Author Topic: Preamp down....  (Read 3578 times)

Offline tmazz

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Preamp down....
« on: February 14, 2016, 02:03:13 PM »
I was listening to the system last week and it was starting to sound a little dull so I figured it was about time to change out the  tubes in my SP-9. So I went down the basement and looked through my tube stock. I generally use NOS ARC tube, but I had some JJ gold pin tubes that I got with a retube kit for the VT-200 that I really didn't like in the power amp and I though I might just give them a try in the pre and see if they are any better sounding in there.

So I put them in and let the Pre sit on mute for about 30 minutes to warm them up before I put a signal through them.

Put on a CD and it was sounding pretty nice. Everything opened up again and the dullness was gone. As I usually do with new tubs, I left the cover off and stood there watching the tubes for a while  to make sure everything was OK. The filaments looked a little brighter, but I had a better view of them because the cover was off and it was a different plate design than the ARC tubes so I though id was OK, About 3 minutes into the first cut I saw a puff of smoke rise from the power supply area and immediately got a 60 cycle hum. I was standing right there so I immediately hit the power switch an shut it down before any damage was done to anything else. So off to Scott at SG Custom sound it went. This preamp has been used pretty much every day since I got it in early 1988 and this is the first time I have had to do any kind of repair to it, so I really can't complain. I told Scott to not only make the repair, but to also replace any parts that he thinks might be suspect due to age.

In the mean time  I pulled the Audible Illusions Modulus 3A out of storage and pressed it back into service. Still a nice sounding piece, eve if it is a bit of a PITA to deal with separate right and left volume controls.

Scott said he would let me know what he found by the end of this week. But I am not high and dry, so how ever long it takes, it takes.
Remember, it's all about the music........

Nola Boxers
Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
McIntosh MC 275
ARC SP-9
VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Soundsmith Carmen Mk II ES
Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC/Rasp Pi Roon Endpoint
DigiBuss/TWL PC&USB/MIT Cables

Offline Nick B

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Re: Preamp down....
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2016, 04:57:02 PM »
What a bummer, but it has been been reliable since 1988. We all need a tuneup now and then. Just curious...have you experimented with some preamps over the years? If so, your thoughts pls
Nick
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Offline topround

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Re: Preamp down....
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2016, 07:53:34 PM »
are the original electrolytics still in there?

might be time to change them out, as well as replace the burnt cap or resistor
System consists of an amp a preamp, 2 speakers a turntable and a phono preamp, Also some cables and power cords and a really cheap cd player.

Offline tmazz

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Re: Preamp down....
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2016, 09:08:28 PM »
are the original electrolytics still in there?

might be time to change them out, as well as replace the burnt cap or resistor

Mike, that is exactly what I told Scott. Time for the 27 year overhaul. I told him to look over the whole unit and let me know what he thinks is approaching its end of life range.
Remember, it's all about the music........

Nola Boxers
Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
McIntosh MC 275
ARC SP-9
VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Soundsmith Carmen Mk II ES
Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC/Rasp Pi Roon Endpoint
DigiBuss/TWL PC&USB/MIT Cables

Offline tmazz

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  • Just basking in the glow of my tubes.....
Re: Preamp down....
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2016, 09:20:02 PM »
What a bummer, but it has been been reliable since 1988. We all need a tuneup now and then. Just curious...have you experimented with some preamps over the years? If so, your thoughts pls
Nick

I have had a number of preamps in the system at various times but none that gave enough of a performance increase to make me grab for my wallet.

In 2011 I bought an ARC VT-200 amp from Ovation in Delaware to drive my Thiel CS-6s and when I picked it up the owner ()who has been an Audio Research dealer for like...forever) Asked me what kind of preamp I would be driving it with. I told him I had an ARC SP-9, but I was beginning to think that it might now be the weak link in my system and asked him what he would recommend as an upgrade. His response was that he thought I should hang onto the SP-9 because it was such an overperformer that I would need to spend a significant amount of money to better it.

Hense, the SP-9 is still in my system and most like will remain there for quite a while. (Unless somebody makes me a offer I can't refuse, in which case I won't)
Remember, it's all about the music........

Nola Boxers
Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
McIntosh MC 275
ARC SP-9
VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Soundsmith Carmen Mk II ES
Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC/Rasp Pi Roon Endpoint
DigiBuss/TWL PC&USB/MIT Cables

Offline rpf

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Re: Preamp down....
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2016, 10:47:44 AM »
Should sound amazing when you get it back! There must be a lot of parts that need to be changed after 27 years!
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