Heathkit AA-151 Cleanup

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by Kilgannon, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Kilgannon

    Kilgannon New Member

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    So my dad and I were cleaning out his garage and came across his old Heathkit. He wants me to sell it but before I try to post it up anywhere I want to open it up and clean some of the dust and grime that has inevitably collected inside but seeming as I've never done this before, I was hoping to get some tips and advice on the best way to go about this without damaging anything. TIA for any information!
     

     

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  2. stanko

    stanko Hoarder Subscriber

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    I ordered that kit with Christmas money, January, 1968.
     
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  3. stanko

    stanko Hoarder Subscriber

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    Don't scrub the lettering off.
     
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  4. thorpej

    thorpej AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  5. Kilgannon

    Kilgannon New Member

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  6. Kilgannon

    Kilgannon New Member

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    I'm being extremely gentle BUT i opened it up and it is corroded pretty bad...beyond my capabilities by a long shot
     

     

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  7. Kilgannon

    Kilgannon New Member

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    Unfortunately, once I opened it up I found nothing but corrosion
     
  8. Kilgannon

    Kilgannon New Member

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  9. kward

    kward AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So it's not as valuable as you thought, but there is still some value there. Maybe pull the transformers out, test them, and sell them separately as a set. Someone will buy them.
     
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  10. thorpej

    thorpej AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The output transformers in these units are very good, possibly some of the best ultra-linear EL84 transformers available (right up there with the Dynaco EL84 UL transformers).
     
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  11. drtool

    drtool It might get loud In Houston Subscriber

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    I would not touch it. Just put it up for sale, with the back story.
     
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  12. Kilgannon

    Kilgannon New Member

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    I'm just going to clean up the outside, put it back together, and put it up for sale. We aren't really concerned about getting a ton of money for it, just don't want to leave it sitting to gather dust and corrosion anymore
     
  13. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. LCLC ps + 2 x 5ar4 Subscriber

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    Rust on the transformers are not a serious issue. The chassis itself If I am not mistaken, is made from aluminium, and should wipe clean with a damp soapy rag.
     
  14. Shadowdog

    Shadowdog Super Member

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    Why not restore it and enjoy it, as you will be surprised!
     
  15. stanko

    stanko Hoarder Subscriber

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    That will clean up, just be careful of the faceplate, that's what you're gonna be looking at after you find out how good it sounds. I rebuilt one in 1980, took it to a friends' house where he had Korner Horns and an SX1250, (Klipsch and Pioneer). He never hooked up the 1250 again and wouldn't let me leave with the 151 until I got him some tube equipment.
     
  16. AdamAnt316

    AdamAnt316 Collector of heavy things Subscriber

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    I had a Heathkit AA-151 as my first stereo tube amplifier (had built a mono 60FX5 amp for a science fair project not long before) when I was taking electronics in high school. It had spent several years in someone's garden shed, with the 'ugly basketball orange' case looking very dirty and with scratched-up chrome trim on the front. I actually thought it was a PA amp at first, at least until I noticed the lack of microphone inputs. :oops:

    Once I figured out that it was meant as a hi-fi amplifier, I hooked up a turntable and a pair of speakers that I found around the shop, powered it up (didn't think to use a Variac, and got lucky), and was impressed by what I heard. After I graduated, the AA-151 headed home with me to become the basis of my bedroom stereo system. I still have it, and plan to give it a proper restoration at some point. I hate hearing about them getting parted out for their transformers; they sound quite nice as they are, IMO. :)
    -Adam
     

     

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  17. Tim D

    Tim D AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I did a Fisher KX-100 integrated tube amp last year. It was much worse than the OP’s Heathkit. It’s my favorite and in rotation now. The chassis and transformers were coated with rust. I did the work to clean it up, fully restore it, did some mods, and covered up the chassis with a beautiful wood case. I was lucky - the face was not harmed. It’s beautiful.

    I was encouraged by the guys on the Fisher forum to do it as a survivor and it turned out great. Now I’m doing the matching tuner.
     
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  18. electronjohn

    electronjohn Plug it in & see!! Subscriber

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    One of those is a great way to get into tube audio. You might want to consider a clean, restore & enjoy process.
     
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  19. Anti_Skate

    Anti_Skate Well-Known Member

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    I had one of those when I was a teenager. I stupidly threw it away when I bought a new receiver. :(
    I still kick myself in the A** everytime I think about it.

    I say sell it as is. Don't clean nutt'in.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  20. Kilgannon

    Kilgannon New Member

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    I cleaned up the exterior without messing anything up and I'm not experienced enough to start restoring it completely. How much would it be worth in this condition? Not trying to over charge anybody but I also don't want to get ripped off either....got some speakers here too
     

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