Replacing electrolytic capacitors in vintage PAIA products

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mikeymars
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Replacing electrolytic capacitors in vintage PAIA products

Post by mikeymars »

I built my 1550 Stringz n' Thingz back in 1982, adding the stereo option board last fall.

Everything is still working fine, but I am beginning to wonder if it is time to start replacing the large number of eventually perishable electrolytic capacitors that are on the three original A, B and C boards.

From online research I have done, I am seeing a wide range of opinions about determining when electrolytics should be replaced: at one end of the spectrum are those feeling one should use the most conservative lifespan rating of a cap (based on hours of use and ambient operating temperature), even if your equipment runs cool and is not used frequently. The "magic number" that is often cited by that crowd is anything over 15 years old -- which my 1550 is by a factor of two -- is overdue for new electrolytics.

But there is also a constituency -- particularly in the vintage hi fidelity/stereo community -- that states that as long as you monitor your gear for leaking/deformed caps and aren't hearing any evidence of decline in performance one shouldn't be rushing into a recap project.

So, I'm open to opinions one whether I should go ahead and replace all the original electrolytics now or whether that is a premature exercise.
ModularMe
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Re: Replacing electrolytic capacitors in vintage PAIA products

Post by ModularMe »

It seems generally agreed that the most important aging electrolytics to replace are in power supplies.
mikeymars
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Re: Replacing electrolytic capacitors in vintage PAIA products

Post by mikeymars »

Modular, thanks. That would be C60 through C65.
Billb3
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Re: Replacing electrolytic capacitors in vintage PAIA products

Post by Billb3 »

More important than replacing electrolytics is replacing tantalum caps.

old tantalums short out and will kill power supplies.

I am working on a yamaha CS-40m which had a dead P/S and shorted tantalums on several of the boards. got the p/s working but there is other damage among the 12 or so boards to be located.

tantalums can also be found in oscilloscopes and other test gear.
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