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Thread: Gary's A&R A60.

  1. #21
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    Arcam still support this amp Si. You could always get circuit diagrams etc from them. I did read that over the long production run it was changed quite a lot.
    A switching box would be very useful as I'd like to connect my tuner as well.

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    That's quite amazing if they still support it Gary. I'll get on to them in the week and find out what the score is. Yes there's been a lot of changes to this amp over the years. The early amp like yours is quite a bit different to the second and third generation.

    Farnell have told me the parts are on the way too so I might have those in the morning.

    If you want me to build you an input expander I can do that. I've got plenty of used but perfectly serviceable bits and pieces lying around to make something respectable.
    Si.

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    Yes please Si, that would be very useful. I'll pm you about it tomorrow as I'm using my phone atm.

    I have a pdf copy of the manual and dont understand the part about tape recording. They talk about two and three head machines and only using the one socket. Is that to playback and record? Usually there's one set of inputs for play and another set to record. I'm not sure how to connect my tape deck and what cables I need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chops54 View Post
    I've read all those write ups Gary. Unfortunately Robert's "how to" is for the later model which is quite a bit different to your early model. Retro HiFi site has all the diagrams etc but even with x3 gogs on I can hardly read the damn things

    Knee's are ok thanks Paul. It's my left hip that's giving me grief atm. I'm off for a scan on Monday and with a bit of luck I might find out what's wrong with me.

    took i knew it was yer hip as well, dunno why i wrote knee, been a hectic week work wise.

    a lot of the time this happens with those getting joints replace, you spent so long over the years compensating for the worn out part and it's symptoms, now you are fine your body is having to re-adjust, this can then cause pain elsewhere, at least thats one theory. Good luck with the scan, hope it uncovers the problem so it can be fixed.

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    Gary, a three head machine has separate record and playback heads so you can monitor what you've just recorded a split second earlier. If for instance you were recording something from your tuner and the tuner button was in you'd be listening directly to the tuner. With your three head machine you press in the tape button you would now be listening to your tuner directly off the tape which was recorded a split second earlier. With a good machine you'd be hard pressed to detect a difference between source and "off tape". The din socket has enough pins to cater for a three head machine using one cable. There could be either another din plug on the other end of the cable or four rca phonos.

    Paul, my doc reckons I've torn the soft tissue that lines the joint socket. The daft thing is I'd been on a machine thirty feet up putting up light fightings for nearly two weeks and I did this in the shower I can walk about much better now than I could five weeks ago and it isn't as painful though it does still hurt quite a bit and gets worse the longer I'm on my feet. That tells me that it's healing on it's own but I'm hoping the scan will tell the tale and then at least I can plan my future.
    Si.

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    Morning Si. I have a couple of twin-head decks. I had one of the din to two phono cables (same as the one I sent with the amp) connected to the tape input socket on the A60 and to the Output on the tape deck. So to record can I simply switch the phonos to the Input on the tape deck or do I need a din plug with different pins connected? If I buy a cable with din to four phonos, do all the pins need to be connected?

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    Gary you can't record by simply swapping the phonos over on your deck. The cable is wired only for input into the amp. For your A60 you'll need a din to four phonos to do record and playback irrespective of how many heads the machine has. Some tape players had a din socket as well as four phonos so you can use a din to din lead if you wish but it must be specifically for use with a tape deck.
    Si.

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    Gary you can't record by simply swapping the phonos over on your deck.
    What if I clenched, closed my eyes and concentrated really hard?

    Thanks Si, it's becoming clearer now. I'd better cancel that application to be an electrician, I won't be able to blag my way in lol.
    Last edited by TIU; 21st February 2015 at 12:09.

  9. #29
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    Most of the parts are here but in hindsight I should have ordered a couple of multi turn preset pots that are used to set the quiescent current, bias to you lot I'd be very surprised if they were still serviceable after so many years and they are a critical component. I'll pick a couple up in the next day or so.



    I have a couple of other things on the go so I'm going to leave this for a few days maybe a week even before I make a serious start. Stripping one of these down ties up a lot of bench space and I'd already started on another friends valve preamp and the facias for my 120 Naim monos and B4 two box preamp.
    Si.

  10. #30
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    Thanks for the update. Interesting work, I can see the appeal and the satisfaction you get when you switch something back on and it works beautifully. I enjoy the activity of drawing and painting, you can lose yourself while listening to music and I often don't hear the music because of concentrating so much. I work methodically and that's part of the enjoyment.

    I showed your pic to Alison, tried to explain what you are doing and she said, 'Is he servicing your computer?' I'm afraid we're at that stage what I tell her goes in one ear and out the other. I'm pretty sure she heard me when I told her I was sending the A60 to Si for a service. When I bought it her first comment was, 'It doesn't match!?' I'm sure she doesn't pay too much attention to my hobby. When I installed the new cart she said, Oh, that's what you bought,' I presumed she knew what a cart was, lol.
    Last edited by TIU; 26th February 2015 at 12:43.

  11. #31
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    You're welcome Gary, I aim to please Seriously though the biggest problem I've had all my life is not knowing when to stop. I do indeed get great pleasure when the switch on comes but I remember when I had my garage business, I would repair a customers car and always end up doing more than was necessary or paying attention to details that had no bearing on the job and for which I didn't get paid. After my consultation on Monday it's looking increasingly likely that I'll have to divide my attention between doing stuff like this for a living and restoring/repairing a car or two in my workshop. I'm worried that the demands of making a bit of a living are going to spoil the things I hold dear to me
    Si.

  12. #32
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    I'm sure you'll do ok with the electronics side of your work. With the large network of hifi forums you could get very busy. If you do more than you're paid for that's just you, you won't change now. There should be more people like you who really wants to do the best job they can. You are the reverse coin of people like those MPs who pluck a figure out of the air and quote 5k for a day's work. What would they do for that? Bugger all.

  13. #33
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    That's the last Straw Gary
    Si.

  14. #34
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    What, being an MP?

    That cable for the tape input has just arrived. The listing ended with no sale so I made him an offer. I think he's delighted to make the sale. Looks very good quality with sturdy metal phono plugs and DIN plug. Soldered wires n'all not screwed in. The pins look tarnished so would I use contact cleaner or something else? I presume it's yellow and white for playback and blue (usually black) and red for record.


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    Aye, I think we've known he's a dodgy cnut for ages. I lived in the shit hole they call Blackburn for many years and I'm still in the BB area

    Looks nice that Gary. What was that you said about eBay Won't be hard to find out which plug does what. I've been using Cillit Bang to clean tarnished plugs and stuff and then a wipe off with a bit of electrolube. Someone told me the other day that he's used lemon juice to clean stuff. You know who you are
    Si.

  16. #36
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    This is different Si, the guy had a very old set of cables rather than an old LP that increases in value. As I said he was delighted when I made him an offer to buy it. He didn't want to charge extra for postage too - I would have paid extra.

    About cleaning stuff, we've had the same plastic bath since 1989 when we moved in and have never been able to shift the stains. We had a leak under the kitchen sink (a synthetic washer in a hot pipe joint that notoriously fail over time) so when taking all the products out I found some old bath cleaner. That shifted some of the stains and bicarb of soda finished it off, it's amazin stuff. We've now cleaned up the outside of a badly stained white casserole dish with bicarb and it's also a cooking ingredient. We must have exceptionally clean stomach lining lol.

  17. #37
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    I was pulling yer leg, but I'm sure the lead will increase in value after you've cleaned it lol.
    Si.

  18. #38
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    Just used bicarb, come up a treat.

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    Good stuff. Nowt like a treat!
    Si.

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    These A60s are not difficult to strip down but they're typical of fussy 70s cottage industry stuff, brackets and small screws etc. Here's the main board coming away from the chassis after removal of the front section;



    And the board in all its glory;



    Nice new parts



    Power supply caps were the first to get sorted and I had to make up some new leads as the new caps are shorter so needed mounting further back;



    Then I tackled the small electrolytics.



    You can see four resistors in the foreground. These are wirewound replacements for the emitter resistors. I chewed it over and decided that these really did need replacing. I think I'll replace the six diodes around the output stage also.

    And these are the two film caps I mentioned before. These are the input caps and are fitted straight after the volume control. You really don't want an electrolytic capacitor here so I've installed top quality films of the same value. They won't change the character of the amp though they may sharpen things up a touch.



    That about wraps it up for the moment. I'm waiting for the trim pots to arrive and then I'll have another session with it.
    Si.

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