Why should you consider having your vintage amplifier
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
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.