Two weeks out

September 12, 2023

Over the past several months I have been able to maintain my commitment to keep my bench backlog down to two weeks, in other words the time from the day you bring in your equipment to the day it gets to my work bench. Right now though it has a slightly different meaning. StereoMan is taking a few days off next week, and I am completely booked with appointments this week, so if you call for an appointment right now, it will be two weeks out. With regrets for the inconvenience, but even StereoMan needs some time off once in a while.

Who Is StereoMan?


Steve Livingston is StereoMan. Steve has over forty years of technical experience in electronics, including two-way radio, radio common carrier, and over 30 years in consumer electronics repair.

Steve can also help you obtain good quality audio and video components at competitive prices.


What experience does StereoMan have?

Why does Stereoman do this work?

^^Click the links!^^



Book an Appointment

Dec 23, 2021

StereoMan’s shop is on a quiet residential street in the City of Asheville, and out of respect for my neighbors I must avoid creating an undue amount of additional traffic. As a result, all of my business is done by appointment. Please call for an appointment to drop off your equipment for repair. When the work is completed I will call you to make an appointment for pickup. My hours are flexible, but I am often booked out a week or more.

Where is StereoMan?

StereoMan is conveniently located at 30 Park Lane Ave, one mile from I-40 Exit 44. (Smoky Park Highway). Just turn right onto Acton Circle at the McDonald’s, go past the entry lane to Home Depot and turn left at the light onto Sand Hill School Road. It’s easy to get here from Sand Hill Road as well, just turn onto Sand Hill School Road at the Sand Hill Grocery (Marathon gas station). From points west on Smoky Park Highway, turn right at Bruce Road (the last turn before the I-40 on-ramp), right again at Highland Center Blvd, then left onto Sand Hill School Road. Click on the map for a larger view. When you arrive, please park in my driveway and walk across the front yard on the path provided. I will meet you under the orange canopy!

Holiday Lull, Post-Holiday Slam

Jan 23, 2023

What was I thinking??!

I had a lull in incoming work over the holidays and I thought, well! I’m going to plan a little time off and go see my girls — my daughter and granddaughters — in Texas. I thought, hey! I’m pretty caught up and with this little lull, I’ll be even more caught up before long. Ha! The lull ended with the holidays and I got slammed with new work, including five (FIVE!) Tascam PortaStudios. Those suckers take a LOT of time to service.

I’m going to do my best to turn out as much work as I can before I head south to see my girls, but by way of a heads up, if you bring me any repair work between now and my departure, it probably won’t be done until March.

What does “By Appointment” Mean?

August 21, 2023

When you call to inquire about getting your equipment repaired, I will tell you at some point that I work by appointment: you’ll need an appointment to drop off your equipment and you’ll need an appointment to pick your equipment up when the work is completed. I would think that any person who has ever had regular medical or dental care, or had their vehicle serviced, would understand what that means, but to my surprise, I sometimes get a customer who thinks it means if they tell me they’re going to come by on a certain date and time, that’s their appointment. Or, if they miss their appointment they can just come by later that same day.

I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way. An appointment is a mutually agreed to time and date. I don’t tell you when you must come and you don’t tell me when I must see you. What I will do is tell you when is my first available, and if that’s not convenient to you, I’ll tell you what future days/times work for me, and before long we’ll hit upon one that works for both of us. Since I work out of my house, I can be flexible with my hours, but I must limit the number of people I see on a given day, and I must avoid having more than one person here at the same time.

Here’s a few other things that work just fine. If you’re a few minutes early for your appointment, that’s okay. On the rare occasion that I’m not here, I’ll be back by the appointed time. If you’re a few minutes late, that’s okay. My next appointment is at least an hour after yours, and our transaction will probably take no more than a few minutes. If you can’t pick up your equipment for a few days or even weeks after repair is completed, that’s also okay. If you’re not able to make your appointment, that’s okay too, just let me know and we’ll reschedule. If you miss your appointment, that’s an inconvenience to me, but there’s no penalty, we’ll just need to try again another day.

I can usually give you an appointment within two or three working days, but if I am busier than usual it might be a week or maybe even more. Please be patient, I’m not trying to make your life more difficult.

A Very Favorable Resolution

Dec 23, 2022

Almost without fail, my customers show up for their appointments, either right on time or a few minutes early. I appreciate that so much! There are exceptions, I’ll admit, but very few, and this morning one of those exceptions was resolved, and very favorably.

Today being the coldest day we’ve had in quite a few years, I chose to not make any appointments, out of respect for the well-being of my customers. But unexpectedly I got a call from someone who had missed three (!) previous appointments to pick up a piece I had completed back in September, asking if he could come by today or next Tuesday. I was honest about my reluctance to make yet another appointment with him, but I suggested that if he was going to be out and about in this frigid weather anyway, he could come by any time, just text me before he showed up. Well, he texted me, he showed up, and he was considerate enough to add an $11 tip to his $39 payment.

A very favorable resolution!

I Don’t Do Vehicles

I still get occasional calls for this type of work, and regrettably I have to say sorry, I don’t do vehicles. I used to, back when I had my storefront in Biltmore Village. But COVID knocked out that aspect of my business and I had to shift gears in order to survive. I closed down my storefront at the end of 2020 and gave up my retail trade. I moved my business into my home in West Asheville and I’ve made the necessary adjustments to comply with the City’s restrictions, including the one that prohibits working on vehicles in a residential zone.

I’m happy to be able to recommend Dula’s Automotive Alterations for this type of work. They are a locally owned small business and I’ve heard nothing but good reports on them.

Consoles, Consoles, Consoles

Dec 1, 2022

I’ve had a run of old stereo consoles recently. Sometimes months go by and I don’t see even one, but lately I’ve had as many as a half dozen in my shop at the same time, and it seems like every week another one is coming in.

Legend has it that console stereos have the best sound. If you grew up with one and that’s how you listened to music during your formative years, then it’s true. If you’ve never heard one in your life and then one day … when you hear it, you will probably wonder if people who think they have “the best” sound should see someone about their hearing.

It’s a very subjective thing. “It was my grandmother’s” is the most common refrain I hear from people wanting to get one repaired. I get that. Otherwise it wouldn’t be worth what it costs to restore one.

It is time consuming work and often involves two house calls and a few parts that cost more than a latte at Starbucks. I always tell people in advance what to expect in terms of cost and delay in completing the repair. But after all these years of repairing consoles, I have excellent resources for electronic parts and for rebuilding mechanical parts, and a very high success rate as a result.

StereoMan’s Rates

StereoMan’s labor rate is a mere $48 per hour. Routine maintenance and repair of stereo components typically runs in the $30 to $75 range. If it’s going to be more, you’ll get a call first!