Decades ago when he was still in high school, Adrien Goepferich used to repair broken audio and stereo equipment for his fledgling DJ business. The young entrepreneur may not have known it at the time, but this experience repairing musical equipment helped lay the groundwork for a path that would eventually lead Goepferich to open his own business.
Goepferich in early 2018 officially opened the doors at Tone I/O in North Austin. The independent business owner offers tune-up services for instruments, effects and equipment, but Tone I/O specializes in the repair of vintage guitar amplifiers for professional and amateur musicians alike.
“Once you get the reputation of being able to work on vintage gear and do it right, people flock to you,” Goepferich said. “When you get certain pieces of gear on the bench, you know it’s got a lot of history to it ... and it’s really cool to kind of just feel that as you’re working on it.”
The repair technician took the leap to open his own business after decades of working in the world of corporate telecommunications. Goepferich, a self-described natural tinkerer, said Tone I/O allowed him to return to working with his hands.
But that experience in telecommunications, Goepferich said, provided him with a wealth of professional standards that helps Tone I/O stand out from other companies.
“I get complimented a lot for having a clean shop and a very tight-running ship, and that comes from my background,” he said. “I have a very detail-oriented mindset that really lends well to what I do.”
Goepferich began his journey in the amp repair business a little over a decade ago, with his very first repair on his own 1975 Fender Bassman 100. After he said he was dissatisfied with the sound quality on the amp following repairs from a shop, Goepferich opened up the amp to try to fix the issue himself.
“I was able to fix the problem. It got to me that it wasn’t that hard, and then I started getting into modifications,” he said.
Now, he works on decades old amps for notable Austin musicians.
Tone I/O offers tune-up services and repairs for vintage tube amplifiers, though Goepferich said he will take in any makes and models for service. Amps can suffer wear and tear from any number of external factors, Goepferich said, such as travel, humidity and even electrical disruptions from solar flares.
Goepferich also sells vintage amps that he has purchased and restored himself, including gear from companies such as Fender, Vox and Weber. The repair tech further sells guitar amps under the Tone I/O name that he has hand-built and wired himself with his own custom wraps and cloths.
One of the best parts of the job, according to Goepferich, is working with local musicians to dial in on elusive guitar tones.
“It’s really been very rewarding to help out musicians in Austin—lots of pro musicians, lots of amateur musicians—and help them keep their gear up and running but also help them find their voice,” Goepferich said.
9514 McNeil Road, Ste. 103, Austin
512-852-8663 | www.toneio.com
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., closed Sun.
North Austin’s Tone I/O repairs, services vintage amplifiers for city’s local guitarists
Tone I/O specializes in vintage tube amplifier repair and tune-up. Owner Adrien Goepferich said he has worked on guitar amps from as far back as the 1940s. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)