Running out of parts for early Sunfire gear

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jjptkd
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Running out of parts for early Sunfire gear

Post by jjptkd » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:33 pm

Just thought I'd give everyone a heads up about some of the early Sunfire equipment that's no longer repairable. I bought a Cinema Grand with a blown rear channel a little while ago and recently brought it in to Bob Carver's Audio Service. Bill has told me that he would normally just drop in a new board to fix it but they're all out of boards for any amp made in '96 or before, Cinema Grand or 300x2. He said 9/10 times the amp is not repairable without the new board, could literally take days to go through a whole board and at $60+ an hour... ](*,) Caps are still available along with other parts for general service etc. so that's a good thing. Also, the Sunfire Theater Grand Processor is not repairable at all, TGP-II is 9/10 times not repairable due to lack of parts as well. Hope this helps!
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Toy Maker
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Re: Running out of parts for early Sunfire gear

Post by Toy Maker » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:10 pm

Engineered Obsolescence, you gotta love it !!! ](*,)

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EndersShadow
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Re: Running out of parts for early Sunfire gear

Post by EndersShadow » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:55 pm

jjptkd wrote:They're all out of boards for any amp made in '96 or before, Cinema Grand or 300x2. He said 9/10 times the amp is not repairable without the new board, could literally take days to go through a whole board and at $60+ an hour... ](*,) Caps are still available along with other parts for general service etc. so that's a good thing. Also, the Sunfire Theater Grand Processor is not repairable at all, TGP-II is 9/10 times not repairable due to lack of parts as well. Hope this helps!
Stupid question, but how would you know when purchasing a Cinema Grand when it was made?

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jjptkd
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Re: Running out of parts for early Sunfire gear

Post by jjptkd » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:03 pm

The first 4 numbers in the serial # are the year and month. The amp here was made in April '96 for example.
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EndersShadow
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Re: Running out of parts for early Sunfire gear

Post by EndersShadow » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:16 pm

jjptkd wrote:The first 4 numbers in the serial # are the year and month. The amp here was made in April '96 for example.
Thanks. That makes perfect sense.

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Re: Running out of parts for early Sunfire gear

Post by thuffman03 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:46 pm

Send it to Tom at Vintage HIFI of Pittsburgh. Anders is very good at going through the boards and finding the faults.
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Re: Running out of parts for early Sunfire gear

Post by stereo_buff » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:19 am

This is good to know, but I guess I'm surprised to find out that repairs are facilitated by 'board swapping' rather than by troubleshooting to the component level. The former approach is always short-lived, due to the ultimate unavailability of assemblies, while the latter is typically much longer, due to the generic nature of individual components. In my experience, board swapping was only considered if the PCB was damaged or other extreme circumstance existed; component replacement was always the norm. I know it is quicker to swap assemblies, but I would think that these guys are so familiar with these units that they could efficiently fix them blindfolded. Am I missing something?

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Re: Running out of parts for early Sunfire gear

Post by thuffman03 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:36 am

Board swapping is the easy way out. I know that Tom and Anders will go through and find the issue on the board. They already fixed 2 of my Sunfires over the last year by tracing to the failed component.
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jjptkd
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Re: Running out of parts for early Sunfire gear

Post by jjptkd » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:40 am

Bill told me that he first tries to trouble shoot boards and some times there's an easy fix. But, he said if "this" goes and "that" thingy there goes etc. that basically he ends up chasing the thing around all day so rather then doing that, its new board time. The problem is, and this has been an issue before, with a flat rate service fee and Bill being paid on commission instead of hourly, there really is no incentive for him to sit there all day and try to sort things out, especially when he has 8 more units sitting on the shelf waiting for service. It's really a cost effectiveness issue on both sides, Bill can spend all day on one unit or he can get paid six times as much breezing through 6 units that just need refreshing. Also from a customer point, flat rate only buys you so much bench time, say 4 hours max then at $85 per hour after that and Bill said it could take 2 days, 12 hours @ $85 per hour on top of the initial $370 equals more money most would be willing to pay.
Oppo Sonica DAC / Pre
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Re: Running out of parts for early Sunfire gear

Post by kingman » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:46 am

Makes sense...capitalism at work!
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Re: Running out of parts for early Sunfire gear

Post by stereo_buff » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:56 am

jjptkd wrote:Bill told me that he first tries to trouble shoot boards and some times there's an easy fix. But, he said if "this" goes and "that" thingy there goes etc. that basically he ends up chasing the thing around all day so rather then doing that, its new board time. The problem is, and this has been an issue before, with a flat rate service fee and Bill being paid on commission instead of hourly, there really is no incentive for him to sit there all day and try to sort things out, especially when he has 8 more units sitting on the shelf waiting for service. It's really a cost effectiveness issue on both sides, Bill can spend all day on one unit or he can get paid six times as much breezing through 6 units that just need refreshing. Also from a customer point, flat rate only buys you so much bench time, say 4 hours max then at $85 per hour after that and Bill said it could take 2 days, 12 hours @ $85 per hour on top of the initial $370 equals more money most would be willing to pay.
I have worked in environments such as you describe. However, during slow times, it was common to take the malfunctioning boards that were swapped out previously, place them in a test bed, and repair them for use in the future, then put them in stock for the next repair that required a functioning PCB to make it cost effective. Doing this also extends the availability of assemblies for future repairs, as well as enhancing the techs knowledge of the circuitry for future troubleshooting and repair.

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