Used audio gear

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by Baad4, Jul 6, 2021.

  1. Baad4

    Baad4

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    Need some advice, there's a Sansui AU-517 integrated amp I've seen online that I have interest in but I do not know the in's & out's of what to look for on used audio gear. I know this unit is from the late 70's, I have and old model A/V receiver Yamaha that is as old as this Sansui amp and I still use it as part of a second setup in my den today, It still sounds good. But not knowing what to ask and look for, I don't want to look like a fool. can I please get some advice.If you think I'm being foolish to think about gear this old tell me! Thanks
     
    Baad4, Jul 6, 2021
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  2. Baad4

    Sergeauckland

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    Old gear is fine if well maintained. Most of mine dates from the mid 1980s, with a fair bit from the '70s and '60s.

    Two things to look for.
    Firstly cosmetic condition is important as it will tell you if the item has been well treated and stored in clean, dry conditions. Rusty metalwork indicates it may have been stored in damp conditions.
    Secondly, if you're able to try it before you buy it, check that all the controls work, that the volume and tone controls aren't scratchy, and that all the switches work without making nasty noises when switched.

    If both of those things are OK, then it's probably a good buy. The main power supply smoothing capacitors may need changing if there's a bit too much residual hum, and any minor scratchiness in the volume and tone controls may just need a spray with contact cleaner. Both shouldn't be beyond some DIY.

    Good luck if you decide to buy it.

    S
     
    Sergeauckland, Jul 6, 2021
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  3. Baad4

    Baad4

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    Thanks for your advice, hey the seller has offered a listening set for me,I was thinking of taking a set of my headphones, would they help me in any way ?
     
    Baad4, Jul 7, 2021
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  4. Baad4

    Sergeauckland

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    Yes, actually headphones are particularly useful as pretty much all amplifiers just pad down the main output for headphones, rather than have a separate headphone amplifier. You can hear better any scratchiness in the controls and switches with headphones, and hum will be more noticeable. If you can also hear the amp driving some loudspeakers, then that's about all you could reasonably do to satisfy yourself the amp is decent.

    S
     
    Sergeauckland, Jul 7, 2021
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  5. Baad4

    Sergeauckland

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    Just looked at the circuit diagram, and indeed, the headphone outputs are fed from the main amplifier outputs through 220 ohms resistors, so headphones would be a good way of checking it all works properly. You can't assess how well the amp drives current, but you can't do that easily without instrumentation anyway.

    S.
     
    Sergeauckland, Jul 7, 2021
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  6. Baad4

    Baad4

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    Hey man, thank you so much for your input, I'm much more confident on what I need to look and listen for going in now before I buy used gear. Thanks again S
     
    Baad4, Jul 7, 2021
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