Old-Fashioned Ethics

My Old-fashioned, Politically-Incorrect Ethics and Motivation

There are two types if approaches which I use when evaluating the types of work involved in extracting the highest quality of sound from a unit, and in the process making it more reliable than the original manufacturer intended.


1. A relatively new unit (less than about 10 years old). 

Today’s manufacturers unfortunately have only one driving motive, to maximize profit. Quality and reliability are inferior considerations. Their slick marketing campaigns may give the impression that quality is important, however any technician worth his salt will discover immediately upon examining the interior, that this is stretching the imagination by a long shot.

So, even if the design of the appliance is exceptionally innovative, the designers’ motives will have been strangled by the accountants, resulting in many of the internal electronic components being sourced from second-rate manufacturers who happen to be in the Far East.

That’s a fact, and there’s nothing the average naïve consumer can do about that.

Correct, the manufacturer offers a 1 or 2 year warranty (built into the price is a mathematical formula that the manufacturer will lose money on n% of defective units), and after that the customer is on his own. The manufacturer hopes that the customer will come back and buy the current latest model from him again.

Fact – it is not profitable for today’s manufacturer to build long-lasting, reliable products. He needs many appliances sold, and often, to stay in business, in this cut-throat world of today, where ethics are frowned upon, as ancient relics of an extinct, honest world.

What I do – if this is a well-designed unit, from a reputable (and even that’s a dicey term to use today) manufacturer – I gut the entire unit, and rebuild it from scratch. Now, I don’t even consider who the original parts manufacturers were, because I know from experience that they were not selected because of their quality, but rather their low price.

There still are trustworthy reliable quality parts manufacturers today (although they are certainly in the minority), and it is from these companies whom I source the components to rebuild the unit.


2. A vintage unit (older than 15-20 years). 

This age (1970’s to early 1990’s) was the golden age of real, highest of high-fidelity, when the manufacturers were falling over each other to build the most-powerful, most-reliable, best-sounding units, and damn the cost.

These were what I call “ethically-built” units. It is a concept no longer alive in the minds of modern audio manufacturers.

They all used the highest-quality components which were available at the time, and they lasted 30+ years, in working condition.

However, most of their life-limited components have long-since failed, rendering them non-operational, or if still “operational”, then barely sounding acceptable.

Here, I gut these completely, and once again, install the highest-quality components available, regardless of price, in these units. Meticulous and exact attention is paid to the choice of these components, as to whether they will be installed in the power, audio, or RF signal circuits. Each of these circuits has differing and special requirements, and one size DOES NOT fit all!

And it shows. Properly restored, the vintage units outclass, from every imaginable perspective, their modern equivalents which may cost 10 to 20 times the price of the restored vintage unit.

Example – a restored McIntosh receiver costing $5,000 will outclass its modern equivalent costing over $50,000. And it doesn’t matter whether it is Pioneer, Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha, or B&O – the listener’s ears will tell him very quickly which is better.


Ethics Summary

In short, you are purchasing an “ethically-restored” unit, which I firmly believe will outclass, firstly, any other example of its type you may find anywhere in any condition (restored or otherwise), and secondly, far outclass any example of a new stereo unit (from any manufacturer whatsoever), of the same price today.

You can also expect trouble-free operation from the electronic circuits for at least 10-20 years, before minor adjustments should be made. Mechanical components such as rubber belts (if installed) should be replaced as required.

It goes without saying that the audio performance on each of these units is exceptional.


Professionally Ethically-Restored Units – what is done

All units are in near-perfect cosmetic condition, if not in actually perfect condition. There are no scratches on any kind, or any marks which may detract from a completely pleasing visual experience, other than described.

All units have been thoroughly cleaned with the appropriate professional materials, and detailed to new condition.

All component manufacturers are not recently-born cheap Chinese 2nd-rate doubtful-quality, but well-established and reliable Japanese, German and American manufacturers, with track records of the highest-quality proven over decades.

All life-limited mechanical components have been replaced with units of better-than-original specifications – examples: Rubber belts, Carbon potentiometers upgraded to Cermet potentiometers.

All passive components have been upgraded to long life components – examples: All 85ºC capacitors have been upgraded to 105ºC Low-ESR or Audio-Grade capacitors; Carbon resistors to Metal-film resistors where appropriate.

All units have been fully calibrated according to manufacturer specifications. – Power supply, laser current, RF alignment, Amplifier bias-current, etc.



My reputation for over 30 years has been built on providing exceptional quality to my customers. I do not believe in having any customer return after the sale, complaining about a failure. So these units are designed to be 100% trouble-free for not one, or even two, but at least 10 to 15 very pleasurable years to come.

In the extremely unlikely event of an unexpected failure, within one year of purchase, please return the unit to me at your expense for immediate attention. Warranty service will not be provided, if failure is determined to be due to neglect or misuse, which includes damage from poor or unstable electricity supply.


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