understand why anyone would expect to get a 30 year old or more piece of equipment fixed.  Would you try that with a 30 year old car?  If you want to be able to get service almost forever, look into McIntosh.  They are very reliable and the factory backs all old products when possible.  I bought a 10 year old McIntosh integrated amp in 2017.  As of today, I have never, ever encountered a problem with it.  In 2017 I paid $3200.00 for it, today the asking price on the same unit is $5000.00.   

My very early model Lamm preamp has been back to them a couple times in the past few years or so. Despite the shipping cost, I was happy to have it repaired. I had a fifty year old car that could be fixed, easily. It too was a 'classic'. 

@stereo5- I’ve owned cars that dated back to WWI. Some of the great cars were made pre-WWII. The analogy fails. There are pieces of equipment that are well worth restoring- old WE, Saul/Sid era Marantz, etc.

(there are many post war cars that are great, but whether they are worth restoring for market sake, e.g. BMW 3.0CS, Mercedes 300 6.3, etc. is a different question).

If your point is that the only safe bet is McI, I’ll disagree, though I’ve had McI stuff since the late ’60s- early ’70s and still use it. It is one of many that came out of WWII as mil-spec.

I'm not looking for restoration for marketability; just continued enjoyment of good equipment I  like the sound of.

I just ran into problems that certainly apply here. I have a McIntosh MC7200 amp from the early 90's,making it around 30 yrs ago. No problems with it at all. However, I went to change the lighting bulbs for the second time, only to discover that due to the heat of the lamps, the plastic housings around the meters, as well as the light socket holders are all disintegrating! I called Mac's parts and service. I was told there are no replacements for the housings, too bad on the socket holders, the circuit board that the light bases are soldered to are no longer available, and the actual meters themselves are no longer available. I also contacted Audio Classics and was told the same thing. 

So it makes me wonder about all this, and the fact that in the future I could have a Mac amp that would look awful, meters that don't work, lighting that no longer works, and what else? Maybe some of these meterless amps you see ( i.e. Parasound, etc) aren't a bad way to go. I love this amp, meets my needs perfectly, but I'm a bit frustrated and this looked like a good place to vent!!

@sid42     I have a MC7300 which I have owned since new. Last year I sent it off to BobTheTechAudio.com for servicing for some minor issues and to have the bulbs replaced. I’m not sure he can help you but he is very knowledgeable and is great to correspond with. He kept me abreast of everything he did and recommended. He could advise you further.

Krell services their amps of 30 years ago. I don't think you could buy a new amp anywhere near the quality for what the repair would cost.

My experience indicates very significant positive progress in fidelity is made by the time ten years has passed. So, of course, old equipment is much cheaper, and repair can be inexpensive. An older amp should be cheap. Whether this appeals to you depends on what you are going for and your budget.

A Rolls Royce from the 1990's still provides a luxurious ride and safely gets you from a to b. I think excellent audio products from the 90's still sound good.


the parts you need are available just not from McIntosh. Lamps and silicone grommets. As you said old were hard and disintegrated.

I installed new bulbs and silicone grommets that hold the bulbs on my old C36

preamp before selling it. Not to hard at all just take pictures step by step. Just

be careful with glass.

McMaster Carr for grommets and Mouser for lamps.



Pretty much can fix, repair, rebuild, upgrade any audio component.


We are located in Northern New Jersey.


PM me if you need work.

My Rolex is getting on; but I still like it. Like it's maintainable as well. I enjoy taking care of my little toys :)