Business Matters: Unique Repair Shop Revives Vintage Electronics
Preserving your favorite piece of audio equipment is easier said than done. That’s especially true in a world that’s running low on technicians to fix decades-old stereo receivers. But in New Hope there’s a place that’s not only unique to the Twin Cities, there’s hardly one like it in the entire country.
Vintage Electronics Meet Their Fixer
At Alex Audio, Video and Computer Service, music comes back to life. More specifically, vintage electronics are revived. Owner Alex Samuels specializes in fixing stereo receivers with brand names like Marantz, Pioneer, Sansui and Harman Kardon. The business also fixes turntables, subwoofers and even a few select brands of television.
“A lot of people love this stuff and they sound very good,” said Samuels. “Very often it’s made of quality better, too.”
Samuels, 68, emigrated from Russia and has spent a lifetime repairing electronics.
“It’s passion. You have to be constantly informed or else. Or you’re out,” he said.
A Mind for Manuels
Through his work Samuels acquired an appreciation for precision.
“Alex’s mind is calculating constantly. He brings home a schematic everyday of his life. He always has,” said Sara Samuels, Alex’s wife and business partner.
Samuels has shelves upon shelves of manuels that he uses to fix vintage equipment. The manuels help tackle tedious work. He must find parts, repair parts and pull out parts. And he keeps track of it all.
“I think he is so extreme in how he runs things and he always has been,” said Sara Samuels. “He taught me a lot of that when I came into this business.”
One order is a big process. He gets roughly two to three a day. That includes many electronics repairs shipped to the New Hope store from across the country. It’s a sign of a lost art and an appreciation for what he does.
“A lot of customers say ‘please, don’t leave us. Please don’t leave us,'” Sara said.
For now, Alex Samuels continues to plug away making something old, sound as good as new.
“We like to make them sound good and make customer happy and we’d be happy,” he said.
If you’re on the fence about whether to repair older electronics, Samuels says look on Ebay to see what units like it are going for. Some vintage units sell for up to $2,500. The cost of repairs depends on the type of fix, but typically range from $160 to $250.