Upgrades by Ezekiel
This is a testament to the type of work that one of our members "Ezekiel" aka Randall (Randy) Young does for vintage equipment.
I'm writing this specifically for older audio hobbyists like myself who remember the kind of audio equipment that started us down our musical enjoyment path about 30 years ago. It's also for the new audio hobbyists who wonder how music sounded during what some consider a golden age of hi-fi.
Like many others I grew up listening to Marantz, Sansui, Harman Kardon, Phillips, Infinity, Mission, Advent, Garrard, Dual, Shure, Stanton and the like. Also like many others I've chased that sound for many years and the new technologies have never quite done it for me. Recently I became interested in the upgraded receivers that Randy works on and I called him. I've had many conversations with Randy and he helped me to pick a Harman Kardon 730 Twin which he had upgraded with new caps, transistors, power supplies and internal wiring. He said I wouldn't be disappointed and I wasn't.
The music that comes out of my Harmon Kardon is like I remember, only better. It replaced Parasound separates which by comparison now sound electronic. The HK provides a sense of intimacy and detail in the most musical of ways. Other equipment I listened to along the way is Arcam, Rogue, Bat, Musical Fidelity, etc. None really sparked a must have interest for me. Many of us chase our audio tails looking for a sound that either reminds us of pure enjoyment or the pursuit of sonic accuracy.
After a month of listening to the HK, my wife and I were so happy with the music that I sent it back... for more upgrades specifically to the phonostage which was already good. It's back again with a smoothness that wasn't there before and about half an octave more bass.
Some of the parts that Randy uses are Nichicon Muse KZ, Blackgate, Rubycon, Elan Slimac II, Mallory, Rel Cap, Audio Cap, Multi Cap, Kimber Kap, Holland and Illinois Caps.
If you are like me and remember how good music can sound and are disappointed at the cost of pursuing that sound today, you might want to give one of Randy's vintage upgraded pieces a try. The prices are fair, the quality of work is outstanding and you get a sound that many higher priced pieces today can only dream about.
I'm not going to tell you that vintage equipment is competitive with pieces $4000 and above but for a lot less money you might get a whole lot more enjoyment. I use my receiver with only my LP12 plugged into it and playing through Tannoy Revolution 3 speakers, I can listen for hours and hours and hours. It's great and I don't have anymore "what am I missing" listening sessions.
Randy is a great guy to talk to, one of the most honest and decent members on Audiogon. Truly a throwback to the old school of audio design. Thanks Randy!