Phonic 1500 Rack Mount Stereo Amp Repair and Update

Billy was running this amp as part of his PA for years until one channel quit.  Could the Unbrokenstring Crew bring this inexpensive amplifier chassis back from the e-waste pile?
To some folks, Phonic and Professional do not belong in the same sentence.  But this unit has been working very well behind the scenes, for more years than many of its Brand Name Brethren have been working.

 

Simple controls on the front.  Cranked to eleven, of course.

 

It doesn’t get much simpler than this.

 

Billy asked to have an IEC power cord installed on this when (not if) we fixed it.

 

The Neutrik power connectors are a nice touch, almost required at higher power levels.

 

Inputs are either balanced quarter-inch TRS or XLR connectors.  The usual set-and-forget controls are found here.

 

The power transformer seems adequately-sized for this power level.  AC-to-DC duties are performed to the lower right, and one audio channel is seen between the transformer and the aluminum heat sink.

 

With the unit turned around, the other audio channel is found here.

 

The front panel controls are here.  These potentiometers will get a million-mile cleaning and lubrication.

 

The dark charcoal-colored ribbon cable connects signals to the two audio channels.  The flat ribbon is Just The Thing here, because it does not block the path of cooling air into the unit.

 

The electrolytic capacitors are bulged, which is not unusual for a unit that has seen this many years and this much use.

 

These electrolytics will be replaced.

 

These rectifier blocks are wired in parallel.  Yeah, Baby!

 

I was kinda wondering where the line fuse was located.  It’s under this bundle of cables.  Yes, that says 30A at 115VAC.

 

Before the unit comes apart, I need to document where all these cables go.

 

These cables need to go back where they started.

 

Behind the colorful bundle in the foreground is the circuit board that connects the rear-panel output connectors.

 

I need to remove the larger circuit board to get to the solder-side of the PCB.  The dirty little ribbon cable comes off first.

 

These output cables come off next.

 

And now, we begin.  There are about thirty screws that hold the circuit boards in place.

 

These little screws are everywhere.  Like that’s a bad thing…

 

More screws.

 

The heat sink is split into two sections, one for each channel.  They need to come loose from the chassis as well.

 

This aluminum block bridges the tops of the heat sinks to add strength and rigidity to this unit.  Nice!

 

OK, the main board is out of the chassis.

 

Interestingly, some other version of this amplifier uses more electrolytic capacitors.  In this version, the pads are jumpered.

 

Turning the board over, the solder joints to be cleared are ‘marked’ with some rosin solder flux so I can find them if I look away to grab the soldering iron and braid.  Yes, I’ve unsoldered the wrong solder joints in the past.

 

The old caps at the top of the picture are out and the holes in the PCB are cleared.

 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we will remove the captive line cord and add the IEC connector here.

 

This cord has 14AWG conductors in it.  A matching large molded IEC power cord will be supplied with this unit when it is returned to the customer.

 

Here is our new IEC male socket.  Some of these come with flange ears, but spacing on the rear panel is too tight to allow the use of one of those.  This one snaps into place.

 

This looks a little rough, but this is the approximate outline of the rectangular cutout for the new IEC connector.

 

While we are hatchet-ing on the rear panel, these magnets will catch any chips or bits of steel removed from the hole.

 

Here is the outside view of the first trial fit.

 

And this is what it looks like on the inside.  This IEC socket snaps into the hole, so the hole size needs to be right.

 

Here is the new IEC socket wired into place.

 

And this is the closeup of the finished installation.  That silver thing next to the CE mark is a ground point.  I temporarily removed the thumb screw while grinding on the chassis.  It goes back on the unit next.

 

Now it’s time to reassemble.  Screws, anyone?

 

Glad I took all those pictures of where these wires went!

 

The unit is now reassembled.

 

Here, the terminal block outputs are tested at 250 watts.  So far, so good!

 

The Neutrik connectors are tested next at 750 watts per channel.  All is well!

 

Thanks for reading all the way to the end!

CONTACT – David Latchaw EE
281-636-8626

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