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How Are Your Old Amps Holding Up?

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Anonymous
July 10, 2004 10:08:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

I own a Hafler 9500 power amp which is probably 11-12 years old and
recently, I seem to feel that the system has lost something...soundstaging
in particular. Is it probable that aging components in the amp (electrolytic
caps, in particular) are causing the sonic degradation? Or maybe it's my
Infinity RS 8 kappa speakers (also about 13 yrs old) I'd like to hear from
those who can comment on the sonics of amplifiers this old.

Thanks
Kofi

More about : amps holding

Anonymous
July 11, 2004 9:37:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Kofi Anim-Appiah" <partialresponse@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:QgWHc.54106$%_6.37723@attbi_s01...
> I own a Hafler 9500 power amp which is probably 11-12 years old and
> recently, I seem to feel that the system has lost something...soundstaging
> in particular. Is it probable that aging components in the amp
(electrolytic
> caps, in particular) are causing the sonic degradation? Or maybe it's my
> Infinity RS 8 kappa speakers (also about 13 yrs old) I'd like to hear from
> those who can comment on the sonics of amplifiers this old.
>
My hearing is going faster than any of my amps. In 11-12 years one's hearing
does deteriorate.
Anonymous
July 11, 2004 9:37:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

My main amplifier is an Apt 1. It was purchased in 1981 and is still
working perfectly. I have another Apt 1 that I bought on Ebay that
drives two sub-woofers. My Apt-Holman preamp was purchased in 1979.

---MIKE---
Related resources
Anonymous
July 11, 2004 6:57:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On Sat, 10 Jul 2004 18:08:48 GMT, "Kofi Anim-Appiah"
<partialresponse@comcast.net> wrote:

>I own a Hafler 9500 power amp which is probably 11-12 years old and
>recently, I seem to feel that the system has lost something...soundstaging
>in particular.
Most of the time changes in the perception of soundstaging I found
were due to noise in the power supply that crept into the signal path.
So your environment may have changed and there's more noise on
the power line than before.

>Is it probable that aging components in the amp (electrolytic
>caps, in particular) are causing the sonic degradation?

That may be the case, but I don't think that the e'litics are drying
out. That usually happens with amps that are much older. Some
months ago a friend visited me for a repair of his 33 year old
Marantz model 27 that had an increased noise in the right
channel. I finally found a ceramic condensor that lost its capaci-
tance. The electrolitics were still fine.

My current amp is 20 year old, still sounding fine together with the
15 year old speakers. How do I know? Recently I bought a pair of
near field monitors with builtin amps and did extensive comarisons.
Both sets sound different - as they are made for different purposes -
but I can't prefer one over the other.

>Or maybe it's my
>Infinity RS 8 kappa speakers (also about 13 yrs old) I'd like to hear from
>those who can comment on the sonics of amplifiers this old.

Usually the foams of the woofer surroundings may degrade. But that
will not change the soundstage.

Try to check the amp and the speakers during the night. At this time
there is (usually) less noise on the power lines and here if the sound
stage is better than at day time. You may borrow a power line filter
and check if that helps.

Norbert
July 11, 2004 6:59:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Kofi Anim-Appiah" <partialresponse@comcast.net> wrote in message news:<QgWHc.54106$%_6.37723@attbi_s01>...
> I own a Hafler 9500 power amp which is probably 11-12 years old and
> recently, I seem to feel that the system has lost something...soundstaging
> in particular. Is it probable that aging components in the amp (electrolytic
> caps, in particular) are causing the sonic degradation? Or maybe it's my
> Infinity RS 8 kappa speakers (also about 13 yrs old) I'd like to hear from
> those who can comment on the sonics of amplifiers this old.

I have an Adcom 5800 about 10 years old. I've had it in the shop twice
both times for a new power switch. Both times I had them bench test it
and it still exceeds mfr specifications without ever having needed
adjustment. Still sounds like new, which is to say fabulous.

Previously I had an old Harman Kardon amplifier. After about 5 years I
noticed slight distortion on certain types of musical passages. The
sound was like a very slight scratchy breakup in dynamic transients. I
had it checked out at the shop and it had a bad transistor. Easily and
cheaply replaced and the amp is still running fine today (13 years
post fix).

Have you rearranged or modified the room in some way? That can
significantly change the sound. If it sounds like a component is going
bad, try swapping components. See if you can hear the degradation on
high quality headphones, with a different amp, a different CD Player
etc.
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 6:12:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

I own a Krell KSA-50 mkII, vintage 1986 or so. It still measures well,
and I have not yet heard any amplifier which sounds 'better', i.e.
different under DBT conditions and also indistinguishable from the
input signal. Basically, sonic transparency in power amps is a done
deal in 2004, whatever Halcro and the SET gang would have you believe.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 6:19:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Kofi Anim-Appiah" <partialresponse@comcast.net> wrote in message news:<QgWHc.54106$%_6.37723@attbi_s01>...
> I own a Hafler 9500 power amp which is probably 11-12 years old and
> recently, I seem to feel that the system has lost something...soundstaging
> in particular. Is it probable that aging components in the amp (electrolytic
> caps, in particular) are causing the sonic degradation? Or maybe it's my
> Infinity RS 8 kappa speakers (also about 13 yrs old) I'd like to hear from
> those who can comment on the sonics of amplifiers this old.
>
> Thanks
> Kofi

Kofi:

I have a Hafler DH220 that was re-capped and some other upgrades done
a couple years before I got it, which makes the re-do about 12 years
old now, and the amp probably at least 20+. Still sounds great to me,
through my similar vintage ProAc studio two's.

Regards,

Bob
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 6:20:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

The one "moving part" on my 15 yr old CARVER TFM-25 has been replaced twice
now. Both times I thought it finally kicked the bucket but new switch
brought it right back up to it's normal self. This last time, I hardwired
on-board switch and used the sequential startup feature on my Panamax power
distribution unit.

Other than that, every other component in my main system has been replaced
in past 5 years. Amplifiers seem to have inherently long lives.

"Kofi Anim-Appiah" <partialresponse@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:QgWHc.54106$%_6.37723@attbi_s01...
> I own a Hafler 9500 power amp which is probably 11-12 years old and
> recently, I seem to feel that the system has lost something...soundstaging
> in particular. Is it probable that aging components in the amp
(electrolytic
> caps, in particular) are causing the sonic degradation? Or maybe it's my
> Infinity RS 8 kappa speakers (also about 13 yrs old) I'd like to hear from
> those who can comment on the sonics of amplifiers this old.
>
> Thanks
> Kofi
>
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 8:05:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Stewart Pinkerton patent3@dircon.co.uk wrote:

>I own a Krell KSA-50 mkII, vintage 1986 or so. It still measures well,
>and I have not yet heard any amplifier which sounds 'better', i.e.
>different under DBT conditions and also indistinguishable from the
>input signal. Basically, sonic transparency in power amps is a done
>deal in 2004, whatever Halcro and the SET gang would have you believe.
>--
>
>Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering

Actually it has been a 'done' deal for a quarter of a century at least. What
happens is that a publication/manufacturer will team up to keep a market
segment believeing otherwise.

I don't mean in an obvious "behind closed doors" meeting. For example I once
visited a CES display of a small manufacturer that seemed to be pretty
straightforward that had some pretty strange room "treatments." When I asked
about them he said that "if you'll notice every display around here has them
...... they not only don't charge you for them they'll pay you to let them put
them up, or sneak in after hours and put them up."

I then asked how people coped with bullshit in a bullshit industry? He said
that its mostly an insider agreement that 'I won't tell them that your bullshit
is bullshit as long as you reciprocate.'
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 8:22:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Stewart Pinkerton patent3@dircon.co.uk wrote:

>I own a Krell KSA-50 mkII, vintage 1986 or so. It still measures well,
>and I have not yet heard any amplifier which sounds 'better', i.e.
>different under DBT conditions and also indistinguishable from the
>input signal. Basically, sonic transparency in power amps is a done
>deal in 2004, whatever Halcro and the SET gang would have you believe.
>--
>
>Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering

I have the 2nd ampliifer I ever owned; a 1976 Heathkit AA-1640 that as late as
2 years ago sounded exactly the same as a Bryston-4B. I haven't booted it for
over a year but as of then it was perfectly servicable.

In its quarter century service it has been serviced twice. One was removing the
input attenuators (scratchy) and then replacing the power supply caps.
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 3:04:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

OK, so the consensus seems to be that a 12-yr-old power amp should not
really have degraded sonically. I should add that I'm not hearing distortion
or any kind of aberration. In fact, the sound is still very detailed, but
the soundstaging and image palpability have essentially faded. I have also
been told by Vishay that typical life span for their Sprague power supply
electrolytics (which the Hafler 9500 has) is at least 40 years at 40 deg. C!
It must therefore be my speakers. To answer some of the points made in
response to my original post;

1) I am quite sure it's not my hearing, since I heard the system sound very
good about 3 months ago. I had just adjusted the output-device bias upward
since it has drifted quite a bit below spec. It sounded much better than
usual, but has not sounded like that since it was turned off after several
hours of listening that day.

2) I always listen late at night because I know the power grid is usually
cleaner at that time, and the system correspondingly sounds better. Very
good point Norbert, about my power line having become noisier. I will try
some power line filtering. I have always plugged the amp directly into the
mains, but I will try feeding it from my small filter. I refoamed my woofers
18 months ago.

3) No, I have not rearranged anything in the room or changed components.

Thanks to all who responded.

Kofi

"Kofi Anim-Appiah" <partialresponse@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:QgWHc.54106$%_6.37723@attbi_s01...
> I own a Hafler 9500 power amp which is probably 11-12 years old and
> recently, I seem to feel that the system has lost something...soundstaging
> in particular. Is it probable that aging components in the amp
(electrolytic
> caps, in particular) are causing the sonic degradation? Or maybe it's my
> Infinity RS 8 kappa speakers (also about 13 yrs old) I'd like to hear from
> those who can comment on the sonics of amplifiers this old.
>
> Thanks
> Kofi
>
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 3:04:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Hi,

In message <QgWHc.54106$%_6.37723@attbi_s01>, Kofi Anim-Appiah
<partialresponse@comcast.net> writes
>I own a Hafler 9500 power amp which is probably 11-12 years old and
>recently, I seem to feel that the system has lost something...soundstaging
>in particular. Is it probable that aging components in the amp (electrolytic
>caps, in particular) are causing the sonic degradation? Or maybe it's my
>Infinity RS 8 kappa speakers (also about 13 yrs old) I'd like to hear from
>those who can comment on the sonics of amplifiers this old.

My first 'real' amp was a Creek 4040. It must be twenty years old. I've
changed a fuse (the day I bought it - shorted the speaker leads in my
young haste) and cleaned the volume pot. Other than that, it sounds just
like the Audiolab 8000S that's above it in the rack.

Oh, and the LED on the Creek has died. I never bothered fixing it.

--
Regards,
Glenn Booth
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 3:26:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

From: nousaine@aol.com (Nousaine)
>Date: 7/11/2004 9:05 PM Pacific Standard Time
>Message-id: <Y5oIc.58842$a24.2870@attbi_s03>
>
> Stewart Pinkerton patent3@dircon.co.uk wrote:
>
>>I own a Krell KSA-50 mkII, vintage 1986 or so. It still measures well,
>>and I have not yet heard any amplifier which sounds 'better', i.e.
>>different under DBT conditions and also indistinguishable from the
>>input signal. Basically, sonic transparency in power amps is a done
>>deal in 2004, whatever Halcro and the SET gang would have you believe.
>>--
>>
>>Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
>
>Actually it has been a 'done' deal for a quarter of a century at least. What
>happens is that a publication/manufacturer will team up to keep a market
>segment believeing otherwise.
>
>I don't mean in an obvious "behind closed doors" meeting. For example I once
>visited a CES display of a small manufacturer that seemed to be pretty
>straightforward that had some pretty strange room "treatments." When I asked
>about them he said that "if you'll notice every display around here has them
>..... they not only don't charge you for them they'll pay you to let them put
>them up, or sneak in after hours and put them up."
>
>I then asked how people coped with bullshit in a bullshit industry? He said
>that its mostly an insider agreement that 'I won't tell them that your
>bullshit
>is bullshit as long as you reciprocate.'
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
Oh c'mon! Another anecdote about an anonymous whistle blower? Please excuse my
skeptism over industry insiders confiding in you.You have spent so much time
and effort persuing this "whistle blowing" who would be stupid enough to
confide in a guy who is bent on exposing this very assertion that the high end
is a consperacy of fruadualant marketing? as for your whistle blowing, why not
name names?
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 7:23:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

s888wheel@aol.com (S888Wheel) wrote:



>From: nousaine@aol.com (Nousaine)
>>Date: 7/11/2004 9:05 PM Pacific Standard Time
>>Message-id: <Y5oIc.58842$a24.2870@attbi_s03>
>>
>> Stewart Pinkerton patent3@dircon.co.uk wrote:
>>
>>>I own a Krell KSA-50 mkII, vintage 1986 or so. It still measures well,
>>>and I have not yet heard any amplifier which sounds 'better', i.e.
>>>different under DBT conditions and also indistinguishable from the
>>>input signal. Basically, sonic transparency in power amps is a done
>>>deal in 2004, whatever Halcro and the SET gang would have you believe.
>>>--
>>>
>>>Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
>>
>>Actually it has been a 'done' deal for a quarter of a century at least. What
>>happens is that a publication/manufacturer will team up to keep a market
>>segment believeing otherwise.
>>
>>I don't mean in an obvious "behind closed doors" meeting. For example I
>once
>>visited a CES display of a small manufacturer that seemed to be pretty
>>straightforward that had some pretty strange room "treatments." When I asked
>>about them he said that "if you'll notice every display around here has them
>>..... they not only don't charge you for them they'll pay you to let them
>put
>>them up, or sneak in after hours and put them up."
>>
>>I then asked how people coped with bullshit in a bullshit industry? He said
>>that its mostly an insider agreement that 'I won't tell them that your
>>bullshit
>>is bullshit as long as you reciprocate.'
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>Oh c'mon! Another anecdote about an anonymous whistle blower? Please excuse
>my
>skeptism over industry insiders confiding in you.You have spent so much time
>and effort persuing this "whistle blowing" who would be stupid enough to
>confide in a guy who is bent on exposing this very assertion that the high
>end
>is a consperacy of fruadualant marketing? as for your whistle blowing, why
>not
>name names?

Ever wonder why high-end amp guys don't complain about cabling and cd stoplight
and other margin eating competitors? The answer is they are all cheating the
same people. One myth buy and it opens the customer for more.

Futhermore because many high-end customers like to hang-out at the store but
can only swing several grand for a new amplifier or turntable every couple
years accessories give them something to buy on every trip to the store.

As for naming names: why should I? You'll accept everybody else' anecdote; and
you have no trouble posting your own, why are mine not given the same accord?
Anonymous
July 14, 2004 6:58:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

I have a naim NAP-160 power amp dating from 1979, with a serial number in the
300s. Serviced by naim for the first time in 2002, it sounds just fine. The
big electrolytics are the originals and did not require replacement.
Anonymous
July 14, 2004 7:49:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

From: nousaine@aol.com (Nousaine)
>Date: 7/12/2004 8:23 PM Pacific Standard Time
>Message-id: <ccvkk1071j@news1.newsguy.com>
>
>s888wheel@aol.com (S888Wheel) wrote:
>
>
>
>>From: nousaine@aol.com (Nousaine)
>>>Date: 7/11/2004 9:05 PM Pacific Standard Time
>>>Message-id: <Y5oIc.58842$a24.2870@attbi_s03>
>>>
>>> Stewart Pinkerton patent3@dircon.co.uk wrote:
>>>
>>>>I own a Krell KSA-50 mkII, vintage 1986 or so. It still measures well,
>>>>and I have not yet heard any amplifier which sounds 'better', i.e.
>>>>different under DBT conditions and also indistinguishable from the
>>>>input signal. Basically, sonic transparency in power amps is a done
>>>>deal in 2004, whatever Halcro and the SET gang would have you believe.
>>>>--
>>>>
>>>>Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
>>>
>>>Actually it has been a 'done' deal for a quarter of a century at least.
>What
>>>happens is that a publication/manufacturer will team up to keep a market
>>>segment believeing otherwise.
>>>
>>>I don't mean in an obvious "behind closed doors" meeting. For example I
>>once
>>>visited a CES display of a small manufacturer that seemed to be pretty
>>>straightforward that had some pretty strange room "treatments." When I
>asked
>>>about them he said that "if you'll notice every display around here has
>them
>>>..... they not only don't charge you for them they'll pay you to let them
>>put
>>>them up, or sneak in after hours and put them up."
>>>
>>>I then asked how people coped with bullshit in a bullshit industry? He
>said
>>>that its mostly an insider agreement that 'I won't tell them that your
>>>bullshit
>>>is bullshit as long as you reciprocate.'
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>Oh c'mon! Another anecdote about an anonymous whistle blower? Please excuse
>>my
>>skeptism over industry insiders confiding in you.You have spent so much time
>>and effort persuing this "whistle blowing" who would be stupid enough to
>>confide in a guy who is bent on exposing this very assertion that the high
>>end
>>is a consperacy of fruadualant marketing? as for your whistle blowing, why
>>not
>>name names?
>
>Ever wonder why high-end amp guys don't complain about cabling and cd
>stoplight
>and other margin eating competitors?

I don't speak to them so much so I cannot safely assume none of them ever
coplain about one thing or another. I do wonder how some one who is openly
committed to exposing an alleged conspiracy in the high end would have the
conspirators confide in him just to pass the time in causual conversations. I
also wonder why some one who is so dedicated to blowing the whistle on this
alleged high end conspiracy would choose not to name names.

The answer is they are all cheating the
>same people. One myth buy and it opens the customer for more.

You see, it is clear here that you are alleging a conspiracy and it is clear
from the body of your posts you are very interested in exposing unsuspecting
audiophiles to this conspiracy.That is certainly my take on what you are
saying. So the claim that the co-conspirators are confiding in you seems to me
to be rather extraordinary. And as they say, extraordinary claims require
extraordinary evidence. Yours is purely anecdotal and nonspecific to boot. You
refuse to even name names.

>
>Futhermore because many high-end customers like to hang-out at the store but
>can only swing several grand for a new amplifier or turntable every couple
>years accessories give them something to buy on every trip to the store.

Is this what such audiophiles tell you or are you speculating?

>
>As for naming names: why should I?

As a shred of evidence to support your anecdote.

You'll accept everybody else' anecdote;

Oh really? Proof please of this outrageous claim.

>and
>you have no trouble posting your own,

I don't try to pass my own. I offer anecdotes in response to anecdotes in an
attempt to illustrate what I find lacking in anecdotes. I don't expect anyone
to take my anecdotes as evidence of anything other than the problem with
anecdotes.

why are mine not given the same
>accord?

Oh, they are. :-)
July 15, 2004 5:18:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

s888wheel@aol.com (S888Wheel) wrote in message news:<P6FIc.77025$Oq2.65074@attbi_s52>...
> Oh c'mon! Another anecdote about an anonymous whistle blower? Please excuse my
> skeptism over industry insiders confiding in you.You have spent so much time
> and effort persuing this "whistle blowing" who would be stupid enough to
> confide in a guy who is bent on exposing this very assertion that the high end
> is a consperacy of fruadualant marketing? as for your whistle blowing, why not
> name names?

This does not seem to be an extraordinary claim. Anyone designing and
building audio gear must have at least some understanding of the basic
physics and engineering behind electronics and audio. So the REAL
extraordinary claim would be to say that any competent engineer could
actually believe that green pens, kilobuck cable, magnetic pucks and
such things are useful or practical ways to achieve audio fidelity.

It's not a conspiracy. Value is inherently subjective. Clearly there
are people who buy and enjoy these products. Nothing wrong with that!
Each to his own, live and let live.
!