Sony TA-3200F giving it a workout. Does a recap make it better?

Discussion in 'Vintage Gear - Top Performers' started by Blue Shadow, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    20,119
    Location:
    SE PA
    Chip has his Sony amp here and I have one. His is recapped, repaired, tested and ready to go but I want to keep it for a week or two which is no problem, he works out of town.

    Got a call last week from Tammer who wants to drop by next week and since he lives in Chicago, I said sure. But he wants his wife to hear the Magneplanars for the imaging. I have to rearrange speakers but that is no big deal to say, harder to do but they are in the sound room, just need to set up what folks want to hear.

    I moved stuff around, dusted, cleaned some things and got the MG-IIIas set up. Last time I heard these, they were on the big main, the McCormack DNA-1 and I thought there were some noises. The speakers had been repaired 5+ years ago and I thought maybe the mid section might have some delam or something so I hooked up something else. Since I'm burning in the Sony amp, in go the Magnepans and let's put on a CD while I work on the rest of the room...wait what is that sound...really, Magnepans don't do that...bass response. Happy with the first listen to the amp on these speakers and will be trying more things. The Dahlquist sub hasn't been used with them yet, the tube amps are standing ready, having just been replaced with testing the Sony and well I need to see if the Sony is all that compared to the DNA-1 and to a more normal amp of 100wpc. I don't need big power for this, they aren't going to want to knock the walls down. I've got other speakers for that.

    And I borrowed Mark's new to him Suzanne Vega album. So quiet you don't know the stylus is in the groove, made a mistake on that twice already. Gotta love quiet vinyl.

    Anyway, I said recapped vs. stock and these speakers should be able to show me the difference as I swap my stock unmolested (generally, there are fuse holders put in where the pigtail 6.3A fuses go on the input board) TA-3200F for the recapped unit. Right now I like what I'm hearing. more to follow in a few days I guess.

    Posted this here because the Sony TA-3200F is the epitome of a Vintage Gear - Top Performer. I've read they targeted McIntosh when they built this line of gear.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. dshoaf

    dshoaf That high voltage buzz

    Messages:
    10,073
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Thanks for posting about the TA-3200 amps. I worked on a few of them - they weren't big sellers mainly because Sony dealers did not necessarily carry McIntosh. It was not perceived to be in the same league at that time.

    The stand-alone power amp, preamps and the preamp/tuner Sony sold back then were not fast movers for the regular joe-consumer type who just wanted a nice system. So, I suspect they'd be called rare today for that reason - not many sold.

    Internally, frankly, they used many of the same circuits as the receivers; right down to the power amp modules and circuit topologies. In the preamps, however, there was more power supply regulation and filtering and, in the preamp/tuner, they used socketed board interconnects, which actually caused more problems with oxidizing contacts than if they had used the more-common point-to-point wiring harnesses used in the receivers. Anyone who has recapped or repaired one of these will instantly recognize what I'm talking about! Just recap them, rebias 'em, make sure they're meeting spec and you're fine.

    These separates, however, cannot be discounted for sound quality in any way. I am just commenting on the observation that they built them differently as they chased McIntosh, which I disagree with. It wasn't until the late 70s that the all-out attack on the high-end gear of that day took off. Brands like Accuphase, (sort of like Lexus vs Toyota), were introduced to reposition the brands associated with joe-consumer products for that reason.

    Cheers,

    David
     
  3. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    20,119
    Location:
    SE PA
    Interesting I see these units quite frequently. I'm more tuned into them though as my first stereo had the TA-2000 preamp with a Kenwood tuner and a Dynaco amp I built. Nice gear back then.

    I recapped the TA-2000F that came with this amp a few years ago. I wasn't impressed with the sound but maybe the caps needed a burn in. I'll see if Chris wants to drag it back over to be reunited with his amp to test the combo.

    It was the mid-70 when Luxman came out with their 50th anniversary gear that the Japanese McIntosh came to be a common term. The C-1000, T-110 and M-4000 were a formidable combination in looks and performance, earning that tag along with the tube units from that era.
     
  4. dshoaf

    dshoaf That high voltage buzz

    Messages:
    10,073
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Agreed, Luxman was one of the first to take on McIntosh, who had developed an enviable position as the high-end, full service provider of audio gear. It was richly deserved and Mac had developed an elite cadre of dealers who delivered on their value system. As the rise of mail-order audio in the 70s took off, Mac actually went the other way and required their dealers not to engage in that emerging distribution method. The Japanese competitors didn't, however, and that made it more accessible.

    Luxman offered lower cost (not that much lower, actually) gear and tried to recruit the dealers but was less successful in the distribution. So, many of us heard about Luxman, saw their magazine ads but never actually saw the stuff.

    For that reason, I believe Luxman gear of the 70s (not later stuff) is 'rare' mainly because you couldn't buy it easily.

    Cheers,

    David
     
  5. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    20,119
    Location:
    SE PA
    It was interesting back then with brands that were specifically for the retail outlets and others maybe even the same manufacturer being for warehouse sales. I wasn't in a large city in the late 70s early 80s to be able to have a store with the new high end gear that was starting to come out but one store had McIntosh and we sold Luxman. I don't even know if/when the Krell/Mark Levinson/Threshold type of gear even made it to town. But the Luxman/Mcintosh were some nice pieces.
     
  6. Seamaster

    Seamaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Seattle Area
    I had TA-3200F and TA-2000, I sold TA3200F rather quickly but kept TA-2000 for another year. TA-3200 sounded thin and bass was weak, while TA2000 sounded really nice but not as detailed and dynamic as modern gear, a relaxed, warm, and musical presentation, the headphone output was pretty good too.

    As preamp, I prefer TA2000 than McIntosh MA6900’s preamp section. The 6900’s preamp sounds really dry and mechanical, while the power amp section was much better but later beat by Sony TAN-77ES
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    20,119
    Location:
    SE PA
    We have two comments about the sound of a fully recapped TA-3200F and a completely stock (except for an unknown repair) amp. One from a novice but he now owns a monster receiver to complement his BPC units he uses regularly and one a guy that used to do sound for a local band in the Cincinnati area, decades ago and have some high end gear. Here are the comments:

    Novice says the recapped amp lets you hear the different instruments a bit better saying the old amp they sound a bit mixed. He did not prefer one over the other, just noticing differences. I tried to get some more info about the sound differences from him but he was non-committal on which one, would be happy with either but did notice the change to the new amp.

    Audio guy was just here. The new amp has more extended highs, a bit cleaner presentation and was a more forward sound. The old amp was more laid back and reserved. He definitely preferred the sound of the new amp.

    If I have the new amp long enough, maybe I can do this again with the audio guy and see what he thinks. One will be fully recapped the other will be recapped except the two big caps. An evaluation at that point will determine if the amp needs another 50 in caps. Since the caps in it are screw connections they might still be good enough as @ConradH says they usually test pretty good. These amps are from the early 70s and about 1000 apart in serial number.
     
  8. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    20,119
    Location:
    SE PA
    Well the second unit got a recap and some bypass caps on the biguns.

    These amps have the wiring running together all tied up. Nice neat installation of these wiring harnesses.
    TA-3200F 3.jpg TA-3200F 1.jpg

    On the other side of the amp is the power supply board which can be moved out from the amp just like the driver board that is shown below. Easy for recapping.
    TA-3200F 2.jpg

    Not a lot of caps in a power amp. This one is done and I'll listen to it compared to the other one, already recapped but new large caps. This second one did not get new big caps but did get some film bypass caps on the large units. The film caps fit fine under the cap covers these amps have when new. Guess I should throw up a pic of the amp just before the cover goes back on the unit to show those covers.
     
  9. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    20,119
    Location:
    SE PA
    Well the second amp is recapped and while looking over the documents, I found that there are three VD-1x21 diodes, one on the PS board and one in each channel on the driver board. These had to go. Too some time but kind of determined that the x is a 2 in all cases. The two on the driver board show as 1121 on the board layout drawing, 1221 on the scat and 1221 on the pinout (there is no 1121 pinout) on the bottom of the scat. Additionally, the discussion about this issue on the DIY forum mentioned that the 1121 was a single diode and 1221 was a double diode. The schematic shows a double diode in all cases. The recapped unit had these installed, bias set, offset adjusted and been playing today. Maybe I can get someone over here to listen to these two again to see if there is still a difference. Happy with these amps now but I did have to change the power cord on one because it was scraped and gashed with visible copper, can't have that.

    These amps are very easy to work on, the boards come out, there are limited parts to replace and the big caps are screw connections. Probably able to do one in a couple hours with all the parts on hand. Then take some time to set bias and offset and done.
     
  10. Seamaster

    Seamaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Seattle Area

    I did not recall my TA-3200F was any laid back and reserved, it was rather airy, clean, quick (for vintage), and thin sounding. It was kinda balanced out with TA-2000F preamp, which is really warm sounding, but by itself, the tone was way off.
     
  11. C_D

    C_D New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Later version '3200F (without the separate Speaker Protection PCB) is very nice sounding when all failing caps been replaced. Adding a couple 0.1 uF poly type across main 'ltyics is worthwhile. Enthusiasts may find benefit replacing the four front-end transistors with better than original A705 and C632A types. I run a pair of '3200F (retrofitted with Jensen 1:1 input transformers added) in bridged mono for a tri-amplified deployment. The units sound fantastic and achieve in excess of 260 watts rms into 8 ohms bridged. For better low end performance, be sure to switch off the Low Filter (rear panel switch set to Test position). FWIW: I have found little benefit and marginal accuracy in the stock power Power Limiter circuit. I prefer to use fuses for loudspeaker protection.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

Share This Page