Just an update - I took it to the shop, and surprisingly had a great experience! It was so good in fact I was compelled to write them a letter - for those interested in my results / experience, I've posted it below:
I just wanted to write you and tell you how utterly impressed I was with one of your employee's today.
I recently bought a nice Marantz with a phono input, and decided I'd start up a vinyl collection again. I pulled out my old turntable that my Dad had given me some 10 years ago, that had been collecting dust in my closet since then. I did some reading on it ( a 35 year old Dual C606 ) and had read it was worth keeping around. Anyways it didn't sound too hot when I hooked it up, and read about your turntable clinic on the Bay & Bloor website. I made an appointment, not really expecting much more then either 1. a kid that would take one look at it and tell me it wasn't worth fixing and I should spend X amount of dollars on the latest greatest turntable, or 2. a sales pitch convincing me I had to put X amount money into ostensibly unnecessary premium parts to get it up to snuff otherwise, see expectation # 1. I Instead encountered David.
David invited me back into his little shop, and proceeded to gently disassemble, clean, and tune my vintage player, all the while slowly explaining in detail the functions of every knob ( anti skating, balance, etc ) / and the theory behind it's operation. He took the time to show me the difference between a proper stylus and an ill fitting one through an audition, and actually drew me a diagram of where low, mid and high frequencies could be found in a record's grooves, You could just feel the passion for audio oozing out of him as he shook his arm to the bass ( now un-muddied by an older stylus and rubber mat ) and declared " Can you hear how tight that sounds now! " with the enthusiasm of a much younger man. This repair / demo went on for a full hour - with me trying to soak in all his valuable information. To top it all off at the end of it, when I was asking how important the dust cover was ( as I only had a broken one to pull on and off ) - he pulled out a matching original Dual dust cover - that somehow fit - on my near 40 year old player - and told me I could have it - FOR FREE. The only cost was an inexpensive new stylus and anti static mat - only about 80 dollars in total. A steal, WITHOUT the hour spent of tuning and teaching, never mind the dustcover. To say the least, I was floored by my experience - expecting the worst and receiving the best.
David's passion and enthusiasm for sound, combined with his genuine concern for his customers happiness, bears testament to Bay Bloor Radio's pursuit of excellence. and putting the customer first. I must say he has set the bar very, VERY high. As a result, I will (and have already begun to) sing the praises of your store to my friends - and will in the future make your store stop number one for all my audio / video needs.
P.S. What I didn't mention is that my Dad had since passed away, and this turntable held a special bit of sentimentality for me - I didn't realize how much until I felt the relief that I could continue to enjoy it and didn't need to purchase a new one!
Thanks again, and well done!
Edited by seanspamilton - 7/18/13 at 9:51pm
Unfortunately it seems I'm getting some strange feedback off the inputs of my new " refurbished " Marantz, not just the phono inputs, but random HDMI inputs as well - so it looks like I've got to send it back for an exchange. THAT sucks, but the upshot is I've got my Dad's old Dual ready to purr !