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vintage amplifier repair and restoration< Vintage Amp Doctor

Amplifier Repair | Amplifier Restoration

Amplifiers; I think we have all seen the steady interest in valve audio technology. For a number of us die hard valve audiophiles, we have never known anything else.

Over the years, a considerable experience has built up in the repair, restoration and servicing of quality amplifiers and Hi Fi audio equipment. Countless numbers of Quad 2 and 22 amplifiers have been the service and overhaul mill. A stock of transformers, output, mains and chokes are kept in stock. Having said that, I have seen an uprising in the number of sets requiring attention with damaged transformers, possibly as a result of the “young – valve uninitiated”, committing the cardinal sins, powering up amplifiers without loads being connected, or leaving them on all day and all night with no ventilation.

A real soft spot is the Leak range of products. I have lost count of the number of ‘Point One’, ‘Stereo 20’, ‘50’ and ‘60’ amplifiers that have been brought back to life. I can’t help thinking that there is a slight edge over the Quads. Now come on, who says that there is a better tuner than a Leak TroughLine! I will admit that the decoders are not all that, but that’s Mullard for you!. These tuners can be made to work well and are a match for any modern analogue VHF receiver. Strange that Leak fitted an AFC switch. The tuner does not drift! Mr Leak could have saved £3,13s6d off the price, and he had the bad manners to disable the EM84 Magic Eye when the AFC was switched into play. People have been shot for doing lesser things.

Other manufactures of amplifiers worked on and catered for include; Audio Research, Lowther (lovely), Armstrong (sorry), BTH (known as Big Thick and Heavy and not British Thomas Huston as some people will have you beleive), Beam-Echo (fun), Champion (enough said), Clark and Smith (great for schools, play football with them and they still work), Decca-Beau and Decola (I am in love), Dynatron (not as good as you think), Elizabethan (Ummmm), Fisher (so very American, the capacitors were okay though), GEC (well there you go), Goodsell (just copied Mullard), HMV (don’t bother), Leak (can’t be bettered), Linear (wait outside to be shot please), Pamphonic (not many of these sets survived, but they should have and were good), Philips (made some good PA gear, fun), PYE (why PYE. Let down by rotten components. You would have thought they would learn), Radford (good if you have money to spend on electric bills. They get hot), RAC (not bad for USA), Rogers (not for me. Why make output transformers so delicate…), Sugden (quite good I have to say, given being made in Yorkshire), Tannoy (okay, grown ups play here), Tripleton (I am sorry, so sorry, I mean it), Vortexion (are….. that’s good).

So, there we have it. Some likes and dislikes. The main controlling factor when it comes to the quality of the sound produced, is the build of the output transformer. Leak invested heavily in the design as did Quad. A sad day when the dear old gentleman at Majestic Transformers in Pool decided to hang up his coil winder for the last time. Not may chaps left who can understand the make up of an output device.

Like most British sets, the main problem was poor quality capacitors. Of course I won’t mention Hunts. But Hunts did more for the demise of the British Radio, TV and Audio industry than Japan, and the rest of the far east put together and multiplied by 100. Perhaps I am being unfair on Hunts………. No.


Pye HF25s | Leak Point One, TL12 | Audio Research D115




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