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Vintage audio late 70's mid 80's maintenance

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by saltland, Dec 8, 2018 at 5:06 AM.

  1. saltland

    saltland New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Newbie here...I'm considering putting together a stereo system using components from late 70's early 80's.My question is maintenance/repairs.I've noticed may involved with this area of the hobby repair there own gear.For those who do not..do you find it difficult to find service for these items?
    Scott
     

     

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  2. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,353
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    Depends upon your location. Some areas of the country are pretty much devoid of competent techs, others have numerous techs close by. There are also AKer's that will take on, or assist you with "projects"--again, depending on your location.

    Keep in mind that maintenance/repair/restoration of vintage gear can get expensive if you don't learn to do it yourself, and have to pay a tech. Also, most "good" techs have a "wait list", so turn-around time may run into weeks or even months, so don't expect to be able to drop it off Mon and pick it up Fri.

    Just starting out and not being able to DIY, you might be best off paying the premium price for pieces that have already been fully restored, or at least recently serviced. Do your homework in choosing pieces. There is stuff out there where parts are brutally expensive, or difficult/damned near impossible to source.

    Not discouraging you from acquiring vintage gear (nearly all of my stuff is at least 30 years old), but just making you aware of what you are jumping into.

    Good Luck!!!

    OH--and welcome aboard!
     
  3. saltland

    saltland New Member

    Messages:
    9
     
  4. saltland

    saltland New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Thanks.Fortunately I discovered a shop specializing in vintage audio/vinyl etc closeby.Also but more importantly they "recondition" everything they sell in shop themselves.
     
  5. Moby Dick

    Moby Dick Active Member

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    The Motorcity
    Welcome to AK.

    The first thing you probably want to decide on is what era gear you are after.
    There is quite a difference in the value and build level of the late 70s compared to 80s gear.
    I’m not advocating one or the other, I am just pointing out that spending $300-$400 on servicing late 70s gear with a resale value of $500 is much different than spending the same amount on something that is only worth $100-$200.
    The cost of servicing is going to be pretty much the same.
    I would either look for 70s gear that has already been serviced or 80s gear that is in good working order.
    I would not spend money refurbishing 80s gear unless it was something dear to my heart.

    Good luck.
     
    chip18sw likes this.
  6. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,374
    Location:
    West coast
    you have a couple of choices

    1. DIY, especially if they're 40+ YO and will need a recap: download service manual,
    compare parts list, schematic, and PCB. start with crap/donor unit to reflow solder joints,
    replace caps, then move onto grail machine
    2. Tube equipment is simpler but needs more care in parts (450v resistors and caps, for example)
    SS devices can be complex (like a TOTL receiver) and will have hundreds of parts and
    care taken in diagnosis (if needed), parts selection, depth of refurb (caps only, everything)
    and cost of labor.
    3. buy something already recapped/refurbed from one of the AK giants here.
    4. if you buy a recapped unit from other than an AK giant, demand process, recap list,
    testing and calibration done, etc. this avoids the flippers that solder backwards, wrong
    values, bad components, bad fixes, etc

    or simply buy something that works and enjoy the music.
     
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  7. alanl

    alanl New Member

    Messages:
    38
    I guess I learned the hard way by purchasing an NAD3140 on Cr&pbay for just under $80. Then it cost over $500 for a pro shop to change all the caps, the power supply, a complete clean etc. However, I love this amp and consider it money well spent. Nothing else I found for that sort of money seems to compare. Later I bought a pro-serviced Sansui AU217ll for around $120 that proved the point that the right gear is around at very good prices if you keep looking

    The morals of the story are a) do the homework - especially here on AK so you have a fair idea of how good the equipment is when working correctly and if it will suit your needs b)I agree that if you can find one of your selected favorites already professionally serviced, it will save both money and and angst c) don't attempt the refurb yourself unless you know what you are doing
     
  8. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,353
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    Great! Just a question--does that shop also warranty items that they sell and have reconditioned? Not that that's a deal-killer, but it would affect how much I would be willing to pay.
     
  9. quiet

    quiet AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,185
    Location:
    arkansas
    In my area the is a void of available service. So I service by substitution. When one quits I replace it. Fix old unit $400, replace old unit $200.
     
    RTally likes this.
  10. RTally

    RTally Speaker addict Subscriber

    Messages:
    704
    Location:
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    That is the same way I operate. I have a collection of 80s and 90s receivers. I bought them at a good enough price that they are pretty much disposable. That is, I can replace them for much less than the cost to repair.

    I do vacuum them out and clean the controls before I put them in service. And I keep them cool when using them. I have a few that are in a tight space with little natural ventilation. I use strategically placed small fans to keep them cool because heat shortens the life of electronics. Then I run them until they break.
     
  11. chip18sw

    chip18sw Active Member

    Messages:
    302
    Location:
    Dayton NV
    Are you looking for separates or a receiver?? Tube or SS, do you have any particular speakers in mind?? The speakers you chose will determine how much "power" you need from an amp. If you go with efficient speakers, then lower powered "Baby Amps" can be a viable option.

    I paid no attention to "Receivers" back in the day, my bad. So I was late to the party?? But because of being a member here ... I became curious as to what the "fuss" was about with "Receivers??"


    I have a Rotel RX 603 that I was given and had never really used?? But I never really used but I hooked it to a pair of Nova 8?? And I luv that combo! Most likely considering it's age ... it needs to be recapped but to date, it's never given me a single issue! :)

    Next up would be a jvc sr 200, sigh the one with out the graphic equalizer. :(

    I remember seeing that line new back in the day and I did not much care for the look?? But times change and now they look cool, with the Blue lights and all! I did great on that little unit! It was an oh well $25 bucks WTH?? 35 watts per channel ) Baby Receiver. I did have to re-lamp it (blue lights were out) and did clean the switches since it was open anyway?? And then put it into use and ... I luv that one also!

    Those are my two, Baby Receivers, low cost or well free and pretty much issue free! The Rotel, my be hard to find but the JVC xxx are both underrated and easy to find! Fully serviced units show up on the Bay all the time and they are reasonable price ... since no wants them. :)

    My only up scale venture was a Sansui 7070 and I got that one on the Bay for a good price! But on that one my "luck" ran out?? It was as described and it has some odd issues?? It has some issues that I will have to figure out?? It was not DOA but it is not in daily service either.

    The lower than 65 watt, units have been great sounding and trouble free! And as to your question on getting things serviced and I assume you me locally???

    I have no luck out here?? Many years ago I sent my Heathkit AA 40 to NC to get it fixed, that was a freaking disaster!! I was lucky to get it back with only slight damage!! The freaking tools did not reuse the original "Crate I sent, it in!!"

    I was lucky to get it back in one piece! Oh well long way of saying a fully serviced "Baby Receiver" can have a low entry point? And the seem to be less subject to abuse then there more powerful counter parts?? But if a "Baby Receiver" will work for you ... would depend on your speakers?? I'm not a "Maggie" guy. And my baby "Receivers" do tend to like the assorted vintage speakers I tend to favor. :)
     

     

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  12. z-adamson

    z-adamson Super Member

    Messages:
    1,656
    I have found that to be a hit-and-miss crapshoot with shops in my area.
     
  13. chip18sw

    chip18sw Active Member

    Messages:
    302
    Location:
    Dayton NV
    Oh most likely but if it's a local shop and they have "serviced" the unit, they will price accordingly and most likely offer a "warranty??"

    If they do ... turn the sucker on and leave it running for the next 30 days. :)
     
  14. RTally

    RTally Speaker addict Subscriber

    Messages:
    704
    Location:
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    You ever buy a used car? "Sure, it is in great shape. Our mechanics went over it with a fine toothed comb and we fixed it right up!", they say, hoping you make it past the test drive and off their lot before something breaks.

    Unless a shop can tell you specifically what they do to "recondition" equipment, you should assume it is nothing more than wiping the dust off the outside and, if you are lucky, cleaning the controls. If a shop is trustworthy, they will be able to tell you what they normally do to recondition equipment. If it is a good shop, they will be able to tell you what they did for a specific unit because the costs of reconditioning affects the sales price and their profit for that specific unit.
     
    OMGCat! likes this.

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