Vintage amp purchase

nandac

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Hi, there is an amp on sale that I am interested in.

It is atleast 15 to 20 years old.

Apparently in very good condition and one owner who has taken good care of it.

What are the risks in purchasing an old amp? Wear and tear? If so which parts - caps etc? And can they be replaced etc?

Appreciate the insights.
 
Hi Nandac,

Can you tell the model of the amp? For the most part - usually the power supply caps will start to age after 10-20 years and replacement of the powersupply caps will insure long life and good operation. A lot will depend on how the amp was used and where it was used. Class A amps generally run rather hot. Was it used in a well ventilated area? 8-15" of clearance all around the amp for good cooling? Generally good designers take the heat and stress of class A designs into consideration and use better quality parts that last longer. I've own/ed two Class A amps. A Coda 2.5 and Pass Labs Aleph 3. Both are going on about 25 years old. The Coda was a bit rough, when I bought it I noted a few of the resistor inside seemed to have some corrosion before turning it on I just sent it back to Coda, had them replace the powersupply caps and replace a few resistors. When I got it back it worked perfectly. The Aleph 3 runs great from day one and I have yet to replace the power supply caps. Though I'm planning on sending it back for a refresh soon just as a preventative measure. Sometimes you can tell a bit by the outside appreance. With the Aleph series the heat fins/sinks will start to turn purplish in color, a bit with age, more so if its been run hard. For the most part, if you are buying from a person that has a good reputation I wouldn't worry too much and just enjoy the new amp. I hope this is helpful.
 
Hi Nandac,

Can you tell the model of the amp? For the most part - usually the power supply caps will start to age after 10-20 years and replacement of the powersupply caps will insure long life and good operation. A lot will depend on how the amp was used and where it was used. Class A amps generally run rather hot. Was it used in a well ventilated area? 8-15" of clearance all around the amp for good cooling? Generally good designers take the heat and stress of class A designs into consideration and use better quality parts that last longer. I've own/ed two Class A amps. A Coda 2.5 and Pass Labs Aleph 3. Both are going on about 25 years old. The Coda was a bit rough, when I bought it I noted a few of the resistor inside seemed to have some corrosion before turning it on I just sent it back to Coda, had them replace the powersupply caps and replace a few resistors. When I got it back it worked perfectly. The Aleph 3 runs great from day one and I have yet to replace the power supply caps. Though I'm planning on sending it back for a refresh soon just as a preventative measure. Sometimes you can tell a bit by the outside appreance. With the Aleph series the heat fins/sinks will start to turn purplish in color, a bit with age, more so if its been run hard. For the most part, if you are buying from a person that has a good reputation I wouldn't worry too much and just enjoy the new amp. I hope this is helpful.
It was very comprehensively put.

Sharing model of Amp will ensure that people with previous ownership history with also share their experiences and common issues with the model.
 
The A220 manual states :
Power requirements 100/115/230V AC 50/60Hz (Factory preset)

Would that mean that the transformer within can handle both voltages? So moving to India would only mean rewiring the transformer to the right voltage? Any idea?

Appreciate the insights.
 
It means it can be one of 100, 115 or 230 VAC, preset at the factory.

So, moving to India you will need to make sure it is set to 230. If it's easy it makes sense to get it done from the manufacturer/dealer, since getting support in India may not be as easy.
 
>It means it can be one of 100, 115 or 230 VAC, preset at the factory

"preset" means transformer can handle only that particular voltage or the wiring in the transformer is preset (and can be switched depending on the country's voltage)?
 
Nice! Musical Fidelity make a nice product. I have not owned a A220 but have owned a couple of their DACs and an up sampling unit. The A220 has good reviews from what I see! The The power supply caps would be the the two large units and the smaller 4 caps to the left of the big ones. I might open the unit and inspect if there are no signs of bulging or leakage I would leave them be. You might ask the seller if they would mind taking the lid off and taking a pic for you or close up of the caps. If not, not a big worry. On the voltage, harder to answer, you might reach out to MF and ask them if the transformer has the leads to support the voltage you need. Then yes it would be a wire switch and perhaps changing the plug style to support your local voltage. Make sure a grounded/three prong plug is used!
One thing since the speaker terminals are rather close together you might consider terminating your speaker cable with a deltron plug/s. I've used spades and they can slip off causing a short. A banana plug would work too but I rather like the deltrons.. I'm sure others will have other opinions. Enjoy and happy listening.

MF 220.jpgMF A220back.jpgDeltron_580Series.jpg
 
It means it can be one of 100, 115 or 230 VAC, preset at the factory.

So, moving to India you will need to make sure it is set to 230. If it's easy it makes sense to get it done from the manufacturer/dealer, since getting support in India may not be as easy.
When the term 'factory preset' is used, it can mean 2 possibilities:

1) specific types of transformers with primaries suitable for the geography/market - for example 100v primaries for the Japanese market, 110v for the American market, etc. These manufacturers use different transformers depending on the primary voltage requirements

2) a single transformer with multiple primary voltage taps, used universally in their amps for sale across all geographies/markets, however the primary circuit is hard-wired based on where the amplifier is sold

If the transformer of your amp falls in the first category, the options available would be to (1) use a step-down transformer in India or (2) obtain a new transformer suitable for your amp from the manufacturer (or suitable alternatives) which is meant for amplifiers sold in the European market

If the transformer of your amp falls in the second category, you can rewire the primary circuit using the 220/230v primary tap, for use in India.

In the picture shared by FM lowpoweraudio, it seems like the transformer has 2 taps and one neutral (the yellow sticker is not clear in the photograph). You can perhaps take a closer look in your amp. It may the second type which I have mentioned above in this post.

Caution: Never attempt to rewire a transformer's primary without referring to the service manual, the transformer specs and transformer wiring diagram, or without consulting a knowledgeable tech. Incorrect wiring (wrong voltage tap selection) can result in damage to the primary of the transformer.

amp wiring.jpg
 
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