Sunday, June 15, 2008


Gear porn is a guy thing. In fact it seems to be mostly an old guy thing. And we are legion.

You see us hanging around flea markets and thrift stores hoping to discover a vintage piece of gear. It might be something we have never seen before. Or it might be something we never could have afforded back in the day. Or it might be something we owned long ago and want to own again. It could be tube or solid state. Buyer's regret is rare, non-buyer's regret is guaranteed. And the garage is always full.

I date my addiction to 1987, and I still have my first purchase: a Mac 1900 receiver in a wooden case that I bought for 75 dollars. It sort of worked. I have had it so long it probably needs another restoration.

Gear doesn't have to work since I know the guy who can fix it. (That's you, Mike.) Cosmetics are important. I am often more interested in how a component looks and feels more than how it actually works. Back in the day I spent real money restoring my Mac. But one primary focus of this blog will be the fixing of gear. Most of the posters on this blog will be amateurs so mistakes will be made.

Sometimes we get all esoteric and excited about vacuum tubes, transformers and capacitors. I have seen people snatch tubes out of the hands of others at ham fests. I was amazed someone didn't lose teeth. Part of this blog will describe our emotional involvement with such tiny inanimate objects.

In the coming weeks several of us will begin to document our restoration projects. My first is going to be a Rotel RX-802 receiver from the late '70s. It worked ok but just got a fresh spritz of caps and a good cleaning, hopefully sufficient to give it another reliable 30 years of making music.

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