There are many people who appreciate anything vintage. They appreciate vintage clothes, toys, watches, among others. But for many audio enthusiasts the object of their desires are vintage stereo equipment. Many of these enthusiasts swear by the sweet sound quality produced by vintage stereo equipment, that’s why they try to find ways to acquire these equipment.
Because vintage stereo equipment are old, more often than not they are not in very good condition. This is where a little love and care is needed to resurrect these equipment and make them sing again. Below are some tips on how to troubleshoot vintage stereo equipment.
Inspect the vintage amplifier parts
Vintage stereo equipment is, you guessed it, old. That’s why you won’t have any guarantees that it will perform as it should be – or even run at all. Before plugging it in, give it a close inspection first.
a. Look at the cord and check if the insulation is intact and there are no exposed wires.
b. Look at the chassis and look out for holes where pests may have been able access the equipment’s innards.
c. Check if there is any kind of liquid oozing out from the equipment.
d. You can also open the casing and look at the wiring inside to check if everything’s still in place. You wouldn’t want an electrical fire or the equipment exploding on you when you plug it in.
e. If the equipment has vacuum tubes, check to see if the tubes are still working and are not busted or cracked. If tubes are damaged, look for replacements. There are many shops that sell vacuum tubes.
f. Clean the insides while you’re at it. Spray some contact cleaner on the various parts to remove dirt or rust.
Clean the vintage amplifier pots
The knobs on your vintage stereo equipment should be thoroughly checked. These knobs control the audio and will have a big effect on the quality of the audio that comes out of it. Turn the knobs left and right repeatedly to see if it actually turns easily. Clean the pots themselves by spraying contact cleaner on the contact points from inside the stereo equipment. If you haven’t opened it yet, you can spray the contact cleaner through the small openings you’ll see behind the knobs.
Power on the vintage amplifier
After checking the vintage stereo equipment thoroughly and making sure that no accidents will happen if it is plugged into an outlet, it is now time to power it on. Connect the power cord to your voltage regulator but make sure that everything is turned off first. Turn on the voltage regulator first and after a while turn on the stereo. If it is still working then you should hear something from your speakers.
Photo from audiocircle.com