Stereo shortage?

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cwsmith's picture
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Stereo shortage?

For those of you just tuning in, my family was transplanted about three years ago from our "big town" of Des Moines (pop. 200,000 give or take) to the "small town" of Atlantic (pop. 7500 or so). Just about all of my computer and music equipment was carefully packed and labeled and survived the trip just fine. This February, we were transplanted back to Des Moines again. Again, the equipment was all carefully packed and labeled, but some of my items did not fare the return trip so well.

In particular, I have an old Heathkit stereo amp that, although it's not fancy, has a lot of different inputs and supports two sets of stereo speakers. Gives good, clean signal at moderate to high volumes. Although it powers up and gives good signal through the headphone jack, I seem to have mislocated the proprietary speaker connectors that it requires. They're in a box, somewhere. Just can't find the durn things. And there's really no way I'll ever be able to buy new ones.

Sooo ... , I pulled out my old (mid '70s) Sansui amp. Lots of inputs, supports 3 pairs of speakers, but has a tendency to blow fuses. Hooked it up and, voila, it won't even power up, even with new fuses. A Radio Shack model I pulled from the stack next gave nothing but 60-cycle hum. These went to the dumpster along with my last shred of patience.

I visited a neighbor's garage sale a few days later and bought an early '70s Sears amp for 3 bucks (with a built-in 8-track cartridge recorder! Woot!). Support for 2 pairs of speakers (all work), and inputs for tape, aux and phono. Decent sound at low volume, but starts to hum rather profusely past about 40% volume.

So began the quest for the Holy Electronic Grail. I've stopped at almost every yard sale, thrift store, and pawn shop I've driven by in the last month, looking for a decent stereo amp. I can count my possible choices on one hand (I don't even need that hand). None. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Nuttin'.

I remember a time, not so terribly long ago, when I couldn't go to a garage sale or my local Salvation Army without tripping over at least three or four serviceable stereo amplifiers. Has the iPod/home theatre revolution really changed the landscape that much? Have all the amps gone to Amp Heaven?

Does anybody, within a reasonable drive from Des Moines, have an old amp gathering dust in a closet, attic or basement that they'd be willing to part with for a reasonable price? PM me here at the 'Fritter and we'll talk.

dankephoto's picture
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re: proprietary speaker connectors

Really? Can't you fabricate something that will work? I mean, it ain't rocket science is it?

Alternatively, while it's great to find stuff locally, the biggest, best stocked flea market in the world (eBay) will have pretty much anything you might want for an affordable price.

Also, this might be a good opportunity to pick up an older high end amp or receiver, instead of whatever gear just happens to cross your path.

dan k

pmjett's picture
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Joined: Sep 4 2005 - 22:47
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if you were just a little closer

I have an nice 70's Sony of my parents that would probably fill the bill. I imagine that trying to score one dumpster diving is gonna be tough. Craigslist hasn't turned up anything dirt cheap?? Looking at my Craig's (the RDU, NC locale) turns up stuff like $7 Akais. I don't know your budget, although the dumpster diving is a clue Wink , but the 'bay is a pretty rich source, if you can score something cheap enough that shipping isn't stupid. This http://tinyurl.com/yqlj4j is a nice receiver. It's vintage, looks cool, sounds alright. My parents also have one of 'em. It wasn't too expensive at the above link.

I know that the ipod hasn't obsoleted everything. Kinda hard to get LOUD if you're just using headphones. Gotta hook that ipod to something! Wink

mike

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Joined: Sep 23 2005 - 13:29
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Repair?

Dont you guys have a stereo repair shop around you?

I mean depending upon what model it is, there is a guy around here that referb's old sansui units and sells them at upwards of 800 dollars - your sansui sounds like it needed probably some speaker relays and output transformers (about $20.00 worth of repairs)

and I GUARANTEE you that I can source you the speaker connectors you need, or fab something that works reliably - lets see some pics of what you have / need.

Biggrin

dankephoto's picture
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Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
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now, see . . .

this thread got me looking through eBay and I find I'm sorely tempted to buy some old highend Pioneer receiver like I always wanted but couldn't afford back in the '70s and '80s. A 'C' note or two will buy some truly cool and amazing vintage gear.

I've got a lovely lil' ol' NAD jobbie that works just fine, but now I just saw perhaps 10 or so that would do me just finer.

Damn, I gotta stop acquiring stuff I don't need. I've already got at least 4 receivers around here already . . .

dan k

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