Vintage Pioneer SA-500/TX500 Project

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F1nut
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Vintage Pioneer SA-500/TX500 Project

Post by F1nut » Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:51 pm

What do you do with some old gear you forgot you had? Restore and upgrade it, of course.

Neither the SA-500 or TX-500 had been used in a very long time and after powering up I could hear they were in need of work. Checking a few caps I found them way out of tolerance, so I replaced all the caps in both using a selection of Elna Silmic and Cerafine. One of the emitter resistors in the SA-500 was cracking, so all 4 were replaced. Some of the semi-conductors needed replacing in both as well. Of course, most of the pots were dirty, so they all got a good cleaning. Things were sounding better now. Intrigued, I decided to make a few upgrades, which I'll just list.

* Replaced the very odd stock binding posts with new 5 ways using black FR4 as a mounting plate.
* Replaced the stock power cords with shielded 16 gauge as there was no room to mount an IEC on either piece.
* Applied Dynamat Extreme to the top and bottom covers.
* Removed the SA-500 speaker On/Off switch from the circuit, making a direct connection from the amp board to the outputs with upgraded wire.
* Upgraded the wire between the pre amp board and the amp board.
* Removed the connections to the switched/unswitched outlets.
* Replaced all the RCA jacks with gold plated copper versions and spaced them further apart to allow the use of modern day interconnects. Again, I used black FR4 as the mounting plates.
* Replaced the SA-500 power light with a diffused blue LED.
* Replaced the TX-500 dial lights with diffused white LED's and the FM Stereo light with a diffused blue LED. Since the tuning meter is an off white plastic, clear blue LED's were used to back light it resulting in a diffused appearance, which matches well with the other blue diffused LED's.

I'm still toying with the idea of replacing the volume control with a motorized version allowing remote control, but since these have ended up in a guest bedroom, we'll see about that.

Thanks to Don (will make just about any LED you want, contact at deh12110@yahoo.com) for his help with the LED's and to a guy named Mark on another forum for his help with the semi-conductors. Those were two areas I had limited knowledge of, but have learned a lot more about both since I started this project.

I have to say for a little 10wpc integrated amp it sounds a lot better than I ever thought it could, has a kind of tube amp sound....nice! The tuner isn't bad either

~Hmmmm.....the pics loaded in the reverse order, so start at Pic 1 at the bottom~

Pic 1 - the original RCA's and power cord, I already upgraded the binding posts.
Pic 2 - view of the upgraded RCA's and power cords.
Pic 3 - close up of the new RCA's and mounting board.
Pic 4 - the original lights.
Pic 5 - with the new lights....ah, much better.
Attachments
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kingman
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Re: Vintage Pioneer SA-500/TX500 Project

Post by kingman » Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:49 am

They look real nice Jesse. I like that silver face classic "clean" look.
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sea
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Re: Vintage Pioneer SA-500/TX500 Project

Post by sea » Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:41 am

Very nice work. How do they sound now?

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radioeng2
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Re: Vintage Pioneer SA-500/TX500 Project

Post by radioeng2 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:36 am

Great job on those new RCA's on the back. It takes some thought and planning a lot of times to get the different sizes on board and looking right.

Cool to get the peak at what you were working on!

Mark
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Re: Vintage Pioneer SA-500/TX500 Project

Post by Magnaryder » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:57 pm

Very nice Jesse!! Great job bringing some classic gear back to life.

ray
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Re: Vintage Pioneer SA-500/TX500 Project

Post by F1nut » Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:10 pm

Thanks guys, I had fun.
How do they sound now?
Like I said above, nice....kind of a tube amp sound. Will they ever replace my other gear? No, never.
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Re: Vintage Pioneer SA-500/TX500 Project

Post by MRHP » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:51 am

Jesse what is black FR4....Im curious to know.
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Re: Vintage Pioneer SA-500/TX500 Project

Post by F1nut » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:15 am

Unclad fiberglass board, the same thing printed circuit boards are made from.
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Re: Vintage Pioneer SA-500/TX500 Project

Post by Snoop65 » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:46 am

Nice work Jesse! =D> =D> =D>
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