Keep water away from all electronics, that's my advice for the day.
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As long as your like that liquid sound. I hang my stuff in fishnetting from the ceiling, nice and airy sound....actually seriously, I bought a product Stererophile tried several years back. It's called Blocker2[vapor corrosion inhibitors made by Music Sciences, St. Paul min.USA. It is environmentally friendly. I don't even know if you can still get this. I think I bought mine from Muisc Direct. I used it in my preamp. Lasts2-5years. Anyone else try this? Is it still made? Good luck.
This is silly - pressure washers and religion and liquid and airy sound. Nonsense!!! Everybody knows that to preserve the life of a SS amp you must put a piece of fresh meat on top of it periodically. Use only beef, lamb, or pork. NO CHICKEN - not even if it is free range! It is time to change the meat when it a turns light shade of taupe. Do not leave the meat until it is green - that is just plain cheap.
For tube amps, place a bowl of cooked lima beans on top each week, and keep the beans hydrated. Smear uncooked duck fat on the face plate and sides of the amp. If you use 300B tubes (or are just looking for a little extra insurance) smear the uncooked duck fat on your chest and forehead and dance naked at sundown on your front lawn/porch/balcony/roof to further appease the audio gods.
Hope that helps.
Okay Nate, I will answer your question. If you do not kill the amp by shorting the speaker leads, running too-low impedances,(or pressure washing it), and it is left to its own demise, the capacitors will generally be the first thing to break down. Electrolytics typically are the first to go. Usually in the power supply section. Also generally, the hotter an amp runs, the faster it will cause the passive components to fail. We are talking about SS amps here, so I am not talking tube life or anything. Of course, any part could fail at any time, so there are no guarantees. But, the things I mentioned would be typical. The other common failure item is the on/off switch.
Tom, are the things you mentioned preventable or can I take preemptive action? Will I be able to hear capacitors that are on the way out? The Aragon amp does not run real hot. It is warm to the touch but it is not in a rack. There is nothing immediately above or below it. It is about four inches above the floor with nothing above till the ceiling.
As far as the on/off switch, the only time I turn anything off is on the rare occasion when I move equipment around or when I am going away for a while. If there are things I can do to extend the life of these toys I would be interested. Thanks for your help.
Nate, no they are really not preventable, but keeping the heat low will help. You can quite often tell if a cap is going bad by some sonic indications, but it is possible that a cap won't fail first. It may be a resistor, or output transistor or anything. Since you don't really know what item will be first to fail, for sure, you can't do too much to prevent it, other than good general care, and using the amp within its design parameters(not pushing overly low impedances especially). After that, it's just the luck of the draw.
Hi Nate, I agree with Tom that it is very difficalt to prevent a component going bad on you. Just keep the unit well aerated to avoid heat build up and try no to abuse it with too many parties! Other than that I persoanlly like to air blast the dust that accumulates in the unit once in a while, I clean the contacts (for better sound not reliability) and I like to spray the switches with some type of NON RESIDUE contact cleaner. Of course, ONLY do these things with the unit DISCONNECTED from electricity and ONLY if you are comfortable opening up the unit yourself. Otherwise DON'T do it! Aragon equipment are famous for reliability. Enjoy your amp and do not stress yourself over equipment failure.