Don't be this guy!

Sunfire Home Audio (Stereo) Discussions and Questions
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Miko1971
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Don't be this guy!

Post by Miko1971 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:28 pm

Well bad luck seems to have moved in at my house. The other night while watching a movie i and my GF noticed that the sound kinda went down on its own. As I'm using my PC as a media server i started checking out setting on it and then the smell and smoke show started. I'll be dammed if it wasn't the Sunfire Pre smoking! i quickly ripped the power cord out and this is what i found after removing the cover:
20150708_142420.jpg
Bill Flannery said its a failed cap and he can't fix it.. I'm checking with Joseph Chow to see what he thinks..I'm open to any ideas and if you have one of these and haven't replaced the caps..please do or you'll be this guy!

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BrianT
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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by BrianT » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:42 pm

Miko1971 wrote:Well bad luck seems to have moved in at my house. The other night while watching a movie i and my GF noticed that the sound kinda went down on its own. As I'm using my PC as a media server i started checking out setting on it and then the smell and smoke show started. I'll be dammed if it wasn't the Sunfire Pre smoking! i quickly ripped the power cord out and this is what i found after removing the cover:
20150708_142420.jpg
Bill Flannery said its a failed cap and he can't fix it.. I'm checking with Joseph Chow to see what he thinks..I'm open to any ideas and if you have one of these and haven't replaced the caps..please do or you'll be this guy!
That sucks, I presume thats on the power supply

Hope you can get it fixed.

Brian
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Snoop65
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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by Snoop65 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:21 pm

I recently had my Sunfire Tube pre upgraded at SoundSmith in Peekskill NY. They replaced all the caps in the signal path. They might be able to help you. 914-739-2885 Ask for Mark (service manager ) or Peter (owner and designer)
CARVER LIGHTSTAR REFERENCE+SUNFIRE CLASSIC TUBE PREAMPLIFIER+JBL XPL200+MUSIC HALL MMF-9.1+GRADO REFERENCE MASTER 1+Cayin CDT-17a =WOW!!!!!!

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Miko1971
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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by Miko1971 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:56 pm

Thanks Snoop..i've heard of those guys.Don't they build custom amps?

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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by Snoop65 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:39 pm

Miko1971 wrote:Thanks Snoop..i've heard of those guys.Don't they build custom amps?
Peter Ledermann builds amp ,preamps, speakers and phono cartridges. Peter is known for his cartridges and rebuilding and retipping other manufacturers cartridges. His Strain Guage is the best cartridge I've ever heard.
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radioeng2
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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by radioeng2 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:14 pm

I'm surprised at the Flannery doesn't want to fix thing. Seems to me like a rather routine situation. Must be something I don't know. Even if the trace were a bit worse than it looks, that's not that big o deal.

The old cap goes short, pulls heavy current smoking the resistor and the voltage drop effects the audio level. If you didn't get it off fast enough, the active devices might go. But if you were still hearing audio, I wouldn't think so.

Wonder what else there is to the story? Looks like it could be no more than a recap and the one resistor.

I do tell people to not wait on cap replacements until failures occur. Once you go into cap failures, bad things can happen clear up to a fire if you're not around to know there is a problem.

Coupling caps tend to pass voltages places you don't want. Sometimes it'll take out something, sometimes you just have audio fade off to nothing with no other damage. All depends on the circuit. PS caps can go off, BANG!, or in this case were where a resistor gave it up. I've seen resistors pull so much current they are up to glowing red like the fire brick in the back of a stove. The amount of cook damage can be better or worse depending on where it is or if it's close to something. Can vary a lot depending on everything.

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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by helicopterpilotdoug » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:16 pm

Not a pretty sight Miko! :( I'm not an electronics tech by any means, but it sure looks like the board is toast! Is the Sunfire Pre a TG II or earlier? If so boards etc. are no longer available for them, and that might be why Bill said he could not fix it. If it's the tube pre in your sig, then IDK what's up with that!
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Miko1971
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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by Miko1971 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:58 pm

I just packed it up and sent it to Audio Horizons aka Joseph Chow. I've decided to go balls to the wall and have J.C. build a external power supply for it, upgrade all the crap inside. Bybee rails, silver wire V caps etc..He's got a cashiers check for $2,500 and that's that. I'll have a full write up with before and after test results.

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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by Magnaryder » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:02 pm

I'd like to put an ear on that after the break-in!!!

ray
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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by Snoop65 » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:45 am

Miko1971 wrote:I just packed it up and sent it to Audio Horizons aka Joseph Chow. I've decided to go balls to the wall and have J.C. build a external power supply for it, upgrade all the crap inside. Bybee rails, silver wire V caps etc..He's got a cashiers check for $2,500 and that's that. I'll have a full write up with before and after test results.
Wow ,that sounds like it's going to be amazing!!!! Please post pictures with your review! =D> =D> =D>
CARVER LIGHTSTAR REFERENCE+SUNFIRE CLASSIC TUBE PREAMPLIFIER+JBL XPL200+MUSIC HALL MMF-9.1+GRADO REFERENCE MASTER 1+Cayin CDT-17a =WOW!!!!!!

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Miko1971
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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by Miko1971 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:26 pm

update:

Joseph received the pre amp this afternoon and i just got an e mail from him. He replaced 4 caps and a power resister and he said its in working condition!
he notes that the caps are "low quality cheap made in China electrolyte type" He said they are rated at 350 volts and should be 400. He's in the process of running benchmark tests now for noise level, T.H.D. and frequency response.

I'm more then impressed so far, considering he's had it for about 4 hours! I'll continue to share info and i hope this can be of help to fellow Tube Pre-amp owners.

if your interested in the man:

http://www.audio-horizons.com/pages/aboutus.html

Kind of reminds me of Ken Shindo, seems like these guys are cut from the same cloth.

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Snoop65
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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by Snoop65 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:41 pm

Miko, I don't know if you saw it but check out the thread on my upgrade. I'm really enjoying mine!!!

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=19322
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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by Miko1971 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:27 am

They didn't provide before and after test results? I think that these pre amps are pretty good sounding stock. I think upgrading the power supply etc... I'll keep updating as the work continues.

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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by Snoop65 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:04 am

Miko1971 wrote:They didn't provide before and after test results? I think that these pre amps are pretty good sounding stock. I think upgrading the power supply etc... I'll keep updating as the work continues.
I didn't request any test results but before any work was done I was advised that everything was up to spec. The sound improvement is easy to hear.
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Re: Don't be this guy!

Post by Miko1971 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:34 pm

Update:

So Joseph and I have agreed on what to do with this bad boy.
Please feel free to offer ideas/improvements to this list.


The toggle switches replace with flat better quality paddle type instead of round.


Power supply upgrade: Add another stage of power choke and a film power capacitor on last stage. Add Bybee Music Rails.



Replace all the power didoes to FRED soft recovery type, remove the stock power cord to install Furutech IEC and Audio Horizon Power Cord.

replace fuse holder to thumb screw type and main power fuse to Audiohorizons Platinum Reference. Remove existing convenience outlets and all wiring, install block off plate.

internal 2 buss wiring to Hi Q wires.

All 6 main coupling capacitors to V-CAP CuTF / 4 pcs, 1.0uF and 0.22 uF, 2 of each

6 signal path resistor to Vishay naked Z foil resistor.

Add EAR isodamp SD 40AL inside of chassis and center part of top inside cover.



replace 3 tube sockets to ceramic Azuma silver plated ceramic type.

replace 4 plastic footer to Vibrapod Isolators.


Alps motorized volume pot with remote and add the infrared remote sensor and the driver assembly PCB.




Replace all RCA Jacks with WBT..

thats about it! Whatcha think?!

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