questionable amp service

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by ozcal, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. ozcal

    ozcal Tele-Holic

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    long story short regarding my fairly recent smp service... not trying to mislead with the title, but i m talking vintage home stereo amp here - 70 s marantz 2245...

    so last year the old girl started acting up... once channel went out and she would only play through one speaker... old lamps were pretty much all blown but she still worked... i use this receiver pretty much everyday so i wanted it fixed and fixed properly... at this point i should mention that i got the thing used for cheap a few years back... it included the optional wooden case and at the time was fully functional, albeit a few of the lamps didn t work...a few of the pots were a little scratchy, nothing i couldn t sort out with a spray of deoxit... i highly doubt it had ever been opened up, let alone serviced...

    anyway, local music shop owner recommends his amp guy, 'the only guy who i let touch my amps'... shop owner is pretty straight forward and apparently he has a large collection of vintage fender iron... so i get my receiver to the guy... i told him i wanted it sorted out and i explained the issues... from my limited knowledge and experience here i said i d like it recapped... he gets the amp, and tells me it doesn t need recapping... the caps are fine kinda story... i get the amp back, both channels work, she s in stereo and the lamps are sorted out... the guy talked me out of an LED conversion on the lamps stating that the new bulbs will last 'at least 10 years'... costs me close to 200 bucks... no worries, i m happy to pay...

    so today i turn the amp on... the wife and i have been away for 2 months and the amps was unused and unplugged... after powering it up today i hear several loud pops and a few crackles... previously to this the receiver had been used daily and had made no noise when i powered it on... i turn it off and call the shop... at this point i m pretty annoyed but i kept my cool... shop guy, who isn t the owner wants me to bring it in... he mentions that online a few marantz guys want 300 - 400 dollars to fully service a 2245... i told him i was half way there with my costs and that i took it to them to have the job done properly... at this point i really am not interested in taking the thing back to these guys...

    hoping that silverface or wally or some of the other amp gurus can chime in here... i know a guitar amp and a stereo receiver are different animals but i know there are similarities...

    thanks for letting me rant...

    seems i now need to get this thing fixed again.... pissed
     
  2. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

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    If he told you a 40+ year old amp didn't need to be recapped (assuming it hadn't already been done recently) he's not someone I would trust. Did he tell you what he actually did for $200 other than replace a few lightbulbs?
     
  3. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You need a stereo tech who appreciates the nuances of old Marantz gear, not a guitar amp tech. Are you near a big city where you can interview techs over the phone or get recommendations?
     
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  4. flyswatter

    flyswatter Friend of Leo's

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    +1. Somebody in a music shop billed as a guitar amp tech would be better referring a high dollar hi-fi amp to somebody truly qualified. Knowing the basics of amp repair is one thing, but it isn't until you've fixed multiples of a particular type or model of amp that you can do it in confidence that your repair work is going to stand up.
     
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  5. ozcal

    ozcal Tele-Holic

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    thanks for the responses gentlemen...

    apparently the service guy is an 'old school electronics guy' who has done amps and all manner of electronic repairs for over 30 years...

    i don t have the direct contact number for this guy so when i called the shop i asked them to please call the service fella and ask him exactly what was done... when i find out the details i ll post them here...
     
  6. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not knowing much about stereo amps myself I would search out an expert as mentioned and most likely you will have to send it somewhere. You might search for a Stereo forum also do a search for vintage stereo, repair on face book you be surprised at some of the forums and information one FB.
     
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  7. DADGAD

    DADGAD Tele-Afflicted

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    Not just pots but the silver contacts on switches can go intermittent.

    Correct me if I'm wrong. You had the amp serviced last year, didn't use it for two recent months, and now it has a new problem? If so, that is not unusual or necessarily a problem caused by the repair shop.

    I have a 1970's Great American Sound Thoebe preamp with all original electrolytics. It works fine. The capacitors run at a much lower voltage than tube amps. I have a fuzz pedal from the 60's with original electrolytics as well. Perhaps I'm livin' on the edge. :D
     
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  8. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Hopefully you can get it running right. I've had a 2230 and a 2215B and they were nice receivers. Good for you for keeping the dial lights original. They're kind of a PITA: 8 Volt lamps that look like little cartridge fuses.
     
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  9. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Meister

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    If not against shipping it if not from the SF bay area ADK HiFi out of Vallejo CA. would be the place your looking for. Old Dave the owner is probably one of the last of the vintage stereo gurus. He's done some amp repairs for me in the past and the go to guy around here for such but High End Vintage stereo is his passion. Kind of a strange duck though. Can be found online or Facebook.
     
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  10. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    I had two old wonderful Marantz amps until a couple years ago. They are amazing. Here's the deal, they are terribly complicated inside and very hard to service. They are layer upon layer of components. So just getting at things is hard. There are guys who know them. They sell refurbed ones on Ebay. It would require shipping a very heavy amp both ways. But those guys are the only ones I would let do it. Thus is why most of those end up being sold. Your problem of one channel intermittently going out is very common on those old units. Maybe you are lucky and live not too far from one of those guys.

    But the bottom line is they are too expensive to fix properly much of the time. And the guys who refurb them dont really get enough money out of them when done. There are a million old powered PA and Bass SS amps around with issues that are too expensive to fix. My bassist has 3. My ex drummer has 2 PA amps. The Marantz are more complicated than those are.
    If you insist in keeping the Marantz going, you may be better off buying a refurbed one, and selling yours on Ebay with the known issues.
     
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  11. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    Don’t know squat abot Marantz but I did service a 1968 Panasonic console stereo last fall. Big wood cab stereo with woofers mids and tweeters. I replaced every e-cap I could find in it. All were original. Today’s caps are 1/10th the size. I had to custom-fab cap mounts throughout. The system was a positive ground circuit. It made me stop and reverse my thinking process several times.

    Damn if that thing sound awesome when I was done. A worthwhile project! It is a centerpiece of entertainment and discussion in my Brother’s living room. It rocks out the music 7 days a week again these days.
     
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  12. ozcal

    ozcal Tele-Holic

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    yeah, correct time frame... not saying that the repair caused the problem... more feeling the tech wasn t competent since he didn t go ahead and change out the caps etc... i was keen to pay and wanted it fixed properly...

    as i stated my knowledge is pretty limited, read very limited but i believe that the loud popping when it was turned on after being off for 2 months is indicative of a cap issue yeah ???

    i m assuming i don t want to fire this thing up again till i have her looked at right ???
     
  13. ozcal

    ozcal Tele-Holic

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    thanks... that s helpful... the missus and i travel to SF pretty often, weekly actually so i ll call in and see what Dave reckons...


    thanks to all responses, some good info... much appreciated
     
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

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    Owning such an amp is sort of being a care taker as much as depending on a piece of equipment.
    It depends on you to get it properly serviced, and you were not able to get that done at the shop of your choice.

    I have an older Scott 222 Stereomaster, tube amp, and when it was having problems I brought it to a shop that had several of the same amp, lots of other vintage tube and SS stereo amps as well as vintage HiFi speakers and turntables etc, and was owner operated by an old Russian tech who had been fixing electronics since before SS was invented.
    He was very enthusiastic about the amp and these old Scotts, seemed to know offhand the common problems that would account for the symptoms, and took it in with a very reasonable price estimate.

    I waited a really long time and ended up bugging him because it took so much longer than he had said, partly because he claimed he was waiting on a hard to find electrolytic.

    When I got it back it was not perfect, and I was not very happy.

    The Marantz is much more complex to work on and has vastly more parts to troubleshoot, plus probably out of production parts if you need replacements.

    As a steward you need to make sacrifices!

    IMO if you want vintage Stereo you should go straight to tube gear.
    Easier to get parts for and easier to repair, then more reliable because a tech can replace every part that's expendable for a reasonably cost.
    But if you love the thing, get it fixed right and keep a spare amp for service time!
     
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  15. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Meister

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    Your welcome. Although a strange duck I think the only bad reviews he gets is from those bringing in an old 90's Chinese made Realistic thinking he's going to fix it. Chances are he's going to insult you and hurt your feelings. Old Marantz like yours. Watch his eyes light up and you can almost hear the wheels in his head spinning. Actually have an old Pioneer SX-980 that's going to need his services soon. Talked to him about some time ago and he was like Oh yea.. bring that one on in. Kick ass receiver. I love the old Japanese made Pioneers. Then he went on for about another hour on all the other cool receivers he's worked on over the years. Word of warning. If you aint got the time to burn don't get this guy talking. Oh and he works out of his garage and all transactions are done at a mail box store. But then again some of the best are quite eccentric.
     
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  16. ozcal

    ozcal Tele-Holic

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    thanks for the heads up bondoman
     
  17. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    ANY qualified tube amp/electronics tech can work on tube stereo equipment - and every one I know does, from vintage Marantz to McIntosh. I've done it myself many times. Tube electronics are NOT rocket science.

    Differences are - in some cases - slightly lower voltages, lower gain etc, and different impedance loads at both ends.

    But electrolytic caps are what they are, and they have a limited service life. You were right to request a cap job.

    Now - when NOT requested some techs will not do it on vintage gear to maintain originality *IF* something will be sold - but better techs only after fairly extensive physical and electronic inspection. Still, IMO they need to be done by the 20 year mark.

    However, if the amp is to be used, I don't know a pro tech who WON'T automatically do it (after phone approval).

    But you requested it. It should have been done. Did you request it IN WRITING? If so you may have a small claims case for repairs caused by omission of requested work. Not a very strong one if you still paid him and took it anyway, though.

    My point - if you request work and the tech says "it wasn't needed" - and you accepted that - 1) you took it to the wrong tech, and 2) you were wrong to accept that "excuse".

    BTW, having a great collection of vintage gear means ZERO.

    You also need a different guitar shop to take recommendations from.
     
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  18. ozcal

    ozcal Tele-Holic

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    thanks for ya help silverface... i had a feeling this place was a little flakey... no requests were in writing unfortunately... phone communication only...

    i m gonna try a vintage hifi guy that bondoman recommended earlier in the thread...

    thanks again for your advice, i always enjoy reading your vintage amp posts... very helpful
     
  19. DuckDodgers

    DuckDodgers Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I remember buying Marantz receivers for pocket change at yard sales. I’d clean them up, lube the pots, and pass them on to poor friends. Suddenly they’re collectible. I put one of my last ones out at a yard sale and hadn’t priced it yet when a guy started telling me that he was interested but obviously it needed service, and he’d have to have his tech go over it, and so he couldn’t pay a penny over $85.... Ka-Ching! Sold.

    They were great units in their day, and I still have two in regular service, but I wouldn’t pay today’s prices or put much into restoring one.
     
  20. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    My thinking is along the lines of it being a receiver, not just an amp. I don't know a guitar amp tech that knows his or her way around the IF and RF stages, or is equipped to deal with them properly. If you can make the amp stage come back to life, but can't align the IF and RF stages to make the tuner pull in the stations it used to, you're the rong tech for a stereo receiver.
     
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