Easiest Amplifier/Receiver to work on?

Discussion in 'DIY' started by birchoak, May 27, 2018.

  1. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

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    I was browsing nudies of the Fisher RS-2015 receiver and couldn't get over the open, clean, symmetrical layout of the thing's guts: output transistors on the outside of the rear panel for maximum cooling, detachable wiring harnesses to each channel's heat sink so you can work on 'em out of the chassis, resistors lined up in neat rows on the boards, plenty of empty space for air to circulate and hands to get at stuff, and bulbs are right there, so easy to get to!

    This is a far cry from the complexity of a 70's Bose Spatial Control Receiver I once worked on for weeks, and surely designs of this nature, good solder joints and quality parts notwithstanding, lend themselves to greater reliability and life span? On a hunch, I pulled the cover off a Scott 420A integrated amplifier that has been driving 4 ohm speakers in my basement woodshop. There was dust everywhere and I haven't touched the insides since I bought it on that auction site, yet it has performed flawlessly for 7 years with absolutely no degradation in sound. I believe everything inside is bone stock.

    Why has this humble, unremarkable-looking amplifier held up so well in a hostile environment?
    Like the Fisher, there is quite a bit of empty space inside, and, like the Fisher, there is a ridiculous amount of heat sinking. I popped the bottom cover off and the solder joints look as bright and shiny as the day it rolled out of the factory, so this probably helps, too.

    What amplifiers or receivers have you worked on that are ridiculously easy to work on or inspire you with their clean, logical internal layout?

    BTW, I felt bad for the little Scott, and I have since cleaned and polished it thoroughly. It produces an unbelievably sweet sound and has been relocated permanently from the shop.

    P.S. I have attempted to post a pic of the RS-2015 [​IMG]
     

     

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  2. rkgren1

    rkgren1 Well-Known Member

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    I recently replaced caps and transistors in a Pioneer SA-6500ii.
    It was the easiest thing I have worked on so far.

    2nd place goes to a Pioneer SX-950, which uses numerous individual boards, which can be popped off their plastic standoffs, and have just enough slack in the leads to permit access to the other side.
     
  3. OMGCat!

    OMGCat! AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've noticed that older, low powered receivers are typically pretty easy to work on in general. The board layout is usually sparse and you don't have layer upon layer of stuff stacked everywhere like the high powered units. Many times you can just remove the bottom panel for access to the solder pads and you're good to go.
     
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  4. ConradH

    ConradH Addicted Member

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    Anything with PCB connectors, like the Sansui 2000x, is nice. Some of their older big integrated amps have enough service loop that you can pull the power stage and set it on a lab jack to work on. A special circle of hell has been reserved for some of their later ones. Crown amps can look challenging at first, but they actually thought out service quite well in the design.
     
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  5. BillWojo

    BillWojo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I never had to work on it but my HK Citation 18 tuner is a technicians dream. Boards plug into long sockets on the top side and when you flip the chassis over the bottom of the sockets have all the connections silk screened on the chassis. No searching for some connection labeled on the schematic in a rats nest of wiring. Looks like it was built for the military.

    BillWojo
     
  6. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Other than the superficial documentation, i worked on an accuphase C200 preamp and all boards pulled out for service (sockets) really nice.
    I kind of think a Mac1900 is a pretty user friendly piece.
     
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  7. blhagstrom

    blhagstrom Mad Scientist, fixer. Subscriber

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    Accuphase can be nice.
    The old HK Citation stuff can be nice.
    The big Marantz stereos can be decent. 2275, 2330.
    The Pioneer SX-1250 is good.
     
  8. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

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    Conrad, I love your phrase, "A special circle of hell has been reserved for some of their later ones." I would laugh out loud but someone is sound asleep in my room at the moment. Also, that balaclava looks itchy as hell but I like the pic. Makes me think of old-timey knights in mail for some reason.
     
  9. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

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    BillWojo, I looked at few 18s on the net--man, talk about beauty and function. I like the Marantz-type tuning knob, among other things. How does it sound?
     
  10. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

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    rkgren1, that SA-6500ii reminds me of the Scott 420A's insides--same cavernous empty space, same type of heat sink, same rush of joy when thinking, "I can work on this---it's so simple!"
     
  11. ConradH

    ConradH Addicted Member

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    My wife is a fabulous knitter and made that for when i go out with the snowblower. I wear it under a heavy hooded coat and I'm almost immune to "blow-back". I like the medieval look and it's never itched. She also makes excellent wool socks. The only downside is if I walk across carpet the static charge is enough to blow out any electronic device I touch. I'm talking serious atomic EMP class lightning bolts.
     

     

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  12. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

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    "The only downside is if I walk across carpet the static charge is enough to blow out any electronic device I touch." That made me smile. Funny image.

    Yep, that 2000x looks pretty simple inside. I like simple layouts
     
  13. arts

    arts Super Member

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    Conrad,I have also been meaning to ask about this.My GF knitted me the exact same style,just mine is in dark blue.Definitely the ultimate snow-blowin' cone cover.
    I'm bugging her to knit me a ''full face'' version with just a slit for the eyes,as my mustache usually ends up a block of ice!
    Ain't winter grand? :)
     
  14. petehall347

    petehall347 the brandy coffee man Subscriber

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    easiest one is the one that works and you leave it intact . :D
     
  15. rcs16

    rcs16 Super Member

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    Anything that has removable ckt boards so you can work on them outside the unit. or ones where you can get at components to replace without a lot of disassembly. This in the end just saves you time and money and possible problems with breaking connections. The Pioneer SX-1250 on the bench right now is one of the better mechanical designs for serviceability, imo.
     
  16. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

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    It goes without saying that the incredible SX-1250 is an example of clean, logical and beautiful design. I had a dream about a week ago that I actually owned one. Then I woke up and all I had was a beautiful wife, a wonderful son, a fulfilling career and a lovely home. But no SX-1250. (If my wife is reading this, this is meant to be a joke).
     
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  17. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

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    Well, nobody has knit me a nice balaclava to wear when I'm snowblowing. Guess that's why my face looks like beef jerky.
     
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  18. NAD80

    NAD80 Super Member

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    birchoak were you listening to The Talking Heads "Once in a Lifetime" again.
     
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  19. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

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    Ha--good one NAD80. It took me a minute. Are you a fan of NAD equipment? I find they produce excellent sound and like their understated looks.
     
  20. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

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    Opened up a Sansui 800 today to clean some pots; very nice design inside with a little 2-gang Alps tuner with an all-metal reel screwed to the side of it--I see a lot of plastic ones but not many metal ones. DO NOT DO THIS: opened up the power switch to clean it and, oh jeez, many moving parts and no easy way to retrofit a new switch, toggle or otherwise, as Sansui's design requires a weirdo extra knob extension thingy with a second spring that seats between the sub-frame and face plate. No ports in the switch to clean it, either--guys like Curt Jane are able to hand drill tiny holes in problem switches to spray D5 in, but I don't trust myself.
     

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