A Word About Servicing HiFi Equipment

I often get asked about servicing, so let’s stop and think about what that actually means. If I take my car for a service after so many miles it’s because that’s what the manufacturer deems to be necessary to stay within the performance envelope in terms of safety and efficiency. The service schedule will determine which parts should be changed after a certain time or mileage interval.

Repair of hifi equipment by soldering

When these consumer electronics were being developed in the 70’s or 80’s their design life would have been 10-15 years at best. The service manuals that I have seen over the years do not give a service schedule for parts such as switches and capacitors because these were seen as being within the life of the device in question. At best you will see a drop of oil to be added to a capstan or turntable motor after so many hours usage.

Fast forward to today, some 40-50 years after these items were first sold and many or most are suffering from aged capacitors, switches, diodes and rectifiers! They often require a repair just to keep them operational.

Users expectations should be tempered accordingly. An aged amplifier with mostly original components will almost certainly not be the same in terms of specification or performance as it was when it left the factory many years before.