Hoppe’s Brain is no longer accepting repair or refurbishing clients. Sorry! It’s only DIY Circuit Board Kits from now on.

Hi everyone,

I’ve been procrastinating writing this, as many of you will be disappointed that I can’t work on your gear. And unfortunately, I can’t even take care of the people on my waiting list, some of whom have been waiting for years! Sorry. 🙁

I’m getting old, apparently. (Never thought it would happen to me.) I am developing physical issues that make it impossible for me to keep up with repairs and refurbishings. As they say…

“Welcome to your 40’s! If you have not developed a mystery ailment, one will be assigned to you shortly.” Doctors are unsure of what’s going on with me, but I suspect it might be Polymyalgia Rhumatica.

I’m experiencing terrible pain and inflammation in the connective tissue around my joints, especially in my forearms, and this is exacerbated by the physical nature of electronics repair work. There’s so much drilling, cutting, cleaning, sanding, squeezing things, etc etc etc, and it’s getting really painful and unpleasant. The pain is manageable if I don’t do too much of this kind of work.

So the business is shifting entirely to DIY circuit boards! This side of the Hoppe’s Brain business has been booming, so I am just going to concentrate on that. I’ll be launching more kits in the future! I’m branching out into other brands besides Adcom, as well as producing more stuff for DIY amp builders.

Speaking of new kits, I am just about to launch this new soft-start power supply kit for the GFA-555! It’s way over-engineered as usual. :^D Instead of a simple timer-relay, this design actually monitors the current across the inrush power resistor, and only closes the bypass relay around it once the the current is low, and the capacitors have charged. The circuit protects the amp from starting up in an under-voltage condition, and adds remote trigger power!

Hoppe’s Brain BFA-555 Smart Soft-Start

The other reason I won’t be doing refubs or repairs anymore, is that I simply don’t make much money at it.

Beautiful, isn’t it? It’s also not very profitable as a business model. There’s a reason you don’t find electronics shops that go into the level of detail that I do. It’s too time-consuming, and physically demanding. But I won’t compromise on this point and just crank out sloppy repairs.

Maybe if I worked on more expensive, super-high-end brands of gear, then the amount of work I put in would be profitable, but I really don’t want “high-end” customers. They’re “luxury consumers” who buy things just for the prestige of owning them. They buy exotic sports cars just to show them off, or they buy art to park their wealth where it won’t be taxed. I don’t want customers like that. People who buy Adcom are just music lovers who want a great experience. Same for DIY builders.

So if you were hoping to get your gear worked on by me, I would recommend the next-best thing. Find yourself a good technician locally and have them install one of my tested and assembled circuit boards! I am still building these myself, by hand, to my exacting standards.

Good technicians are hard to find, so please let me know if you find one and I will send customers their way! Some of my customers have had success in convincing their local guitar amp tech to take on the job; it makes a nice change of pace for them.

Thank you for understanding.


One thought on “Hoppe’s Brain is no longer accepting repair or refurbishing clients. Sorry! It’s only DIY Circuit Board Kits from now on.

  1. Sorry to read about your health issues Chris, I feel very fortunate to own the last Adcom GFA 5802 that was refurbished by you….We just recently had a graduation party for my daughter & I have to tell you I had the amp cranked up for hours & was complimented several times on how great the music sounded! The music soared with clarity & power Thank You Chris!

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