Why do you have FAQs?!

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If I answer everyone individually, often the same questions over and over, I'd never get any work done folks! There are questions I've probably answered hundreds of times now. By turning the questions I'm most commonly asked into FAQs, they can benefit everyone, and save me from repeating myself.

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I’d like new speaker terminals, RCA connectors and IEC mains connector – what are your thoughts?

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You might be surprised to learn that in many cases I discourage this. I'm interested in keeping equipment original, which retains value. I want to give you the best bang for your buck and save you money where I can. There are others out there who will drain your wallet…

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If transistors die in my vintage amplifier, can they be replaced?

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In most cases, yes they can. This includes output devices, usually in TO-3 packages, through to tiny little TO-92 devices, and everything in between. The art lies in understanding how to substitute transistors and which parts are appropriate to use in place of the original older types. I won't be…

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What’s the best amplifier design if I want the highest fidelity?

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Class-A, nothing else sounds as good and it is the least compromised design in terms of audio performance. That being said, class-A amplifiers are hot, heavy and expensive. They also often lack power, because even low-powered class-A amplifiers are heavy and expensive to make. High-powered amplifiers like my old Krell…

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What are the advantages of class-B amplifiers?

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Much better efficiency than class-A, that's it. Class-B is often used for radiofrequency broadcast amplifiers, where high power and low spurious RF emissions (sorry, no class-D in radio!) make it a great choice. On its own though, class-B suffers from relatively high (crossover) distortion and is unsuitable for audio. When…

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Are low-power amplifiers acceptable in hi-fi systems?

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It depends on the system, sometimes yes, usually no. The sound pressure levels achievable with a hi-fi system are down to two parameters: amplifier power output and speaker sensitivity. Low-power amplifiers can create realistic sound pressures and dynamics, but only when matched with sensitive speakers. Do not expect a 30W…

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