We are specialists in restoring and upgrading the classic Harman Kardon Citation 16 & 16A series stereo power amplifiers along with the Citation 17 & 17S preamplifiers. It is our 3rd most popular brand and remains one of our core restorations. (The Citation 16 was our very first upgrade offered). The oldest Citation 16s from 1975 are now 40 years old and in desperate need of overhaul. (The earliest models are easy to spot as they have no speaker disconnect protection relay board). Harman Kardon developed an amplifier that was ahead of its time and emphasized an extended frequency response with a true dual mono design with independent power supplies for each channel. It has a differential input stage followed by a symmetrical complementary Class A driver and a quasi-complementary bipolar output stage.
We have been servicing and upgrading Citation 16 amplifiers since 1985 and have continuously improved our restoration service which we believe is second to none. An audio upgrade is included in our restoration service to bring out the best sound from the amplifier targeting the input circuitry, feedback loop, power supply, driver and output stage biasing and bypassing - all of which have a direct effect on the overall sound quality.
We offer what we feel is the most comprehensive and sensible restoration & upgrade available today and incorporate ideas most likely not seen elsewhere. Your amplifier will sound and perform better than it did when new!
Our Citation 16 restoration service includes the following items and more:
Complete rebuilding of driver boards using premium audio grade Nichicon Muse KZ electrolytic, Nichicon Muse ES bipolar capacitors, Wima polypropylene film capacitors, Epcos & Kemet multilayer monolithic ceramic capacitors along with low noise metal film resistors for greater musical clarity and circuit stability. All driver board capacitors, resistors, diodes and zeners are replaced with new. Special attention is given to feedback loops for exceptional sound quality along with additional bypassing for supply rails.
United Chemi-Con 22,000uF low ESR main power supply filter capacitors for a total of 88,000uF. This is over twice the original power supply capacity. A common misconception is that the larger capacitance will tighten and increase bass response. Not necessarily true... but it will help prop up and sustain the unregulated power supply voltage rails from sagging momentarily under demanding high power output peaks.
Soft recovery bridge rectifiers are used for virtually no switching noise. (Fast rectifiers are not needed at 60Hz but are useful in a switching type power supply which the Citation 16 does not have). Customers often comment on the quieter background during listening.
Kapton insulators are used for output stage transistors as they provide the BEST thermal transfer (especially for Citation 16A which operates at considerably higher bias producing much more heat.
Proper bypassing of the main power supply filter capacitors... and this does not mean tacking on 3 or 4 different sized values! The idea behind bypassing is to provide a low impedance for the power supply main capacitors at high frequencies. Do not believe the hype and misinformation out there that the bypasses will increase detail & definition.
Speaker disconnect protection relay replaced. Electrolytic capacitors on LED power meter boards and relay board replaced with Panasonic FC low ESR capacitors. An IEC AC power input connector is an available option.
Front panel neon lamps can be replaced with optional red LED indicators.
Why settle for only part of a restoration from an eBay hobbyist rebuilder? You will get a complete restoration from us... along with an audio upgrade. Be assured that all of the small details along with any and all component changes will bring out ultimate sound quality potential. The final result is the summation of all the little things done and they add up to a better performing product.
You can be assured that we are always several steps ahead of our competitors. Our service gets copied but it is never duplicated. We have serviced hundreds of amplifiers and have spent the better part of 35 years knowing exactly what works and which types of parts sound best and will contribute to clarity improvement. The audio upgrade is all about improving clarity and the most common comments from our customers say the low bass has more authority & definition along with a detailed midrange and a clean & clear high end. The wonderful sound of the Citation 16 will have vastly improved clarity but the frequency response will remain flat and you will still have the terrific bass reproduction Citations are known for. In our opinion, it is still one of the best sounding amplifiers today.
I still use one of these rugged amplifiers in my own system for over 35 years now without trouble. This is a testament to their durability and good design philosophy.
Non-working amplifiers sent in for modification will incur additional repair charges.
Manufacturer's specifications: 150 watts RMS minimum per channel into 8 ohms at less than .05% THD; Frequency response: .5 Hz (4 Hz for A) ~ 120 kHz +0/-3dB; S/N ratio: >100dB; Damping factor: >300.
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