When Sound Matters

Old Audio Reels And Cassette Tape Background
Getty

 

While many people today opt for the convenience of “Hey Alexa, play ‘Stairway to Heaven,’” true music lovers only listen to their favorite melodies on quality stereo systems. And many of them believe that older equipment – including vinyl records instead of CDs – provides a truer, richer sound than current audio technology.

The problem, of course, is that no equipment lasts forever. While older components tend to have fewer parts and to be built very sturdily, the ravages of time, humidity and simple use eventually cause loss of quality if not outright operational failure.

Fortunately, audiophiles have a great resource for maintaining their beloved sound systems: Bryan Lang of Lang Design Electronics Repair. Lang himself believes in the superiority of older components and has been repairing them for many years.

“Equipment from the mid-90s or earlier, even from the 60s and 70s, I think the sound quality for the money is much better,” he observed. “You get a warmer, richer sound.”

He finds the equipment from that era much easier to work on as well. “Once you get to the digital stuff, you can’t fix it as easily,” he noted. “You can’t get the parts or the manuals. Pre ’95ish, you can get manuals online.

“Different components present different challenges,” he continued. “Turntables are relatively simple, while amplifiers get into more complex electronics.”

Lang is highly qualified to solve even the most difficult audio equipment problems. “I learned basic electronics in the Marine Corps in the 1980s,” he recounted. “I was in avionics, working on different aircraft systems like radar controls and armament systems.

“I became more interested in audio equipment even back then,” he added, “but it was a job and I got good training out of it.”

After leaving the Marines, Lang was hired by Dupont, where we worked on blood analysis instruments. “This was pretty new technology at the time,” he explained. “We developed equipment that could do multiple tests from one small blood sample.”

While Lang takes considerable satisfaction in repairing older audio equipment and helping music lovers preserve their favored sound systems, he has other motivations as well. He and his wife Rebecca are founding members of the Green Project, which promotes creative reuse of all kinds of equipment and building materials.

“We want to keep the older equipment out of the landfills,” stated Lang.

The Langs are also involved with the educational aspect of the Green Project, putting on workshops for young people who want to learn electronics and audio equipment repair. “There are only a handful of people who do this work,” Lang said, “and we aren’t getting younger. We want to get more people involved in it.”

This approach underscores Lang’s overall view of his work. “This is not so much a business venture as a way to help our community. We want other people to learn how to do this work.”

The Langs are currently working with the Green Project to expand the instruction, including creating a series of increasingly advanced programs and eventually moving on to one-on-one mentoring in their repair facility.

For those who simply want to keep their music going, however, Lang Design Electronics Repair is a wonderful resource. In addition to the audio components, Lang also works on electric guitars and basses and their amps. The firm also sells refurbished equipment, “at reasonable prices,” Lang noted. “Just enough to keep our venture going.”

Along the path from the Marine Corps to the Green Project, Lang has been something of a serial entrepreneur. “I had businesses ranging from interior design to historic renovation to working on cars,” he recalled. “This work now is mentally challenging but physically easy.”

Dropping his normally modest demeanor for a moment, he concluded, “I can fix anything you put in front of me!”

 

To get audio equipment repair estimates or find out what equipment might currently be available for sale, email repair@langdesign.com.

 

 

Categories: Neighborhood Biz