Sound gear is not cheap, so when something happens to it, you may be tempted to repair your gear rather than invest in something new. Sometimes this is the best option, while other times you may be better off avoiding the hassle. Below are some things to keep in mind when making decisions about whether to repair or replace your gear.
A huge factor in repairing sound gear is the gear’s age. If your gear is under ten years old, check your warranty before starting any repairs; if it is still covered, even opening the case could potentially void your warranty and cost you a lot of extra money. Even if it is not still covered, paying the manufacturer for repairs may be your best bet; it can be cheaper than buying new gear, and save you the time and hassle of trying to do it on your own. If your gear is vintage, from the 1980’s or early 1990’s, and a quality brand such as NAD, Adcom, Rotel, or Harman/Kardon, it is definitely worth repairing. These brands, especially during that time period, is of much higher quality than much of what you can currently get at low prices, so they are worth salvaging.
A big factor in deciding whether to repair or buy new is what exactly is wrong with your old gear. You may think that shipping an entire speaker off for repair could rack up shipping charges that would make the repair process prohibitively expensive, and in some cases you may be right. However, if the repairs needed only involve a part of the speaker, the woofer for example, you can just remove that part and send it off the needed repairs. Saving that much on shipping can easily cut the total cost of your repairs by a large percentage. On that same note, if your broken piece is something electronic, such as a motherboard that needs repairs or a part that needs rewiring, electronics repairs can get pricey very quickly. It may be worth it to have the problem diagnosed, if you know a reputable repair shop that can do it, and then get a quote on the repair before deciding to move forward with it.
Current Gear Sales
Something you should definitely look into when considering whether to repair your gear or buy new things is the current deals you can get on sound gear. If your gear is not vintage, paying for repairs that will cost the same as or more as buying new sound gear may not make sense. Check prices on brands you like, and shop around a little. Buying may be cheaper than repairs, especially if you manage to catch a sale. Learning your way around new gear when you are comfortable with what you have should be taken into account, of course, but if buying new will save you quite a bit over repairs, you should definitely consider it.