A few words here on my approach to repairing amplifiers.
1. I cringe when I hear comments about magic smoke etc. Working on electronic equipment with high DC voltages is something
that should be respected as it can kill or severely injure someone. There is nothing funny about it.
2. Regardless what I'm working on, I always start out with a light bulb in series with the AC input to limit the current.
Variacs do not limit current. They limit the voltage. The light bulb responds automatically to "fault" conditions. The variac
operator responds only after he has seen the fault current go much to high.
3. Once repaired, the amplifier should be able to pass all tests without incident. Amplifiers are subjected to worst case
conditions while on the bench. Worst case conditions include temperature and power line voltage extremes and vibration tests
to name a few. If the amp has a current limit circuit or other protection circuit, it will be verified if at all possible.
If the amp is going to fail again it should fail on the bench or last a long time.
4. Only factory specified parts are used. Generic substitutes are never used. I am very confident of my ability to repair
an amplifier. However, I avoid second guessing the original designer's decisions as he likely had many reasons that I am not
aware of for selecting a part.
5. When finished the amp will look and operate as close as possible to like new conditions. There is no substitute for quality
craftsmanship. I've seen lots of electronics that were butchered by repair attempts. That's not me. I clean controls with
Deoxit. PC boards are cleaned of solder residue. A general purpose cleaner (windex or similar) will be used to clean up the
front panel. Nicotine will be cleaned off of the panels and inside where possible. Note: If a person wants to stop smoking,
look at the inside of a guitar amp that has lived in smokey bars. You'll see nicotine dripping off the controls