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Precautions to be taken in purchasing used Amplifiers

Luxman Amplifiers India

Prasad Karpe

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May 28, 2013
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Hi Friends,
I have been buying used audio gears from the second hand market for quite a few years. The purchases are from my trusted vendor but most of the time I feel that I am not getting enough VFM. I feel that the used audio market is very exploiting and therefore we must list down some points which will be beneficial to any one buying used Amplifiers.
I will start from myself.
Anyone buying used item shall keep in mind that it is very difficult to get a perfect product. The very fact that the item has come to the used market itself implies that it must have developed some glitch.
However there always remain a possibility that the previous owner has decided to upgrade the system and you may get a good product.
So be cautious.
I hope other forum members will chip in with their valuable advice.
Regards
Prasad
 

rajis141

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Jun 9, 2012
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If the user is known and has used for home it is netter. If it is from a scrap dealer, better to stay away.
Stay away from OLX / Quikr sales. There are lot of 'GREEDY' ads there
 

asliarun

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Dec 22, 2008
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Hi Friends,
I have been buying used audio gears from the second hand market for quite a few years. The purchases are from my trusted vendor but most of the time I feel that I am not getting enough VFM. I feel that the used audio market is very exploiting and therefore we must list down some points which will be beneficial to any one buying used Amplifiers.
I will start from myself.
Anyone buying used item shall keep in mind that it is very difficult to get a perfect product. The very fact that the item has come to the used market itself implies that it must have developed some glitch.
However there always remain a possibility that the previous owner has decided to upgrade the system and you may get a good product.
So be cautious.
I hope other forum members will chip in with their valuable advice.
Regards
Prasad

I have bought and sold numerous pieces of equipment, although all my dealings have been with individuals, never with vendors. I have the opposite impression.

- Why do you feel the used audio market is exploiting? In what way did you get cheated? And in any case, that is quite a broad sweeping statement to make.

- In most cases I have seen (again, I am talking about people buying/selling on good audiophile forums), when there is a defect, the seller is usually upfront about the defect. They should also use the audiogon rating to rate their product.

In my humble opinion, the problem is not so much cheating going on - the problem usually is that the ground rules are not made clear and are not well established.

The seller should post detailed high resolution pictures of the equipment they are selling, along with the condition, age, provenance/history of ownership, Audiogon rating, cosmetic blemishes (with pictures), etc. The seller should also call out anything that is not working properly. The seller should also clearly state what they are selling and what they are not selling. For example, are they selling the power cord along with amp? Are they selling other accessories that came with the amp when they purchased it? Especially if the pictures show other accessories that may or may not be intended to be sold. Will the equipment come with the original packaging and manual. Will the warranty be transferred (usually not, but for some components like Bryston, this itself is a big deal as they support their products for 20 years). Finally, the seller should make it clear when and how the payment needs to be made, and how the shipping or delivery/pickup will be handled.

The buyer also needs to make the payment promptly and in full. This is usually done in advance of receiving the product. And once they purchase the equipment, they should test all functionality immediately and confirm to the seller that everything is in working order (or not). Then the deal is closed.

Yes, there is an element of good faith and a bit of trust involved. And personally speaking, I got into some of these issues as well. Once when I had not stated that I would sell the power cord with the amp. The other, as a buyer, when the fuse blew when I ran the amp. But in both cases, I tried to be upfront with the buyer and seller and agreed upon reasonable solutions. In the first case, I refunded the price of the power cord (was a basic one anyway), and the second, I just bought replacement fuses (but the seller was really helpful in guiding me to find the right replacement).

But I do strongly believe that in most cases, especially with dealings with forum members who have history on the forum (this forum or otherwise), there has never been an issue of the seller intentionally cheating the buyer etc. Most often, I have seen that it has been misunderstanding and/or the terms and conditions not being made clear. Just my two paise.

Perhaps, the moderators should make a sticky thread with guidance for sellers and buyers??
 

Prasad Karpe

Member
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May 28, 2013
Messages
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Points
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Location
Kalyan, Maharashtra
@ asliarun
Thanks for your reply.

I am not referring to any of the forum members here. Till now I have not dealt with any forum member for used product.

My experience is from outside this forum.

I wanted to list out the defects that generally used amplifiers develop due to its long use and how to locate them.

Regards
Prasad
 

Prasad Karpe

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Location
Kalyan, Maharashtra
Come on friends there are around 240 views to this thread but only two replies. Pls . chip in with your valuable experiences so that other people will get the benefits.
 
Last edited:

Robert Bose

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Oct 24, 2008
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Bangalore India
I have bought Yamaha M80 from a forum member who highlighted

correctly the limitation/damage to the product, and we agreed for

the price and I was satisfied with the transaction, similarly I bought

a NSM1000 in not good cosmetic condition from a Forum member who

clearly highlighted the condition, but I got cheated by an Individual on OLX

not a dealer, he lied to me about an amplifier Yamaha A960, this was a

110V AC unit, which had been operated in 220 at some time

the whole thing from transformer onwards, every power transistor all

the regulators had been replaced with local parts and passed off as untouched

original, who till the end kept up his story about being untouched

so there are definitely people ready to cheat you with their screwed up stuff

out there, but there are guys who are fairly honest also, who tell the defects

and fix the price accordingly, its is your luck what you finally get

when the item reaches, the party can always say, that it got spoiled in transit

if it is not in working order when it reaches, we have to ask questions , be

cautious, but in the end it is down to luck also

happy hunting in the used market

Robert Bose Bangalore
 

Prasad Karpe

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May 28, 2013
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Location
Kalyan, Maharashtra
I had bought a Vintage Sony Receiver from an OLx dealer. I took the audition

for the same but as the dealer's shop was very small, I could not give more

time for it. Afterwards when I connected that receiver to the speakers one

channel was found weak and the tuner was also having selectivity issue. After

confronting him he said that there might be an issue with the FM

transmission as I live in Kalyan. WhenI persisted more he told me to bring the

unit for servicing. After servicing also the issue did not get solved. To which

he said that he does not have the right equipment to align the tuner.

If he would have told me about the issue I would not have made that

purchase. Unfortunately i have live with the problematic receiver.


I strongly suggest that don't buy any used amplifier without a proper audition

for a sufficient time. If the seller is not allowing you enough time for the

audition then simply move over from him even if the offer is very tempting.

Always check for same amount of output through each channel by isolating

the other channel with the help of Balance Switch.

Further if you find any crackling sound while operating the volume controls,

don't go for that amplifier as cleaning those pots yourself is a very tedious job

and has to be done frequently.

Also see that all inputs are working smoothly by slightly moving the cable RCA

connectors of the input cable on the amplifier side . Often it is found that the

amplifier has got dry solder issue and that particular input stop functioning

after some time.

So be cautious every time.

Prasad
 
D

Deleted member 45006

Guest
Problems I encountered in the past :

1. Left - right sound off balance. (One is louder/one has a different sound - more or less bass/treble)

2. Caps at the end of their life( if u have not listened to a mint amp of the same model somewhere, u might think that's how it is supposed to sound like)

3. Channel crosstalk.

4. Input selector / knob problems (noisy)
 
D

Deleted member 45006

Guest
Always remember to carry your CDs. I carry my fiio, with a folder kept for test songs with my own cables. Connect the same speaker to both channels alternatively to check differences(in case the seller says, oh my speakers are not great, that's why u hear a difference between the channels!!. It will work good on your speakers!!)
 

Prasad Karpe

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Always listen for occasional clicks or relay chatter. Sometimes due to dry solder issues the relays start giving clicks which get annoying while enjoying music.
 

Saket

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I own a Pioneer vintage (SX-434) which was bought used. Though the amp is really a nice one but for last few months, I am facing a problem of crackling sound from the left channel. I gave it for service TWICE for the same issue. The problem was resolved for a while but appears again and again. The right channel plays just fine. I have a feeling that it is a sort of minor issue which is tough for the repairmen to point out. Not able to play my turntable for this reason!
Anyone any pointers?

Thanks!
 

frend2001

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Hi Saket,

Crackling can usually be attributed to problem in either volume pot and balance pot. I guess you must have already taken care of cleaning them with contact cleaners.

Dry solders can also be the reason.

If you are comfortable with a little snooping around, try and give your amp's inside through visual. You may strike lucky and find the loosed / dry soldering.
 

sarith

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This stereo receiver is from the 70's it seems. Almost all vintage electronics benefit from re-capping. Electrolytic capacitors can be troublesome when they dry out. Cleaning pots and switches will be good too. Like FM frend mentioned, look for cold joints/dry soldering.

I own a Pioneer vintage (SX-434) which was bought used. Though the amp is really a nice one but for last few months, I am facing a problem of crackling sound from the left channel. I gave it for service TWICE for the same issue. The problem was resolved for a while but appears again and again. The right channel plays just fine. I have a feeling that it is a sort of minor issue which is tough for the repairmen to point out. Not able to play my turntable for this reason!
Anyone any pointers?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Saket

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Thank you friends for the advice. I have already cleaned the pots and resoldered most of the joints on the PCB. Still not lucky to isolate the issue. The amp otherwise is a very nice warm sounding thing and the sound signature is good for the segment. I would love to get it set right rather than going for a new amp.
Thanks again.

Regards,
Saket
 

lifewater

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Thank you friends for the advice. I have already cleaned the pots and resoldered most of the joints on the PCB. Still not lucky to isolate the issue. The amp otherwise is a very nice warm sounding thing and the sound signature is good for the segment. I would love to get it set right rather than going for a new amp.
Thanks again.

Regards,
Saket

Saket, I suggest check the Electro caps in the signal line from the schematic. One of them has dried up.

Regards,

Lifewater
 

Prasad Karpe

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Hi Saket,
If the problem surfaces again & again then IMO the volume/balance pot must be the culprit. It happens with used amplifiers always. I have suffered a lot due to this. If we clean the pot the problem goes away but after some days it again starts to haunt.
 

Saket

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Saket, I suggest check the Electro caps in the signal line from the schematic. One of them has dried up.

Regards,

Lifewater

This could be probable cause. It happens with signal caps.

Thanks a lot. By signal caps, do you guys mean the ones in the power section? There are 2 big capacitors (3300 mfd/25V) whose output is fed to the PCB. Do you guys think one of those could have gone kaput?

Thanks again.
Regards,
Saket
 

greenhorn

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at audiokarma, they recommend changing some of the small signal transistors which sometimes start to become rather noisy with time but its a bit risky, because exact match transistors may not be available
 
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