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AR Amp repair in NJ


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Wanted to let fellow members know about my experience with Tim Schwartz of Bristol Electronics in Ho Ho Kus (yes—that’s a real town) NJ. Tim was recommended by the Tuner Information Center http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/index.html#repairs as was fellow CSP member Mark Wilson. Mark is the KLH maven and has been very helpful with advice and information, but I had 2 AR amps to be repaired and Ho Ho Kus is a relatively short drive for me.

Tim is an interesting guy. He will talk vintage hifi with you and he even showed me some of his own vintage equipment. He takes a conservative approach to repairs: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it (and conversely, if it’s broke beyond repair don’t fix it).

One of my AR amps was in pretty good shape but looked to need a new power cord, and replacing it was going to mean removing the transformer as far as I could tell. Tim checked it all out, found one bad cap and replaced the cord. He also found a cracked fuse holder and discovered that all the fuses had been replaced with values WAY too high. He bench tested it and listened to it for a couple of hours.

The other amp looked like it had been left out in the rain. It was filthy inside, produced a hum and other noise. Tim checked it all out, gave me a description of what was wrong and told me that it was unsafe in its present condition and that if I wanted him to fix it, it could run into several hours’ labor as he replaced one part at a time.

I appreciated his honesty and his work. I also liked his conservative approach to repairing my old amp. I had originally asked about a complete recap job, and he advised against it because of the cost involved (I suppose for a hobbyist who has the technical skills that would be fine, but for me to pay a tech to do it……probably just too expensive). And I thought his prices were very reasonable.

So if you need electronic repairs and happen to be in the northern NJ/NYC metropolitan area, I would highly recommend Tim. That is, unless you’re in a big hurry. He’s pretty backlogged, so you’ll have to be willing to wait a while ;-)

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