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Madman1

Who restored your eico?

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Looking for people who have had their

hf-81 restored. I’m looking to have mine done and I want a full blown restore. I want new rcas, speaker terminals, tube sockets, minimalist selector switch, power switch moved, power transformer and of course all new caps resistors etc etc. Who did yours and what’s your thoughts?

 

Thanks!

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Why do you want this amp totally rebuilt from scratch?  Unless it has been trashed, there's no need for such extensive restoration and the cost of doing so is so high as to be ridiculous.  You could buy a good new amp for less.

 

Resistors, sockets, power/output transformers, etc. are not normally replaced unless there is a reason.  Why do you want the on/off switch  moved?

 

 

Maynard

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I haven’t heard any new amps that I like the sound of like the hf-81. The power transformers are problematic in these as they weren’t designed to handle today’s higher voltages. There are  several guys out there that do this type of restoration and brings these 60+ year old units up to spec. The power switch was mounted to the treble knob which was a bad design and wears the treble pot out. Moving it to the back or to the unused tape switch is done by most guys. I don’t expect anyone who doesn’t have a love for these units to understand but, they’re pretty sweet sounding amps and are worth the investment to me. 

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I'm extremely familiar with Eico amps (as well as their test and ham equipment) and have promoted them as a good value going back to when they were new.  The power transformers used were designed for a typical line voltage of 117 and running them at 120 is not an issue.  In fact, I have never had to replace one.  Regarding the power switch being on the treble control, that has not been much of an issue either (incorporating the switch on a tone or volume control was often seen back in those days).  The carbon pots generally encountered in vintage equipment were quite good and probably had a rotation life of 50k or more.  Those which have become a bit scratchy due to moisture exposure during long storage periods can often be restored with a little Deoxit.  I have rarely had to replace an Eico resistor due to its value being out of spec unless the unit was stored under adverse conditions.  And, so on.

 

The decision to replace components which are working fine is a personal one and, if you consider it a good value, then it's worth it.  You need not satisfy anyone but yourself as you stated. 

 

Has your amp had any work done on it?  If not, some of the sound characteristics which you like may be due to significant drifting in some capacitor values.  Replacing them per original spec may change that.  I've had some cases where I had to measure the value of such caps and replace them with the same value (in spite of it being different from what was specified) to keep the owner happy.

 

In any event, good luck with your search for someone to do this work.  Have you asked for advice on DIY Audio?  Some very qualified guys hang out on there.

 

 

Maynard

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I do have one that has had all the caps replaced, power switch moved and transformer replaced. The transformer made incredible noise and took away from any enjoyment in listening. This happens a lot with these units and most say if it hasn’t started to fail it will. I love mine, I love it so much that I bought another. But I also know these can be taken to a higher level than mine. Thanks for your input. No I haven’t been on diy. I have 3-4 guys in mind for doing the restore but, just trying to see if anybody wanted to share their experience.

 Thanks,

Mark

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check with Craig Ostby of NOSValves on this Forum...he redid mine in 2006 or so...still sounds great...

 

Bill

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He is definitely one of the guys that I would want to have work on it. 

 Thanks Bill

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