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FAQs

Over the years, my website has become a bit of an insane repository of information. Sometimes it's not easy to find simple answers to simple questions. Hence, I've compiled this page to help. 🙂

If you have a question that's not listed, please just contact me.


FAQS - ON-LINE STORE

All my products are designed to be installed by anyone with a reasonable degree of related technical knowledge, experience and general competence. Some basic equipment is also necessary. Safety is paramount. Being at the heart of any system, when installing any one of my power supplies for example, particular attention to safety must be paramount. Despite the fact that most of my products are accompanied by a fully illustrated and detailed installation manual, I appreciate that things might not always be clear, especially if English isn't the customer's first language. I'm therefore always happy to help and I'm only an e-mail or a WhatsApp call away. Where applicable, installation instructions supply a list of necessary tools and equipment. If you're unsure as to whether or not you have the technical expertise to install one of my products, I strongly suggest that you seek out a local tech'. Alternatively and if costs permit, you may want to consider sending your equipment to me, for the installation. Please just contact me if you think this may be a option.

No, I'm afraid I'm quite reluctant to publish any intellectual property (IP).

As a micro business, I simply don't have the resources to patent designs across several territories so I need to protect myself as best as I can.

Many of my product lines are serial numbered and customers receive a 'Test Certificate / Certificate of Authentication'. This goes some way to protecting me as well as my customers.

Installation instructions are copyrighted and publication in any form and / or distribution are not permitted.

Yes. Everything I make that requires the customer to open up a machine, comes with fully illustrated and detailed installation instructions, which are available after purchase. I also e-mail customers a copy of all relevant literature, shortly before their purchase is shipped, as I'm always worried that people might miss the download link.

Items like my TCI Type 1 which are supplied fully assembled, also have literature but as opposed to an installation manual, a user guide is made available.

I appreciate that if English isn't your first language, things might not always be clear. But don't worry. I'm always happy to help so please don't hesitate to contact me if you get stuck or have any questions.

Firstly, anything I make for the UK market, carries a statutory 12-month warranty. THAT IS THE LAW. I actually don’t think that’s good enough. Indeed, I stand by my products and with my customers!!!

Secondly, everything I make is tested, prior to being packed and shipped. Things like my power supplies are tested for twenty-four hours. The last thing anyone wants is for something not to work after it's potentially been sent halfway across the world!

I've been doing this since 1985. I love what I do, the environment I work in and my customers mean everything to me. Quite honestly, if you have an issue with a product that you've purchased from me, please don't hesitate to get in touch so that we can sort it all out.

It doesn't matter if you live in my road or on the other side of the planet. It doesn't matter if you paid for a product yesterday or five years ago. And it doesn't matter if you spent 20 GBP or 2000 GBP. What matters are virtues like trust, honesty, integrity and confidence. These things are as important to me as much as they are to you.

All my shipping prices can be found here.

The average time between an order being received and processed to shipping, is about two weeks. When things get busy, this can double, I'm afraid so I'd kindly ask that you be patient.

Almost everything I supply is built to order which means that the first thing I do when an order is received, is procure the components required to build it.

I purchase things like printed circuit boards in small batches of usually five or ten. PCBs for smaller items like Eclipse or my CR2032 adapter for the Marshall JMP-1, are bought in batches of fifty or a hundred.

Plasma Music Limited isn't a big company employing loads of people. Being a 'micro business' designing and manufacturing peripherals for a rather small market (vintage music technology), means that I just don't have the resources to buy in significant quantity of components, for example. Hence, I'm unable to hold substantial stock. On a side note, that's also the reason why my stuff may seem a bit pricy; buying components in quantity, inevitably reduces the respective unit cost and I just can't do that, I'm afraid.

Anyway, things sometimes get delayed, especially when distributors don't have everything I need for a specific build in stock. When that happens, I have to go on the hunt.

I'm afraid not.

I feel it important to maintain standards and with respect, I have no idea of the technical abilities or the equipment, customers might have. Health and safety is also a concern and I feel a responsibility to keep people safe.

Plasma Music Limited sounds bigger than it is! The reality however, is that it's just me and I don't have the infrastructure to offer technical support to those who might want to self-build.

Despite the fact that most of my products are accompanied by a fully illustrated and detailed installation manual, I appreciate that things might not always be clear, especially if English isn't the customer's first language. I'm therefore always happy to help but giving technical support for self-builds is a totally different thing.

My on-line store determines whether or not VAT is applicable, based on the delivery address that is entered.

Please note that delivery address and billing address may be different.

Products bought from my on-line store that are sent to an address in the UK will be subject to VAT (the current rate is 20%).

Products bought from my on-line store that are sent to an address outside the UK will NOT be subject to VAT.

My on-line store does not know your location until you input your delivery address. Once your delivery address has been entered, VAT will be calculated appropriately.

I am unable to determine import duty for every country and so please be aware that you may be asked to pay import duty prior to receiving your product.

You're more than welcome to contact me via any means available here although my preferred method is e-mail.

If you are not in the UK but would like to talk, I'm very happy to take WhatsApp calls on +44 7786 265053. Just message me  first so that we can arrange a mutually convenient time.

And of course, Plasma Music Limited also has a Facebook page.

FAQS - SERVICE AND REPAIRS

Yes, of course I can give you a quote but please appreciate that it'll inevitably require opening up your gear and that takes time. It also takes time to diagnose the problem and formulate a solution. After all of that, I'm virtually halfway to fixing your item!

That's why I charge between 30 GBP and 60 GBP (plus VAT) for an estimate. Of course, if you decide to go ahead with the repair, the estimate charge is waivered.

If you would like an estimate, please just tick the box marked 'Please supply a quote before commencing any repair / service'.

I used to but not anymore, I'm afraid.

Not knowing what's causing the problem with gear that might be at a client's premises, I may need to visit more than once and travelling costs can build up.

If I need to dismantle an instrument to diagnose a problem and then I need to come back with spare parts to fix it, for example, I don't feel it appropriate to leave things in a mess at the client's premises. That means I need to reassemble things, only to potentially take them all apart again on my return visit.

It's a long-winded process and one which I don't feel is cost-effective for the customer. I therefore urge customers to bring their gear to me.

No!

I'm sorry but normally, I don't repair HiFi.

HiFi is rarely repaired down to the level (component level) that I'm used to and that the EMI (electronic musical instrument) market expects. Normally of modular design, HiFi repairs often involve whole subsystems being swapped out. Unfortunately, manufacturers and distributors of consumer electronics, don't keep spare parts in stock for too long, as they used to. Hence, procuring parts is usually a nightmare.

At 60 GBP plus VAT per hour, it's too expensive for me to fix HiFi systems down to component level.

THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS... My valve experience often tempts owners of high-end valve equipment to contact me. Manufacturers and distributors of high-end HiFi, tend to stand by their products and acquiring technical literature for example, is much easier then trying to do the same with manufacturers and distributors of more popular consumer electronics. At the end of the day, if I'm able to get appropriate support on a product, I'm usually to at least have a look at it.

Firstly, anything I service or repair for the UK market, carries a statutory 12-month warranty. THAT IS THE LAW. I actually don’t think that’s good enough. Indeed, I stand by my service and with my customers!!!

Secondly, items are tested prior to being returned to customers. If collected, I'm quite happy for customers to check their equipment when they arrive.

I've been doing this since 1985. I love what I do, the environment I work in and my customers mean everything to me. Quite honestly, if you have an issue with any work I’ve done for you, please don't hesitate to get in touch so that we can sort it all out.

It doesn't matter if you live in my road or on the other side of the planet. It doesn't matter if you paid for a service or repair yesterday or five years ago. And it doesn't matter if you spent 20 GBP or 2000 GBP. What matters are virtues like trust, honesty, integrity and confidence. These things are as important to me as much as they are to you.

Booking in a repair, begins with you completing my Service and Repair Form.

On submission, you'll be e-mailed a copy. Please just print it out and make sure that it's with the item or items you want to send to me or drop off.

If you want to drop items off, please just contact me again so that we can arrange that.

My normal turnaround is a few days but when things get busy, it can increase to a couple of weeks. If I don't think you'll get your gear back in a reasonable timeframe, I'll contact you to let you know.

I charge 60 GBP per hour. 20% VAT is added for UK customers (yeah, sorry 'bout that, guys).

Most repairs take between one and two hours so a cost of between 60 GBP and 120 GBP, excluding parts is kind of average.

If for whatever reason, I'm unable to repair your item, or if in my opinion, it's beyond economic repair a 'non-repair' charge of between 30 GBP and 60 GBP plus VAT will be applicable.

  • Firstly, you need to complete my Service & Repair Form. On submission, you'll be e-mailed a copy. Print it out.
  • Then you need to make sure that your gear is well packaged.

IMPORTANT - Include the copy of the Service and Repair Form that you printed out, with your gear.

HINT - If it's 19-inch rack-mountable and has removable rack-ears, then remove them! Your item will now be a regular shape which will be much easier to pack.

  • You'll then need to make a note of the dimensions of the package and its weight, prior to looking for a shipping agent or courier company.
  • You'll also need my contact details which are available here. Adding my VAT number and EORI number will make things a lot easier when your package hits customs.

IMPORTANT - Mark your item 'Export for Repair'. Doing so will mean that import duty will not be applicable. In fact, there should be a selection in a drop-down menu of the courier's booking form on their website which has a category like 'Repair'.

IMPORTANT - Please, please, please, insure your item for what you feel it's worth! In all the years I've been doing this, I've only had one item that was slightly damaged when returned to the customer. Please don't make it two!

It would be a good idea to let me know that you've sent me something. A tracking number means that we will both know what's going on.

If you get really stuck, please just contact me. I have a DHL Express account that I only use for importing repairs. I'd be more than happy to get you a quote. You will still need to package your item yourself, though.

Please don't hesitate to contact me! If I can help, I'm only too happy to do so.

The whole process can take half a day but I don't think it's appropriate to charge for all of that. My charge for a straight-forward clean is just for two to three hours of my time; between 120 and 180 GBP plus VAT, assuming that no parts are required, of course.

Okay, so I never fix 'one' key, as a single key going down, is indicative of an excessive accumulation of dust and other airborne contaminants on the key-bed. I therefore, always service the entire keyboard.

Stripping a keyboard, cleaning the keyboard contact PCB, cleaning the keyboard contact PCB carbon contacts and cleaning the carbon nipples inside the rubber bubble strips is extremely time consuming. For a 61-note keyboard, the process can take between two to three hours. Then, the keyboard needs to be dried out and reassembled.

The process is less involved on keyboards that use copper spring contacts but in other ways, they're a lot more fussy, requiring precision alignment, for example.

Honest... it's worth it in the long run. If not done properly, then you're only going to be back in a few months because another key has died!

I'm happy to service multiple items from you. Up to four items can be entered into my Service and Repair Form. You only need to enter your contact details once.

Occasionally the cost of a repair can approach or potentially even exceed the financial value of the item being repaired. If I feel that this will happen, I will contact you to discuss how we may proceed.

Some items may hold a special sentimental value that can't be expressed in financial terms. I'm quite sensitive to that and will do everything I can to help and keep costs realistic.

Occasionally this happens. Perhaps I'm unable to acquire appropriate technical literature. Perhaps I'm unable to procure parts or perhaps the repair isn't cost-effective. In such circumstances, I'll contact you and advise accordingly.

I may however, still charge between 30 GBP and 60 GBP plus VAT for the time it's taken to provide you with that information.

The reason that my 'non-repair' charge isn't a fixed figure, is that some machines simply take longer to open up and fault-find than others.

You're more than welcome to contact me via any means available here although my preferred method is e-mail.

If you are not in the UK but would like to talk, I'm very happy to take WhatsApp calls on +44 7786 265053. Just message me  first so that we can arrange a mutually convenient time.

And of course, Plasma Music Limited also has a Facebook page.