Technics Amplifier Repairs
Technics SU-3500 Stereo Amplifier
I had been over this a while ago and replaced many capacitors in the PSU section but listening to it recently I noticed it didn't sound the same as the one in the shop back in 1976, no low end. So arming myself with my trusty soldering iron I ventured into the unknown! Turned out the capacitors on the two tone boards were as useful as useless capacitors, the non polorised ones were the worst offenders. They should have been 0.47µF but measured nearly 1µF. I replaced all 12, not put it back together yet but I expect it will sound as wonderful as it did way back when... I didn't buy the amp in the end as I was listening to a pair of Altec Lancing model 7 which I bought. Happy Days!
Technics SU-V900 Stereo Amplifier
This had stopped working several years ago, in fact the RHS channel wasn't working at all. I found the primary fuse to the RHS transformer blown and a couple of diodes in the main supply were short circuit. There were many dry joints on both power amplifier boards and the relay contacts were almost open circuit. They needed removing and cleaning with a relay contact cleaner!
Technics SA-TX50 Home THX Control Receiver
This would drop the speakers out intermittently, turned out to be the regulators at the right of the main PCB. It needed the whole of the main PCB disconecting and tuning over to get to them, horrid dry joints on a few more places too. These are going to be a pain if they are not already as the ventilation is not sufficient even if the fan works the whole inside gets too hot.
I got this as a repair but as it turned out it was working fine, just needed the +\- HT setting to the correct voltage. I noticed there was no speaker protection as such, there are only switches to turn the secondary transformer off, so the main capacitors will discharge into the speakers! Some of the resistors on the meter drive board behind the front panel were burning the PCB and needed resoldering.
It made nice sounds with the damping switch set to normal other setting was muddled. The speaker connectors are a bit naff as with so many Technics amplifiers. I replaced the main pair with 4mm terminals.
Technics SE-A800S MK2
This was playing fine then suddenly stopped. The owner said it had got very hot while playing music quite loud, the fan wasn't working. Unfortunately the design doesn't provide much in the way of cooling even with the fan running. It had blown the o\p module, rather expensive and only available from the USA.
2SC789 in left rear channel replaced and pots cleaned. 4.7ohm and pnp A684 driver replaced in right rear channel.
Been spending some time overhauling an SU-8080 amplifier and would like to pass my findings on for reference. One of the problems was the direct\tone switch being noisy no matter how much was squirted into it. I removed the switch, dismantled it and found the contacts on a couple of the contact blocks a bit loose. This cured the noise problem.
Something else I found was one of the main capacitors 55V 10000 µF wouldn't hold its voltage after it had been switched off. The other three held +40V for days but the bad one would read 0V after only a few hours. This showed it was discharging internally and needed replacing. Several capacitors on the phono board were looking worse for wear mainly; 33 µF 50V, 3.3 µF 50V and some 1 µF 63V, 3.3 µF 63V capacitors on the main amplifier board in the PSU circuit. The speaker terminals were goosed so I replaced those as well. The plastic inside breaks away and won't grip the cable\wire, I replaced with standard 4mm terminals.
The SU-8080 uses an unusual feedback design as in 'direct' where the gain of the main amp is increased to about 130x and in tone as the signal passes through the tone cct which has gain the main amp gain is reduced to a more normal value of 27x, I am not sure if the sound quality is affected as I have not done any comparisons. I was contemplating arranging to have the main amp gain set to 27x all the time but never did get round to it.
This was blowing one of the transformer fuses. A quick check found the o\p transistors short circuit collector-emitter. These were changed, not having the originals as a replacement I used MJ15024\25. The amp powered up but the protection was still operating. The 2SC1628 was faulty in the other channel, replaced with a 2SC1124 I had hanging around, worked okay after.
This monster worked fine but the large displays lights weren't, looked like a couple of bulbs were required, in fact there are sixteen! in banks of four connected in series. 14 V 40 mA wire ended fit okay.
From the 1980's, this would drop the speaker relay out at random intervals and some of the front input LED's weren't lighting. Ended up soldering the ribbon cable from the front panel direct to the PCB as the connector had lost its job description (or springiness!), this sorted the LED's, and there were dry joints on the current sink transistor for one channel in the voltage amp section (front of the big IC), also the connector that's at the front of the main PCB was soldered direct near the offending transistor. It's best to blanket solder the PCB's as they are getting prone to dry joints, including the class AA ic and driver transistors behind the front panel. The amp is almost totally DC coupled and any problems could spell the end of difficult to get parts. The whole main PCB, back panel connectors and front panel need to be removed and inverted to get at them. The set-up for the bias is 40 mV across the outer pins of the connector on the main PCB at the narrow end! Check for <50 mV after 15 mins.
This amplifier was taking longer and longer to energise the speaker relay, found the 820k (r413) at twice the value and the 10k (r414) burnt but correct value, replaced these and operation was back to normal.
This worked okay using the 'CD direct' facility but none of the other inputs worked, the pre\main links were missing - doh!
From the start I knew this would be either a simple repair or a bin job, as the Technics DC drive arrangement usually self destructs. This was a high power DC amp using the class AA cct. Dry joints were the order of the day on the plug in board and main board, the svi module had blown a wire off. I was correct, a bin job, the parts are not available. If anyone has one of these model series a good re-soldering will save it from the skip!
1970's 50 Watt amplifier - one channel was u\s, replacing the encapsulated o\p transistors made this good they are similar to the STK module package.