The class of radios represented by Grundig, Telefunken, Saba, etc. are
a special case of repair costs and value. These radios, which are generally
very large table units, produce incredible sound through multiple speakers,
large enclosures and just plain high quality. The components used in them
are usually first class and wear well with time. They are, however, subject
to failure in some components, dial string failures, etc. Though we have
successfully repaired many Grundig, Telefunken, Saba, etc. radios,
they do represent unique challenges in repair such as:
It is sometimes difficult, or impossible, to acquire schematics and
documentation on these radios. And if available, the documentation generally
costs $15.00 to $25.00. [American radio documentation is basically free on
the web except for unusual cases]
They are simply a "bear" to handle in my shop. The radios, set up for
repair, have to be outside the cabinet, but in close proximity to the
cabinet, to repair. See Ineligible Radios No
console radios ever accepted for repair.
3. SHIPPING WEIGHTS
The cabinets require (most of the time) a maximum size UPS box for
shipping. This leads to very high shipping and packing charges because of
dimensional weight and insurance concerns. Most of these radios cost between
$135.00 to $170.00 to pack and ship UPS ground. UPS will not ship them in
smaller boxes and stand behind the insurance. [See my notes on
4. REPAIR - RESTORATION
Due to the inherent complexity of design and
topology, in combination with language difficulties we do not perform
Restorations on this class of radio. We do offer repair and necessary "heavy
up" to make the radio failure proof for a very long time. This includes
Electrolytics [known failure item], replacement of selenium rectifier [known
failure item] and all high voltage capacitors [known failure item].
As a result, when we accept one of these radios for repair, because of
the issues above, we request an initial payment of $235.00 against possible
repairs and return shipping. We have gotten burned too many times by
under-estimating the shipping charges and being ignored when we submit a
bill for the underpayment on shipping. When the final bill is tallied, the
pack/ship will be estimated at $165.00. If the actual is under that amount
we will refund the difference.
5. DIAL STRING REPAIR -CAUTION!
If your radio does not tune or the tuning indicator does not move,
then you will need a dial string repair. This can be very expensive because
the knobs must be removed followed by the face plate. The knobs after 50
years have usually become almost welded to their shafts. It is extremely
time consuming and labor intensive to remove these knobs, or impossible to
remove. Thus, when a
German [Blaupunkt, Telefunken, Saba, etc.] radio needs dial string
repair - we will request that the owner remove the knobs before sending the
unit to us. This is precautionary and a cost saving measure - because if you
expend funds to send the radio to us, and we cannot remove the knobs, the
cost of shipping both ways will have been wasted.
6. OTHER REPAIR PROBLEMS.
Occasionally the face plate becomes cracked when removing the chassis,
regardless of how carefully the chassis is removed. Also, we are seeing a
number of units with defective variable capacitors which are impossible to
repair or replace.
Radio Repair Guy