There are many questions I'm asked repeatedly. Some of them I can answer, and a few of them I can actually put here without offending anyone. (Maybe.)

Covid-19 Update

New update to this FAQ is coming
based on California's emergence from the covid-19 restrictions
which were mostly lifted on Tuesday June 15, 2021



As of Friday May 22, 2020 I am now OPEN again, using a number of new safety protocols. These protocols have been updated to reflect the new Santa Clara County requirements implemented July 2, 2020 and the October 5, 2020 updates.

    • No Exceptions!
    • This means you must text, email, or call me and get a confirmed time for your visit
    • If you show up unannounced, I'm not going to see you. Sorry
    • I need adequate time between customer visits to ensure your safety
  • We must both be wearing masks
    • Again, no exceptions!
    • I'll be polite about it, so please don't break my arms or anything like that if I ask you to kindly leave if you're unmasked
    • Remember, you're doing it to protect ME, and I'll be wearing one to protect YOU
  • You cannot enter the house or work area
    • Sorry, you can't see the workshop, nor can you come inside the house
    • That keeps us both safer
  • Hand sanitizer, wipe downs
    • In addition to the requirement for masks, I also make hand sanitizer available to you.
    • After you're gone and before the next customer arrives, I'll wipe down high-touch surfaces.
  • For drop-offs, I'll "quarantine" your device for a few days
    • That means I'll put it into a plastic bag to hold in my work queue
    • I'll let it sit at least 3 days before I start to work on it. Might be longer, depending on my queue
    • That also means I can't handle any rush jobs
  • For pick-ups, I'll offer to put your device into a bag as well
    • Please treat it as "hazmat" for a few days
    • You should probably be wearing gloves, but I can't make you do that
    • You can ask me to remove it from my bag, and put it into your own, of course
    • You should let it sit untouched for at least 3 days
    • If you can figure out how to use it without touching it before that, go ahead if you must
      • But be sure to stay safe and prudent
  • Arms length payments, too
    • I'll accept exact cash (but won't directly touch it)
    • I'll accept a check, same as cash  (again, I won't touch it directly)
    • Credit cards too, if you've got a card with touchless pay, like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, etc. This is the preferred method of payment
    • If you pre-pay before you arrive, I can email or text you a zero balance invoice


What’s your price?

I will bill at $100 per hour of actual work time plus parts at cost. "Actual work time" usually doesn't include the time I spent just thinking about your device's problems, unless you start causing trouble.

Can I get an estimate or assessment?

Yes. If you bring in your device, I can analyze it for a $50 "bench fee" and then talk to you about what I think the repair will cost. The $50 will be included in the final repair cost.

Do you have a "minimum fee" or "bench charge"

Yes, $50.

As mentioned above under "can I get an estimate or assessment?" I have a minimum charge of $50, which is included in the cost of repair should you decide to go forward with it. However, being a nice guy, I will usually waive that cost for items I can't fix.

My amp needs repair! What do I do?

  • CONTACT me first.
    • Use the Contact page OR
    • Send me a text OR
    • Send me an email OR
    • Call me
  • Then, we'll talk about it
  • Then, bring it in
    • San Jose
    • San Francisco (I'll tell you where)

Do you take "walk ins?"

No! DO NOT bring me anything unless I first say it's okay. You might be disappointed otherwise!

How do I get equipment to you?

See above under "My amp needs repair!"

What's your turnaround time?

That, as they say, depends.

I might need to order parts. I might have a big queue of amps ahead of you. I might be on vacation. (Yes, it happens.) Your amp might be particularly tricky to my old eyes and brain. We might just get unlucky.

We'll talk about it while you're explaining the problem to me.

I have a gig, can I get a rush repair?

Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. We'll talk about it while you're explaining the problem to me.

Covid-19 currently makes that impossible.

Do you sell parts?

Not currently. Parts are only included as part of a repair.

My amp/thing didn't cost much, can I get a discount on repair?

Really? No. But, I will tell you ahead of time if I think it won't be cost effective for you to proceed with the repair.

What about returns, rework or refunds? Do you guarantee your work?

I want satisfied customers. If there's a problem, tell me and I'll work with you and your device to make it right.

Do you do warranty service for [name brand] device?

I don't do that. I've found that in general doing warranty service is lots of hassle with insufficient joy. So no, sorry. You'll have to take it elsewhere.

Don't I know you from somewhere?

I used to be bob @ but we closed that shop in SF. You can remember my work fondly by seeing all my old facebook posts: Upstairs Amps on Facebook

I have a different question!

Ask me here: Contact Bob

Or email:

Or text: 669.207.5500

Or call that same number, if you must.