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.