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Robert Hovland Brilliant Gentleman

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by Trucker1964, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Trucker1964

    Trucker1964 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    76
    Bob is not a member here as far as I know but I wanted to give him some recognition which I believe he deserves. I don’t know a lot about Bob, but I do know a little bit of his history and what he did for me and my Marantz 500.

    Bob was the original project engineer for the Marantz 500 in the 70’s back when Marantz was still manufacturing in Sun Valley California (sounds like a beautiful place, but it’s not). He worked with some of the great characters in audio, Dawson Hadley who was the design engineer for Marantz at the time, Flavio Blanco, the Tushinsky brothers who owned Superscope which was the parent company at that time and a whole list of fascinating characters who helped shape the audio business; truly a golden era.

    For those of you who don’t know, Bob and a group of others founded his eponymous company that manufactured some pretty well noted exotic audio equipment and had couple of ventures into audiophile grade capacitors under his name and I believe MusiCap.

    So - I have two Marantz 500’s that I’ve owned for a few years which I never fired up and was on the hunt to have them properly serviced. The first went to a reputable tech who also used to work at Marantz back in the 70’s, who has had that unit for over 3 1/2 years and counting. When I last spoke to him, he had made progress to the point that the remaining issue was that one channel was blowing a fuse at full power. To be fair, the unit was probably a basket case and at very least needed all the output transistors replaced with bias matched units, not to mention the fact that the 500 is noted to be a difficult unit to service when broken. Fingers crossed.

    The second unit had been collecting dust when recently I saw an ad for a 500 that stated the unit had been serviced by Bob Hovland. I did a little research and Eureka ! I believe I’ve found The Man !! Unfortunately I couldn’t find his proper contact as Google mistakenly shows his business here in Los Angeles as “Permanently Closed” and the phone number listed just rang… I have to thank Member Pup for giving me Bob’s email to get in touch with him.

    It was such a pleasure meeting Bob and his knowledge of the unit may be unmatched by any living person as he was involved in its production down to the minutest detail in both design and manufacture. His attention to detail is extraordinary. He got both meters working (notorious for being unfixable) which he attributed to the fact that they were late in the manufacturing run of 1000 units and were easier to fix than the early units. I’m still convinced that their repair was heroic.

    Bob got the unit back to me in less than a month and the result is stunning. My first listen was through a PunkerX restored tuner and ADS L810 speakers and I was blown away. I couldn’t be happier with the results and I really am inspired by the beautiful sound ! I can’t wait to start trying different sources and speakers.

    Thanks to Bob, who is a true gentleman, Members Pup and PunkerX and Audiokarma !

    :music:
     

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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018

     

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  2. filangler

    filangler New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I'm new to AK and I'm looking for a specialist on Marantz receivers here in the Los Angeles(I'm in Long Beach/Lakewood) area. I have a 2500 that I need to be looked at and would love to talk to someone who won't give me the run around. Is there a way for me to get hold of Bob or visit his shop to drop off my receiver? Being new to this hobby, I just don't want to waste my time and effort consulting and dealing with the wrong "specialists". Any advise and direction will be greatly appreciated.
     
  3. Trucker1964

    Trucker1964 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    76
    filangler welcome ! There are many great members here on Audiokarma who can help you with your 2500 and some really good techs here in Southern California. Congratulations on owning such a great classic unit. I don’t have a 2500 but do have a 2385 that immediately preceded the 2500 and has the same DNA. I will tell you that I made a mistake by hastily choosing a tech who nearly destroyed the 2385 which started off dead mint and a rare one at that. Take your time choosing a tech for your particular unit and even consider safely packing & shipping the unit to someone who specializes in the specific unit; not sure it’s Bob’s thing. I’ll ask. My understanding is that that series of receivers are a bit challenging to work on so be sure the tech is up to it. I’m emailing Bob tonight about a pair of Marantz 9’s he’s working on that were never completed by the Marantz factory…I’ll mention your unit. My first suggestion is to post in the Marantz forum and you’ll get a lot of responses. If you were willing to properly pack and ship the unit, I couldn’t give a higher recomendation to you than member wlhd1610 (Bob) who saved me from that bit of trouble I got into with my 2385. Good luck & welcome.
     
    wlhd1610 and filangler like this.
  4. filangler

    filangler New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Thank you Trucker1964! This site has such a wealth of information and it's really cool that people help each other out in one way or another. I'll try the local scene first and if I'm not fortunate enough to find a good technician, then I will most definitely turn to wlhd1610 (Bob). Good Luck on your 9's and hope to see the finish product in the near future. All the best and thank you again for replying back.
     

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