Bottlehead Forum

Bottlehead Kits => Legacy Kit Products => Topic started by: Doc B. on April 16, 2012, 01:22:41 PM

Title: Parabee and Paraglow service
Post by: Doc B. on April 16, 2012, 01:22:41 PM
The Parabee and Paraglow kits were first released about 12 years ago. A lot of these very special amps have been running every day for all those years. Seeing as the typical lifetime for tubes and capacitors ranges from about 4000-10,000 hours, a lot of these amps are probably ready for some maintenance. We have had a few examples come in for service over the past six months, and hence we have a pretty good sense of what needs refreshing. The most important items are the electrolytic filter capacitors. Referring to the charts that Panasonic publishes one might infer about a 10 year life span for caps running 8 hours a day in rather warm Parabee or Paraglow underchassis environment. We have seen amps that have been left on for up to 2 months at a time in very confined spaces. In these amps the plastic covers on the caps had actually shrunk from the heat! There was no doubt about what was causing one of the amps to act up...

In replacing the caps we install a new series pair that is rated for 700VDC vs the original 450VDC. This should serve to extend the lifetime even further than the originals. While the amps are on the bench they get a thorough cleaning, screws are tightened, any suspect solder joints are reworked, a couple of minor circuit changes that improve longevity are made and any other repairs that may be necessary can be performed. Tubes are tested and operating voltages are checked. Assuming no other repairs are necessary, the process takes about 6 hours of labor and runs $300 plus parts. Additional repairs can be made at the time and would be billed at our shop rate of $75 per hour plus parts. Give us a call at 206-451-4275 to discuss refurbishing your Parabees or Paraglows to their original glory.
Title: Re: Parabee and Paraglow service
Post by: Grainger49 on April 17, 2012, 02:16:00 AM
It warms the music lover's heart to hear of the careful, loving attention given to out-of-production Bottlehead equipment by official Bottleheads.

It just shows who the "Good Guys" are.
Title: Re: Parabee and Paraglow service
Post by: porcupunctis on April 17, 2012, 06:40:30 PM
Yes, very refreshing to hear in this age of engineered life-cycles.  You just don't see this any more and that's too bad.

I've never been a corporate logo sort of person and I never got in fights in high school over the Ford vs. Chevy thing.  Companies are companies and if they made a good product that I needed, then that was just fine.

This has changed with Bottlehead.  I wear my Bottlehead cap every chance I get and I proudly promote their products whenever the subject of fine audio is brought about. 

BTW, I think the badges are awesome.
Title: Re: Parabee and Paraglow service
Post by: khingila on April 17, 2012, 06:52:52 PM
i had something of a minor anxiety attack last week when one of my parabees suffered what seemed to be a catastrophic failure; fortunately for me, i'm just a couple of miles from bottleheadquarters, and shawn responded promptly to my emailed cry for help with a 'bring 'em over'. a couple of days later and they're back, sounding and looking better than ever, and for a painless tab. now the paraglows are getting the 10,000 hour checkup; i enthusiastically recommend the service! thanks so much, shawn, doc, and eileen.
Title: Re: Parabee and Paraglow service
Post by: rockdoc on February 21, 2017, 11:20:31 AM
is it time, or time running, that leads to caps going bad? My Paraglows are 2001 vintage, but actually don't have all that many hours. I'll be safe and do the recommended replacement though.

Steve T
Title: Re: Parabee and Paraglow service
Post by: Doc B. on February 21, 2017, 12:41:31 PM
It's mostly time running that wears them out. But electrolytic caps can also deteriorate just by sitting unused. If they have been getting periodic use, that is probably the best scenario for good lifespan. That said, the original caps run pretty close to their maximum rating in these amps. The refurb increases the maximum voltage rating well beyond what the caps will ever see in circuit and extends their lifetime much more. Better safe than sorry.