Good deals on used amps are more difficult to find than for other HiFi equipment, such as speakers. Their circuits are complex and have components whose quality is difficult to measure. Models and brands are relatively random indicators. Here are eight tips “home” to make the most of a hunt amp second hand.
Listening, still listening, always listening
As when you buy any HiFi hardware, the most important thing is to make you happy. So get out your favorite tracks (at least has a mini-jack / RCA cable to connect to your smartphone), listen to the amplifier on your speakers and/or sources, and check if it sticks with your ears. High-volume listening can distinguish signs of distortion, crunches or squeaks that do not come from the source or speakers.
Examine the beast
Go through the chassis: are there traces of falls, shocks? Has it been opened? If yes, why? If possible, have the appliance opened by the vendor or shake gently to check that no parts are loose inside. Are the components well assembled and in good condition? Are there traces or smells of burning? By plugging in the amplifier, you can also check whether the activation of the volume or setup buttons produces sounds, which may indicate a need for internal scrubbing – and the opportunity to negotiate a lower price. Also check the operation of all inputs, as well as the condition of the power cable and if it makes noise when moved. Are spare parts available in case of breakage or wear? Then get the best from https://musiety.com/orange-micro-dark-amp-head-review-and-a-comparison-with-dark-terror/.
Watch out for the construction period
Good deals are easier to spot for devices made from the 1970s and 1980s. Long enough to get a good discount to the price of new, they will often offer a refund or better for the best models. Beware of tube amplifiers of the 1950s or germanium transistor amps of the 1960s, which require some knowledge of their components to make a good choice. The good or bad quality of the models of the 1990s and 2000s is more easily identifiable, as old tests and reviews are available online. In general, the devices of this generation are more reliable, but their price may be higher. Paradoxically, simple amplifiers of the 1990s or 2000s can also be more easily repairable than models of the 2010s, whose circuits rely on micro-computing.
Learn extensively about models and brands
Amplifiers have complex components whose quality depends inter alia on that of raw materials. Some brands have been able to release exceptional models, and others much less brilliant, others have changed factories or engineers several times in their history. It is not a question of relying on a brand name at all costs. Some second-hand amplifiers are sold more expensive because of their brand’s reputation, without necessarily sounding better.