The real reason to replace capacitors on vintage gear is because you don't want them to fail and destroy other components in the circuit. And they will fail, or drift out of spec, eventually. Tracking down a replacement for a 40-year old transistor or IC is not fun.
Do audio differences exist between capacitors? - Page 2
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- 569 Posts. Joined 12/2006
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This is for sure! We know that electrolytic of some vintages are going to fail and repairing associated damage may be difficult. We also know that some legacy capacitors are way past expected life. But these are maintenance operations, intended to restore original performance.
But now we see capacitor "rollers" expecting to find a better than new level of performance.
Funny you mention that....I held off recapping my newest unit....decided to test offset(too high -500mv) and adjusted it inside the amp.
So far 1-2 resistor connected to the coms emitter during the dc offset adjustment has totally went up in smoke and seems to have screwed up my messed up up my dc offset settings totally....
Fun times indeed....
It's fun to repair it and an elite $1-2000 amp from the seventies sounds pretty darn good. If somebody can't wrench it's a god awful PITA to buy vintage electronics though.
I'll admit, I scratch my head when I see some vintage pioneer recievers go for $1,500 fully restored though.....WTF.
Scouring craigslist and good will to find great audio classics can be fun.
Edited by ukon16 - 1/8/13 at 8:53pm
Did I mention the price of many vintage amps is "free" or " $5" at good will.
Given the belief " all amps sound the same" on this forum; would it really make a difference in SQ if an amp is properly restored?''
I've compared the audio quality of a vintage restored Harman Kardon reciever and one of their modern 7.1 AVR recievers circa 2008 on the same set of speakers(I own both). Both sounded awesome and roughly the same. I favored the vintage reciever for music but I'm ultra biased since I put so many hours into it.
Now, if somebody is blowing $800+ on vintage stuff...I'd easily suggest they'd buy new. The "hunt" is half the fun of vintage.
Vintage speakers are a blast as well. Obscure high end audio brands get thrown out for next to nothing; they restore very well.
Edited by ukon16 - 1/8/13 at 9:43pm
Out of curiosity.....how is that possible? Is it due to the trend of "tiny/cute is better" speakers?
I haven't explored modern tower/loud speakers much aside from concerts where I worked....I'd have thought speaker design would have improved a great deal.
I'm picking up some vintage Norman Lab and Saras speakers soon....gonna be a nice weekend.
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Modern receivers can be even worse in terms of serviceability. Such a massive cluttering of PCBs, wires and ICs. And most modern HT receivers are crap and won't hold their value on the used market. Bigshot's right; you might as well trash 'em when they die.
I remember when my dad was building his HT, he got a TOTL, pro-series Yamaha receiver. They didn't even sell this one in BestBuy, had to order directly. Oodles of power, functionality, the whole package. Within a few years it was "antiquated" because it didn't support 1080p passthrough, Internet radio software, or the Apple connectivity crap. Still a great amp though; he's still using the 720p plasma even though he's been wanting a 1080p. As soon as the 4k screens start coming out, he'll want one of those so I'll get to take it of his hands because it won't be worth crap on the used market. Oh yeah, and it sounds excellent in terms of audio because it was TOTL and the audio section was overbuilt.
An quality integrated amp from the 60's or 70's only needs an recap and a few replaced components and it's good for another 30-40 years. Plus, you grow attached to these things