Installed a Quad 33 vintage stereo
Posted in "News"Quad Quad 33 Quad FM3 Quad 405 Audio
This week I've installed the Quad 33 Pre-amplifier and FM3 tuner together with the Quad 405 power amplifier in our bedroom. I inherited the pieces from my father some years ago and since these pieces form a real vintage, solid top class stereo system which sounds very natural, I decided to re-use them again in our bedroom on our second mediacenter. This way we had a good sound system when listening to music and watching movies which sounds a lot better than the TV sound!
I had some trouble when starting up the pre and power-amp. It was giving a lot of background noise, squeaking and plopping sound. The squeaking sound seemed to be related to the cabling. When I jiggled around with the cables, the sound became a lot more intense and unfortunately a final popping sound destroyed the right speaker.
I turned the system off and started to check all components starting with the power amp and cabling. I removed all of the old cabling and soldered new ones. It was a real hassle to find 5 pin DIN connectors, the electro shop had to order them especially since this type of connector isn't used any more. After making new cables i inspected the Quad 405 power amp. The input RCA connectors seemed to be loose on the back plate. Due to the loose connections, the grounding ons the signal was very poor which triggered the squeaking sounds. I tightened the connectors and further inspection luckily revealed no other problems! Time to do a second test.
I connected everything again and powered the stereo back on. The sound was a whole lot better with the new cabling and tightened connections on the Quad 405 power amp. Still I had the background noise and some popping sounds coming from the Quad 33 pre-amplifier. Time to inspect this unit. First thing I did was cleaning the potentiometers using a contact cleaner. Second thing I did was calling my father. My dad is an electronic genius who knows the Quad parts through and through. So he would certainly know what parts I should check first to get the pre-amp working properly again.
He told me to certainly check the push buttons in the front since they are very dust sensitive. Cleaning them using the contact cleaner and pushing them for some time before connecting the unit again would help a lot for starters. Checking the connections to the print plates was also something I should definitely check. After doing this, the unit was working perfectly again! The background noise and popping sounds where gone. And the pre-amp was playing perfect.
Research on other sites learned me that since the unit is more than 30 years old, upgrading the capacitors would also be a good thing to do, but I'll keep this for later.