Welcome to the Liquid Audio workshop
These are some of the latest pieces of customer equipment I’m working on, in my new, expanded workshop. Take a look, maybe yours is here..?
Yes, this really IS a Sansui AU-X1!
Lots of VFET gear @ Liquid Audio including this gorgeous Yamaha B-2 power amplifier and a lovely Sony TA-8650 integrated amplifier.
Lots of dead VFETs too, unfortunately…
The Luxman L-550 Class A integrated amplifier is one of the best sounding integrated amps ever made. These two gorgeous Luxman L-550s are here with me for overhaul and repair and will then be sold. If you are interested, let me know, these are highly sought after and will not last!
So sorry for the lack of updates on this page. I’ve somewhat let this page go over time, I’ll have a think about what to do with it, but in the meantime, here’s some of the latest stuff!
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.
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!
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:
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!
Well, there are 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.
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…!
I’m restoring my wonderful old Roland CR-8000 drum machine. More specifically, I’m repairing the dreaded ALPS push-buttons, more details soon…
Lots on the bench, in fact, it’s keeping me from updating what’s actually on the bench – an interesting dilemma! I’m 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 a new 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…
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.
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!
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 – the 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 mainboard and service my Accuphase C-202 class-A preamplifier. The job is documented here.
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.
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 styli, fitted some new cartridges, adjusted many tone-arms, changed many belts and lubricated many spindle bearings.
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 ordered 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.
In the middle of restoring a gorgeous Luxman M-4000A…
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 set up 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 here 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.
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 is very big and expensive, but well worth repairing in a beast of this quality.
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.
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 backplate 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 as 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.
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…
Sansui AU-717 before and after cleaning – note that the after cleaning shots were before parts replacement – she looks even better now!
March 2014: 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, 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!
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.
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.