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Vintage Amps - Page 2

post #16 of 152

Fisher restoration and repairs

There are several sources for parts, restoration, and repair of the vintage Fisher gear. The best known is probably Al Pugliese, The Fisher Doctor.

He can be reached at fisherdoc@aol.com

His website is located at: http://fisherdoctor.com/

Al offers repairs and restoration of the Fisher receivers, amps, etc. If you want to avoid shipping your unit, and what can be a lengthy waiting period to get your receiver back, you can purchase a restoration pak from Al that includes parts and instructions for replacing the parts of the unit that are prone to fail with age and potentially destroy the equipment. If you are not comfortable with soldering around 500 Volt capacitors (even unplugged, the high voltage chassis can deliver a dangerous shock if you don't know what you are doing), you can have a local repair shop install the parts that come in the restoration pak.

I know that some people may disagree, but a knowledgeable retired radio engineer friend has confirmed to my satisfaction that replacing the aging selenium rectifier components in these vintage units with modern rectifier circuit components is very important and should be done before attempting to use the receiver. As selenium rectifiers age, their output voltages gradually increase, causing excessive voltages and current levels within the receiver. This causes everything to run much hotter than designed, shortening the life of most of the components and tubes.

Al's restoration pak includes all of the needed replacement rectifier components as well as other replacement capacitors and resistors that he has determined should be replaced.

The restoration pak also includes a set of 4 resistors intended to be wired into the power tube circuitry, to prevent a tube shorting out from damaging other part of the receiver, ruining it. These resistors serves as fuses, protecting the receiver in the event that a tube fails and shorts.

Until recently, the 7591 power tubes used in the Fisher 500B and 500C receivers were only available as used or NOS. Recently, a factory in the former Soviet Union has started making this tube. I believe the tube brand for these newly manufactured 7591 tubes is called Electro Harmonixs.

Good luck with your Fisher 500.
post #17 of 152
Thanks mkmelt!! I've checked out the website, and it's excellent.




Five cans on a five can scale...outstanding!!
post #18 of 152
Hmm... we recently replaced our old Sansui integrated amp/tuner/dishwasher with the MA6500 and moved the Sansui to our condo... so THAT's why the in-wall Radio Shock speakers sound so good!
post #19 of 152
Speaking of Fisher, are any of their vintage solid state receivers (I've seen the 550, the 700-T, and the RS-2010) worthwhile? I'm looking to use one with the AKG-1000s.
post #20 of 152

Solid State Fisher Gear

I have a Fisher Futura Series Model 201, circa 1970 receiver. This is one of the first series of receivers built totally in Japan after the Fisher Radio Corporation was sold to Sanyo Corporation. This unit is rated at 20 watts/channel. I have been told that it really can't meet this spec over the full 20hz - 20,000hz frequency range unless the capacitance value of the filter capacitors in the power supply are doubled. Otherwise, 10 watts/channel over the full audio range is probably closer to the mark.

I have tried this receiver with my Sennheiser HD-600 headphones connected through the headphone jack. The results, unfortunately, were mediocre. The bass response of the HD-600 that has sounded so wonderfully extended when connected to the Fisher 400 just about died. It became soft and mushy and poorly defined.

OTOH, I have gotten excellent results using my HD-600 headphones with a Sansui AU-5900 45w/channel integrated amplifier (circa 1976 design) and a Marantz 2235B 35w/channel receiver (circa 1974/75 design). I love the sound of the Fisher tube receiver, however, if anything the bass response of the HD-600s when connected to this Marantz receiver are even deeper, more powerful, extended, and defined than with the Fisher tube unit.

Tubes amps and receivers can be great, but they run hot and should be cooled with a fan. You will find you need access to a decent tube tester to know if your tubes, or the ones you will wind up buying as spares are any good. Also high quality NOS and used tubes are expensive.

If cost is an issue, I would stay away from the tube gear and stick with something like the Marantz 2200 series of receivers. There were many different models available with slightly different power ratings and features from 20 to 70 watts/channel. Today, for less than $200, you can buy an amazing sounding 30- 40 watt vintage Marantz solid state receiver that will remain cool to the touch, and run practically forever. With the Marantz, the only cost I have had besides initial purchase and shipping has been for some display dial lamps, a tuner alignment, and some contact cleaner on the switches and buttons.

I think so highly of the headphone sound of my Marantz 2235B receiver that I plan to bring it to the next Head-Fi meet here in the DC area.
post #21 of 152

Re: Solid State Fisher Gear

Quote:
Originally posted by mkmelt
I
If cost is an issue, I would stay away from the tube gear and stick with something like the Marantz 2200 series of receivers. There were many different models available with slightly different power ratings and features from 20 to 70 watts/channel. Today, for less than $200, you can buy an amazing sounding 30- 40 watt vintage Marantz solid state receiver that will remain cool to the touch, and run practically forever. With the Marantz, the only cost I have had besides initial purchase and shipping has been for some display dial lamps, a tuner alignment, and some contact cleaner on the switches and buttons.

I think so highly of the headphone sound of my Marantz 2235B receiver that I plan to bring it to the next Head-Fi meet here in the DC area.
mkmelt,

Thanks for the advice. I did a search on ebay and there were about 5-10 Marantz 2200 series available. I'm deciding on which one to bid on.

I also saw a vinatage Marantz Model 1070 Integrated Amp. That one, too, is interesting. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for the tip.
post #22 of 152

Marantz equipment

The following link provides good photos and technical data on the vintage Marantz amps, preamps, tuners, and receivers.

http://www.classic-audio.com/

Look for one of the receivers with the separate Bass, Midrange, and Treble tone controls.

-Marc
post #23 of 152

Re: Marantz equipment

Quote:
Originally posted by mkmelt
Look for one of the receivers with the separate Bass, Midrange, and Treble tone controls.

-Marc
Marc,

Today I won the Marantz 2238b Receiver on ebay. I paid $97 (shipping is a killer, though--$61!!). The buyer claims it's in good shape--I'll see, hopefully, in a few days. The unit does come with separate bass, midrange, and treble controls. I can't wait to start using it with the AKG K-1000s and the Senn 600/Cardas combo.

Thanks again for the tip.

Do you know anything about the Marantz 1070 A Integrated Amp?I looked on Classic-Audio.com, where it said that it was scarce and made between 1974-1977. It does look good, especially as a back-up amp.
post #24 of 152
Congrats!

I use a Marantz 2238B in my shop. It stays on all day long and so gets far more use than my main system. You're going to love the "gyro-touch tuning" when it comes time to escape commercials. Really beautiful to look at, especially in dim light so you can see that great Marantz blue display. Keep your eyes peeled for the optional wood case if yours doesn't come with it. It will really set it apart from the other '70s receivers.
post #25 of 152
I guess this is a little late, but I just found this post. Nice choice on the Marantz. One other vintage choice that is always overlooked are the monster Kenwoods of the 70s. Specifically the KR7600 and the KR9600. I have the 7600 powering 4 infinity outriggers in the back yard it rocks the whole neighborhood and it is awesome! The KR7600 can be had on ebay for less than $100 and the 9600 usually goes for $250-$300. The headphone jack on both of these guys is no slouch either.

Anyway, Congrats on your purchase

2
post #26 of 152

Congrats on your Marantz 2238B

Congrats on your eBay find. You should enjoy many years of great sound with the Marantz 2238B receiver.

I am not familiar with the model 1050 Marantz integrated amp, but all of the Marantz gear of that period was built using the best quality components and was very conservatively rated when it came to power ratings. During those years, manufacturers were engaged in a power war, so even a difference of as little as a few more watts output power was justification for a model designation. Today we know better, that only an increase of something approaching double the power rating has any audible significance on the ultimate volume and sound you actually hear.

Regarding shipping the receiver, $60 does not seem like too much if it includes FedEx Ground or UPS insured shipping across the country. For that price, make sure the seller understands how to pack the unit. When I purchased my Marantz I insisted that the seller double box the unit for shipping. In the event that the outer box gets dented or torn, the inner box should still protect the unit.


My suggested packing directions:

First - the wooden case: If you were fortunate enough to acquire the unit with the optional wooden case, the receiver needs to be removed from the case first, and the case shipped separately in separate box.

Next - The parts of the Marantz (or any AM/FM receiver) that are most prone to damage during shipping:

Front: Tuning Dial Glass - a bitch to replace if it gets cracked. (The front needs to be protected with several extra layers of large-type bubble wrap, as does the rear of the chassis, in addition to a wrapping in bubble wrap on the top, bottom, and sides.)

Gyro tuning wheel - Should be taped in place to prevent movement during shipping

Knobs, and buttons (extra bubble wrap over entire front of receiver, see above)


Rear:

AM antenna rod: Fragile, highly prone to breakage. Needs to be removed if it can possiblly be disconnected, o else taped up in bubble wrap.

Fuse holder: The fuse holder on the Marantz is plastic and could easily break off. These may be easy or hard to replace, but why find out. (The fuse holder should be removed and wrapped separately, as should the fuse)

Power cord: Should be wrapped up tight and tied with a tie wrap, a rubber band, or taped, and the plug tips taped up to prevent gouging or scracthing any part of the unit.

Once wrapped up in large-type bubble wrap and taped up like a mummy, the receiver should be placed in the inner shipping box, on top of a generous layer of packing peanuts. Then more peanuts around the sides and over the top. Then the inner box should be sealed securely with packing tape.

The inner box should be placed in the outer shipping box, again on a layer of packing peanuts, with more peanuts to fill the gaps on the sides and over the top of the inner box.

The outer box should be taped securely, with plenty of tape. Double thick walled shipping boxes will cost a bit more, but are a better choice for shipping a delicate piece of equipment that also happens to weigh in at approx. 40 lbs.

What you are preparing the unit for is a probable drop off of the back of a delivery truck of up approximately 4-5 feet. Anything less as far as packing and boxing, and you may end up with damaged goods.

If the seller balks at following all these packing precautions, offer to throw them an extra $20 for their trouble, (it does takes quite a bit of time to gather all ofthe packing materials and then package),and they should agree to your shipping directions. In the end, it will still be worth it to avoid damaging the goods in shipping. And don't bet that insurance will bail you out either, because the person holding the insurance on the item is the sender, not you. In the event of a claim, the insurance company will want to inspect the damaged unit and will keep it to sell for scrap if they agree to pay off on the claim or return the item to the sender if they determine that they are going to deny the claim. Either way, you won't have the item and the seller will still have the balance of your money. Don't be put off by what might go wrong, just be up front with the seller and insist on proper packing and insurance for the receiver.

When the unit arrives, assuming all looks well, go ahead and plug it in and fire it up. You may find that several of the display dial lamps are burned out, this is quite common. These are available and are easily replaced. If you are going to use the FM tuner, it is worth having a reputable repair shop perform an FM alignment on the I.F. stages of the tuner as these can drift out of alignment on this old gear. This alignment cannot be done without an FM signal generator and a test scope, plus the specific alignment procedures for the tuner.

If the unit is dirty or dusty inside, it is ok to unplug it from the power outlet and remove the cover and carefully blow off the dust and dirt using a can of compressed gas like Dust Off. Just DON'T grab any old tuner cleaner spray and start spraying every switch or tuning capacitor you see. This type of cleaner was meant for the old rotary type TV tuners, and is not good for cleaning switches or buttons on your receiver and can actually damage the unit. Better to let the repair shop use the proper cleaner to really clean and lubricate all of the switches and contacts while they are aligning the FM. As I recall, I paid my local repair shop here in Silver Spring. Maryland near D.C. a just bit under $50 for the FM alignment, lamp replacement, and switch and contact cleaning/lubrication.

One of the parts on these old Marantz units that is prone to fail is the power switch. The original part is not available but other push-on switches can be substituted. If your power switch is still going strong, great, just don't use it. Plug the receiver into a power strip with an On/Off Switch and leave the receiver's power button in the On position. Always use the power strip to turn the unit on and off. Alternately, if you plug the receiver into an outlet connected to a wall switch, this can be your way of powering the unit on.

Please keep us posted on how things progress.

-Marc
post #27 of 152
Marc/timoteus/2 channel,

Thanks for the posts (and Marc, thanks for the extensive advise--I'll contact the seller today). I'll give an update when the Marantz arrives.
post #28 of 152
FCJ did you recive Marantz receiver. Do you like the sound ?
post #29 of 152
Quote:
Originally posted by dejang
FCJ did you recive Marantz receiver. Do you like the sound ?
Actually, I bought two of them Before I get to the sound, let me tell you about my trials and tribulations. I can tell you this--buying vintage equipment requires both patience and hope. Patience in getting everything in working order, hope in that it will show up as described (I won both on ebay, BTW).

First, I won the Marantz 2238b. It took a couple of weeks to receive (the shipper forgot to ship it; it took about five emails from me to finally get it). Out of the box, it had a problem with static in both channels. I took it to be repaired and cleaned, and I got it back from the repair shop on Monday. However, when I took it home it still had a problem in the right channel. The unit is now back in the shop. Cosmetically, it does look great, though.

Second, I also won a Marantz 2220B (I actually won this after the 2238B, but received it first). Out of the box, it had problems cosmetically. The power button and the volume buttons were "bent" (although they both worked); one of the antenna buttons on the back were broken, and the unit was somewhat dirty. However, it worked perfectly and I am now using it with my AKG K-1000s and my Marantz 67SE CD Player.

Soundwise, it is a really good unit. I would say it's a bit bright, but that could really be due to the K-1000s (which can be a bit harsh on top). Otherwise, it's a really good sounding amp that has no problems driving the K-1000s.

One last thing--the headphone jack is really good, unlike the ones on most receivers/preamps today. I've used the headphone jack with the Senn 600s/Cardas combo and it sounds suprisingly good. Not what I expected.

In summary, if you luck out and get a good, working unit, I recommend the Marantz receiver highly. However, given my experiences there are a lot of vintage Marantz units out there that are being described favorably that may not actually be so. In other words, let the buyer beware, but if you stumble upon a good unit you're in for a good experience.
post #30 of 152

Vintage Marantz equipment

Glad to hear you finally received your Marantz receiver. I could not understand from your post if the static you heard was coming from the FM radio tuner or in the amplifier section. Perhaps the balance and volume controls noisy.

Although they might be worn out, they could just need to be cleaned by someone who takes the time to do it properly. If the first repair shop can't seem to fix the problem, don't give up on the unit, try another shop.

You might have some corrosion on the RCA jacks. Try plugging and unplugging the left and right cables from your CD player several times to make a good contact.

When you get the unit back, please provide a more detailed review of the performance of the Marantz driving the HD-600s.
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