Hayling Island

Hayling Island

Saturday, February 22, 2014

They don't make anything to last any more ..

My precious Cambridge P60 amp died at the weekend, but fortunately it died in a way that was quite familiar. There was a sudden buzz coming from both speakers (so it's something common to both amps) .. a drone at 100Hz (so you know it is something connected to the power supply, after the rectifier), unaffected by volume controls, tone controls, balance (so it's not the pre-amp) .. signal still sounds through the hum (so it's not a catastrophic failure of the power transistors) .. ah. The smoothing capacitors have gone to Silicon Heaven.

Maplins are open on a Sunday, so Wifey and I popped in on our way somewhere else, and I bought myself some very nice looking 4700uF 63v electrolytics. All this before taking the amp apart; that is confidence for you.

Fortunately (and as Virgil wrote,  audentes fortuna iuvat -  fortune favours the reckless) when I did take it apart, I found some lovely 1970s vintage Plessey capacitors in there, and one had decided to pop. And leak. And make a huge mess. I can't really complain about their needing replacing after only 40 years.

Now if someone could tell me how to get the front panel re-printed .. mind you it is scarcely a stock P60; the power switch has failed so the line cord is wired direct, and I don't like DIN speaker sockets, so a quad of 4mm sockets is wired onto a small board dangling out the back. It still sounds magnificent, when driving a pair of Kef Concerto speakers of a similar vintage. The set-up sounds particularly good when playing electronic music.

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