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 street level, sheltered from rain and snow by a yellow pop-up canopy.

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 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 Citgo 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 feel free to park in my driveway and walk across the front yard on the path provided.

Big Changes!

published Jan 28, 2021

With gratitude for the years of success and fulfillment I have experienced, I have ended my role as Asheville’s premier automotive sound installer and troubleshooter, and have closed down my retail store front. I extend heartfelt thanks to all my customers who entrusted me with their vehicles and purchased Pioneer products from me during the last 20 years.  I continue to offer consumer electronics repair service from my home at 30 Park Lane Ave in West Asheville.

Now that we are in the new year, I have resumed taking in repair work. If you have equipment in need of repair, please call or email for an appointment. I am no longer taking credit or debit cards, so please be prepared to pay by cash, check, or PayPal. I am currently about two weeks backlogged on bench work.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday, and I look forward to a much better year for all of us in 2021.

Hours By Appointment

Please call StereoMan at 828-775-5905 for an appointment

StereoMan response to COVID-19 emergency

posted June 24, 2020

StereoMan is committed to conducting business in a safe manner even as the State of North Carolina continues to experience increasing spread of the novel coronavirus. Armed with new information about the way the virus is transmitted, it now appears safe to open my door to my customers, but I will continue to conduct all transactions by appointment to avoid having more than one person in the shop at a given time. And, in accordance with the State’s mandate, I will be wearing a mask during our appointment and I ask that all my customers do the same, or else I will not be able to invite you into my shop.

If you are in need of in-home service, please give me a call and we will discuss the parameters. If you are comfortable enough with my presence in your home, and I am confident I will be safe in your home, I will happily provide.

Unfortunately I am not able to offer car stereo work, and will not be doing so unless and until the pandemic has abated. I regret the inconvenience, but it pales in comparison to the inconvenience of being afflicted with this incurable disease, and I am determined to take every sensible precaution to avoid being the person who gives it to you or anyone else!

More Flex! Ability

Starting Jan 2, 2020, StereoMan will be cutting mandatory shop hours from three days a week to two, and will start scheduling car stereo work on any of the five work days each week. This will help StereoMan handle installation work and outside service calls more efficiently, with minimal inconvenience to customers seeking bench repairs.

New shop hours will be Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. And of course, other hours will be more available than ever, by appointment!

Three Boses

Boses. Rhymes with “noses.”

I started repairing Boses 20-some years ago, despite the fact that Bose does not in any way support field repair of their expensive tabletop units. Over the years I’ve had some success, enough that Bose recommends my work, but I still advise potential customers there’s a 50-50 chance I won’t be able to complete the repair – for example if an unusual part is required that might not be available from a regular parts vendor. Or if I can’t figure out what’s wrong without a service manual.

So I’m just a little surprised that I’ve been able to successfully repair three out of three Boses in the past week. One mechanical issue, one faulty interconnect, one laser cleaning. Three Boses. There’s a fourth one waiting for me. Will I stretch my streak? Tune in next week for the next Bose.

Rhymes with “who knows?”

Monitor Mod

What happens when StereoMan makes a commitment based on written spec’s only to find out that the written spec’s were wrong? Giving up would be the last choice for StereoMan! Always trying first to think outside the box, sometimes the answer turns out to be INside the box – literally.

My customer had two vans with overhead DVD monitors that were supposed to play through the vehicles’ FM radio, but there was no direct connection, and so the sound was of poor quality and outside broadcasts would sometimes interfere. A review of the monitor’s specifications led me to believe that the jacks on the side of the monitor were A/V output jacks. Why would there be input jacks? The unit had a built in DVD player and no speakers, so input jacks would be useless and useless.

So I gave my customer a quote, based on the written spec’s, to direct wire the monitors to the stereo, and we scheduled the work. But when I took down the first monitor, I saw the jacks on the side were marked “A/V input”. Daunted, but not defeated, I carried the unit back to the shop to see if I could figure out a way to wire an output. On the bench, I took the bottom cover off and there on the inside cover was a label, indicating that there WAS an output, or at least there was supposed to be an output.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was no 5-Pin Harness to be seen anywhere, but there were several 5-pin sockets where a 5-Pin harness might plug in. And a couple of them were white! Could one of them be CN1?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hooked up the monitor on my test bench and played a DVD while I poked around the white 5-pin sockets with my oscilloscope. Before long I had located the correct pins in the correct socket to derive the audio output. To each of the output pins I soldered the center lead of a short coax terminated with an RCA jack. To the ground pin I soldered a short wire …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I soldered the wire to the coax shields …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And after that, covered the ground connection with electrical tape …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, to prevent undue stress on the wires I’d added, I hot-glued the assembly to the circuit board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I connected an RCA cable to my finished assembly, long enough to reach the back of the radio, and remounted the monitor overhead. When I played a DVD, the sweet, clear sound came through the vehicle’s speakers, just like I had planned. Success!

 

Retreat! Retreat!

Next week my annual spiritual retreat is coming up, and the shop will be closed June 13, 14, and 15. I will get as much bench work done as I can between now and then so it will be the least possible inconvenience. I have quite a few pieces finished right now that have not been picked up yet, so if you brought something in during the months of Feb and March and you haven’t heard from me, please check in.

My customers are the BEST!

I took in a preamp for repair recently, and as usual I took a $25 deposit for my bench fee. A week or so later, the same customer decided to have his amp checked out and I said I’d do it at the same time as I did the repairs on the preamp, and I took it in without charging the bench fee.

Turned out the preamp needed some work, but the amp was in good shape, only needed a thorough cleaning. I completed the work on both pieces but when I wrote up the┬áinvoices, I forgot that I hadn’t charged a bench fee on the amp, so the invoice showed an $11 balance instead of $36. My customer picked up the equipment and paid the invoices, we had a nice chat, and he went on his way.

Not ten minutes later, he was back. He remembered that I hadn’t charged that second deposit, and he still owed me 25 bucks. How’s that for honesty??!