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Index » Internet/Computer » Streaming/Media » Reccomended System or Powered Speakers Page: Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
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mjmurphy61

mjmurphy61 Avatar

Location: Saint Louis, MO
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 13, 2009 - 9:42am

Good news.

Problem solved. I just opened up the top, grabbed some compressed air and contact cleaner from my gig bag, blew away about 30 years of dust, cleaned all the contacts, and now I'm listening in ridiculously great stereo sound again! The thing is blasting RP as I write this.

Since I never had a problem before, the amp was 30 years old and in storage for a year, I just figured it was probably toast.... and time for a new one when I "lost" the right channel. Anyway, thanks to all who posted on this. I learned a bunch and saved some serious dough too!

Now for those speakers...

Lets rock!
cc_rider

cc_rider Avatar

Location: Bastrop
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 13, 2009 - 8:18am

 mzpro5 wrote:

Do you really believe this?  There is a load of equipment well under 4 figures that will provide stellar performance. Have you sonically compared equipment from the '70s with equipment from today?  You would spend probably two thirds the price of a new receiver to fix the old one....IF...you could find someone that knows how to do component level repair. Most repairs today are done only to board level....problem on a board, that's as far as you go, replace the whole board.  Not sure that would work with a '70s era receiver if the parts are available.  You can get more performance for less money in a modern receiver.

Though they may not be "elite" equipment you can get more performance for less money in a number of moderately priced receivers.

The attitude that it is better just because it is older is silly.

Of course this is just my opinion as a serious A/V fan for over 40 years that would not trade my current setup for my 1974 receiver for all the money in the world.
 
These days, most repairs can ONLY be done to board level. The 'circuit boards' in the old gear appear to be one small step up(?) from point-to-point wiring, so replacing components on them is not quite so difficult as trying to extract an IC from a SMT PCB. Which is why the small appliance repairman has pretty much gone the way of the cobbler and the tinker.

mzpro5

mzpro5 Avatar

Location: Budda'spet, Hungry
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 13, 2009 - 6:33am

 Milo wrote:

{#Lol} Unless your budget has four digits or you really must have a remote control, you're not going to buy better equipment than they made in the 70s. Unless you're shopping for a CD player, in which case the best ones are from the early to mid nineties.

And you're not feeding the throwaway society we have become, which is just as important.
 
Do you really believe this?  There is a load of equipment well under 4 figures that will provide stellar performance. Have you sonically compared equipment from the '70s with equipment from today?  You would spend probably two thirds the price of a new receiver to fix the old one....IF...you could find someone that knows how to do component level repair. Most repairs today are done only to board level....problem on a board, that's as far as you go, replace the whole board.  Not sure that would work with a '70s era receiver if the parts are available.  You can get more performance for less money in a modern receiver.

Though they may not be "elite" equipment you can get more performance for less money in a number of moderately priced receivers.

The attitude that it is better just because it is older is silly.

Of course this is just my opinion as a serious A/V fan for over 40 years that would not trade my current setup for my 1974 receiver for all the money in the world.

vaiodon

vaiodon Avatar

Location: Halfway to Paradise
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 1:53pm

 mjmurphy61 wrote:
Yay, my trusy Harmon Kardon HK380i tuner/receiver/amplifier circa 1979 just lost it's right channel. I was using it in my living room streaming to an Apple Airport Express, so RP is currently playing though one speaker. Got a good 30 years out of that sucker!

Now I get to go audio shopping. Oh yeah. Wait a minute, I'm broke! Well not totally, can anybody reccomend an inexpensive powered speaker system. I've been kind of looking around lately and so much is surround sound stuff that I'm just not into. I just want something in the 1 to 2 hundred dollar range that will do the job. I'm using a pair of Edirol powered speakers in my bedroom that sound great, but I'm not sure I wan't two pair of those, besides those are more studio monitors (near field) than I would like for the living room.

Anybody using anything that they love?

 
I use Airport Expresses to receive iTunes or Airfoil fed audio streams around my house, I have one inputting to the main hifi system (Quad amp & Linn speakers, my Quad 33 and 405 are about the same vintage as your HK380i and the Indexes aren't much younger) plus another two APX inputting to Sonic Impact T-Amps with Q-Associates 1010i speakers. For about £200 the Airport Express + T-Amp + 1010i combination is fantastic.

The Sonic Impact T-Amps seemed to get very positive reviews and given the price, about $65, they are great but I can't see any for sale any more.

I've been looking for an alternate simple and inexpensive 2 ch amp to replace a pair of powered desk speakers and turned up the Audiosource AMP-100. Again it gets good reviews and fulfils the 'simple' requirement with only a volume and balance control. Try to google for the AMP-100, it should fall within your price limits.

(former member)

(former member) Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 1:53pm

 Milo wrote:

Is that the recommended spelling?
 
See, double consonants in each word.
Milo

Milo Avatar

Location: Vancouver, BC
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 1:52pm

 dmax wrote:

Thhe correct spelling: Recommended

Just seems right somehow, doesn't it? 

 
Is that the recommended spelling?

(former member)

(former member) Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 1:47pm

 hippiechick wrote:
The correct spelling: Recommended
 
Thhe correct spelling: Recommended

Just seems right somehow, doesn't it? 
hippiechick

hippiechick Avatar

Location: topsy turvy land
Gender: Female


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 1:29pm

The correct spelling: Recommended
Milo

Milo Avatar

Location: Vancouver, BC
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 1:15pm

 mjmurphy61 wrote:

Okay you guys are guilting me out. I've had this thing since high school and so of course I really do love it. I'm taking it down to the local repair shop and gettin' me another 30 years worth of awesome music! Man, good thing I wasn't looking for help on putting my dog down!
 
{#Lol} Unless your budget has four digits or you really must have a remote control, you're not going to buy better equipment than they made in the 70s. Unless you're shopping for a CD player, in which case the best ones are from the early to mid nineties.

And you're not feeding the throwaway society we have become, which is just as important.

mjmurphy61

mjmurphy61 Avatar

Location: Saint Louis, MO
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 1:09pm

 Beaker wrote:

In spite of the damage wrought unto the consumer electronics service industry by the advent of low-priced throw away technology, there still remain several shops with the knowledge and skills at hand.  If our owner of the HK unit valued this particular amp for its characteristics, the cost of repair would likely outweigh the attraction of its modern replacement.  But our RPeep seems more inclined to replacing it.  So be it.  The consumer always dictates the supply of goods and the availability of the necessary skills to repair same.

Sorry about your loss of the Mission amp.  I have an old HK Citation Twelve Deluxe main amp sitting here with one dead channel.  I'll get to it one day - one of these years. 
 
Okay you guys are guilting me out. I've had this thing since high school and so of course I really do love it. I'm taking it down to the local repair shop and gettin' me another 30 years worth of awesome music! Man, good thing I wasn't looking for help on putting my dog down!

Milo

Milo Avatar

Location: Vancouver, BC
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 12:52pm

 cc_rider wrote:

Absolutely agree. However, the likelihood of finding a tech to fix most ANYTHING these days is pretty remote. It's far more likely murph is faced with replacing it than having it repaired. Heck, the repair cost would almost certainly be far more than buying a comparable new unit: probably $75 just to open the case, IF he can find someone willing to even look at it.

 
I know of at least three places/people locally that would happily repair this reciever. Go to http://www.audiokarma.org and ask around, there is guaranteed to be somebody who will help you fix it yourself over the internet or that can recommend somebody in your area to do it.

 Beaker wrote:

Correctly sized and rated electrolytics as spec'd in the original device will most likely outlive the usefulness of the device.  If your head is all bent out of shape over the motherboard bad cap controversy, all you need know is that at its root were several cap manufacturers who put out sub-standard product.  Replacing the defective electrolytic cap with an identical valued electrolytic cap from a quality maker corrects the problem.  Except of course for a certain Toshiba DVD player of mine, one of many thousands, where indeed, the original designers were idiots and upping the replacement cap's voltage spec was necessary...

 

 cc_rider wrote:

Oh, the only reason I even ask is because I use film-and-foil caps for building speaker crossovers, that's all. In that world, electrolytics are considered inferior, but your experience says that's not the case in active devices. Since I'm not a EE or tech, I didn't know if there's anything to be gained by using the more exotic caps. Plus, some crossover designs employ a little bitty film cap on top of a larger electrolytic, to provide the required capacitance and still get the fast response of a film cap. It's fairly common in speakers, I was just wondering if the technique is ever used in amps as well.

 
I was under the understanding that the life span of many of the electrolytics in electronics of the past had a useful lifespan of about 25 years before they start losing performance due to drying up. Lots of people replace the electrolytics in their vintage stuff with more modern capacitors. But of course I am not an electronics technician and have never performed this modification on any of my many vintage pieces.

cc_rider

cc_rider Avatar

Location: Bastrop
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 12:47pm

 Beaker wrote:

Why ever would you want to?  To what purpose? 

Correctly sized and rated electrolytics as spec'd in the original device will most likely outlive the usefulness of the device.  If your head is all bent out of shape over the motherboard bad cap controversy, all you need know is that at its root were several cap manufacturers who put out sub-standard product.  Replacing the defective electrolytic cap with an identical valued electrolytic cap from a quality maker corrects the problem.  Except of course for a certain Toshiba DVD player of mine, one of many thousands, where indeed, the original designers were idiots and upping the replacement cap's voltage spec was necessary...

edit:  And polarity?  pbbt.  That's just one suggested way to install it - from an obviously biased party - the manufacturer...
 
Oh, the only reason I even ask is because I use film-and-foil caps for building speaker crossovers, that's all. In that world, electrolytics are considered inferior, but your experience says that's not the case in active devices. Since I'm not a EE or tech, I didn't know if there's anything to be gained by using the more exotic caps. Plus, some crossover designs employ a little bitty film cap on top of a larger electrolytic, to provide the required capacitance and still get the fast response of a film cap. It's fairly common in speakers, I was just wondering if the technique is ever used in amps as well.

cc_rider

cc_rider Avatar

Location: Bastrop
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 12:35pm

 Beaker wrote:

Not many techs find it either fun or efficient to work on something that an amateur tech has already had his hand in.  Incorrect substitutions, under or over-valued components, solder bridges where no solder bridge is supposed to be, busted traces, etc etc.  "You want an estimate?  I estimate that it will cost more to fix it now than if you brought it to us in the first place."

/former life as a service manager/tech

 
Absolutely agree. However, the likelihood of finding a tech to fix most ANYTHING these days is pretty remote. It's far more likely murph is faced with replacing it than having it repaired. Heck, the repair cost would almost certainly be far more than buying a comparable new unit: probably $75 just to open the case, IF he can find someone willing to even look at it.

With schematic in hand, and a little judicious cleaning/testing, he might be able to fix it. If not, well, he was already shopping for a new one anyway. Damn disposable society, but that's the way it is.

I used to have a massive MISSION amplifier a buddy gave me: it had some obvious hot spots and other issues, but nothing very easily repaired. I took it to a specialist in older gear, he had the dang thing for a couple years: neither of us was ever was able to track down a schematic for it. I finally took it back from the tech guy and tore it down for parts. Saved the transistors, big caps, and a couple of HUGE toroidal coils. Plus some cool heatsinks and whatnot. Not sure if I'll ever use any of them, but I couldn't bear to throw them away either. Oh well, maybe they'll come in handy if the Sansuis ever need anything. At this rate that seems unlikely.

BasmntMadman

BasmntMadman Avatar

Location: Off-White Gardens


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 12:12pm

 cc_rider wrote:

Wuss. You probably read the instructions before assembling stuff, don't you? And take maps for long trips? No guts.

Just kiddin' ya Beaks. That's awesome you were able to find the schematic, free no less. I had to buy the ones for my Sansuis, but since some poor devil took the time to scan them and everything, I didn't mind. Prolly saved me from blowing something up, too.

Just wondering, since we've mentioned caps and polarity, I might as well ask someone who will know: can you replace polarized electrolytics with film-and-foil caps? Obviously the size and lead configuration could be an issue, but is there any electrical reason?


 
ESR -equivalent series resistance - is one possible factor.

cc_rider

cc_rider Avatar

Location: Bastrop
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 12:08pm

 Beaker wrote:

Indeed.  Here's the service manual and schematic for his HK.  Skip to page 24 to see the layout of the output stage.
 
Wuss. You probably read the instructions before assembling stuff, don't you? And take maps for long trips? No guts.

Just kiddin' ya Beaks. That's awesome you were able to find the schematic, free no less. I had to buy the ones for my Sansuis, but since some poor devil took the time to scan them and everything, I didn't mind. Prolly saved me from blowing something up, too.

Just wondering, since we've mentioned caps and polarity, I might as well ask someone who will know: can you replace polarized electrolytics with film-and-foil caps? Obviously the size and lead configuration could be an issue, but is there any electrical reason?

Milo

Milo Avatar

Location: Vancouver, BC
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 11:54am

There has been much mention of deoxit (which really is the best contact cleaner) and your switches. The switches on pretty much all HK gear from the 70s and early 80s suck, but the ones on your particular receiver are the worst. It is generally recommended to clean those switches every couple of years. I would definitely try playing with the switches to see if you can get your signal back that way.
BasmntMadman

BasmntMadman Avatar

Location: Off-White Gardens


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 11:49am

 Beaker wrote:

I'm not picking on deoxIT at all - just reverting to basic troubleshooting technique.  Namely, find the source of the problem and then determine the best repair solution. 

If its the tape monitor switch, cycling that viscously a few times should bring back some of the signal, if even staticy/distorted.  If no action there, it could the the input selector switch(s).  Not all switches are suitable for use with deoxIt and similar - as they may be sealed against contamination.  In that case, the only solution is replacement, or if you are ever so brave - removal for total disassembly, clean and reassembly.  Of course this all assumes its oxidation that is the cause of the woe - which is indeed often the case.  Could just as easily be a cold solder joint on one of the switches, interrupting the signal for that channel - also a very common issue in amps where the pads for the low level signal switches are soldered directly to the board.

Could also be a minor failure in the preamp circuit.  The fact that the unit still has power and apparently hasn't popped any fuses may indicate a problem somewhere in the preamp area, and not anywhere near the outputs.

As I said, I'm not familiar with deoxIT as its been a while since I've done any work requiring such a product.  I'd be leery of any high-priced solution that removes oxidation.  Its not like this is a new issue at all - back when I was servicing systems, one of the best products I found was these small green aerosol cans from Sony called ... wait for it ... "Sony Lube".     Can't recall where we got it at the time, but I liked it much better than other lubes we used - it had a low residual and was silicon based, IIRC.  As you likely know, there is never one spray, lube or protectant that does it all in every circumstance.  My shop bench is a testament to that, as is any decent electronic bench - with at least five different spray cans awaiting the next victim/patient.

And yeah, audiokarma is a good place for info.  As always, read, digest and read some more before applying any miracle fixes that anyone is touting.  That said, there's still plenty of good info on vintage audio repair to be found on Usenet / Google Groups.
 
What??  Do it methodically and efficiently?  Have you no sense of adventure? 

Heh...that's the problem with any of these diagnose by internet things.  So much can go wrong, and all we know about this problem is that a channel doesn't play music.  I seem to recall someone castigating HK for cold soldered connections, anyway. 

It really takes an experienced tech asking a lot of questions to guide a seeker to a solution.  Occasionally, I've seen it done. 

Of course, if the HK has separate pre and power amp jacks, the pre vs power amp question could be readily resolved:  could he play his powered speakers with the preamp outputs? 




BasmntMadman

BasmntMadman Avatar

Location: Off-White Gardens


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 11:22am

 Beaker wrote:



How many years did you spend as a tech doing electronics servicing for consumer electronics?  "Large-ish" "output capacitors"??  Say what??

Sounds to these ears like you are applying the tiny bit of knowledge you may have acquired in fixing a computer motherboard with "bad caps".
 
OK, the HK is almost certainly direct coupled anyway; only the older stuff is capacitively coupled, unless it's McIntosh with their (expensive!) autoformers.   As the ads in the seventies said:  "no output capacitors to stand in between you and the music!!"   Yeah, and no capacitor to stand in the way of your voice coils and lots of DC voltage if power amp circuits to control DC output go bad or age bad. 

So anyone buying an old amp is advised to measure DC voltage on the output terminals with volume down and no input signal - anything over 100mV ( 0.1V) is definitely dangerous;  below 50 mV much preferred, and below 15 mV is really good.  Zero volts means something's wrong or it's capacitively coupled

Actually output capacitors are fairly large, at around 1200 microfarads, from what I've seen.  We could get into a furious flamefest over whether that's really large or not. 

My little bit of knowledge comes from the school of hard knocks thumps



mzpro5

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Location: Budda'spet, Hungry
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 11:02am

 mjmurphy61 wrote:

Thanks mzpro, this one "looks" good, and the price is right...


  
 
You really can't beat it at $123.  Might pick one up for my garage.

BasmntMadman

BasmntMadman Avatar

Location: Off-White Gardens


Posted: Oct 12, 2009 - 10:57am

 Beaker wrote:

Before applying any fixes, fluids, let alone a soldering iron, it is necessary to diagnose the specific area of failure.  Oxidized tape monitor switches are indeed a common failure - proving they are the cause is straightforward.  Methods for fixing the tape monitor switch are not always reliable, and are dependent upon construction of the switch - unless the part is replaced with a new switch from the oem.

As for "chinese fakes", I suppose you mean subs from NTE and the like - for the 2Nxxxx devices...
 
Oh, usually deoxIT can't hurt, if applied judiciously to controls.  If it did, there'd be a whole generation of vintage equipment owners with destroyed gear, and they'd be wailing on the boards.  And sometimes merely working the switch re-establishes contact.

There are exceptions to beware of - the click-on switch in, for example, a Sherwood S-7100A, has a plastic arm that can be fractured by deoxIT resulting in no click-on function.  Of course, I read about that after deoxIT-ing mine - but with no ill effects. 

Any other such specific caveats?   If it prevents destroyed controls, it'd be a service to all the vintage equipment owners. 

As for the Chinese fakes, it's a constantly recurring bitch on audiokarma from some very experienced people.  Though NTE is routinely dissed, I think a lot of it refers to what's found on eBay auctions. Sometimes I get the impression that finding anything of any quality is almost impossible.

NTE seems to be a controversial thing -  some people think their stuff is OK, especially for small signal transistors, others think it's like month-old hamburger.  I just hope I'm not confronted with the need to replace output transistors anytime in the near future. 


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