Thanks for your interest in our company. We wanted to consolidate all pertinent info about our various services into one page, so this page is quite long. Please use the links below to navigate down to your service of interest.
Shop Info, Rates, & Policies
Rental Rates & Policies
Studio Rates & Policies
Web-store Info & Policies
Rosen Sound LLC is a brick & mortar shop located in sunny Burbank California that specializes in vintage synthesizers, providing a comprehensive suite of services ranging from restoration work, sales of vintage synth gear, and rental of vintage synth & related gear.
Headed by Rob Rosen, Rosen Sound boasts 5 full time technicians and a 3 person executive staff, resulting in a high level of logistics and customer satisfaction.
Rosen Sound was started in Rob’s mom’s garage when Rob was a mere 16 years of age. A high school drop out, Rob resented the idea of finding a proper job and instead began buying, fixing, and selling Yamaha DX7’s to make money with his passion for synthesizer equipment. Eventually, Rob got burned on enough deals and dealings with tech shops that he began repairing most of the DX7’s (and others) himself. Once Rob realized a natural skill for fixing electronic equipment, he began offering repair service for a paltry $25 per hour. Rob ended up helping everyday musicians he found through craigslist, and eventually ended up doing work for the keyboardists of The Eagles, Rick Springfield, Billy Idol, and many of the top studios in Los Angeles.
A “real job” was had eventually during these early years, but once Rob’s position was terminated at his job in late 2013, he decided it was time to open Rosen Sound as a real brick and mortar. A few maxed out credit cards later, Rosen Sound opened on the Oak street location in early 2014 with big aspirations that were soon to be checked.
With the doors opened, Rosen Sound hosted a variety of tech services, including synthesizer repair (by Rob) and other services handled by others including guitar repair, amp repair, and pro audio repair. A recording studio was also on premise. The realities settled fairly quickly that a repair shop and studio are probably the worst businesses to run if you’d like to survive, and were it not for some smart business equity positions, Rosen Sound would have likely died by 2016.
Luckily, thanks to smart sweat equity positions, Rosen Sound carried on until word really got around the city that there was a new game in town. The rest, as they say, is history
By 2016, Rob was able to hire his first proper employee, Mike Oor, who still works alongside Rob to this day.
By late 2016, Rosen Sound expanded into an additional 1200sf next door to the 1008 location
In 2017, Rosen Sound began offering synthesizer rentals and added 2 new tech positions
In 2018 Rosen Sound once again expanded to two more adjacent spaces to the 1008 location, now totaling 10,000sf of synth madness
In late 2018, Rosen Sound opened the web store on rosensound.com. This proved to be a logistical nightmare.
In 2019, Rosen Sound created the Rob’s Rare Synths catalog of synthesizers for sale, and added one more tech position
In late 2019, Rosen Sound Studios (né The Cabin) was built next door to the restoration shop.
In 2020, Rosen Sound survived the sudden pandemic situation thanks to a loyal staff.
In 2021, Rosen Sound added 3 new positions, including 2 executive staff positions and 1 more tech position. The web store is no longer a nightmare. Included in the executive positions was adding a Head of Operations, a day to day manager of shop projects and bookings.
About The Owner:
Rosen Sound is ran by owner/operator Rob Rosen. Born into a family of jazz and classical upright bassists, Rob was exposed to great music quite early, leading to him taking up the drums. Rob discovered synthesizers in high school and put the sticks down not too long after.
Rob found his love for synthesizers from listening to bands like Rush, Van Halen, and other keyboard/synthesizer laden heavy metal bands from Scandinavia like Kalmah, Sonata Arctica, and Dark Tranquility. Although Rob listens to and appreciates synthesizer roots in classic pop and electronic records, Rob is a bonafide headbanger, and is probably the worlds biggest Iron Maiden fan.
Tech work came naturally from a young age born simply from not being able to afford repairs while playing in local bands. A career was chosen of it after the realization that he was more interested in what and how his gear was accomplishing sonic awesomeness than actually playing them, though he still is an avid player and practicer of keyboard instruments, even still playing the occasional gig in his heavy metal band.
After doing gear repair out of the garage for 5 years, Rob opened Rosen Sound as a brick & mortar in early 2014 at the original 1008 W Oak location. Today, Rosen Sound now occupies 10,000 square feet of real estate spread across 4 neighboring addresses to the original 1008 location.
Rob’s days now are comprised of working on the more gratifying electronic and restoration work that is in queue at his shop, alongside managing the day-to-day of owning a business. Other passions and activities include 3D CAD work, circuit design, smoked BBQ, being a dad to his 2 young sons (and dog, Buster), and collecting synthesizers.
Shop Info, Rates, & Policies
Shop Rate: $150 per hour, one hour ($150) minimum bench fee per item. Some exceptions are made for certain very small jobs, such as battery changes in certain units. The bench charge is applied towards the final invoice. Time is billed in 15 minute increments.
Note: As of January 2022 we have raised our labor rate from $100 to $150 per hour, a 50% increase. If your project is here now or you have already booked in your project at the previous labor rate, we will of course honor our previous rate of $100 per hour. No action is required on your part.
This increase was decided upon for a number of reasons, including growing inflation and increases in the cost of doing business, including a growing workforce. We still believe we offer the best value for your money considering the quality of our work.
Estimates: Many routine repair jobs can be completed in 1-3.5 hours or so. Less routine repairs can take longer. Restorations can take weeks of time. Due to the nature of vintage synthesizer repair, there is factually no way that we can know much your bill will be (billed by the hour) until it’s finished. When you inquire about your project, we will send you a password protected webpage with the most common synthesizers we take in and their associated estimates. We are very careful about sticking to estimates and not surprising our customers with a huge bill.
Parts: Parts are not free. I can’t believe we have to write that. Parts are never included in our estimates unless it’s explicitly noted. Repair parts (this is different from accessories) provided by customer must be approved and arranged before hand and provided with unit on drop off. In the case of retrofits and the like, it’s of course fine to provide that with your unit. We stock over 2000 parts, rare and common, and price them fairly considering we are able to test them for their authenticity. Yes, some specific integrated circuits can be quite expensive. We assure you our $80 chip will work and that the $15 one on eBay is very likely to be a fake.
Communication: As of January 2021 all jobs must use email as the primary method of communication. This is *critical* for the simple reason that we cannot spend all day on the phone and we need the paper trail to make sure each process is documented and we (and you) have something to look back on. Emails are answered within a couple of business days of receipt.
Rush Fees: We are able to offer rush services on routine work that we assume will not involve days of troubleshooting. Our rush rate is $200 per hour plus a $200 surcharge added to your bill. If you would like to borrow the same or similar gear from our rental suite while you wait for your rush order, we will charge 50% of the estimate up front plus all surcharges.
3rd party billing is not an option for rush orders. A valid debit/credit card must be on file.
Turnaround Times: We know this is one of the most important factors before choosing a shop to work on your gear. We are blessed to be entrusted by thousands locally and worldwide to provide top notch service, and with that has come great trial and error to solve the issue of turn around. While “first come first serve” would be ideal in a perfect world, it surely doesn’t work for a repair shop with the clients we are so lucky to serve. We have separated our turn around categories into two distinct service levels
We expect the majority of our current and future clientele utilize this level of service
This is the normal queue system we are now utilizing. Contact us about your repair so we can discuss pricing and availability. We will then send you a deposit invoice for you to pay to reserve your spot in our queue.
This level qualifies for rush rates. If your time-line needs are faster than we can currently accommodate, we can discuss an increased labor rate to help speed it along.
This clientele level involves leaving a retaining deposit (often multiple thousands of dollars) for future repairs in order to receive the fastest service we can possibly provide. If your gear goes down, simply have it delivered to us and we’ll get right on it. We will then bill against your retainer, which should be refilled once low.
This level of service doesn’t actually cost any more than getting into queue, but the upfront cost is higher. These upfront costs provide security to our operations so that we can afford to stop an expensive restoration job to fix your synth that may only need a few hundred dollars in labor to fix.
We only allow a maximum of 5 pro level clients at any given time. Currently only 1 space is available as of 12/21.
Warranty & Service Level: No other shop on planet earth offers the generous warranties we provide.
We separate our warranties into 2 different categories. This category is noted on your invoice and described in detail below.
Restoration Level: We define a restoration as any project where we will not only repair present issues, but also preemptively handle all issues that will likely crop up in the future, within reason. In more detail, these jobs involve your synthesizer being completely disassembled and each area being carefully serviced for current and expected future faults. This includes recapping where appropriate, attention to keyboard action, cleaning or rebuilding controls, cosmetic touch ups and cleaning, updating to the latest factory firmwares, checking of all precision parts and replacement of hardware where needed. In other words, doing it our way.
This category qualifies for our lifetime warranty against work related defects. Work related defects mean any process that we were responsible for or “should have caught”. We can offer this type of warranty because we will perform a level of work that results in future works likely being minor in scope. This warranty is not transferable if you sell the synthesizer (unless we sell it for you).
Example #1: We determine your synthesizer requires many wiring harnesses to be replaced. 2 years later an issue crops up that stems from the harnesses we made. We will handle it at no cost.
Example #2: We restore your synthesizer and end up replacing many IC’s. 10 years later, one of the few IC’s we did not change dies. We will likely change it at no cost.
Note: We do not include parts in our warranties however we usually will not bother to charge for most low-cost parts. If the part needed is in the hundreds of dollars, most likely a “rare part” so fabled in vintage gear, we require you to cover that cost.
Maintenance Level: We define a maintenance level job to be any job where the unit is brought in to have one or more issues repaired and nothing else. Perhaps your synthesizer was previously serviced with decent work done to it and now some issues have occurred.
This category qualifies for a 1 year warranty against work related defects specific to the issues we solved.
Example #1: You bring in your poly synth and one voice will not tune. We identify 2 issues causing one voice not to tune and fix both. 6 months later one of the chips we changed dies. We will change it again. 1 years later another fault happens with the same voice, you will have to pay for the labor.
Example #2: You bring in your new-to-you minimoog you just got on reverb and the keyboard contacts are malfunctioning. The action has been rebuilt with crappy bushings but it feels okay and we can fix the bad contacts. 6 months later the same notes are bad again. We will fix again. 1 year later the same notes are bad again. This time we will suggest that you have us rebuild the action and contacts our way, however at an additional cost.
Example #3: You bring in your poly synth with voice 2 malfunctioning. We repair it. 6 months later, a different voice is malfunctioning in the same way voice 2 was. You must pay for additional labor. 1 year later, another voice goes out. Still have to pay because neither is the original issue.
We reserve the right to cancel any warranty for any reason we see fit, especially if you are keeping your synths exposed to the elements or in a room with heavy smoking action.
Payments: We are proud to accept all types of payments including cash, credit/debit card, check, wire, paypal, cattle, and shillings. Yes, we even consider gear in trade if that suits you. As of 2021 we are also accepting BTC as a method of payment.
Rental Rates, & Policies
Renting synths is one of the most exciting parts of our business. With that excitement comes numerous frequently asked questions you can find answers for below.
How much does it cost?
That depends on the synth! However, as a general set of guidelines:
Most synths that are valued less than $10k are between $1-150 per day
Most Expensive, usually polyphonic synthesizers are slightly less than $200 per day.
Most very expensive synthesizers (CS-80, Eight Voice, etc) are much more expensive per day.
Do you offer multi day discounts?
Like all LA rental houses, we bill daily or weekly based on a four day week. So if you pay for 4 days, you can keep it for 7. Some ask if there is a discount if they actually only need it for 4 days, and the answer is no.
Similarly, if you pay for 3x 4 day weeks, you can keep the synth for one calendar month.
When does a day start, exactly?
Exactly? I don’t know. This is where reason comes in. If you call us at 4pm to book your rental same day, we will count that day as your first day. Similarly, if you book it for the following morning but really need a “setup day” the day before, and we can more or less verify that its actually a setup day and not a use day, the first day use day is the morning you booked for and the setup day is given as a courtesy.
A little more specifically, we count a day of “use” as any day, after 12pm, that someone else couldn’t retrieve the same synthesizer for their own rental use. So say you picked up a drum machine Monday at 5pm and returned it Wednesday at 5 pm. That is a 3 day rental even if you technically only had it for 48 hours. In that same scenario, if you returned it wednesday before noon, it would be a 2 day rental.