Give me more – Same money, better sound
Many amplifiers are sold, connected and subsequently taken for granted, so to speak. However, with hi-fi components, it’s like with a good relationship: they should be given occasional maintenance. And a little investment is also allowed. Here are the most important tips:
1. Once a year, treat your amp to some spring cleaning! Remove all cabled connections and clean all plug connectors, jacks and exposed cable strands with a cloth and isopropyl alcohol.
2. Hold a vacuum cleaner’s tube against the ventilation slots and simultaneously fire a short burst of compressed air from a gas duster into the amp. This is done when the amp is not connected to the mains, which goes without saying.
3. Connect the phases in the amp’s (and the other component’s) mains plugs correctly. On the Internet, there are plenty of instructions on how to do so. Dealers also offer practical devices that show the correct phase position.
4. Regular tube replacement is beneficial for tube amplifiers. If the amp is used frequently, this should happen every two years or so. Note that the bias current must be reconfigured afterwards, unless the amplifier has an auto-bias circuit. The amplifier’s instruction manual contains more information in this regard.
5. Tube dampers can significantly reduce amplifier tubes’ propensity for microphony.
6. Replacing the power cable can also improve the sound. Don’t laugh, try it out.