or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › My broken amp is now discontinued by the manufacturer! What should I do?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

My broken amp is now discontinued by the manufacturer! What should I do?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I bought a Nuforce Icon HDP about a year ago. A month later, the mainboard got fried and I just left it in the shelf. But now, I want to use it again, but the product is discontinued. I sent the Nuforce support an email multiple times, but no response... probably because the product has been discontinued.

 

What should I do? I really don't want $400 to go down the drain!

 

Could you guys give me some suggestions?

 

Thanks a lot!

post #2 of 15

Unless you literally turned the board to toast the worse case scenario is soldering on replacement components or whatever went bad which is absolutely a pita. Have you started troubleshooting what failed?

 

 I'm sure there are people on here that can help you a lot more than me as well.

post #3 of 15

Can you unplug it and take some pics of the insides and post them for us?  Chances are it is the power supply, fuse, or a blown cap.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by linglingjr View Post
 

Unless you literally turned the board to toast the worse case scenario is soldering on replacement components or whatever went bad which is absolutely a pita. Have you started troubleshooting what failed?

 

 I'm sure there are people on here that can help you a lot more than me as well.

 

Even if I do find the solution, I think I won't be able to find the replacement parts most likely because I've searched all over the web for HDP replacement parts without any luck.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post
 

Can you unplug it and take some pics of the insides and post them for us?  Chances are it is the power supply, fuse, or a blown cap.

Ummm.... I tried plugging in the USB into the computer but it is not even showing up in the devices list. But I discovered something else: using

 

auxillary input with another player, I could use the AMP part of the Icon HDP. Most likely the USB-related components within the Icon HDP are

 

most likely in ruins..

 

Hmm.. even if I do find the exact parts that need replacing, like I mentioned above, the availability of the specific parts seems very non-existent

 

to me.

 

Is there anything else I should try to try to fix the DAC part of the HDP before pulling it apart?

post #6 of 15

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, first things first:

 

Did you try another USB port? Another USB cable? Another computer?

 

it seems highly unlikely that you somehow fried the Digital board only.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, first things first:

 

Did you try another USB port? Another USB cable? Another computer?

 

it seems highly unlikely that you somehow fried the Digital board only.

 

Hmm... I'm very sad to say yes, I tried all different USB ports on my Macbook Pro, and my desktop USB ports, but there is no recognition of the device in any one of those computers.

post #8 of 15

Even with another USB cable?

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

Even with another USB cable?

Yes

 

edit: I had two cables for the HDP, and I tried both of them.

post #10 of 15

Did you check device manager to make sure the device isn't detected at all?

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

Did you check device manager to make sure the device isn't detected at all?

I did what you told me to do, I'm afraid I found not even a trace of the HDP. I think I willis just get a separate DAC and connect it to my HDP. Thank you very much for trying to help me out. And thank you to the rest of those in the thread!

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1200249 View Post
 

I did what you told me to do, I'm afraid I found not even a trace of the HDP. I think I willis just get a separate DAC and connect it to my HDP. Thank you very much for trying to help me out. And thank you to the rest of those in the thread!

 

 

I wouldn't give up on that yet..(see below on how you might find a way to get it repaired)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1200249 View Post
 

 

Even if I do find the solution, I think I won't be able to find the replacement parts most likely because I've searched all over the web for HDP replacement parts without any luck.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1200249 View Post

 

Hmm.. even if I do find the exact parts that need replacing, like I mentioned above, the availability of the specific parts seems very non-existent

to me.

 

 

Did you search for the keywords "HDP replacement parts"? Because that isn't the way to do it. First you open it up, figure out what's broken, which in cases of things getting "fried" would usually have really obvious visual clues, and look up the parts numbers on those. If it's a microchip it's etched on the top; if it's a capacitor, it'll be printed all over; sometimes regulators not only have the parts number on them but also printed on one side of the board next to their mount (I assume the redundancy is because of their higher likelihood to get fried than all other components). You need to send NuForce an email and ask for a schematic diagram, which any tech will find useful when he takes a look at it.

 

You also won't need to be the one to repair them yourself, you just need to find a reliable and trustworthy enough tech. I was lucky enough with that when my Meier Cantate.2 broke last year. I emailed Dr. Meier in case he might have some advice on how to service it, as well as schematic diagrams (which I knew a repair tech would need), then brought it to a local Shanling distributor (mass manufacturing is subcontracted to Shanling) before I ordered parts, in case I missed anything apart from the fuse, one regulator (I didn't know what it was before I Googled the parts number, but the top part obviously looked fried) and the power supply. Turned out another regulator was also fried, and then when I searched for the power supply model, I can find it on the manufacturer's website but not on parts retailers like DigiKey and the manufacturer wasn't responding to my emails. I sent Dr. Meier another email asking if he can approve another PSU I found on the web, and he sent me a link to another model that had nearly every spec identical to the original (and most importantly, 110v to 240v operation). Ordered the parts, brought them over to the distributor, and they brought my amp (still in the box) out of their storage locker. After replacing the parts the tech also did extensive testing (the tech used it for hours as long as nobody needed to talk to him) and detected crackling sounds on the left channel but only with the analog input; he cleaned and up and fixed the soldering. When I picked it up the tech dropped a hint on buying it from me after he heard it with my HD600 (fat chance, I love this amp enough to spend $70 on parts and shipping, plus $25 on service fees).

 

In your case you'll probably have to ship the HDP to someone who can fix it, if not NuForce then anybody else who might take on such a job (again, have the schematics diagram handy). If I was in the US though I'd look for a local hi-fi retailer,* drop by and check if they have a tech around or if the owner has a side business of servicing other parts (those dealing with vintage equipment usually do - heavier stuff are better repaired locally because of shipping costs). Check for example speaker forums and ask if they know such a store in your area code and surrounding areas. If there's none within 25 miles or so, check if the local community college has a program for training techs (if not a full-blown electrical engineering program), look for a student or even an instructor who can help you out, and bribe them with beer and pizza (or something). Tell them it's out of production but you really like it for the performance and form factor (small size, PSU the size of a netbook's, easy to pack, etc).

 

 

*A few years ago my brother in CA wanted a Grado but didn't want to get it online. I checked Grado's website, found one in his area, and turned out it was smack behind his college campus. Turned out they also sell Musical Fidelity and other brands. AFAIK, they can also coordinate with manufacturers and distributors on behalf of customers (this was the practice before internet sales and service tickets, obviously). Also saw a shop that was kind of like it on Storage Wars - small unassuming place, not necessarily in the same kind of place where you'd think Gucci and B&O showrooms would be - but specialized in vintage gear. To put it in perspective, Fast and Furious car parts dealers sell expensive stuff but they aren't in areas like that either, but you have to check area codes with a tendency for higher prices for homes - the one I found for my brother was in such an area (yeah, I'm half a world away and I can profile his surrounding area based on similar patterns where I am).

 

 


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 6/13/14 at 4:28am
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

 

 

Did you search for the keywords "HDP replacement parts"? Because that isn't the way to do it. First you open it up, figure out what's broken, which in cases of things getting "fried" would usually have really obvious visual clues, and look up the parts numbers on those. If it's a microchip it's etched on the top; if it's a capacitor, it'll be printed all over; sometimes regulators not only have the parts number on them but also printed on one side of the board next to their mount (I assume the redundancy is because of their higher likelihood to get fried than all other components). You need to send NuForce an email and ask for a schematic diagram, which any tech will find useful when he takes a look at it.

 

You also won't need to be the one to repair them yourself, you just need to find a reliable and trustworthy enough tech. I was lucky enough with that when my Meier Cantate.2 broke last year. I emailed Dr. Meier in case he might have some advice on how to service it, as well as schematic diagrams (which I knew a repair tech would need), then brought it to a local Shanling distributor (mass manufacturing is subcontracted to Shanling) before I ordered parts, in case I missed anything apart from the fuse, one regulator (I didn't know what it was before I Googled the parts number, but the top part obviously looked fried) and the power supply. Turned out another regulator was also fried, and then when I searched for the power supply model, I can find it on the manufacturer's website but not on parts retailers like DigiKey and the manufacturer wasn't responding to my emails. I sent Dr. Meier another email asking if he can approve another PSU I found on the web, and he sent me a link to another model that had nearly every spec identical to the original (and most importantly, 110v to 240v operation). Ordered the parts, brought them over to the distributor, and they brought my amp (still in the box) out of their storage locker. After replacing the parts the tech also did extensive testing (the tech used it for hours as long as nobody needed to talk to him) and detected crackling sounds on the left channel but only with the analog input; he cleaned and up and fixed the soldering. When I picked it up the tech dropped a hint on buying it from me after he heard it with my HD600 (fat chance, I love this amp enough to spend $70 on parts and shipping, plus $25 on service fees).

 

In your case you'll probably have to ship the HDP to someone who can fix it, if not NuForce then anybody else who might take on such a job (again, have the schematics diagram handy). If I was in the US though I'd look for a local hi-fi retailer,* drop by and check if they have a tech around or if the owner has a side business of servicing other parts (those dealing with vintage equipment usually do - heavier stuff are better repaired locally because of shipping costs). Check for example speaker forums and ask if they know such a store in your area code and surrounding areas. If there's none within 25 miles or so, check if the local community college has a program for training techs (if not a full-blown electrical engineering program), look for a student or even an instructor who can help you out, and bribe them with beer and pizza (or something). Tell them it's out of production but you really like it for the performance and form factor (small size, PSU the size of a netbook's, easy to pack, etc).

 

 

*A few years ago my brother in CA wanted a Grado but didn't want to get it online. I checked Grado's website, found one in his area, and turned out it was smack behind his college campus. Turned out they also sell Musical Fidelity and other brands. AFAIK, they can also coordinate with manufacturers and distributors on behalf of customers (this was the practice before internet sales and service tickets, obviously). Also saw a shop that was kind of like it on Storage Wars - small unassuming place, not necessarily in the same kind of place where you'd think Gucci and B&O showrooms would be - but specialized in vintage gear. To put it in perspective, Fast and Furious car parts dealers sell expensive stuff but they aren't in areas like that either, but you have to check area codes with a tendency for higher prices for homes - the one I found for my brother was in such an area (yeah, I'm half a world away and I can profile his surrounding area based on similar patterns where I am).

 

 

Thank you very much. I really appreciate your effort for trying to give me a comprehensive solution. But I'm afraid I cannot put your suggestions into action because I am currently a senior in high

 

school and I live outside of the United States. I lack the time to search for a possible shop or a technician that could fix my HDP, and at the same time, I live in Asia, and I only know a few

 

headphone shops that exist near me within my country but they are focused purely on retail services.

 

Thanks again though.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1200249 View Post
 

 

Thank you very much. I really appreciate your effort for trying to give me a comprehensive solution. But I'm afraid I cannot put your suggestions into action because I am currently a senior in high school and I live outside of the United States. I lack the time to search for a possible shop or a technician that could fix my HDP, and at the same time, I live in Asia, and I only know a few headphone shops that exist near me within my country but they are focused purely on retail services.

 

Thanks again though.

 

Where here exactly? I live in SEAsia (northern part of Metro Manila) and I got my amp fixed as I posted previously. I just gave the example for the US because over there tendency is that people either repair equipment by themselves or send them back to the manufacturer or distributor. In Asia living in the political capital and other larger cities means that distributors and dealers are physically closer, easier to reach by train or car - especially in HK and SG - and they might be able to refer you to a reliable tech if they don't offer such services (another shop near my home can call in a tech when necessary, but he also works for another shop, I think). The difference is that the one hour++ it takes me to drive to that one Shanling distro and nearly two hours to the other is just me going 24kms or 32kms through city side streets and main thoroughfares (our train system sucks over here); by contrast, my brother in California can travel at 60mph on the freeway and cover more ground until he hits bumper to bumper in the 405, and yet he probably still won't make it to the bigger audio dealers with the more interesting stuff (by that I mean people who think $1,000 CDPlayers are affordable) near downtown LA or Beverly Hills within the same amount of time (lucky enough there's one closer to his house, but it's a very small store run by a hobbyist, but that's actually a great thing).

 

Oh and they don't need to be headphone shops, we also have just one of those over here (unlike Tokyo and SG). Amps, DACs, CDPs are all similar on the inside and require the same skills (well, also the specific schematic diagrams) to repair, regardless of whether they're from manufacturers who are more popular in AVS or Head-Fi. The only thing in that shop I went to that was related to headphone systems was the Cayin HA-1A (all the other amps and CDPs there have no headphone outputs), and they only sell speakers (the other dealer though started stocking Ultrasone, Sennheiser, Burson, Woo Audio, and Ibasso to keep up with the shifting market demands).


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 6/13/14 at 6:24am
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

Where here exactly? I live in SEAsia (northern part of Metro Manila) and I got my amp fixed as I posted previously. I just gave the example for the US because over there tendency is that people either repair equipment by themselves or send them back to the manufacturer or distributor. In Asia living in the political capital and other larger cities means that distributors and dealers are physically closer, easier to reach by train or car - especially in HK and SG - and they might be able to refer you to a reliable tech if they don't offer such services (another shop near my home can call in a tech when necessary, but he also works for another shop, I think). The difference is that the one hour++ it takes me to drive to that one Shanling distro and nearly two hours to the other is just me going 24kms or 32kms through city side streets and main thoroughfares (our train system sucks over here); by contrast, my brother in California can travel at 60mph on the freeway and cover more ground until he hits bumper to bumper in the 405, and yet he probably still won't make it to the bigger audio dealers with the more interesting stuff (by that I mean people who think $1,000 CDPlayers are affordable) near downtown LA or Beverly Hills within the same amount of time (lucky enough there's one closer to his house, but it's a very small store run by a hobbyist, but that's actually a great thing).

 

Oh and they don't need to be headphone shops, we also have just one of those over here (unlike Tokyo and SG). Amps, DACs, CDPs are all similar on the inside and require the same skills (well, also the specific schematic diagrams) to repair, regardless of whether they're from manufacturers who are more popular in AVS or Head-Fi. The only thing in that shop I went to that was related to headphone systems was the Cayin HA-1A (all the other amps and CDPs there have no headphone outputs), and they only sell speakers (the other dealer though started stocking Ultrasone, Sennheiser, Burson, Woo Audio, and Ibasso to keep up with the shifting market demands).

 

I live in Seoul, South Korea. I know only one distributor of Nuforce in the country, which is about thirty minutes away from where I live. I sent them an email but they haven't replied back. I will make a notice if I receive a reply. Thanks again.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › My broken amp is now discontinued by the manufacturer! What should I do?