New life for your old amp

Want the “absolute sound” at a reasonable price? Let us turn your vintage tube amp into a classic masterpiece!

Forget everything you’ve read or imagined over the past 20 years—vintage tube gear does not necessarily sound rolled-off, soft and woolly, or fuzzy… It is serious high-end audio, and offers a bouquet of endless multilayered soundscapes, pinpoint and holographic images, startling frequency response, and exceptional pace, rhythm, and drive. It’s what we look for in our hobby, and it’s been here all along…”

Stereophile Magazine

Our Restored Stereo Tube Amplifiers are Investments

Despite their relatively low costs, properly restored vintage amplifiers sound as good, or better than the best modern amps. They represent the best value in today’s high-end audio market… by far!  (See our “Why Tubes Are Back” article)

However, this 50+ year old technology is often in serious need of restoration. They are usually full of distortion, hum and noise, and sound nowhere near as good as they should. Even worse,  due to the high voltages used, they can be hazardous to operate without proper servicing.

Don’t deprive yourself of the ultimate listening experience your vintage amp is capable of. Let us bring it back to better-than-original factory specs; ready for many more years of top-level “audiophile” performance. With prices climbing for vintage tube amplifiers, restoring your vintage amp is money well spent.

“This amp is as beautiful looking and sounding as anything I have ever seen or heard. Your workmanship is excellent. Thanks, I will definitely be doing business with you again.”

– Hiroshi U. – Tokyo, Japan

View our latest restoration projects on our Facebook Page

AEA’s Expertise

AEA has a very special history related to vintage tube amps: Saul Marantz and Avery Fisher were both members of our Advisory Board in the late 70’s.  These giants of the tube era personally shared technical insights with us that are reflected in how we restore and modify vintage gear, as well as how we design new gear.

We go well beyond the typical amplifier “recap/servicing.” Our years of experience and attention to detail give us the ability to completely transform your vintage amp. From ultrasonic corrosion removal to our list of performance upgrades, your amp will not only look beautiful, it will sound beautiful — becoming an asset that appreciates in value.

How we do it

We begin by removing the face plate and stripping down the chassis to the component level. The transformers are removed, tested, repaired as necessary and even repainted as requested.

Next the entire chassis is ultrasonically cleaned using our proprietary method to remove the years of built up corrosion and tarnish from not only the chassis, but also from all wiring, connectors and controls. Our’s is the only method in existence that cleans the outside and inside, of every connector, switch and control, well as all of the circuit wiring and solder connections. The result is like putting in all new wiring, switches and controls. Read more on our  “Ultrasonic Cleaning” article.

After ultrasonic cleaning, the chassis is dried in a special dehumidifier for several hours before all solder joints and components (including resistors) are checked. All switches and controls are lubricated and adjusted. Before reassembly, the chassis and face plate are thoroughly hand cleaned and the transformers buffed. If hand polishing is ordered, we hand polish the chassis, face plate and knobs to a luster seen on the amps we sell in our store. Your cosmetically restored amplifier is then coated using state-of-the art silicon finishing compounds to protect the chassis and face plate from corrosion for years to come.

Your amplifier is then put on the test bench to generate our full diagnostic Amplifier Performance Report.

Full Diagnostic Performance Report

Once the cosmetic restoration is completed, we thoroughly test your amplifier using Hewlett-Packard laboratory quality instruments in addition to our own patent pending computerized analysis. During this process we measure and diagnose the electronics of each amplification stage. The phono preamp is also tested to meet original RIAA equalization and noise specifications.

We use all the data we collect to provide you with a full diagnostic Amplifier Performance Report of the actual measurements of your amplifier’s performance. The Performance Report includes graphs of each channel’s frequency response, maximum power output, total harmonic distortion, spectrum analysis of distortion products, cross talk, and signal to noise ratio and phono stage RIAA equalization compliance. At this point, we also diagnose and report on any needed repairs. Our Amplifier Performance Reports additionally include recommendations from our technicians for performance upgrades that would most benefit your particular amplifier. (click here to view a sample report)

Upgrades and Modifications 

From this point on, the sky is the limit as to what we can do to your amplifier.

To keep costs to a minimum, we offer all our upgrade services “a la carte.” This means you can pick and choose what modifications you would like performed on your amplifier to maximize performance for dollar value. We offer everything from a simple cosmetic hand polish, to a complete reworking of the power supply or bias circuitry. See our A La Carte Performance Upgrades list below for more details.

Any upgraded amplifier receives a critical listening session where we A/B it against our set of reference amps. This is done in listening rooms specially equipped with A/B switching for “live comparisons” in addition to several different speaker systems; allowing us to thoroughly audition your amp’s sonic performance. If your amplifier doesn’t pass this final test with flying colors, it’s sent back to the lab for more work until it does. Read more about our listening rooms on our “Listening Room” article.

You would expect to pay many thousands of dollars for a new amplifier that can match the musical quality and faithfulness to accurate reproduction these modernized classics can achieve. And that new amplifier would undoubtedly be a tube amplifier.

Does your amp suffer from a problem and need a repair? Or do you simply want it to be professionally cleaned of corrosion? No problem! We are offering our Ultrasonic Cleaning + Diagnostic Report service just for you.

We will not only fully clean your amplifier using our ultrasonic cleaning method and expertise, but we will also fully diagnose any problems it may be suffering from and provide you with a full diagnostic performance report, which includes charts of your amplifier’s current performance.

From there you can decide how you would like to proceed with any repairs or upgrades. We will quote you on any needed repair work, while any upgrades can be ordered on an a la carte basis to keep costs down and maximize the return on your money, or simply have us ship back your amp cleaned, biased, and spec’d.

*Please note: while we try our absolute best to retain all the chassis lettering during the cleaning process, please expect some slight chassis lettering loss due to cleaning – it’s just a trade off for having a shiny clean amp.

Have questions about how our services will work for you?

Call us! Toll free @ ​800-279-3831 

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