New Harman Kardon Citation II - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Amplifiers > Tubes / Valves
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Gallery Wiki Blogs Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Tubes / Valves All about our sweet vacuum tubes :) Threads about Musical Instrument Amps of all kinds should be in the Instruments & Amps forum

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 29th February 2012, 04:26 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
bigbargain's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wheaton, Il
Default New Harman Kardon Citation II

Ok. Now I've done it. I loved a guy's system I auditioned some speakers with so much that it really piqued my interest in tubes. Been doing alot of reading, which means I still know almost nothing about them.

I figured I would dip my toe into tubes by watching Craigslist for something modest that I could tweek to learn more - that's the way I do things; I'm never happy until I know how it works.

So, I've been haunting Craigslist and found a Harman Kardon Citation II. I was the first to contact the guy (6 minutes after it listed) and picked it up for $100, which I now understand was a good deal - if its not got big problems I suppose.

Now my question... The amp needs tubes and to be checked out. I need to know some advise for next steps and sources for whatever parts it may need (tubes, caps, ???).

Also looking for someone in the Chicagoland area who I sould take it to? I'm looking for someone who will let me do some DIY to learn, but keep me out of trouble by telling me when to let him handle it - and being honest along the way. (yes I have read enough and done enough electrical work to know that I better be careful inside tube amps - 100's of volts)

Suggestions? Or just advise...
  Reply With Quote
Old 29th February 2012, 04:37 AM   #2
diyAudio Member
vinylkid58's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Victoria, B.C.
You might want to contact Jim McShane, as he is an expert regarding these amps.

Jim McShane Home Page

  Reply With Quote
Old 29th February 2012, 04:46 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Northern VA
In rough shape the citation II goes for over $1000 on ebay. Nice find, they can sound fantastic when modded.
  Reply With Quote
Old 29th February 2012, 04:55 PM   #4
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
diyAudio Moderator
kevinkr's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Blog Entries: 6
Yeah you got one heck of a great deal on that Citation II. IMO one of the best performing vintage PP amps out there.

You'll need to check it out thoroughly and replace all of the electrolytics in the power supply. There are a number of very hot running wire wound resistors in the audio circuitry - Mills makes a line of suitable non-inductive wire wounds. Coupling caps may be suspect too. Just check everything..

Jim McShane is a great resource for the Citation II and can probably provide everything you'd ever need to whip it into shape. (Information and parts) Here: Jim McShane Home Page

Congratulations - I paid $200 for a basket case over 23yrs ago, you got a comparative steal. Mine needed a total rebuild..
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine
  Reply With Quote
Old 29th February 2012, 05:19 PM   #5
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Monroe Township, NJ

The other posters are correct, in more than 1 way. You stole candy from a baby and Jim McShane is THE man, when it comes to tubed H/K Cit. units.

Your good fortune continues, as Jim is metro Chicago based in Orland Park.

A complete, stem to stern, refurbishment (ala McShane) is in order. Once the overhaul is done, you will have a superb sounding piece with the "stones" to handle some pretty difficult speakers. I would not mate it to big Thiels, as those "beasts" dip down to 1 Ω. Also, some horn speakers may not sound good, due to overdamping.
Eli D.
  Reply With Quote
Old 1st March 2012, 01:26 AM   #6
speaker is offline speaker  United States
diyAudio Member
speaker's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: USA
Heh, $100, nice work. I have two of them. They are literally the last amps I'll have in my possession when I sell everything else off.

Good job OP, you can afford to fix them up right and if you decide to sell it after, recoup everything you spent.
  Reply With Quote
Old 1st March 2012, 02:51 AM   #7
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chicago IL, Long Beach CA, Vienna VA
My dad better have me in his will for his Citation I and II and I. He built the first set from kits which (based on my childhood recollections) the company gave him in return for some writing he did...something about patent rights and how it differed from a traditional "Williamson" circuit.

And about 20 years ago I found another brand-new Citation I, new in the box, never even been plugged in, which I grabbed for the perfect unworn silk-screened faceplate and clean pots at the least. Caps etc. in unknown condition after all these years, all tubes and switches etc. brand new. It was in a "Barzilay" brand stereo cabinet showroom-floor "demonstrator" cabinet just because it had so many nice turned metal knobs. They had opened the box from the bottom, in order to put the amp back in with the original tape across the top (weird), had all the manuals etc. It's still in a closet at dad's house. Must be 30 years old now, still never been plugged in.
  Reply With Quote
Old 1st March 2012, 02:51 AM   #8
GaryB is offline GaryB  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Silicon Valley
Originally Posted by kevinkr View Post
Jim McShane is a great resource for the Citation II and can probably provide everything you'd ever need to whip it into shape.
Kevin is too modest to mention that he's also written up a short note about upgrading the Citation II. Take a look here:

I modded my Citation II with a hybrid of some of Kevin's mods and Jim McShane's power supply upgrades and think it's one of the best amps I've ever heard.

  Reply With Quote
Old 1st March 2012, 02:57 AM   #9
diyAudio Member
charlesp210's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: San Antonio, TX
Funny, I sold one for around $200 around 23 years ago, then immediately regretted that I had not tried to sell for $1000 first, despite issues--weird noises--I was very honest and outspoken about. It sold quickly the morning it was listed, and I got a dozen more calls. I later saw them listed at prices up to $4000. Even CII transformers were listed for more than what I got. I had loved the sound of the amp when it wasn't acting up.

On the weird noises part, the circuit screams high gain with pentodes everywhere, so I'd be concerned about stability.
  Reply With Quote
Old 1st March 2012, 03:24 AM   #10
diyAudio Member
bigbargain's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wheaton, Il
Default wow, i'm happy!

Well, the amp needs 7 tubes, but will probably get all 10 (what would i do with 3 6550's?), but am really excited about my purchase! Honestly i had 3 minutes to research qnd decide to buy it - there as guy next in line willing to pay more. I knew nothing about it before, but the pictures looked like a good find, so i bought it. That's my story...

Just cracked the case with a tech tonight - 2 burned resistors and the original caps look good, but they're gonna go too. And the fuse was blown, so need to proceed cautiously.

Of course i will post progress here.
  Reply With Quote


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Harman Kardon Citation II : love/hate relationships Kashmire Tubes / Valves 38 8th December 2016 10:05 PM
Harman Kardon Citation A transistor help. hifinatic Solid State 27 8th November 2016 01:19 AM
harman kardon citation 12 joka22 Solid State 7 8th December 2014 06:19 PM
FS: Harman Kardon Citation II kico Swap Meet 0 24th February 2012 12:05 AM
Harman Kardon Citation II PI question Printer2 Tubes / Valves 37 3rd January 2011 05:40 PM

New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 05:17 PM.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2017 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2