Mileage Rate Change

I’ve been charging the same rates for my services for over a decade, and am resistant to making a change in my hourly, but I do need to start charging more for my travel. It’s never been quite enough to cover my time behind the wheel and the wear on my car, and so much more so now with the cost of gas and maintenance being so much higher. So that’s what I’ve decided to do. My old rate was a flat $2/mile with a $10 minimum. My new rate is a little more complicated:

* $15 for the first five miles (just about anywhere in West Asheville)
* $3 per mile for miles 6-18 (so 18 miles would be $54)
* $5 per each two miles for 20 miles or more (so 19 or 20 miles is $59, 49 or 50 miles is $109, etc.)

To be clear, the mileage is the distance from my house, not the round trip. I will always let you know in advance wht the exact mileage charge will be. Just ask!

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 provides both bench repairs and in-home service as needed, and is always willing to offer a little guidance if you’re unsure how to proceed with your equipment needs.


What experience does StereoMan have?

Why does Stereoman do this work?

^^Click the links!^^



Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2024! StereoMan expects to continue providing repair service on all kinds of vintage stereo equipment, including turntables, amplifiers and receivers, and even old console stereos! Please call 828-775-5905 to discuss your needs, and I’d be happy to give you advice or a rough assessment, and make an appointment if it looks like I can help you. My hourly rate remains at $48, as it has been for the past ten years.

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!

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.

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 they tell me they’re going to come by today, or tomorrow, or soon. Or, it means they can come by any time after their appointed date and time.

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, out of respect for my neighborhood.

Here’s a few other things that work:

* 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, I appreciate your letting me know and we can 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. Call me!

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.

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.

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.