Buying Vintage Audio Equipment.

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This is a basic guide that outlines some common pitfalls when buying vintage audio equipment, this applies to both Ebay & private sales.
Some of this is of course common sense however some sellers are quite crafty at hiding faults or playing ignorant ~ remember a lot of this equipment is found during house clearances & has probably been stored for a long period of time in less than optimal conditions i.e. in a damp garage, shed or loft  (or maybe a skip...).
Common Ebay ruses :
1:   I don't have the mains lead so I can't test it..
Translation : I'm too scared to plug it in or I plugged it in & it went bang / smoked, so I've disposed of the mains lead.

2:  It worked last time I plugged it in..
Translation : In 1968.......

Things to look for :
Rusty screws from damp storage.
Missing components.
Evidence of poor attempted repair.
Something that is simply too clean for it's age.

A major culprit :
The electrolytic capacitor. These have a limited lifespan which is accelerated by heat ~ many are well past their best at 10 years & a huge number of faults can be linked directly to capacitor failure ~ they can dry out, change value +go short or open circuit; budget to change them all, especially if you're interested in hot running valve based equipment.
This guide cannot cover every possibilty ~ however armed with this basic information, keeping a sharp eye & asking the right questions should steer you safely towards the better equipment.
We hope you found this guide helpful.


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