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Robert Hovland Brilliant Gentleman

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

  1. Trucker1964

    Trucker1964 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    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, 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 the manufacture 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 !


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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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