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 Post subject: Looking for advice.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:49 am
Posts: 3
Location: Pickering, ON, CA
Hey Folks. New member here.

I was hoping to get some advice from the group about a Nikko system I am considering purchasing.
It is available from a local dealer.
Its the Nikko Beta 20 Pre-amp and the 220 power amp. I have not had a listening test yet but from all appearances they are in decent shape. No scratches, dents or bruises.
The set is going for $450.00 but I think I can get it for around $400.00

1: Also for sale (and brought in all together) is the Nikko 130 amp. I have no interest in it but I'm pretty sure the previous owner was bridging the 130 and the 220.
After doing some research I found that its not a good idea to bridge these amps and I am wondering how I could check for any damage to the 220.
2: Also after doing some research it would be very prudent for me to have the capacitors replaced toot-suite in order to prolong the life of an already old amplifier.

I'm trying to get back into the audiophile life style again but I don't have the financial means to buy new but I also have reservations about buying a 35 year old amp.

Is the price right?
How much would it cost for re-capping?

Any advice would be welcome.
Cheers
Ian.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:04 pm
Posts: 2380
Location: saskatoon, SK, CA
Can't see anyone bridging a 130 and 220 for stereo.
If a 35yr old set isn't giving u the warm fuzzies move on.
Offer 2 for the 3 pieces, that's where i'd be at for a nikko stack.

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Last edited by BinkyTheCat on Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:37 pm
Posts: 3201
Location: London, ON, CA
Since they are at a dealer, take a listen, run them through the paces, then decide.

Just because amps were bridged, does not mean they were damaged.

Personally I have never purchased an item with instant plans on repairs/recapping.

Regards
Ohms

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:18 am
Posts: 346
Location: Etobicoke, ON, CA
How can you "plan on purchasing" an item or items as yet unheard? If you are looking for decent sound on the cheap, may I suggest a vintage receiver instead of separates. Good interconnects would set you back more than the price of your NIKKOS.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:21 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:16 pm
Posts: 1178
Location: Georgetown, ON, CA
Hi Ian,
I used to do authorised warranty service on Nikko when they were good (like those products you are looking at). They can sound decent and the preamp sounds good. The Alpha 220 / 230 (they are the same) is also a decent amplifier.

Do not bridge those amplifiers! They won't perform well and are easy to damage that way. The idea of bridging both isn't really going to work, I expect the previous owner was running two sets of speakers. One set in a different room.

All amplifiers need clear air space on top, 4 ~ 6 inches minimum. The same holds true for a receiver. Heat will kill equipment and make repairs more expensive than they should be. Either that or the repairs won't be as reliable.

Speaking of repairs, the first place used equipment should go is to your (good) audio service technician. That way they can warn you if they are not in good condition. If they are the tech can set the bias currents and offsets (plus any other settings) so that your equipment is running properly from the start. I have repaired equipment before and been told that they never sounded that good before. So that person lost out on years of better performance because they didn't get it checked out first. I have a number of customers that bring new purchases to me before they go home with it. It's like buying a car. You wouldn't think of taking a used car before your mechanic checked it out. That would be your trusted mechanic, not the dealer's or anyone else's for that matter.

Some times equipment needs some parts replaced due to age. I disagree with the capacitor swap guys who don't even know what capacitor type should be used in certain locations. That work is next to useless. What your technician should be doing is checking transistor matches and replacing certain capacitors. The main filter capacitors are normally good and do not need replacement.

So, buy what you like the sound of. Buy good equipment, and amps that came after the Alpha 230 were junk. The best receivers are out of your price range (Marantz, Sansui and Luxman). Stay away from 4 channel units and the Sansui 8080dB and 9090dB receivers. The Dolby chip is in the audio path all the time and distorts the audio badly. It is not easy to bypass that section. The G series of Sansui are great, especially the upper models. Work can be done to make all the ones I listed much better in performance, both audibly and measured performance. Well worth the service charges to have done.

Good luck, Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:23 pm
Posts: 79
Location: Sarnia, ON, CA
I have both the 220 and Alpha 2 .Both with in a month have stop working.

One bought off Kijji and the other Ebay.

I figured at some point would need service and restore.

Old stuff ,40 years plus.
My 82 year old tech is current going thru the whole amp (220) which someone was in it before.
Lots of repairs to do ,even reflow some solder joints.
If the gear your buying hasn't been updated chances are it will fail in the first 3 months you own them.
By the way I paid 150.00 and 200.00 respectively.
Next will be the Alpha 2 for a complete.
Beta 20 I think was their best preamp ,I have had most of them.
Similar to the 2

Beta 2 Preamp has never gave me grief.
These are my party room /garage cave stereos.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:49 am
Posts: 3
Location: Pickering, ON, CA
Wow!

Thanks everyone (so far) for your opinions and advice. Especially tjfridays1 and anatech. This is the kind of info i am looking for.
Also of note. I did not plan to purchase without listening first.

As I said, I did a little research on the Nikko products and used equipment in general.
Cant see buying 35 year old equipment and expecting it to last more than 3-6 months without service and inspection.
Because the 3 pieces were brought in at the same time i figured that maybe the previous owner had bridged the 2 amps.
Perhaps you are correct Chris.

So it sounds like $450.00 is a little too high. Of course buying off Kijiji and Ebay is a little different from buying from a Dealer.
You are a brave man tjfridays1.

My major concern is finding someone who has experience with this type of equipment and will give me the proper service I am looking for. I live in Pickering and I don't really see anyone in the Durham Region who has previous experience with this type of equipment.
I do have a friend in Toronto who might be able to help me.

Work has been getting in the way but I plan to take another trip out and have a proper listening experience.

Cheers
Ian.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:16 pm
Posts: 1178
Location: Georgetown, ON, CA
Hi Ian,
They will sound decent enough I'm sure. Too bad I'm on the other side of Toronto from you.

One thing you should be aware of is that older equipment typically sounds a lot better after a service. I have about 4 of those amplifiers and "improved" one. It responded well and sounds better than it's brothers. Looks like I'll be working on the rest.

I have a couple Beta 30 and a Beta 40 preamplifier. The Beta 40 is the better one by far, but the Beta 30 preamps are also good. I boosted the performance of one of them and it turned out well also. I don't know how I accumulated so many of them, I wasn't intent on getting more than three amplifiers to use in an active crossover system. The Beta 130 would make a fine tweeter amplifier, or mid-highs. So there is quite a good system in the rough you are looking at. All you would need to add is an active crossover for a 2 way system. Of course you could drive the woofer with the 220/230 amp and the mids + highs with the Alpha 130. Believe me when I say that getting rid of a passive crossover is the way to go if you have the ability to do so. Getting those two amplifiers and preamp gets you almost all the way there. If memory serves, Nikko may have made an active crossover for that series as well. I could be mistaken, but if they did it would be worth tracking one down.

If you already have two way speakers, you're pretty well set to go active. Just set the electronic crossover for the same frequency as the passive one. Then you'll have to drop the level of the tweeter to match the woofer. Tweeters are almost always far more efficient than a woofer is. -6dB would be a good start for the tweeter level. The electronic crossover goes between the preamplifier and the amplifiers.

-Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:49 am
Posts: 3
Location: Pickering, ON, CA
Thanks Chris for all of the advice.

I just got back from a somewhat unplanned vacation and haven't had the chance to get back into the store.

Ill let you know if I decide to pull the trigger.

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:04 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:16 pm
Posts: 1178
Location: Georgetown, ON, CA
Hi Ian,
Take your time. Since you are the buyer, you have all the time in the world, although prices are fairly depressed right now. But do relax and evaluate each choice to your satisfaction. If you make a mistake at this point, no biggie. You aren't talking about huge sums of money here, comparatively speaking. This is like a dry run to get your system right. Above all, have some fun shopping.

Please let know what you end up with!

-Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:29 am
Posts: 209
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Equipment of that age is more than likely using some parts that are obsolete. That means expensive and potentially impossible or impractical to repair. If you go back that far I would recommend real hi end US or Japanese - worth fixing if expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for advice.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:16 pm
Posts: 1178
Location: Georgetown, ON, CA
Hi julesaudio,
If that was a problem, I would have mentioned it. I can get the parts required to repair those amplifiers. Not from Ebay either! Depending on who you're using for service, this may or may not be a concern for you. It needn't be.

-Chris


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