I get a lot of requests for console repairs. Unfortunately, I can’t do house calls at present, so they need to come to my shop (in my home in Durham, NC). I can only fit a limited number of large consoles in my shop at a time. To get on the waiting list, shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com.
Please have realistic expectations! Consoles are difficult to repair due to their age, the way they were built, and availability of parts. There’s a good chance that you may make the effort to haul it to my shop and I’ll tell you that it’s not going to be repairable or that it will have limited functionality at best. My repair business is a part-time activity and I have a long queue of regular turntable repairs. I simply can’t take on projects that are going to be major overhauls.
What to check first: Before doing anything, I need to know whether the amplifier in the console is working properly. Try putting it on FM and tune in a radio station. Then check the balance controls and see if good sound is coming out on both sides (if there’s scratchy static noise using the controls, that can usually be fixed). If the radio only plays on one side or not at all, this usually means there’s a problem with the amplifier and reduces the odds that the console can be properly repaired. Let me know and we can talk strategy if this is the case. Sometimes there are workarounds.
Pictures are very helpful: Please take a couple of shots of the record changer and the electronic controls. This lets me know what era of unit we’re dealing with.
If your console has been stored in a garage, shed, basement crawlspace, barn, etc and has been exposed to extremes of heat, cold, humidity, dust, dirt, bugs, critters, etc, the chances of a successful repair are much lower. I may decline to take on the project if I feel it’s going to be a waste of your money and my time.
Changer removal: If you’re handy (or have a friend who is), you may be able to remove the changer unit and bring that to me separately which will bypass the waiting list and help your repair get done faster (this assumes that the console amplifier is in good working order and doesn’t need servicing). Let me know if you’d like to try this. I have written up some instructions. This will require some tools — a screwdriver or nutdriver, a flashlight and preferably a camera.
Cosmetics: I don’t have the time to offer wood cabinet repairs or restorations. There are other local businesses that can provide these services (I don’t have any specific recommendations).
Cost: In general, most console repairs run between $100 and $200. Changer-only repairs are usually $75 – $125.