Update Regarding COVID-19 And Our “Re-Opening”
We know this strange time has affected each and everyone of us in unique ways. When we enact policy’s and rules and give people timelines and the like, the last thing we ever consider is whether the entire earth is going to be halted because of a pandemic. Now that is going to be something we consider, especially since there is always the chance that lockdowns can be enacted by our government again at any time. We want you to know that regardless of anyones opinion about the severity of COVID-19, who started it, how guilty Bill Gates is, etc. we will be in compliance with the orders from our city and state officials, and genuinely don’t want to hear your conspiracy theories.
To touch on how this has affected us, it’s important to me to let you all know that we are going to be just fine. We are not going anywhere anytime soon, and your gear is safe and sound here at our shop. Your support and continued use of our various services has put us in a position we feel incredibly lucky to be in. We have been able to deal with LA’s stay at home order while still getting *some* work done, and keeping our employee’s and clients safe by not allowing anybody inside our shop, keeping our techs home, and not accepting new repairs.
And we recognize that not everyone has been so lucky. This includes our countless clients who rely on touring and session work to make their living and feed their families. Our thoughts are with you, and we want to help however we can.
With all this said, we recognize that it’s important to let the public and our client base know what we’ve been up to, and how we are going to move forward to “re-open” our operations.
Starting now, we will be happy to accept new rentals requests for May 15th and after. During the lockdown, we even added some cool new synths to our rental suite, including a 16 voice Moog One, a killer Fender Rhodes suitcase piano, Jupiter 4, Jupiter 6, and an Oberheim Matrix 12!
Our rental business has unfortunately been halted throughout the safer at home order and we can’t wait to get back into it! We want to thank and give respect to LA’s studios for keeping our favorite artists safe by also closing their doors with few exceptions.
We know so many musicians have lost income with their tours cancelled. We imagine that studio sessions will be in high gear for the rest of 2020, so we want to give a discount to private party renters who are paying for rentals out of their own pockets. Email us for details.
For the Repair Shop:
Our techs, runners, assistant, and all bodies able to work will resume working again on May 18th, 2020, the Monday following the expiration of LA’s “safer at home” initiative. No sooner. This means all projects in progress will resume on that day. If the “safer at home” initiative is extended and businesses like ours are required to remain closed, this date will be pushed back as well.
– Our shop doors will remain closed to the public until at least July 1, 2020. Absolutely no entry will be permitted to anyone besides staff.
– Our repair shop phone will be cut off completely until June 15th 2020. See below for reason. All inquiries and questions will be email only. If you use our rental phone line to circumvent this, your request will not be handled and I will likely let you know how disappointed I am in so many words.
– For our touring clients who have lost their income for the year, we will be thrilled to offer you payment terms on your personal gear repairs that may already be here or need to be done. We will allow you to pick up when completed and pay in payments if needed. (This is not applicable if the gear is for a major tour production which is usually paid by a production company, for obvious reasons).
Here’s some FAQ’s we’re expecting or have already received:
What happens if theres another lockdown or you need to quarantine?
This is the top question for a reason. If our business is legally required to close again, we will without hesitation. Turn around will be extended for yours and our safety. Sorry, not going to be breathing in solder fumes with a respiratory virus going around! Since Los Angeles claims they will be doing contact tracing, we will also need to close if any of our employee’s have been listed as a potentially infected person. In that event, we will close for the time needed to quarantine at home + some days to sanitize our workshop.
What’s the deal with turn around times now?
We are operating under the notion that the last 2 months do not exist in the quantification of the estimated turn around time.
I’ve been waiting patiently to drop off my gear while you’ve been closed. When can I do that?
We will be accepting new repairs on May 18th, however we are going to be *extremely* selective of what we accept for the time being and foreseeable future. We will likely only be accepting jobs that have estimates over $1,000. Email us your inquiries and we may recommend you to someone else. If you’re a client with a retainer here, this is not applicable to you, and you will be handled as before the pandemic.
I need to utilize the warranty on gear you’ve already fixed… surely you’ll let me bring it in?
Yes, of course! On May 18th or after, we will of course take in any warranty that needs to be handled. Appointment is still needed.
Uhm…. I’ve been waiting months already… you’re telling me I have to wait even longer?
Yes, and we’re so sorry that this is the case. If you don’t like it, see below.
I’d like to just come get my stuff whether you fixed it or not at this point.
Great! We will be allowing pickups on a no-contact basis, and we genuinely wish you luck getting your stuff sorted. While we won’t be “holding your gear hostage”, a clear cut appointment will need to be made to pick up your stuff. This appointment will likely be a minimum of 3 days from the time of request, so we can adequately close your gear enough that it can be picked up in a “no contact” manner.
Okay, so have you gotten anything done? Have you just been sitting on your ass?
The short answer is no, not sitting on my ass!
While my techs have been at home, I have taken it upon myself to work on more intensive jobs and catch up on some gear that has really strange and esoteric issues. I have actually gotten quite a bit done by myself, and to be 100% forthright, this is my inspiration for shutting off the phone lines. I have been working so much more efficiently without the distraction of phone calls, which are never ending despite the pre-recorded message to please email us your inquiries and to only use the phone line if your email hasn’t been answered. Most if not all of this work was done in my home workshop, which has been nicely outfitted because of this pandemic.
This hardly made a dent in the grand scheme of things, though. But in the interest of being honest to our customers, yes, I have touched a soldering iron since March 19th.
– Finished 5 new PCB design projects, including a cool DIY controller for our DIY OB-X cards
– Wrote specialized repair manuals for my techs, to reduce the frequency of intervention during restoration of common synths we restore
– Restored my own Prophet 5 Rev 1 Serial #14, likely the earliest serial in America
– Shipped out kits I haven’t had to pack myself in years
– Cleaned the shop
– Spent a lot of time with my kids, including my now 3 month old son, who halfway through lockdown stopped crying 24/7 (thank you, son)
– Didn’t get COVID-19, and plan to keep it that way….
Also want to shout out all the clients who had received the call that I was able to finish or start on their projects from home during lockdown, agreed to it, and paid their bills immediately while also choosing to not pick up their gear until the stay at home order was lifted. I will figure out how to thank you all.
Also also, I actually made music during this lockdown. Thats not the norm for me. My melodic death metal band has been working on our record since 2015, and my schedule has kept it from seeing the light of day. I am super happy to have made some headway on that.
How will pickups and drop off’s look for the foreseeable future?
I’m glad you asked!
Most important is the pick up, as we will be limiting the influx for a while. Both pickups and drop off’s will be handled in a no-contact fashion. Again, as stated above, no entry to our shop is allowed until at least July 1. This means we don’t get to show you the shop we are so proud of, and we find that profoundly lame that our interaction will be limited to a keyboard stand on a sidewalk. That said, that’s exactly what pickups and drop off’s will look like.
Note: we will absolutely not accept any job or warranty that is delivered through a ride share. We expect all clients who are dropping off to be wearing a mask. We may refuse to accept the job if you are not wearing a mask.
– An appointment must be set, no exceptions. A special phone number will be given to those with appointments.
– Once you are outside, stay in your car (see above about ride shares). Call the number and we will come outside with a keyboard stand. We will place this stand outside, near our door. If this is a pickup, we will also then put your gear on the stand.
– Once you see that we have reentered our shop, you can now put your gear on this stand or pick it up if its a pickup. Once you’re finished, head back to your car and watch your gear. We’re watching from a camera!
– We will then go outside, disinfect your gear, and bring it inside.
– Once inside, we will open it as time permits to give you an estimate. If you agree to the estimate, great! If not, come back and get it (but remember, you need an appointment for that).
Just want to say I hate that this is how it has to be, but this is how it has to be. We know other places in LA are letting clients inside with masks on, but that doesn’t sway me. I look at this way…. I am badgered day in and day out for updates and the like… if I die from Covid, which is possible considering I am fat as hell, my wife will have to hear your badgering. I love her too much to subject her to that, so I’d rather have an annoying pickup/drop off process.
I want to again thank everyone for their continued love and patronage. Buying synths, paying invoices and the like has made this lockdown totally painless for us. I actually have had some bad bouts of “survivors guilt” throughout this, but I also recognize that I chose the right business to be in- the SYNTH business. We love you all, wish you all good covid-free health, and also want to express our sympathies if you’ve lost someone to this invisible enemy.
Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Emails are answered a few times a week, not daily.
Thank you all,