Vintage tube amplifiers are reputed for offering some of the most musical & engaging sonics in home audio. Yet, most of the five-or-six-decade-old equipment that surfaces either on the internet, at garage sales, or out of your great uncle’s attic is usually in desperate need of some restoration. Worse than that. It is actually hazardous to use without proper servicing.
Such equipment runs on very high voltages (as much as 450-550 volts) and if not properly and thoroughly restored can cause fires, damage the rest of your stereo, wreck your precious tubes, cause electric shock to you or your loved ones. Not to mention the obvious — it sounds nowhere near as good as it should, with distortion, hum, noise, pops, and buzzes increasing as time goes on.
Most components inside those (once) beautiful-sounding collectibles had a shelf-life of a couple decades at the very most. Electrolytic and paper-in-oil capacitors are especially susceptible to ageing. Leaky, open or shorted caps can be the cause of hum, distortion, damage to your speakers’ voice coil, shorten the life of your tubes, and fry your amp’s irreplaceable output transformers; selenium rectifiers are a fire hazard; and old resistors are a source of noise, distortion, and will supply wrong voltages to critical stages of the amp.
Expecting lasting, reliable, on-spec performance from a 60-year old tube amp that has never been serviced is like buying a 1955 Cadillac that has never had an oil change, a brake-pad replaced, or its tire pressure checked and driving it across the desert expecting to arrive at your destination in one piece. In The Clovers’ timeless words: “Fool, Fool, Fool.”
Depending on storage condition and use, some amplifiers that old are in superb cosmetic condition. Others are badly pitted, rusty, scratched, dinged, and otherwise roughed up. We offer complete cosmetic restoration services for a few select models — early McIntosh tube amplifiers (MC225, MC30, MC40, MC60, MC75); Eico’s HF81, HF12, HF85; Dynaco’s Mark III and Quad II — in addition to the indispensable electronic work.
Stop living dangerously and depriving yourself of the ultimate sonic performance your amp(s) are capable of. Bring them back to factory specs and to museum-quality appearance.
Click on your brand of interest above to read about our services, or contact us via email as we are able to work on other brands/models on a case-by-case basis. Note that we do not handle guitar amps, tuners, turntables, speakers, anything solid state. Just audio tube amps and preamps.