JVC SEA-M9 in the house!

Who would think that such an unusual unit would appear on Åland? It’s been kept very well – it’s damn near mint aside from the little scratches on the top. The original service manual was a nice bonus, since it doesn’t seem to be available anywhere on the net.

Yamaha P-2200 in the house

Yamaha P-2200

Beaten up and left for dead, this guy was saved into my workshop, moments before being condemned to the scrap heap. Despite looking like (and probably having) it’s spent the last decade in a barn, it does power up and play. Sure, the power switch is broken and the right channel is stuck in pure class B … And the thermal overload LED is permanently lit, and a few bulbs are out. And some screws and the “rack feet” are missing. But it plays!

Akai AA-1010

AKAI AA-1010, fresh on the bench!

On the same town’s trip that I picked up the rather terrible Teleton, I picked up this considerably more awesome Akai. One channel didn’t fire when the seller so kindly demonstrated it, but that’s never stopped me before. The problem proved to be very simple once I got it into the shop: The speaker terminals had jammed open. Some contact spray cleared that right up!

Aside from some hard smudges, it's in quite good shape. Let the cleaning commence.

Nasty.

An hour of my standard faceplate cleaning techniques didn’t work on this dirt, so I decided to let this guy be the test subject for something I’ve never done before: Silver polish. To the words of warning not to use it on textured silver, I paid no heed. And . . .

Silver polish. It works.

The result was above all expectations. It took a fair bit of rubbing to get the polish residue out of the brushed aluminium, but it was very much a worthwhile endeavour. The faceplate looks like new.

The knobs cleaned up fine with only AJAX, alcohol and lots'a rubbin'.

That's the shine of a keeper.

The radio is fantastic in this thing. It picks up all channels that it should, and it does it noiselessly and in stereo!

I also took the time to do an RMAA run of it, since I was curious as to how it compares to my Pioneer SX-424, a receiver in the same class.

Fairly predictable results. 14WPC into an 8-ohm dummy load. Stereo separation improves drastically under 10WPC (>52dB).

The results are roughly what I’ve come to expect from cap-coupled receivers in this class, although I do wonder if that low-end bulge is intentional or not. Smart marketing if it is, shoddy engineering or out-of-spec components if it isn’t. I might take the time to re-cap this receiver some time in the future to see which it is.

Teleton hifi ta500

Teleton hifi ta500 - fresh into the shop.

I picked up this Teleton hifi ta500 for cheap the other day since Teleton was a to me unknown brand. Despite the very European sounding name (and oh-so 70’s German looks), the unit is made in Japan. It features such utterly lovely Japanese features such as exterior grid fuses under the same cover as the speaker fuses, and voltage selection by inserting fuses into different sockets. Indeed, the previous owners had gotten them confused, causing the unit to flip my breaker when I first plugged it in!

My unit missed the fuse cover as well, so it was quite fortunate that I got my hands on it before someone got seriously hurt. Unfortunately, the fuse designations must be printed on that cover, as my fuses were completely unlabelled. As aforementioned, voltage selection for the unit is set by inserting fuses in different sockets rather than by a switch. Experimentation revealed that the order is:

Speaker, speaker, 230V, 120V(?), 110V/100V(?)

Inserting fuses into all three “voltage selection” sockets will directly short-circuit the plug.

The relatively large transformer aside, the inside is quite generic.

There is absolutely nothing remarkable about the inside of this unit. It’s a bog standard STK461 based amplifier with tone control and a radio. I suppose it’s a good thing, as it’s very hard to screw such a design up. It runs on a fairly high voltage for the STK461, about +/-30V. The transformer is relatively big for a 20WPC amp – the 4700µF caps are not. The tuner is absolutely horrific, and would barely pick up any channels at all where all other units I own will.

The unit is otherwise fairly sturdily built and I can see it taking a lot of physical abuse without failing. Mine cleaned up quite nicely, but it’s not a keeper for that.

It took a lot of fiddling to get that stereo LED to light. I'll probably never replace the broken bulbs in it.