Getting answers to the questions above will put you on much surer footing when purchasing an Echorec. Bear in mind restoration work can range from hundreds to well over a thousand pounds depending on the answers you get. So, if the machine owns any of these issues—and it almost certainly will—then you can subtract the cost of remedying them from the currently accepted sale value of a fully, properly restored machine and then calculate how much you should pay the seller for their Echorec—simple, eh?
Of course, if you’re purchasing a refurbished machine from a vintage gear dealer, a specialist in servicing and restoring musical instrument equipment, then all these things will have been checked—the machine will be tip-top… right? Well, probably best not to let down your guard down just yet. Bear in mind you could be spending as much as an additional one or two thousand pounds on a refurbished machine; at those kind of prices you’re entitled to expect “Platinum” customer service. So, for example, it’s reasonable to ask if the lubrication/cleaning pads, the anti-vibration mounts on the motor and the electrolytic smoothing capacitors been replaced with new. Moreover, have electronic components such as resistors been checked for drift. You can even ask if they’ve polished the scratches out of the front panel. After all, if you were purchasing a second hand car you’d expect the oil and filters to have been changed, the car valeted and any scratches polished out of the trim wouldn’t you?
Just one more thing. Even die hard Binson Echorec veterans, vintage gear repair men, good men who’ve been in the field for many years get caught out, taking a bad hit that halts their Echorec repair work dead in its tracks. Hits such as an open circuit playback head, or the recording wire unravelling from the magnetic drum, or even tackling a faulty machine that some rookie has previously tampered with in effort to repair or improve its performance. This kind of fallout is beyond the capabilities of even the most experienced guitar amp servicing specialist or repair tech and the unsuspecting buyer doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of dealing with it. So stay low, keep your eyes peeled and stay alert at all times. Caveat emptor Echorec amator. Caveat emptor!