Sears Silvertone 1484 Amp & Head Piggyback

Made in the 1960’s by Sears as part of their Silvertone music equipment range,  the 1484 Amp and Head combo was fairly popular in it’s time and was now a classic contender for a vintage repair job at Open Ear Audio.

Like any old valve amp repair like this one,  this guy needed a lot of valve socket cleaning and retensioning. For a fairly cheaply made Sears amp, they have a pretty cool character, and with some love from our resident amp doctor Riah, it now has heaps of play left in it.

Mitsubishi X10 Vertical Music Centre

The X-10 Vertical Music Centre was a genius idea from the early 80’s to mount the turntable vertically with linear tracking.  Combines a tape deck, tuner and turntable in one, with a satisfactory amount of knobs and buttons. Sounds OK, looks friggin’ cool and fits into places where you wouldn’t normally be able to fit your turntable. Also the cat can’t sleep on it.

These kinds of vintage audio equipment provide us with hours of entertainment here at the OEA workshop, and we love restoring them to their former glory.

Technics SL1200 & SL1210

We see the classic Technics SL-1200 and SL-1210 regularly. They are just like our extended family who just keep popping to to say ‘hi’.

They have gained a reputation in DJ circles and with avid vinyl listeners as being a solid, reliable and reasonably priced deck. As reliable as they are though they have a few elements that are prone to problems. Fortunately our Turntable techs have lots of experience with these and can service and calibrate your SL-1200 so that you can get back to doing what you do.

Connoisseur BD1 Turntable

Connoisseur BD1 Turntable …

This lovely old classic turntable came in a little worse for wear.  The drive belt had given up the ghost and the tone arm adjustments were well out of whack.

Like all high-end models, this vintage turntable is a very simple yet precisely engineered machine. An AC synchronous motor drives a nice heavy platter with a solid round belt that reduces vibration and transmission noise.

A new belt had this turntable running smoothly and the new Ortofon 2M Blue moving magnet cartridge was a perfect match.

All the usual alignments were undertaken and this elegant Grace tone-arm made it a breeze to get it absolutely humming.

Purple Ampeg Quad

Here’s an Ampeg SVT-410HE that really needed a LOT of TLC. Three of the ten inch (250mm) drivers had been driven to death and had either blown the voice coils or had folded cones – a pretty typical failure in 10″ bass speakers. The owner also decided the cabinet needed a makeover at the same time – purple tolex and gold/brown basket weave grill cloth! I initially thought it was a whacky colour combo but in the end I became pretty attached to the thing. We decided to keep the original grill and I built a new grill frame to stretch the basket weave cloth over. The old tolex got stripped back, the glue residue cleaned off and some holes and imperfections filled in befoe covering in the flash new purple leviathan Tolex. With the newly reconed 10 inch drivers this cabinet is now even better than new after all this work.

Goldentone Amplifiers

We see a lot of these appropriately named Goldentone amplifiers, built right here in Australia in the 1960’s. When running properly, these things sound absolutely stunning! With old tubes that were at home in TV’s and not seen in any other brands, these have a unique yet very musical tone. Not the cleanest of amplifiers, but certainly some of the sweetest! We see these in all sorts of states – at times modified detrimentally – and we know how to get them singing again.  Some will need minor servicing and some new tubes, and others will need all the old electrolytic capacitors replaced to get the power supply operating as it should. We do this work and everything in between. Many current Melbourne acts are using these amps on stage and on record to great effect – you have probably heard these things at least once in your life!

Harman Kardon T40 Turntable

A great turntable – nice heavy platter and solid plinth, fine tuned and free moving low resonance tonearm. Throw in the fact that it has a cut-off feature that isn’t physically coupled to the tonearm and you’ve got a really top notch turntable there. Pity the motor has packed it in. This one needed work on the drive circuitry and motor itself. Initially when delivered to the workshop the motor was spinning OK but would intermittently switch off or lose RPM. After a while the motor gave up the ghost and a new one needed to be sourced.

Rickenbacker Bass

The old beast of a bass was not outputting signal from one pickup. In it’s old age corrosion had caused some intermittent connections through the switch and pots. The pickup circuit itself measured correctly so it was a fairly simple clean and re-solder connections throughout. All pots and the switch get a good spray with De-Oxit and it’s good to go. These Ricky’s are massive sounding basses and it’s a good feeling to help nurse these classics back to health.

Sennheiser MD421 Microphone

This classic Sennheiser MD421 Microphone came in DOA and deserved to live again. Some of these older mics have a bucking coil to reduce RF interference in series with the coil on the diaphragm – this one had an open circuit fault in the bucking coil and had to be unwound to the break and re-wound to complete the circuit. There are some very fiddly parts in the filter assembly in these mics so they are a very slow and steady type of repair job.