Workshop

OMG – things literally have gone nuts and I don’t even have time to update his page at the moment, let alone write-up detailed articles like I normally do. I guess people have found out that there really are only two of us in WA repairing hi-fi gear properly!

April 2017

On the bench now or recently include a Krell KSA100S, Rogue audio Sphinx integrated, two Accuphase M-60 monoblock amplifiers, two stunning Marantz integrated amps – a PM-6 and a PM-8, Denon DP-62L DD turntable, Krell KAV150, Technics SE-9060 power amp, an amazing Technics ST-9600 tuner, Sansui BA-F1 and CA-F1 pre and power amps, Technics SL-1200 and SL-1600 turntables and many more.

March 2017

Things have been nuts since taking Liquid Audio full time! I’ve had so much amazing gear in for service and repair, and some lovely new customers, which is great! Here are a few pics, details to follow!

January 2017

Just in and on the bench, a spectacular Kenwood L-1000 complete system, including L-1000M power amplifier, L-1000C preamplifier, L-1000T FM stereo tuner and L-1000D CD player!


Also just serviced, a lovely Sony TA-F530ES integrated amplifier. This was playing up and she is now working perfectly!


Also working on various other great gear including a few turntables:



And just finished servicing a gorgeous Sansui AU-719!

 

 

September 2016


May 2016

I’ve been busy! Just finished servicing a Technics SL-1200 mark 5 and a Denon DP-1200, both gorgeous direct drive turntables that you really need to look out for if you are in the market for a properly engineered deck. I’ve also been servicing a gorgeous old Sansui AU-719 integrated amplifier – some pics below!

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February 2016

Well, there’s already several items on the bench including a couple of turntables. I have a lovely old Kenwood KD-500 with SME 3009 tonearm in for service, plus a couple of other items.

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December 2015

Another swag of different gear on the bench this month, including a monster receiver – this time a Sansui G-8000 beast, plus various turntables, a few Regas, several nice direct drive models and a couple with SME tonearms, which I always love working on…!

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November 2015

I’m restoring my wonderful old Roland CR-8000 drum machine. More specifically, I’m repairing the dreaded ALPS push-buttons, more details soon…

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October 2015

Lots on the bench, in fact it’s keeping me from updating what’s actually on the bench – an interesting dilemma! Im working on a Rega Planar 3, installing a new premium white Rega belt and Ortofon cartridge, servicing a Harman Kardon T-20 turntable and fitting anew cartridge to that deck also, repairing a JVC direct drive turntable, working on a gorgeous matching Kenwood DP-3300 CD player and KT-3300D tuner – that one is getting a , full alignment, plus restoring a Musical Fidelity A-100X which had needed a fair bit of work…

July 2015

Well folks, I’ve been hard at work fixing numerous turntables. The work is endless at the moment, with the resurgence in vinyl still gathering momentum as youngsters discover analog warmth for the first time. I will add images as I get the chance.

May 2015

Hi everyone, I’m putting a temporary hold on new repairs and restorations, to leave me the time I need to restore two Krell amplifiers. The first is a KSA-100s, the second is its big brother, the beautiful KSA-200S. Both are legendary amplifiers and require extensive restoration work to bring them back from the dead. This will of course be fully documented.

Having said that, I’ve just finished multiple turntable services, pics below!

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April 2015

With all the Technics SL-1200s repaired it is time to look at the Luxman amplifier and tuner. Just about finished on the amp and just a service left to do now on the tuner. That will just about clear the bench for the next big project – restoration of a beautiful Krell KSA-200S! More on that soon…

It’s Technics SL-1200 weekend this weekend. I have three can you believe Technics SL-1200’s here, all needing service. With two of the decks, I’m fitting nice new Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridges to replace the old Stanton DJ carts currently installed in both decks.


 

I’ve also got a very old Garrard turntable to service and a Pioneer direct drive deck which looks to be in nice condition and quite serviceable. I’m also preparing some items for sale, including a very cool Pioneer AM/FM stereo tuner and a lovely little Marantz integrated amplifier with all the fruit including a phono preamp built in. More news and images of these on my Audio Gear for Sale page, when they are ready to go.

Finally, also on the bench shortly is a cool little Luxman amplifier and tuner combination. Both of these items require service and repair so it will be interesting to see if we can save them.


  

Update – the Marantz work is now complete! Currently working through replacement of capacitors in the Marantz SM-80. The traces on these boards lift if you even look at them. To give you an idea, I rarely lift traces. I use a Hakko soldering station and you can very precisely set the temperature to suit the work you are doing. Even set as cool as I can work with, traces lift on the SM-80 board. Anyway, will persevere and hopefully resolve all of the issues with this amp and give it a new lease on life in the process. Sometimes jobs are like this!

 

Just started on this lovely Marantz pre / power combo – the classic SC-80 and SM-80. Both have been with their original owner since new and are pristine except for some rather poorly executed previous working the preamp and a fault in the phono pre section of the circuit. You can see the signs in the charred resistor and transistor in the third image.

  

 

Another recent job was to restore the main board and service my Accuphase C-202 class-A preamplifier. The job is documented here.

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Now THIS is a proper circuit board, symmetrically laid out, fully balanced, all class-A push-pull configuration.

 

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Typical Accuphase – lots of DC offset trimmers, quality semiconductors, lots of heat sinks and large reservoir capacitance, right where it’s needed.
March 2015

I am currently working on a cool JVC QL-F4 direct-drive turntable that was playing up a little. I have refurbished the power supply and variously cleaned and lubed the deck. I’ve also finished the Tri-Vista DAC and it sounds sublime.

 

I have several turntables here for work, plus I’ve been finalizing mods on my Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista 21 Class A Tube DAC.

February 2015

Well I’ve been working on lots of great audio equipment and that’s not left me with enough time to update my website!

I’ve just serviced a wonderful – no make that two wonderful Kenwood D-3300P CD players! These are built like a tank, seriously, these players are made in a way only Accuphase and a handful of others still are. My customer owns three of these superb players.

I’ve fixed numerous turntables, fitted lots of new stylii, fitted some new cartridges, adjusted many tone-arms, changed many belts and lubricated many spindle bearings.

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Lovely digital to analog board, dual Burr-Brown PCM56P converters, plus nice output buffer circuit.

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Sigh, they just don’t build ’em like this anymore – the awesome Kenwood D-3300P CD player, from 1986!
November 2014

Nearly finished the Luxman M-4000A amplifier and its matching partner, the equally rare C-5000A preamplifier. Both needed extensive cleaning and restoration and many new capacitors. I will update this with photos shortly, but I have posted about the Luxman M-4000A resto here.

I have also just finished working on a lovely Marantz CD-63SE KI Sig CD player. This one wasn’t reading discs properly and a couple of quick tests showed laser power output to be weak. I tweaked this up and restored the player’s ability to read discs, but have prefer a new laser and mech to be on the safe side and will fit this once it arrives.

Also just completed is my service on a lovely original Rega Planar 3. This particular deck needed a full service, new bearing oil, new motor drive capacitor and new Rega upgraded white drive belt.

October 2014

In the middle of restoring a gorgeous Luxman M-4000A

 

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These are so lovely to work on, all removable cards that plug into a backplane, like test gear. Nice.

 

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I have completely disassembled and remade each output module – new heatsink paste, new thermal washers, new capacitors.

 

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Each of the other modules has also been reworked, refurbished and made as good as new.

 

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What a lovely old girl.

 

You can read more about the Luxman M-4000A amplifier restoration here.

Just in is a lovely, original Rega P3 which I will service and setup after sitting in storage for three years. These older Rega decks at from the period where the company produced some quality gear. No MDF platters to be found here!

Also in is a nice Marantz CD-63 SE Ken Ishiwata edition. These players are still good today but typically suffer from power supply regulator issues and lasers can be weak after this many years also. I will inspect this player and hopefully she can be repaired.

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Hi-fi porn – Marantz HDAM discrete output buffer modules, under copper shielding cans. Nice cans!!

 

September 2014 – audio gear currently or recently on the bench, at Liquid Audio.

Fresh on the bench is a mammoth Pioneer SX-1250 monster receiver. This beast of a receiver needs a power supply restoration after one of the main filter capacitors spewed its guts out of the vent-hole. Each of these capacitors are very big and expensive, but well worth repairing in a beast of this quality.

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New computer-grade Nippon Chemi-Con caps on the left, old NC caps on the right. Note the massive size difference and remember that the new smaller caps are considerably larger!

 

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Beast, weapon, monster – these things really are as cool as you might have dreamt

 

I have just finished working on a very nice example of a Krell KSA-150 class A power amplifier.

Many of you will have already watched my restoration video on one of these beasts and in fact the video has generated a great deal of interest. This recent example came to me as a result of my customer having watched my restoration video.

A big, powerful (over 1kW, continuous, per channel into 1 ohm, and no, I am not joking) power amp such as the Krell needs to be inspected and serviced at regular intervals. The reason for this is largely related to the prodigious heat they generate. This heat kills capacitors. Krell also modified the protection relay driver circuitry over the years the amp was made, to reduce the heat-related failure of parts on the front protection PCB. I am able to assess the state of these parts and even modify the existing parts to make them more heat tolerant.I also happen to be the only person I know to ever be given the service documentation, sent to me

I am able to assess the state of these parts and even modify the existing parts to make them more heat tolerant. I’m also the only person I know of to be given the service documentation. It was sent to me from Krell. Others have tried, without success, to get these documents. I promised to keep them to myself, but I am able to use them to assess other KSA-150s I am given work on.

This particular KSA-150 was in excellent condition, but my customer wisely decided an inspection and service were in order before flicking the switch here on local 250VAC. My customer was fairly sure that the amp was a local unit but the back plate actually specified 110VAC which indicated that it wasn’t. The safest bet was for me to simply open the chassis and inspect the line voltage configuration. In fact, this amp was set for 240V, which is a s close as we can get to being correct.

My next job was to test the DC offset that might be present at the loudspeaker terminals. Thankfully, the DC servo circuit in this KSA-150 was operating correctly and there was almost zero measurable DC at the outputs, another very good sign.

My last job was to check to see whether the amp had in fact been restored previously as my customer had been told. A careful inspection revealed many, but not all, of the caps had been replaced. The caps that had been changed were replaced with high quality Nichicon types and the work had been performed correctly, with the right attention to detail, so this was a good result. In the end I was able to give this KSA-150 a clean bill of health.

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The iconic heart of the KSA-150, a massive potted toroidal transformer
May 2014 – Audio gear currently on the bench at Liquid Audio

Just completed a full inspection and service of a lovely Denon DP-1200 direct drive turntable. My customer also needed a new cartridge and this is a funny story.

The Denon DP-1200 was given to my customer, broken. It was going to be thrown out, because it didn’t play a record. It couldn’t have! Upon inspection, I was able to inform my customer that there was no cantilever or stylus! They’d snapped clean off at some time previously, a shame as the Supex moving coil cartridge was a good one.

Anyway, the deck also wouldn’t hold a speed correctly. In fact, my customer found the deck didn’t work, or only worked intermittently. After removing the bottom, I found the mains transformer was hanging by just one bolt. The other fasteners were luckily still sitting in the bottom cover. After reattaching the transformer and cleaning the main speed control pot, and the board level speed trimpot, the deck came back to life.

I installed an Ortofon moving magnet cartridge and carefully set up the cartridge and tonearm after doing a little more miscellaneous servicing and I’m happy to say the deck came up beautifully. Have a look at some pics…

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They look good from just about any angle

 

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The Ortofon OM10 on this DP-1200 works well and suits the tonearm

 

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I play a record on every deck I work on – the ultimate test is always how does it sound?

 

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Always cool, the Denon DP-1200 direct drive turntable
April 2014

Sansui AU-717 before and after cleaning – note that the after cleaning shots were before parts replacement – she looks even better now!

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Nasty dust and dirt covering everything!

 

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I’m testing something here prior to cleaning and disassembly, looks like standing current or ‘bias’

 

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Dirty main filter capacitors

 

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CLEAN main filter capacitors!
April 20: The Sansui AU-717 integrated amp restoration and repair is finished.

I completed the power supply/protection board and refitted it last night. My last job was to restore the power amp modules as they contained some corrosive glue and a couple of caps were showing signs of heat damage. Last night I removed both modules and reworked the boards, replacing all electrolytic caps on each board, reworking a few dry joints and flux cleaning each board as is my standard practice. Once completed, I reassembled both modules and tightened all semiconductor fixings.

This morning I reassembled the wiring and plugged everything back together, then powered her up on the variac. I use a variac whenever it is important to gradually bring a circuit up to voltage. this might be for gear that has not has mains voltage across it for years, or for situations like this where you have changed many parts, and you want to be sure that nothing is drawing too much current. Thankfully, my care in the restoration process paid off and I hadn’t goofed anywhere! She came up to power beautifully, with no smoke, DC rails were restored and correct, protection turned off after the required ten seconds, and I was then able to let her sit for a while. I readjusted bias and offset and then listen to some tunes – she was working perfectly!

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The finished power supply/protection board. Note the nice new high-temp, low ESR Panasonic capacitors I’ve used here – the best you can buy for sensible money.

 

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New relay on the left, next the old one on the right. Note that the new one has additional contacts that are unnecessary, but I will snip these pins before soldering the relay to the board.

 

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Output module, consisting of a board mounted to a cast aluminium heatsink. The capacitors on these boards must be replaced and both sides thoroughly cleaned.

 

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Heat damaged and corrosive glue ravaged output boards

 

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Flipping the board reveals the output devices it drives

 

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Here you can see I have cleaned the board, removed the old Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors and installed new high-temp, low-ESR Panasonic replacements

 

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Another view of the new capacitors

 

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And one finished module, ready for reinstallation
April

The Sansui AU-717 is coming along nicely. I have pulled the power supply and protection board because there were no +/- 33V rails present. I had previously replaced the faulty protection relay and have full output from the power amp stages now but there is more that needs work here.

This board shows serious signs of glue cancer. Several large electrolytic caps almost fell off the board and a couple of others exhibited very corroded leads. This is due to the nasty glue Sansui used to secure large components in all its products from this era. The glue gradually eats away at the legs of parts until they eventually fail, as has happened here.

I will replace all the electrolytic caps on this board and a couple of other parts as well, and remove the evil glue. That will restore the intermediate voltage rails, which then should restore full functionality to this great old amp.

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These capacitors have to go…

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April 7

I am currently working on a Sansui AU-717. This lovely old amp is in for restoration and I have made good progress on the output board including testing and setting bias and DC offset. I am now waiting on a new protection relay which was faulty.

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That looks better!
April

Most recently I have repaired and serviced a Project RPM 10, Technics SL-1200, Pioneer PL-15D, Marantz vintage amplifier, Rega Planar 3, Sharp RP-105 and various other gear,

Feb: I am currently servicing Systemdek and Connoisseur turntables. Details are in my recent post:

http://liquidaudio.com.au/systemdek-and-connoiseur-turntables-in-for-service/

March 2014

I recently finished work on a nice Technics SL1200 with Rega RB250 arm, plus I have finished services on Thorens, Dual, Rega, Linn and Kenwood decks over the past few weeks.

Cherishing Classic Audio

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