Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Marantz 1200 is back and fantastic.

I've never had an amp restored this thoroughly. It's dead quiet and sounds gorgeous. This is my amp for the foreseeable future.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Marantz 1200 transformer status update.

The new transformer is quiet! It's being installed and bench tested as I write, and will be back tomorrow!
Forgive me for addressing politics, but it's a really good day to live in Toronto. Rob Ford is not the mayor anymore.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Joe wasn't answering his phone today. The new transformer isn't in my Marantz 1200 yet. The SAE 3022 has been tiding me over nicely, but I can't wait to hear the Marantz as it was meant to sound.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Marantz 1200 Update

  When I got the Marantz 1200, both channels played through headphones, but only one through speakers. I had it fixed (never mind by who), and started to listen. The overall gain of the unit seemed low, and the whole unit hummed like crazy until the relay clicked in, after which things seemed to be pretty good. Then I got the Technics SL-1401, and mounted the SAE cartridge on it. Anxious to listen with a lower ambient noise level in the room, I shut down my computer, achieving dead silence, and making a residual hum from the Marantz glaringly obvious.
  Enter Joe. He's the new owner of an old school repair shop that I'd visited and written off as not into vintage audio. Joe doesn't feel that way, and set upon the 1200 with enthusiasm. I've known repair guys who don't want to work on equipment until it's not making sound. Joe tested each component, replaced many (with correct parts)and had it sounding great, and the really clicked in right away. The transformer continued to hum.
  I did some research, and know that the transformer was assembled using shellac, that dries and cracks with age (and use, especially improper use, like when capacitors start to fail). This allows the metal plates to move. Tightening all the assembly bolts often solves the problem. It didn't in this case. The transformer is failing.I just bought an exact replacement on eBay, and can't wait to hear my beautiful Marantz in all it's glory.
  Apparently Bullock Magnetics, the manufacturer, is still in business in California, and I may be able to have the faulty transformer reconditioned.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday Update.

  I haven't been idle, just busy with my work.
  When I indicated that the SAE  1000E high output moving coil phono cartridge was making me happy (it was), I didn't say that it needs about 40 hours of break in time. It sounded pretty good, with perhaps too much 'detail', but my vinyl deprived ears were ok with that at first. After a few hours they weren't ok at all, and I stopped listening for a few days. I let the next 20 hours of break-in happen unheard (playing a record with no amp), and as the 40 hours dwindle down, I'm very, very happy. All harshness is gone, leaving a beautifully balanced presentation that sounds a lot like music.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

  Here's a link from the Vintage Knob.
  This is my third attempt to check out a vintage quadraphonic receiver, after the Marantz 4400 (Vladimir wasn't enthusiastic about trying to fix it), and more recently, the Harman Kardon 900+ (way too problematic and expensive to fix). I knew it powered up, but bought this beauty as is, and so far there's only weak sound in one channel. It's next for repair. I'll keep you posted.   It did clean up nicely, though.

Friday, November 2, 2012