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.

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!^^



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!

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.

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!



“Just Like New”

One of the most delicate, and therefore most difficult, turntables to work on is one made by Harman Kardon about 40 years ago, a linear tracking model with a Rabco tone arm. The adjustments necessary to get the tone arm to move properly are time consuming, often frustrating, and the brushed aluminum plinth requires great care in handling lest it acquire an unredeemable scratch. I recently had occasion to repair one that had been out of service for some years – perhaps decades – along with a classic Bob Carver preamp and amp that were not performing well. I got through the work well enough and was able to restore the table and the preamp/amp to original spec’s for a reaonable price.

A couple of days after returning them to the customer, I got a call from him. When he identified himself, I a flash of dread went through me. What if something had happened to the turntable on the ride home? What if I had made a mistake on the preamp work? What if … But immediately my fears were allayed, when the next thing he said was “I can’t thank you enough!” He called to tell me how pleased he was that his equipment was working “just like it did when it was new.”

Well. That made my day!

All Signs Point To StereoMan

Since I’ve moved my business to my home there has been a little confusion about where to park and where to meet up with me, so I’ve put up some signs to help guide customers to the right place(s).

While street parking is entirely permissible, I encourage people to pull into my driveway. For one thing, it’s a narrow street, and for another I want to provide a direct path to drop off equipment without having to navigate any stairs or slip on a dangerous surface.

There’s plenty of room here for even a large sedan, SUV, or pickup truck and I’ve provided a raised pathway so no one has to get their shoes dirty walking across the yard, or slip on mud or ice.

The stairs lead to the front door of my private residence. Don’t go that way! I’ve located my countertop at yard level, sheltered from rain and snow by an orange pop-up canopy.