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Heathkit AA-1800 Stereo Power Amplifier
Heathkit AA-1800 Stereo Power Amplifier
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Old 23rd May 2015, 11:11 PM   #41
Sithlord2007 is offline Sithlord2007  United States
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Hi There. I have three of them. One so far I also capped except for the two power supply one. As for bridging ... I was curious is all.
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Old 24th May 2015, 03:50 AM   #42
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Heathkit AA-1800 Stereo Power Amplifier
Hi Sithlord2007,
There are many things you can do to improve your amplifier's sound quality. Bridging the output isn't one of them. As rrcain said, "WHY?".

I have restored these amplifiers and can tell you that they are much better than the appearance would suggest. These are a hidden gem if gone over properly. There are some other resistor choices that can be made for certain ones. Some transistors should be matched and certain capacitors need to be changed to different types. Once that is done you won't believe it is the same amplifier.

Just don't bridge amplifiers! This one isn't designed for that kind of abuse, and its too nice an amp to trash.

Ahhh, just curious. That's fine. If you have three of these, look after them and consider an active three way crossover. These amplifiers are well worth improving, but this is not something the average person can do at home. You need experience and the right test equipment

-Chris
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Last edited by anatech; 24th May 2015 at 03:53 AM. Reason: saw your latest post
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Old 24th May 2015, 12:49 PM   #43
Sithlord2007 is offline Sithlord2007  United States
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Lol ... Guys, I appreciate the advice. But I'm not a 15 year old kid that got the keys to dad's 69 mustang and wants to joy ride.

I've been an audio enthusiasts for about 28 years. I've amassed a large collection of Heathkit and Speakerlab gear and am the type of audiophile that will never part with what I have even if I eventually stop using them.

Three AA 1800's and an AA-1600 ... All in impeccable condition and in my possession for nearly two decades. Not to mention the other stuff in the family.

Since I asked, I found the manual, but it doesn't mention bridging. However, I know what needs to be done in order to do it.

The question was just out of curiosity. But it's funny how people say to TRY something and if if sounds good to you, then that's fine. Lol!!!

I'm not gonna trash anything. I understand the design quality of these units. As a matter of fact, I love them so much, I've only considered replacing them with KRELL components ... Such as I have already done with my AP 1800 Preamp with a KRC HR. Meaning, I haven't come across much that can match them sonically except for some really high end stuff. And now that Krell is a bit more in my budget, I've been making some system upgrades. Those 1800's, I suspect, will be in service for another 5-10 years for me.

Thanks for the advice and the caution.

Ed

Last edited by Sithlord2007; 24th May 2015 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 24th May 2015, 08:59 PM   #44
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Heathkit AA-1800 Stereo Power Amplifier
Hi Ed,
Well, we just never know what your experience or intentions are. I come from this from a purely technical viewpoint. This next phrase sends shivers up my spine ...
Quote:
But it's funny how people say to TRY something and if if sounds good to you, then that's fine. Lol!!!
One of the most idiotic comments I commonly hear. Probably responsible for more damage out there, and hearing it makes me a little angry as well. Hey! I am a technician, that is where I come from.

I have rebuilt a few of those combinations of equipment, and they never fail to put a smile on my face. As you have noted, they sound better than most other equipment out there. A true sleeper.

-Chris
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Old 25th May 2015, 12:06 AM   #45
redjr is offline redjr  United States
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Heathkit AA-1800 Stereo Power Amplifier
Do you know of anyone in the states that repairs/restores vintage Heathkit gear - especially the AA-1800's little brother the AA-1600? Sounds like you may have at one time. I've got one sitting in my basement that's been out of service now for about 3 years. It developed some static in one channel before we moved and I've got neither the inclination or equipment to bring back to its full glory. It sounded great though.

I've also got the matching pre-amp AP-1800 that works, but I suspect it's ready for a serious recapping. I got both pieces several years ago on trade because as a young grad student in the mid 70s I always coveted Heathkit's 'high-end' gear but was never able to afford any pieces.

Rick
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Old 25th May 2015, 01:33 AM   #46
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Heathkit AA-1800 Stereo Power Amplifier
Hi Rick,
Try Terry DeWick. Your equipment is good enough to warrant his level of attention. If you can't use him, then the guy you want is in his 50's at the youngest. You need a good audio technician, not a TV, band equipment or computer technician. That person should recognize just how nice your equipment can sound and how to get it to that level.

I have serviced many Heathkit products over the years, and a few years ago a friend let me do whatever I felt would increase the sound quality to his Heathkit equipment. He gave me one of his (very) distressed preamps. I think I will service it and use it on the bench where good looks aren't that important. They do sound great! Too bad he didn't have a banged up amplifier to go with it. To give you perspective, I had also gone over his Marantz equipment, and I even made his Pioneer tuner sound good and perform much better. I got rid of that annoying Pioneer sound with the funny midrange thing going on. His McIntosh equipment was a little more straight forward to make sound good again.

I wish you luck on this. Too bad you don't live on this side of the border!

Best, Chris
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Old 26th May 2015, 07:35 AM   #47
djk is offline djk
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Charles Joseph Cocci, Brockton, MA

Chuck has rebuilt several of both the AA-1800 and the AA-1600.

He also rebuilds blown AA-1600 into mono-blocks using Hitachi FETs.
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Old 18th November 2017, 05:54 PM   #48
stormwind13 is offline stormwind13
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I hate to necro an old thread such as this, but is anyone holding a schematic or plans for the aa1800 amp these days? It's the one heathkit amp I can't seem to locate the plans for readily online.
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Old 9th October 2019, 12:02 PM   #49
Oldraider76 is offline Oldraider76
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Does anyone know where I can find a service manual, owners manual or build manual for the Heathkit AP-1800 preamp? Thanks.
oldraider76@gmail.com
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Old 9th October 2019, 03:03 PM   #50
llwhtt is offline llwhtt  United States
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If you don't mind paying for it d8apro has the Heathkit manuals. I got my AA-1640 manual from them.

Craig
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