If it ain't broke, don't fix it?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by sjbrodie, Aug 26, 2018.

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  1. sjbrodie

    sjbrodie
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    I won a 26 year old NAD amp on ebay which appears to be in great condition. My question is, although it's fully functional, is it likely that the components (and consequently the sound) could still be compromised by age/neglect? Could improvements be significant enough to justify restoration costs (ie re soldering or replacing caps, electrolytics etc)...or should I be satisfied with a functioning amp showing no obvious signs of deterioration or damage? Does "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" apply to vintage amps or is periodical work required to help the amp perform optimally? The model is NAD 3020i.
     
  2. John7

    John7
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    Electrolytic capacitors have a finite lifespan. I'm not sure about other types.

    If it's working, you'd only notice a deterioration in sound quality by having something to compare it to. I doubt it would be cost effective to re-cap though. Probably OK for a secondary system, but for serious listening I would have probably bought something more recent to be honest.
     
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  3. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    The lifetime of electrolytic capacitors is critically dependent on what temperatures they have been operating at. .. a power supply in an amplifier which is in a wooden cabinet will have a much shorter life than one sitting on an open shelf.. however opening up an amplifer and going over it with a vacuum cleaner is good practice. .. the thin layer of dust is a great thermal insulator.
    Resoldering is feasible, but probably unnecessary.
    Replacing caps etc would only be economically viable for a DIYer.
    More likely failure modes in old kit will be crackly volume pots.
     
  4. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
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    In my experience if you start tampering with something that is working perfectly fine, then you could introduce problems where there wasn't any.

    So If working well, leave well alone. If issue developes down the line then consider a recapping etc.
     
  5. sjbrodie

    sjbrodie
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    Can significant improvements be made simply by resoldering bad solder joints in your opinion? Anything beyond this may not be feasible as you say.

    I may have been listening with an overly critical ear. Really appreciate all the responses here!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  6. JayCee

    JayCee
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    If there are any dry joints you'll be aware of them.
    There would be intermittent symptoms like crackling/noise etc.
    There's nothing to be gained by going over them unnecessarily.
     
  7. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Sounds like you're just sitting there listening for problems. Just relax and enjoy what you have, if something goes ping you'll soon know about it. Pointless tinkering, as you say, if it ain't broke!
     
  8. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    If a soldered joint is made, then resoldering it does not make it better. However if a joint is intermittant, and the result will be crackling or worse, resoldering it will correct the problem.
     
  9. sjbrodie

    sjbrodie
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    I'm now set on putting my feet up and enjoying the NAD for quite some time. Many thanks for the insight Gib and also to everyone else :thumbsup:
     
  10. KenM10759

    KenM10759
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    That amp is a classic! It in many ways revolutionized how people considered solid state amps compared to tube amps of the day.
     

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