has been and still is the ongoing test of sanity,
especially after almost 17 years
of supersaturated marriage and parenthood.
Fortunately the cellphone opens up a world of communication,
texting, calls and FaceTime really soften the blows on both sides.
The kids and wife really stepped it up for this adventure.
The weekends are the killers,
especially 3 day weekends.
Compound that with a rare PDX snow,
and a bit of a cold or fever,
and mang now what do I do!?
Well some would wrap themselves in front of the boob tube.
I'd already trapped myself with a few Craigslist projects,
this was a chance to chill and tinker.
a Pioneer SX-800 tube receiver.
(The top one - I brought up the bottom)
The dust would have started a house fire!
one of the first things I did was vacuum it out.
This is when ya don't realize that hook is getting lodged in the throat.
The trap doesn't seem like a trap.
using a variac or a dim bulb tester.
Nah this was cheap enough to try it out.
that warm tubey sound people love.
Yea I was hooked.
Unsurprisingly there was major controller/pot static,
and definite popping from certain switches.
Spray cleaning helped,
but a deeper fix was long overdue.
Hours of online studying ensued.
A workshop was needed.
fixing stereo equipment,
sometimes it feels like things happen,
and I'm just a conduit for those parts to come together.
I'd been searching craigslist for the two important house pieces,
a sturdy table and a bulb holder.
in an area I was only in by accident.
Way better than anything I'd seen on CL,
and I was prepared to spend some $$.
Now we've got a workbench and light,
and that $$ could go somewhere fun!
These Polk Monitor 10 speakers were a score,
although there was a half hour drive to get them.
This was the best way to learn Portland,
driving to places I didn't need to be.
Using a small hose taped to a vacuum,
they popped right back out.
Still a little creased but better than before.
These babies sound great,
especially in a smaller room.
I can see why they've got a cult following.
The lower woofer is passive,
basically a valve for the air movement.
It's amazing how much bass is made
with the 2-6.5" speaks.
I couldn't resist.
Good ole 3-way blasters.
coupled with the Klipsch Fortes they really fill the room.
I like them more than JBL 4311's!
what perfect double shelf space!
Keys, wallet, knife, all have a home...
I was going to bring this pair to the shop.
and found potential problems in the Pioneer.
specifically the Suzuki brand,
were known to not last 10 years let alone 50.
Here's one that basically exploded.
Was that the crackly noise?
Ok the best thing would be to Ebay it and double the $$ while I could!
Get out the reading glasses!
Each capacitor was marked and sourced,
either from drug dealer type websites that cater to tube addicts
or straight from oversees mainliners.
There's basic $.50 caps and Gucci bouquet $16 caps.
How trapped was I?
I did get tricked with the yellow "Dijon" caps,
which looked like Mallory caps with a sticker.
At only a few dollars total more a cheap lesson.
Thankfully half the caps showed up before.
I was able to solder in a handful.
Sucked being in a closed room!
Some repair guys swap one then test,
either to pinpoint exact issues,
or to doublecheck their soldering connection.
then seconded back for the big and little ones.
Wow these actually made a difference!
Turning the bass knobs before would make a flubbing sound,
now they controlled smooth like they were supposed too.
Many switches lost there violent pop,
and the tuner pulled in stations much smoother.
Bummer not all the caps had arrived,
it's obvious the old electrolytics were fried.
During the preliminary repair,
I did uncover a few mystery caps,
which now are ordered up.
By researching a little I learned to hold off replacing tubes,
at least until a full recap,
or each tube could actually be tested.
Working on this is kinda like moving here.
First I didn't have any idea where I was,
and through familiarity I know my way around.
I'm trying to hold back more buying,
unless I do some selling to compensate!
It's tough cause there are some great deals,
and PDX craigslisters are waaay slower than in San Diego.
Next time I'll show the bike scores!!