Down a new audio rabbit hole...

TravK

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May 31, 2020
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#1
Hi -

new to the forum, and only recently realized how much of an audience PL had and still has in 2020. Audio lover forever, audio gear guy only more recently. My uncle worked for PL in the 70s (not sure in what capacity, he passed a number of years ago), and I can still recall the massive Phase Linear stack he had.

Recently acquired a Phase Linear 400 and a 4000, both series 1, from a local fan of Phase Linear, awesome guy. The 400 is mostly cosmetically perfect, sounds good. I'm a tinkerer and wanted to give it the imlay, speaker protection + white oak treatment when funds allow, so it's shelved for a minute. The 4000, I'm having a little more fun with...a few small quirks with it. I got it for a good price, with problems with the peak unlimiter circuit (a board swap fixed that, the same seller had spare boards, eliminated the distortion I was getting) and with what I assume is the Logic circuitry (toggling into "stereo" from "mono" and into "4-channel" from "2-channel", both will eliminate sound from the same channel). I've read plenty of opinions on how the 4000 can be a service nightmare, but sentimentality says I keep it. ;-)

At any rate, glad to discover the the Phoenix Audio community here and I appreciate everything I've learned thus far from "lurking." Happy listening!
 

TravK

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#5
Thanks for the welcome guys. Don, thanks for the note, yeah, I've heard as much with the 4000 motherboard, and, yeah, it seems like anybody willing to touch them is a rare bird anymore, for obviously good reason. :) The joints on my 4000, both where the daughter/smaller circuit boards plug into the mother, and where the mother board joins the face plate board, all looked pretty good to me, although I understand my naked eye isn't the best judge of micro cracks or cold solder joints. I reflowed the solder in a few select spots on the underside of the motherboard, and then worked the face circuit aboard apart from the mother board, sprayed connection points with contact cleaner, and then engaged and disengaged the boards a few times. I powered up again, and the left-channel drop-out issue when "4-channel" is engaged went away...but the more annoying problem of the same drop-out in "stereo" persists. I've got plenty of more reliable equipment, so not losing any sleep over the 4000, but i'm still having fun trying to give it a little love every few days. :)
 

AngrySailor

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#6
My 4000 series one blew up my PL400... randomly decided to go full blast. Smoke was let out...
 

WOPL Sniffer

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#7
4000 Series II's are ok but the Star Trek Joystick models are terrible and I don't touch them anymore either. They work, then 10 minutes later they don't.
 

TravK

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#9
I hear you, Sniffer...the definition of insanity, doing the same thing, and expecting to get different results, right? Y'all are watching me be insane, I guess, trying to make a reliable pre out of the 4000. :) That joystick, tho, it sure is fun to play with...gonna keep it for at least a few more minutes for that thing alone.

And Angry Sailor...I *did* manage to blow a fuse on my new-to-me PL400 that I stupidly left hooked up to the 4000 while troubleshooting....the 4000, series 1 manual advises, in BIG BOLD letters, to be 100% sure that you have your circuits boards correctly aligned when plugging them in...I was off by a pin on a board, and my speakers let me know. :) Was about to get some cheap liquor to cry into, when I figured I better check the fuses...no real harm, no foul (aside from one $10 speaker that didn't make it, and a toasted glass fuse), but it reminded me to stash the 400 away for proper WO-ing later on.
 

TravK

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#10
...all that said, I listen to a lot of vinyl, and I do find the Peak Unlimiter and Autocorrelation functions somewhat useful, based on my limited use of them so far. Any thoughts on that circuitry, maybe a PL 1000 instead? Or is that one a dog, too?
 

TravK

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#13
Thanks WOPL sniffer for the suggestions, and appreciate the ebay tip, J!m, I will most likely throw my hat in the ring on that one.
 

AngrySailor

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#14
I recently bought a C-4000, you’ll be happy if you get that one.
 

WOPL Sniffer

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#16
I'm looking for a Carver C19, they are kinda scarce. Does anyone know where one might be hiding?
They were (and ARE) expensive, and I believe there were not a whole lot sold. Tube shit is over rated. I would take one for $100 but $1500 is WAY more than they are worth.
 

mlucitt

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#17
They were (and ARE) expensive, and I believe there were not a whole lot sold. Tube shit is over rated. I would take one for $100 but $1500 is WAY more than they are worth.
Agreed, but because of my early life dealing with high power tube amps (Ampeg SVT, Fender Showman, Marshall Lead) I like to play with tubes.
$1500 is too much, but I missed one on HiFiShark for $600. I think that is almost reasonable when you consider that you can pay $16,500 for a Mark Levinson preamplifier, but who would?
 

WOPL Sniffer

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#19
Agreed, but because of my early life dealing with high power tube amps (Ampeg SVT, Fender Showman, Marshall Lead) I like to play with tubes.
$1500 is too much, but I missed one on HiFiShark for $600. I think that is almost reasonable when you consider that you can pay $16,500 for a Mark Levinson preamplifier, but who would?

I had a 64 Mercury Comet for my first car.... Loved it then, but looking back it was a $75 dollar piece of shit.... Nostalgia aint all it's cracked up to be. They make pretty nice solid state guitar amps now that sound just like the tube ones (I had a Crate).... You can't tell them apart with your eyes covered if the person operating it knows what they are doing.
 

TravK

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May 31, 2020
Messages
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#20
I like the fact this intro thread is taking some fun twists and turns. Tubes! I actually punted my long time solid state integrated (pioneer sx-3900) out of the main system in favor of a fairly anonymous chinese kt88 push-pull (oldchen k3-kt88) and i've been seriously enjoying it...some proportion of it is the visuals, ooh, look at the pretty glow. :) I'll cycle the PL 400 in at some point, I'm sure, after at least the speaker-safety mods.

A Carver c-4000 just sold on the auction site, a shade over 5 and a half franklins. That 5000t that J!m pointed out, I gotta figure it goes to the same strata...thoughts?
 
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