Why should you consider having your vintage amplifier refurbished!


Do you own an amplifier, preamplifier, tuner, or integrated amplifier, that is ten to forty years old? Did you know that the electronic components used in these products typically have a life expectancy of only seven to ten years? Electronic components deteriorate with aging and temperature cycling. This slow deterioration over time, can significantly change the electrical performance and the audio quality of the product.

Resistors tend to exhibit a change in resistance value and given enough time, become out of tolerance. Electrolytic capacitors can have life expectancies as low as 10,000 hours. High quality electrolytics, typically have life expectancies of only 50,000 hours. These components should be replaced as required! Other types of capacitors can also deteriorate, typically exhibiting leakage. Transistors not only can have shorted or open junctions, they can also exhibit leakage, or become noisy. Transistors can deteriorate without junction failures, primarily due to outside migration, as a result of package failures. Vacuum tubes or valves require periodic replacement, as well as having problems with shorts, leakage, and emission.

As if the problems with component deterioration were not bad enough, now consider the fact, the best components were probably not used in the product to begin with. Commercial products typically use the most cost effective components. Vintage Amplifier Restoration, will utilize the best available components. Carbon composotion resistors are used to preserve the original sonic characteristics. Where practical, polypropylene or polystyrene capacitors are used due to their good signal characteristics and low dissipation factor. Riken resistors and Auricaps are available upon request at additional cost. Where electrolytics are required, computer grade or high temperature long life types are selected, shunted with polypropylenes. The utilization of high quality capacitors in the signal path, yields a noticeable sonic improvement in most amplifiers.

Any amplifier with severe distortion or blown fuses is in need of repair. Severe distortion is usually due to problems in the output stages of the amplifier; although any malfunctioning stage could produce distortion. Blown fuses usually indicate problems with the power supply or output stages of the amplifier. More subtle signs of a malfunctioning amplifier are mild to moderate distortion or a loss of musical clarity. These conditions could be due to aging and could be produced by any of the stages in the amplifier.

If you have a solid state amplifier, here are a few signs to look for, to determine if your amplifier is malfunctioning. Abnormal or uneven heating of the heat sinks at idle, is a sign of incorrect bias currents, or the presence of output offset voltages, or both. If the amplifier has a speaker switch, a thump produced by the loudspeaker system when operating the switch, is a sign of output offset voltages. Not only do these conditions cause the amplifier to run hotter than normal, it can be destructive for loudspeaker systems.

If you have a vacuum tube amplifier, here are a few signs to look for, to determine if your amplifier is malfunctioning. Abnormal heating of the output transformers, is a sign of bias or imbalance problems. A dull red glow of the plate structure of the output tube or tubes at idle, is a sign of bias problems. If the plate structures of the output tubes have a bright red glow at idle, your amplifier has probably already self destructed. Bias problems can cause the output tubes to draw too much current, resulting in shortened tube life, output transformer heating, and additional power dissipation which could adversely effect the power supply and it's transformer.

What will you gain if you have your amplifier refurbished? You will essentially have a new amplifier with higher quality components, improved sonic performance, and many more years of listening enjoyment. You will also have the same amplifier that you have owned and treasured all these years. Vintage Amplifier Restoration provides a service that will give you added value to your vintage piece of audio equipment.