What to do with expensive broken electronics? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-25-2019, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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What to do with expensive broken electronics?

Hi;

I bit of a philosophical question. Maybe it's even grief consoling.

I have an arcam AVR-300 that I paid about 1800 for, and when the power supply failed, paid another 400 to fix it. The power supply recently failed again, so I gave up on it and bought a 5 channel amp (I was only using the AVR as an amp). As an aside, the new amp brought my system back to life, and I have always suspected that something was never right with the AVR.

So, I have this $2200 nice looking box sitting around. With anything else, it would be off to electronics recycling. But I cringe because it was expensive, and it still looks great (I know, what good is that?). Maybe I should just take it to recycling as I have with other expensive tube TV's in the past (like the sony 36" diagonal that was probably 1-2k).

Thoughts? I think I just need a few of you to say "get over it"

Jim
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-25-2019, 09:38 AM
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Gotta move on. It was less painful to drop off my expensive Panasonic Plasma at the recyclers, than to look at it sitting around thinking "Someday I can get a couple of boards and fix it myself"
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post #3 of 23 Old 02-25-2019, 09:50 AM
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Maybe there's some middle ground?

How many years of enjoyment would another $400 fix provide you with? And do you really have a need for it, in another system?

How many years has it served you, and how expensive were those on a yearly basis? That might make moving on easier, if the
yearly expense is cheap enough. You also might simply gift to someone who might want to, or be able to, repair it.

Maybe an eBay search subscription might turn up a cheap working power supply, if you choose to sit on it for a bit longer? I would put a dead line on
how long I would hold onto it.
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post #4 of 23 Old 02-25-2019, 09:51 AM
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Cut off the front with an angle grinder, have it framed and hang it on the wall. Recycle the rest.
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-25-2019, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
Maybe there's some middle ground?

How many years of enjoyment would another $400 fix provide you with? And do you really have a need for it, in another system?

How many years has it served you, and how expensive were those on a yearly basis? That might make moving on easier, if the
yearly expense is cheap enough. You also might simply gift to someone who might want to, or be able to, repair it.

Maybe an eBay search subscription might turn up a cheap working power supply, if you choose to sit on it for a bit longer? I would put a dead line on
how long I would hold onto it.
Or look into selling it - As Is - on eBay and/or AVS - there might be an enthusiast out there who is willing to resuscitate your old unit.
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post #6 of 23 Old 02-25-2019, 10:30 AM
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I would just stack it with the rest till I got the time to look at fixing it. Back rooms with shelves are great......
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post #7 of 23 Old 02-25-2019, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks

thanks to all for your suggestions. Mashie, I like yours! A friend of mine talked a junkyard into allowing him to sawzall off the front of a jaguar XJ, and he hung it in his man cave, working lights and horn. A receiver face that doesn't work on the wall, along with asking a friend "do me a favor, turn the music on" could be fun.

The problem with the fix option is it may not solve the sound quality issue. perhaps it was caused by a weak power supply, who knows, but it did behave like it could be. I understand fixing and using for a second, third, etc system but I already have various old amps for that. Yes, I have a hard time giving up old equipment. I am using a couple rotel integrated amps I bought in the early 80's.

If it's working I keep it. Maybe the "looking for a good home" option is the best (ebay, etc).

Thank you all again....

Jim
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post #8 of 23 Old 02-25-2019, 11:49 AM
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I usually am the one signing the praises of a $10 Harbor Freight 4" angle grinder. What a cheap but very useful tool. Potentially dangerous also.

I do look at that case and think maybe there might be an interesting htpc or wav file player case right there.

This htpc actually did some time as a stereo MP3/wave file music player, using DOS 6/MPXPlay and another DOS program I forget the name of, with a hacked keyboard bios, hardwired to buttons in those five holes. left right up down and enter. The 4 line vfd displayed the wav and Mp3 tags. A old SoundBlaster AWE64 Gold output stereo via RCA plugs, into the avr.
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post #9 of 23 Old 02-25-2019, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
I usually am the one signing the praises of a $10 Harbor Freight 4" angle grinder. What a cheap but very useful tool. Potentially dangerous also.

I do look at that case and think maybe there might be an interesting htpc or wav file player case right there.

This htpc actually did some time as a stereo MP3/wave file music player, using DOS 6/MPXPlay and another DOS program I forget the name of, with a hacked keyboard bios, hardwired to buttons in those five holes. left right up down and enter. The 4 line vfd displayed the wav and Mp3 tags. A old SoundBlaster AWE64 Gold output stereo via RCA plugs, into the avr.
I have two of the HF grinders, with plenty of cutoff wheels as well.

At first I thought that mashie was joking, but you guys are right! I currently am running my music server on a raspberry Pi (squeezebox LMS - picoreplayer), and have been noodling expanding on it/making a new player, like the guys on the squeezebox forums have:

https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...-systems/page4

something to think about, and the recycle place will take it without the face I am sure

Jim
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-25-2019, 12:12 PM
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It actually still lives, and there's a Feb 2019 version.

http://mpxplay.sourceforge.net/
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post #11 of 23 Old 02-25-2019, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redrum69 View Post
Hi;

I bit of a philosophical question. Maybe it's even grief consoling.

I have an arcam AVR-300 that I paid about 1800 for, and when the power supply failed, paid another 400 to fix it. The power supply recently failed again, so I gave up on it and bought a 5 channel amp (I was only using the AVR as an amp). As an aside, the new amp brought my system back to life, and I have always suspected that something was never right with the AVR.

So, I have this $2200 nice looking box sitting around. With anything else, it would be off to electronics recycling. But I cringe because it was expensive, and it still looks great (I know, what good is that?). Maybe I should just take it to recycling as I have with other expensive tube TV's in the past (like the sony 36" diagonal that was probably 1-2k).

Thoughts? I think I just need a few of you to say "get over it"

Jim
Well who "fixed" it in the first place? Any guarantee of the work? Using cheap, fake replacement parts? How long between the second failure? My trusty old Dell desktop lost the power supply a couple years ago. A young guy starting out in a storefront shop near me did it for just the price of the supply. Here I am couple years later, no problems.

I know, it's like loosing an old friend. Maybe find someone else to repair and explain what has happened in the past?

Just doesn't sound like it is ready for the dump yet.
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post #12 of 23 Old 02-25-2019, 01:39 PM
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Sometimes eBay is really interesting....

Sub $200 resale value and no shortage of units. The inclusion of a repair kit might be telling? The lack of
hdmi inputs limits it to perhaps being a solid stereo unit, if repaired.
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post #13 of 23 Old 02-26-2019, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Chronic issue and repair

The AVR300, was a new 7.1 offering from Arcam in 2008. Pre-HDMI adoption. It sounded awesome when auditioned at my local (and only) "high end" audio shop vs Rotel and Yamaha AVR's. I got it home and with my Klipsch KG5.5 speakers it sounded just pretty good. I thought it might be time for new speakers eventually.

The power supply then failed, turn on, 5 seconds, clicks off. I got it repaired I think in 2013, in Syracuse NY (I am in the Buffalo Area) by an authorized repair center that the local (east coast) Arcam distributor recommended. Apparently, the power supply was under designed with this unit, and it's a known rampant problem. So, it was repaired with the "new improved" board and other mods. Should be "good for life" I was told. I also complained that it just didn't sound right, but the guy said it was "tested to specs".

I bought new speakers (Golden Ear) which improved the sound, but when I move the Klipsch upstairs to use with an 2 channel setup of left over stuff, they came alive. I suspected the fact that the room has 4 hard surfaces, no carpet, But I never took the time to swap/lug the two sets of speakers. Kind of a lazy mistake.

If it worked properly, it could be an excellent 7 channel amp. 120wpc/2 channels driven, 90wpc/all. I was using it with an Oppo BDP-105 is straight pass through mode, so I could use the arcam as an amp and volume control.

Anyhow, the ebay search tells the tale. Old equipment can be very useful, but only if they work. It looks like alot of people are dumping theirs for anything. I may just box it up and put it in the attic with alot of other cassette decks, tuners, etc that I still haven't parted with. It can then only be a problem if I clean out the attic...or move.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Jim
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post #14 of 23 Old 02-26-2019, 04:02 AM
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I doubt storing electronics in the summer heat and NY winter cold, is ultimately good for electronics.

And that sure looks to be a whole lot of caps in the repair kit, so I expect you might potentially see
older caps leak, over the long term.

A room is 50% of the sound, so many speaker upgrades don't offer much in overall value.
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post #15 of 23 Old 02-26-2019, 04:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I doubt storing electronics in the summer heat and NY winter cold, is ultimately good for electronics.

And that sure looks to be a whole lot of caps in the repair kit, so I expect you might potentially see
older caps leak, over the long term.

A room is 50% of the sound, so many speaker upgrades don't offer much in overall value.
Actually, I misspoke, it's a heated "crawl space". Kind of like a real big closet unfinished closet.

agree on the room comment, and that is what I thought was the problem exclusively. But, when the arcam died, I brought an old rotel 60wpc integrated out of storage and hooked it up to the golden ears, and said "wow...there really was something wrong with it...". Then when I purchased the new 5 channel amp I realized how sick the arcam was...for years it seems.

I looked at the repair kit link, and then went to the guy's condor audio site and breezed through his "project" fix of an avr-350 (the next gen to the 300):

http://www.condoraudio.com/wp-conten...ade-Repair.pdf

very interesting. the first paragraph describes me, it just didn't sound right. He ehtne goes on to describe how he feels Arcam made mistakes and cheaped out.

I'm actually considering contacting him about a repair kit, $100 and I can end up with yet another amp, but 7 channel, reasonable power. I feel like an amplifier orphanage of sorts, but hey, every life needs more than one "purpose" . besides, I like a good project.


Jim
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post #16 of 23 Old 02-26-2019, 04:38 AM
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I sure wouldn't complain about a bit of time and effort, plus a really small stack of $20's, to have seven channels of 120W.
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post #17 of 23 Old 02-26-2019, 04:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I sure wouldn't complain about a bit of time and effort, plus a really small stack of $20's, to have seven channels of 120W.
agree! I have contacted the guy. I'll bump this thread when I reach some sort of conclusion/resolution (fix, dump, or store)

Jim
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post #18 of 23 Old 03-03-2019, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redrum69 View Post
Hi;

I bit of a philosophical question. Maybe it's even grief consoling.

I have an arcam AVR-300 that I paid about 1800 for, and when the power supply failed, paid another 400 to fix it. The power supply recently failed again, so I gave up on it and bought a 5 channel amp (I was only using the AVR as an amp). As an aside, the new amp brought my system back to life, and I have always suspected that something was never right with the AVR.

So, I have this $2200 nice looking box sitting around. With anything else, it would be off to electronics recycling. But I cringe because it was expensive, and it still looks great (I know, what good is that?). Maybe I should just take it to recycling as I have with other expensive tube TV's in the past (like the sony 36" diagonal that was probably 1-2k).

Thoughts? I think I just need a few of you to say "get over it"
Local gun range, have at it. Could be therapeutic....

Seriously though, I'd put it on eBay like Tedd mentioned, AS IS, Make Offer.
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post #19 of 23 Old 03-03-2019, 09:43 PM
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Well if even eBayers are dumping it, there is a reason.
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post #20 of 23 Old 03-04-2019, 08:09 AM
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I have a similar issue with a Dolby CP1+ surround processor. It cost $1495 new. It's still in perfect working order but is worthless on the resale market because it still only decodes Dolby Pro Logic and DSP modes. It's worth more to me than it would be to anyone else. I'll keep it for a while until it's more of a hassle to keep than getting rid of.
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post #21 of 23 Old 03-04-2019, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Well if even eBayers are dumping it, there is a reason.
There is. The power supplies are notoriously under/incorrectly designed. As you know, old quality electronics hold their value, and Arcam is somewhat distinguished (not for this), and yes, the ebayers are dumping.

It never sounded right, when it worked. So in contacting the gentleman that sells the repair kits, I read this article of his:

http://www.condoraudio.com/wp-conten...ade-Repair.pdf

Hmmm, it wasn't just me that thought IA wasn't hearing what I paid for. Of course it sounded great in the showroom....

So, we worked together to identify a repair kit, about $100 + shipping (overseas). I think that's reasonable, but I have no need for it. So, right now I think I'm going to put in in the box and store it with the other unused equipment. Maybe next winter I'll be looking for a bench project and by the kit.

Jim
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post #22 of 23 Old 03-04-2019, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
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It never sounded right, when it worked. So in contacting the gentleman that sells the repair kits, I read this article of his:
Holly crap, that's quite some project. $100 is nothing, in fact I'd pay another $100 on top for somebody to do this. 200 caps he says?

Once I attempted a DIY repair on a B&K but apparently the PCB used was crap and the solder pads were detaching under my iron even before the solder got soft. Gave up on that sucker.
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post #23 of 23 Old 03-05-2019, 02:37 AM - Thread Starter
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200 caps he says?
I think it's 200 Caps for the entire rebuild. I would be doing only the power supply. When I used it recently I was only using it for the pass through preamp (volume control) and amp (using 7.1 analog inputs).

Quoted from his email:

"Overhauling ONLY the PSU is going to give a SUBSTANTIAL improvement in sound and an ENORMOUS improvement in reliability, for a small investment.
You will replace approx 60-70 parts.

Overhauling the ENTIRE MACHINE is an ENORMOUS project (about 400 parts) will improve sound further, however, I never recommend that a customer jumps into the entire machine, UNTIL they have a fully working PSU, and CONFIRM that the machine functions flawlessly."


End Quote.

I kind of enjoy the disassembly (while wondering if it will ever go back together) and the repair. But, I'm in western new york, and spring "might" be comming, which is a busy time. I'm going to pack it away and probably give it a go next winter.

Thanks again to everyone that helped me work through the emotions and logic to actually decide on "what to do..."

Jim
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