Recap with Reason: Sony TA-N80ES Amplifier Refurbishing Project - diyAudio
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Old 20th April 2014, 02:02 PM   #1
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Red face Recap with Reason: Sony TA-N80ES Amplifier Refurbishing Project

I have three Sony TA-N80ES* amplifiers all working OKAY but all exposing sings of need for a cleanup after 20 years of collecting dust and electrolytic wear and tear.

I thought this could be a good starting point for those without immense budget who still wish to do the necessary works to improve the life and/or audio quality of this legendary amplifier, with fans all over the world. And for good reason! This could be a collection of tips for those who have already recapped and learned lessons and those in need of refurbishment. Share your two cents!

First of all I read somewhere that before you begin you must drain the power because even if the amp is off there is residual power in the caps ???

Which are the important CAPS that really need replacing (for example I see that two of the six 4700 uF 80V are bulged in all my three amps. these are the black nichicon elco's. The four bordeaux red nippons look okay and not bulged. Yet these are still cheap so perhaps all six should be replaced?)

Then there is this popular item that these amp produce sparkling beautiful highs and mids but not so nice lows and ultra low bases. It appears that some freaks have for once and all improved the bass of this amp just by replacing a 20uF for a 100uF CAP

Speaker A/B Relais
The two relais could be easily found on eBay and need replacing after all those years.

Volume Pots
Where could one fine good replacement pots for volume controll? These crack alot after such a long time of use.

*) Why I have three amps? For a three channel active system! Low, Mid and High. Input signal is first split via a active crossover then then each channel separately powered and the amplified signal is then sent directly to the speaker drivers)
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Old 20th April 2014, 06:06 PM   #2
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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Unplug the amp. Just short out the main electro's. They probably leak enough not to hold much charge.

Virtually every electrolytic needs replacing after 20 years. They dry out. Newer caps are physically smaller, so you can increase the values a little, 50% max, if you wish. More than that you need to re-design the entire power circuit, so don't go and double the main caps.

Without knowing which caps are which, we can;t comment on upgrades. If the 10 uF caps are in the signal path, not just power supply bypass, they yess, larger caps will help the bass a little, and lower distortion a bit. Not dramatic though. I suspect these mods had more to do with new quality parts than the value.

What makes you think the output relays need replacing? If so, do so.

Replacement pots are a big problem. Clean them first and see if the really need replacing .

I REALLY hope you don't send the mid and high directly to the drivers, but have DC blocking caps in there too.
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Old 21st April 2014, 08:32 AM   #3
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Old capacitors "cannot" bulge. It is exceedingly rare. Push down on them and you'll see that it's just the plastic top cover that's bulged - the actual capacitor underneath is perfectly flat. This happens because the plastic wrap shrinks over time, dragging the plastic top piece down with it, which gives that bulgy look.

Bulging only happens to more recent capacitors of ultra-low quality. Bad caps basically did not exist 15-20 years ago and beyond.

Fun fact: I've taken capacitors out of really old computers and used them to (permanently) repair new ones. Pretty ironic...

Last edited by Welcome; 21st April 2014 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 21st April 2014, 09:20 AM   #4
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Default Bulged!

Well, this is what I call "bulged" Both the top and the bottom.

This is a very practical example of what happens sometimes.

Some time ago, my Audiolab power amp's protection started shooting, showing DC offset reason for it. Quick measurements showed up to 2.5 volts at one of the channels. Examination showed the reason is electrolytic in NFB loop (1000uF 6.3V).

Here is what it look like. It is actually not a cap any more

The amp was roughly 2 years old at that time and all the other caps are perfectly fine. Must be a "potentially faulty" cap from the factory.

S--t happens. Just in the older amps probability increases

P.S. Sony TA-N80ES is a great amp! Worth to keep it healthy )
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Last edited by vzaichenko; 21st April 2014 at 09:26 AM.
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