Worth restoration? I'm not sure. My first question would be if the power transistors are still available. I would hate to put money into a restoration and then blow an unreplaceable component.
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"Why not call Bob and ask? Think he is still here in Lynnwood."
Funny....I filled out a form on the Carver site about my repair and got an email today from Bob's current partner in the tube amp business, Frank Malitz. I decided to call and talked to him for over an hour about life and amps. (and not just Carver amps.).
They do not repair vintage product anymore but refer me to the one and only authorized repair service in Illinois that handles their repairs and refurbishing. I am tending to do that, but would still like to hear from people who have actually had a C-500 restored and what it's performance is like, today.... Frank is a delightful, knowledgeable man who has a vested interest in the product...I just want a little input from people who are currently listening to a restored C-500 and how it compares to modern solid state amps, I guess....... Thanks.
Get a variac and plug the amp into it and turn on both with the variac set at zero. Slowly turn up the variac over a 12/24 hour period until 120 volts are reached. This will let the caps reform without shocking them with a sudden turn on. Next hook up the amp and have a listen. No hum/noise is a good sign that the amp is working fine and can be used without need for new caps.
Hi Jason...thanks for the input. I am of the mind to have the amp checked out by a skilled tech. It’s well over 30 years old and every knowledgeable person I have talked to says that the capacitors should be replaced. I don’t mind the inconvenience or the expense. I would like to feel that the unit is reliably functioning and running at 100% capacity.
Audio Classics looks like a really cool, friendly shop and could be a nice day trip for me....hmmmmm.....😎
Do they do their repairs on-site?
Edit: I did a little research- Audio Classics seems to be a McIntosh specialty house, right?
So...I am kind of becoming an expert on the topic! LOL! I have had all these "experts" telling me to replace the capacitors, blah...blah blah. The only Carver-authorized location has mixed reviews, for sure. Plus I would be shipping it to strangers...the cost of packing and shipping and potential for damage, etc..etc......so.... I finally talked to an HONEST, open tech here in NJ, who has a killer reputation and he works out of his house. Has worked on Carver before. He said that all the hyperbole about capacitors is horse sh*t! 🐎💩😬
He told me how to test my amp with a voltmeter (and it checked out fine) and I inspected and there is no leakage from the caps..They look brand new...so the amp may work just fine. I am waiting for a Schiit Freya + tube preamp to get here (they are 6-week back ordered)...and I will get some junk speakers to test on in the meantime. If it doesn't work out, I can take the 80min drive to Ho-Ho-Kus and drop it off in good hands. I am finally getting somewhere. 😁👍🏼
Thanks for your input!