Instead, we turn to the interesting stuff, which is the amplifier repair. We have to begin with a bit of background. A lot of european radiograms from the 1960s suffer from being fitted with a particular type of valve to drive their loudspeakers. Most valve types are pretty reliable, but this one - the notorious ELL80 - was an ill thought out attempt to cram a quart into a pint pot. That translates as taking a standard one-valve-size glass bottle and cramming two reasonably high-powered valves into it. One of these valves was meant to drive the left-hand speaker, and the other the right-hand speaker, in yer radiogram or other stereo device. The benefit, from the point of view of a radiogram manufacturer, is that this saves you buying a second valve, fitting a second valve holder and maybe a couple of minor components, and every penny saved, I suppose, is a penny in your pocket.

The snag is that it often doesn't take long for the two-biggish-valves-in-one-small-bottle ELL80 to fry itself, and often take a lot of other components with it. In fact, the ELL80 turned out to be such a bad idea that the manufacturers gave up with it fairly quickly - even by the end of the 1960s these valves had become a hissing and a byword, and so expensive that Grundig had issued a kit of repair parts which allowed the ELL80 to be replaced with two separate valves. That's the general route we're going to follow, too, but we don't have the luxury of such a kit so we have to start from scratch, as you'll see next.

Vintage Vet

Repair and Restoration of Valve Audio and Radio