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Heathkit Turner Amplifier

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March 11, 2005 3:20:20 AM

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

I am sorting and clearing lots of stuff. Dug out my old Heathkit
AR-15 Turner Amplifier. Seems to work well, but some of the
backlights for the front panel are burned out. Is it worth the effort
on this thing to try and get the bulbs and replace them?

It was pretty much state of the art in the late 60s early 70s when it
came out. How much has it been left behind by new developments?
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 7:28:27 AM

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

"Bill" <bgross@airmail.net> wrote in message
news:D 0qo84021eb@news2.newsguy.com...
> I am sorting and clearing lots of stuff. Dug out my old Heathkit
> AR-15 Turner Amplifier. Seems to work well, but some of the
> backlights for the front panel are burned out. Is it worth the effort
> on this thing to try and get the bulbs and replace them?
>
> It was pretty much state of the art in the late 60s early 70s when it
> came out. How much has it been left behind by new developments?

Probably best place to get advice on this is on the Vintage Forum at
www.audioasylum.com. Large group of vintage equipment buffs there who know
their stuff for the most part. They'll not only tell you whether or not
it's worth it (probably is) but probably also what bulbs it takes and where
to get them.
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 6:11:27 PM

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

Bill wrote:

> I am sorting and clearing lots of stuff. Dug out my old Heathkit
> AR-15 Turner Amplifier. Seems to work well, but some of the
> backlights for the front panel are burned out. Is it worth the effort
> on this thing to try and get the bulbs and replace them?
>
> It was pretty much state of the art in the late 60s early 70s when it
> came out. How much has it been left behind by new developments?


It was decent in its day; not a McIntosh or Marantz, but a cut above the
early solid state stuff from Pioneer, Kenwood, Sansui and the like. I
always thought its tuner was what stood out, in comparison with its
kit-built competition, the Dynaco PAT/ST-120 and FM-3 (the FM-5 didn't
come out til a couple of years later, and when it did, it was much
better in RF performance than the FM-3).

What tended to fail in the Heathkit AR-15 was the numerous coupling and
bypass capacitors, which were are labeled "NASHVILLE" or "TENNESSEE."
Bad ones would tend to go open-circuit early in life, causing a dead
channel. The main filter capacitor would sometimes fail, too, causing a
raw hum in the speakers. After about ten years, though, I didn't see
any more of either problem. Maybe only the bad capacitors failed early,
and if a particular unit got through the first ten years, that meant it
didn't have any bad capacitors in it.

I can't remember what lamps it used, though Heath almost never used
anything that wasn't a readily available part. As for changing
them...if you put that AR-15 together from a kit, you can surely change
the lamps!

-GP
!