I don’t charge a bench fee to take a look at your amp. All diagnostics are free. I only charge if you decide to have me fix your amp. It’s that simple.
Some repairs are quick and cheap, others take a while and are more expensive. I don’t give guesstimates on my site for that reason. Even something as simple as replacing power tubes and biasing them can lead to the discovery or old/drifted/burned out resistors, arcing across tube sockets, blown capacitors, and so on. No matter the issue, it won’t cost you anything until you decide to have me fix it.
I also don’t replace parts that don’t need to be replaced. If you bring in an amp with mostly original parts, I won’t replace the usual suspects without testing them. If they are still good, why replace them? For example: a lot of techs will just replace electrolytic caps as a matter of course, which costs the customer a lot more than is necessary. I’ll test electrolytics, reform them, and, only if absolutely necessary, replace them–instead of just replacing them outright, which on some amps can be a $200+ difference in the total bill.
Repair rates start at $35 per hour plus materials.