Sunday, December 26, 2010

Accuphase E-203

The E-203 is an early Accuphase which help Accuphase established themselves.

The unit runs hot as it is a MOSFET unit based into Class-A. More details at

Apologies as I do not have pix of the internals, as the unit is still in storage at the moment. The unit is well known to have an excellent phono stage - MM and MC.

Front of E-203
E203 as pre with Meridian 557

Sugden C51 (***Updated***)

The C51 pre-amp, together with the P51 formed the reference set for many reviewers in the 70's.

Sounds pretty good, even by today's standards. It is a very simple unit internally - apologies as I located these two pix in a photo album.

I will add the P51 pix to the blog once I find it in my store room (no kidding!!!).

There is a site dedicated to Sugden components so I won't repeat the praises sung there.


The following are the internals of the C51.

Top View
Bottom view

Was unable to locate the special grey-ish DIN cable which carries the audio signal and power between the C51 and P51 to enjoy the units . . ... the joys of having too many items in the storeroom!!!


This is my Sony ES tuner. It is to be part of my set of matching components with wooden side panels. The other units in the group are the Sony CDP-X7ESD, Sansui AU-G90X and Marantz CDA-94. The other maching tuner is the Sansui TU-D99X.

Quality is as per expectations from a ES component e.g Nichicon Muse, Elna Starget, etc.

Sounds pretty decent - as good as reproduction from CD!

The website, FMTUNERINFO rates the ST-S333ESXII well and I quote .... "the ST-S333ESXII is a really close second to the Macs in sound quality, and just as good as the McIntosh MX 117"

From top

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Quad 303 after recapping (2nd unit)

This is the follow-up of my earlier post for my 2nd Quad 303 unit which was purchased to enable bi-amping.

The Quad 303 is actually a well design unit which can sound superb after recapping with better quality components. The resultant sounds like a valve amp, as per many testaments on the web including

The external chassis was rusting. Hence I used AutoSol to clear the rust up before re-spraying. I chose the following colours as it does justice to the unit.
After re-spraying
The original power and audio caps of 2000uF 100V were replaced e.g Rubycon 10,000uF 63V for audio and United Chemicon 4,700uF 100V for power. Was previously using only the United Chemicon for both power and audio reservoir caps - sounded very nice as well. Only changed to the Rubycon for the audio reservoir cap as I have a requirement for both of my 303's to be the same. A 0.027uF Philips BC poly was used as by-pass on the Rubycon reservoir caps.
After large caps were replaced
The capacitors, trimmers and resistors were replaced on the audio and power boards with better quality components.
After recapping with better quality components

In addition I replaced a carbon resistor on each of the audio boards to "open up" the units, as there was still a slight roughness "round the edges" after recapping and re-biasing.  I decide to perform the replacement after some research on the internet.

For the DIY-ers out there, the above were perform according to suggestions by Dada and NetAudio. I choose to use Wima's and Panasonic FC(s). If you decide to revert back to the original Quad sound, it is quite easy. Just replace the big Wima visible on each of the above audio board (next to the 2 caps before the trimmer at bottom of the pix) with a different cap e.g Vishay BC (green) or Evox (grey). And put back the carbon resistor for the "roughness" in the sound quality.