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Servicing Yamaha Amp AX-530

By on November 22, 2017
how to repair and fix ax-530 yamaha amp










repair yamaha amp

This amplifier was brought to me with a complaint that it was having sound distortion problem and was lying with a service technician waiting for an SMD IC. Since he could not procure one, it was brought to me. I opened the set and after doing simple cleaning work, looked inside to see the present condition of the set, did dry solder touch up on the main board and dismantled the set, and carried out dry solder on the other boards as well.

Replaced all the electrolytic capacitors as many had the ESR either at brim or out of range.

fix yamaha amp

how to repair yamaha amp

Procured the SMD IC 4558 from UT Source and fixed it in the missing place. The clumsy removal of the SMD IC by the previous technician has caused a tear on the PCB! I patched it up.

replace smd ic

Extended the wire of Power Transformer, reassembled the set on the table itself for testing purposes. Checked and found that the distortion was still there. Checked the signal fed from my Signal Generator at various stages using oscilloscope.  Found that the left channel is the one having distortion. Removed the output transistors and checked them using Peak Atlas and found these to be alright, though the transistors used on the left channel and right channel had different numbers; probably someone had changed it due to failures that would have happened in the past. The distortion was still there after the preamp stage. Even though the customer had provided me a schematic of the Amplifier, tracking the path or locating was very difficult as many of the components had no reference number printed on the board. In my opinion, this is a bad design as far as servicing the board is concerned. If a service technician is not able to locate the part in a path with reference to the schematic, it is useless. So, I located the parts myself and marked it with sketch pen! This amplifier used a complementary symmetry circuit, with feedback protection, as a result of which, if one of the components is removed, that entire section will not work and no signal will pass through. So, after the preamp stage, up to the amplifier output, we have to just grope in dark and confine ourselves to only cold testing!

Let me be honest, in this amplifier case, I was just groping in dark as I could not quickly locate the reason for distortion. I had already exhausted all the trouble shooting methods known to me from my years of experience! I had removed all the active components and tested. I had removed one leg of all the passive components and tested. I checked and compared voltages before that with the other channel. I transplanted every component, including the SMDs (yes, I mean, ‘every’ component) with the other working channel! But same result! I cleaned the board several times, did look for any hairline crack or strained track. Nothing at all! I realized then, why the set was lying for months together with the other technician.

Same thing happened with me too! I will make an attempt, leave it aside and again take it up after a few weeks! It went on and on. I think I would have made around 12 attempts! Now have a look at the connections I had made and other related pictures, to know how difficult it is to remove these from the table and keep it back:

servicing yamaha amp

repairing yamaha amp

In the schematic, you can see pencil marks done by me after checking all the components and transplanting it with the other channel! In fact, I had done many other cross way checkings, but forgot most of it because of the prolonged work. I almost gave up and told the customer about my inability to find out the cause and informed him that I will be doing a final attempt, after which, he has to take it back in ‘as is where is condition’, which he kindly agreed! Then, one fine morning, after a series of very successful repairs, in good mood and with full of recharge and vigour, I took this set out and looked for any track cuts, that would have happened while checking the components or transplanting, and resulted in distortion by a sheer co-incidence!

Yes, it was there! The track was very, very minutely (no camera capture possible) cut near the transistor that controls the relay in the protection circuit. It was just a sheer chance, which could have come out of my desperate prayers!  It is my assumption that by taking out the components and doing transplantation, the board would have got a new life and the earlier problem could have been due to any deep dry solder or bad joints. That would have got solved, but the cut track recreated it! What an irony! In conclusion, I may have to say that it was due to some mental block that I could not locate the fault earlier, probably fed in because of the fact that it was lying with another technician for a very long time (that too a known person to me!). (I had consulted him too and learnt what were the things he did.)

So, reassembled the set and checked. Except the input of CD, all the other inputs were working. So removed the rear input board once again and found that the SMD IC 4558 used there was defective.  No output signal and it was loading too. Replaced it with 4570 that I had with me and refixed it.

servicing 4570 ic

On testing, I could see that there was a very slight variation in the quality of signal when fed from CD input. But there was no other go, as otherwise I may have to order this SMD IC again and wait for it to come. I did this only after taking consent of the customer.

Tested the set for many hours and days. No issues! Reassembled the set and I keep testing it every now and then, until the customer picks up.

how to fix ax-530 yamaha amp

Finally, here is the toll:

how to repair ax-530 yamaha amp

A job completed satisfactorily and to my great relief!

Update:  The customer picked up the set subsequently, and has not given me a feedback, though I tried to call him several times. I have no idea why!

This article was prepared for you by Parasuraman Subramanian from India. He is 68 years old and has more than 30 years’ experience in handling antique equipment like Valve Radio, Amps, Reel Tape Recorders and currently studying latest tech-classes conducted by Kerala State Electronics Technicians’ Association. He has done  graduation in BBA degree, private diploma in Radio Engineering and retired as MD of a USA company. Presently working as Consultant to Hospital and other institutions.

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You may check on his previous repair article below:




  1. Dave Vazquez

    November 22, 2017 at 10:50 pm


    • Parasuraman S

      November 23, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      I used the oscilloscope to check the wave forms. It was getting distorted immediately after the preamp input. I think I have forgotten to mention it in my article. There is something peculiar in the preamp section. When we check the input to a darlington pair transistor, it will be alright, when we check its output, no reading at all. But it is seen in the next stage! Same was the case in both channels. So, it could be a DC amp used in between! Well, I have no idea! Like in the Chess Game, there are a lot and lot of circuits, specially designed by manufacturers and it is extremely difficult to know everything!

    • Nicolae

      March 26, 2020 at 4:13 am


      I would like to buy one of these units and was thinking that most likely the capacitors would need replacing. As I am new to this and my experience is limited I would really appreciate any guidance on what to look out for...


  2. jayarajan.K.B

    November 22, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    I appreciate Mr.P.S his patience .also thanks to Jestine for the help for the technicians,

  3. Robert Calk

    November 22, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Good job, Parasuraman. My microscope is probably the best purchase I ever made. It's so much easier spotting faults like that with a good microscope. Mine provides a lot of working distance also.

  4. Andre

    November 23, 2017 at 12:06 am

    Good day Sir

    Congratulations on repairing the amplifier!

    Sometimes we as repair technicians get frustrated when it is very difficult to find a fault and to continually assemble and disassemble a product. I believe that we don't like to quit and we don't like to be beaten by a fault. When we do other successful repairs, it also gives us the strength to carry on with the difficult ones.

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Andre from the Republic of South Africa

  5. Joop

    November 23, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Great Job sir.
    Thanks for sharing

  6. Suranga Electronics

    November 23, 2017 at 1:27 am

    Good Good.. very nice Services.
    Mr Parasuraman.(Audio Expert)

  7. angelo

    November 23, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Dear Sir
    whats the reason behind changing lots of caps ?
    thank you in advance

    • Parasuraman S

      November 23, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      Already covered in the article. ESR readings were either on brim or out.

  8. Irfan

    November 23, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Excellent. Mr Parasuraman why you always replace too many components even when they are looking fine.

    • Parasuraman S

      November 23, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      Only when I notice majority of components are bad that I resort to changing especially the Electrolytic Capacitors in toto. My experience has taught me that changing electrolytic capacitors in an old set is the primary thing one should do. While writing this, I am doing the same thing in an antique Fair Mate Mono Tape Recorder. The ESRS are way out of range!

  9. Albert

    November 23, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Thank you for another nice repair story dear Parasuraman! Seeing all those removed e-caps again (as often) that you said were (bad ESR) at the brim, I wonder if they could not have been that right from the start without getting any worse for years? Because I know that mainly those special 6.3V e-caps on PC mainboards have special very low ESR characteristics. Maybe you therefore should move the level of disqualifying the doubtful e-caps a bit? I hope that the customer will give you some feedback in time because it is very disappointing if someone doesn't appreciate all the hard work that's been done!

    • Parasuraman S

      November 23, 2017 at 11:53 pm

      Well. I really appreciate your feed back. Yes, you may be right there. But what I do today is a result of many, many years of experience and I get some sort of a hunch whenever I see these caps and if the customer agrees, I just replace all of them, bringing a 'system cool' for the set. As you already know, when a set works with all new capacitors, it gets new life and works with less strains!

  10. James

    November 24, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    The customer probably didn't realize the complexity of the issue at hand, only us who desire such understanding truly appreciate the dedication and training you offer from your own experiences. Excellent read, many thanks.

  11. Lee

    November 24, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Nice work Parasuraman. As always you go above & beyond the call of duty.

  12. Oluwatosin

    November 24, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Nice job

  13. Ulises Aguilar Pazzani

    November 27, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Mr Subramanian , great fix and a lot of patience , the is the difference from a good tech Sir,, I Like Your videos

  14. Ivan

    May 6, 2020 at 12:48 am

    Goodness gracious congz king engineer, thanks have learn alot from this article


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