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Old 3rd January 2004, 07:13 AM   #1
giambi77 is offline giambi77  United States
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Exclamation Source for Surplus/Broken Hi-Fi stuff

I always hear people talking about picking up some "surplus" stuff. What exactly does this mean? I have heard about a surplus store, but have never been to one. Is it just stacked with junk?

I am interested in getting some broken stereo components to gut for connectors/capacitors/power supplies. Where could I find such things? Dump yards?

I live near San Francisco, California, if there is anything specifically near here.

Thanks for any ideas you guys may have!
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Old 3rd January 2004, 11:43 AM   #2
Hybrid fourdoor is offline Hybrid fourdoor  United States
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Although it would be really cool to walk through a dump yard and see what poeple throw away, for health and safety reasons, you probably can't just walk around freely...although they might have a "store" up front where objects are kept.

You can try places like Guitar Center, or Mars if there still around. I got a big Yamaha Pro amp from my Dad, who got it from a church we used to go to. It didn't work worth a damn, but I gutted quite a bit from it....Big 47,000uf 100VDC Soda can caps, a monsterous 95V Transformer, an awsome case for the ultimate integrated bridgeclone setup someday! Sorry getting off topic here.....

Anyways the point is, they may have some bum equipment that will have good stuff inside. And they might sell it real cheap. May even try places like Best Buy or Fry's or Good Guys or something. I know some places have to Return To Vendor to get credit for bad equipment, but not always.

Also Salvation Army has old stuff sometimes....be a lady and start garage sale'n.
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Old 3rd January 2004, 02:56 PM   #3
roddyama is offline roddyama  United States
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I'm sure with the situation in the aerospace industry there are at least a few electronic surplus vendors in the bay area. There used to be a lot in the Detroit area, but now there are only 2 that I know of. There was a place called Lee's surplus that I used to frequent. It was a lot of fun digging through the old stuff looking for the audio find for the century. Back inthe 70's I bought 10,000ft of silver plated OHFC 30ga wire wrap wire for $5. I was going to braid some speaker cables.

Anyway, do a Google search for San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose for (electronic surplus).

Have Fun,
Rodd Yamashita
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Old 3rd January 2004, 05:54 PM   #4
Variac is offline Variac  Costa Rica
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Source for Surplus/Broken Hi-Fi stuff
I think a lot off people mean the online surplus places that sell mostly new stuff that is surplus to manufacturers due to changes in model lines, bankrupcy, etc.

Here's a short list to get you started wasting hours but saving mucho:


Shipping can kill you so it's best to get a variety of things at a time.

Also the only local place I know of is Alan Steel . It's on the bay side of Whipple Blvd in Redwood City. 505 E. Bayshore
Generally a rip off, but occasionally I get a great priceif the guy is in a good mood. Pretty good prices on copper magnet wire and sheets. Ther's also an electronics place in down town San Rafael
that has some surplus.

Good Luck
"The geek shall inherit the earth"
2017 Burning Amp is November 12 in S.F. Thread here on diyAudio:
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Old 3rd January 2004, 06:39 PM   #5
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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Source for Surplus/Broken Hi-Fi stuff
I've been doing a lot of recycling of old hifi in the last 3 years to augment my income (and scrap by in the current harsh economic climate), I get most of my stuff from 2nd hand stores like Salvation Army & Value Village (it helps to be in a part of the world where recycling is 2nd nature to most). You can sometimes also make the big score at a garage sale, but you have to do a lot of mining. My lab/workshop downstairs looks like a junk shop and is full of stuff i haven't figured out (or had the time yet) how to make a $ on.

community sites t-linespeakers.org, frugal-horn.com, frugal-phile.com ........ commercial site planet10-HiFi
p10-hifi forum here at diyA
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Old 4th January 2004, 12:50 AM   #6
giambi77 is offline giambi77  United States
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Well, I went to the Salvation Army website, and found 2 locations near me. One just had a few speakers, and the other had some casette players, a cd player, and a few turntables. I ended up buying a turntable for $5. There is no needle, and the motor does not contact anything, so the table doesn't turn. I bought it anyway, to see how it worked, and to maybe try to fix it. I know NOTHING about these things (I'm young ), so can anyone tell me how much a "phono cartridge" would cost? Probably not even worth it, but jsut wondering. Also, after taking it apart, I noticed that I would need some type of a washer to go around the spindle of the motor, to allow it to contact a lip on the table. I tried making one with coiled up rubber bands....but uhh....it didn't really work

The thrift stores were ok, but I guess I was looking for things like amps and recievers. Anyone have any luck anywhere else?
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Old 4th January 2004, 01:24 AM   #7
Variac is offline Variac  Costa Rica
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Source for Surplus/Broken Hi-Fi stuff
The Goodwill usually have receivers, cd players, etc.
I would assume SA would also. Check the Goodwill but check both on a regular basis. I would think it's best to go right before the weekend. I have gotten friends and my mother and myself various amplifiers, CD players, receivers, etc. and they are generally fine. I got a Proton integrated amp once, and now am using a very cool Rotel solenoid button, cassette player.
Very good quality but I paid too much at $30-I can't imagine cassette players are worth much anymore. The 5 disk Sony CD player was $30 also- that's high end in the thrift business!!
If you are clever you can get a system for about $100. Often you can clean up a scratchy volume control with a cleaner spray.

For parts, older, heavy more beat up stuff might have better transformers, etc. pretty much the opposite of what I get for immediate use. Correct me if I'm wromg someone but the tuner sections of massive older receivers are probably better than newer ones. Maybe you could use one for just a tuner and use the power transformers, heatsinks etc for a gainclone...

anyway good luck
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Old 4th January 2004, 03:50 AM   #8
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
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Some metropolitain area have surplus electronics stores that can be found in the yellow pages. In my area they have names like Halted Specialties or Wierd Stuff. A lot of companies of a surpluss materials disposition operation. It is often under the management of the Purchasing department. You just have to dig around and ask around.

As a side note there is a surplus outlet in near LA that even has old rocketry components such as a WWII German rocket plane engine. I'm not kidding.
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Old 4th January 2004, 04:33 AM   #9
Da5id4Vz is offline Da5id4Vz  United States
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Default weirdstuff

Is this place any where near you?


I've never been there, but have heard OK things about them. Like a lot of people they seem to have a strong computer focus. That however that doesn’t mean that you wont find lots of stuff that could become audio equipment.
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Old 4th January 2004, 05:32 AM   #10
Doh is offline Doh
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I've had good luck with ebay. Picked up a broken rotel power amp and fixed it up. It just had a broken bridge rectifier and one of the small signal transistors was out of whack. A few part replacements and it's good as new. I've also picked up some nice vishay resistors and a brand spankin' new panasonic switching power supply that I'm using in my APOX kit.
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