Amp/receiver - throw or give away?
September 17, 2006 5:45 PM   Subscribe

What to do with a damaged stereo receiver?

I've got an old stereo amplifier/receiver (a twenty year Onkyo, TX-26), and the left channel is... gone. I'll be replacing it (thanks, by the way, to the info in this thread - getting the 8222), but what should I do with the old one? Just toss it? Or can it still be used by someone, somehow? Any environmental concerns if it goes in the trash? Thanks, gang!
posted by ObscureReferenceMan to Grab Bag (10 answers total)
I can't see any reason to do anything other than just toss it. You probably spent a lot of money on it when it was new, and there's a natural tendency to think, "But it must still be worth something!"

But electronics is so cheap and easy to manufacture that it's pretty much pointless to try to repair it, and why would anyone want a broken one?

As to environmental concerns, some people will tell you that you'll be poisoning the blood of Mother Gaia with your electronic wastes if it goes into a standard land fill, but I personally don't think there's really any issue. There's some lead and just a bit of cadmium in it which theoretically could leach into ground water, but there are plenty of other things in the landfill which are already getting into the local ground water; your broken stereo won't make any difference.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:16 PM on September 17, 2006

There are still electronics repairers in most decent-sized cities who'd likely be happy to take it off your hands, repair it and make a few dollars by selling it on. (Older amps are certainly easier to fix than newer ones.) Check the yellow pages.
posted by holgate at 6:23 PM on September 17, 2006

Throw it up on craigslist's free section and someone may take it off your hands.
posted by chrisamiller at 6:33 PM on September 17, 2006

Response by poster: Yeah. I figured it was pretty much set for the trash. But I know very little about electronics, and was hoping it could find a new home. I am reluctant to throw things away, especially if they're in decent shape. But I also enjoy the cathartic pleasure of ridding my household of junk.

We used to have a TV/electronics repair store nearby, but it has long gone.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 7:05 PM on September 17, 2006

A lot of times, it's easy to repair them for under fifty bucks. I only fix an item like that once, however. I hate just dumping something.
posted by adipocere at 7:09 PM on September 17, 2006

It's fixable, and probably fairly simple on my scale of difficulty. Depending on the volume and flavor of smoke, of course, it could be several things. One channel out probably does not mean power supply. It suggests the more highly stressed semiconductors in the output section, or at least that's where I'd look first.

Onkyo makes decent hardware, ( ), but the hot shot tuner folks aren't usually interested in the integrated tuner/amp combos.

Service manual on eBay: ($15)

I'd fix it and give it away, but as others have suggested, someone will want to take it off your hands for free.
posted by FauxScot at 7:23 PM on September 17, 2006

At a place where I worked recently, someone had taken an old receiver and used it as a case into which a PC was built. It was probably the coolest comptuer I'd ever seen (including newfangled boxes with fans, windows, blue neon lights, etc.) and had a very retro look.

The end result was something that looked like receiver but had a cd rom drive built into it, and a monitor was sitting on top.
posted by graytona at 10:05 PM on September 17, 2006

Be honest about its condition; ebay it starting at $5 & see what happens.

I was amazed when I sold a pair of ADS speakers with 3 out of 4 drivers completely decayed/shredded for very acceptable money a few years ago.
posted by omnidrew at 8:37 AM on September 18, 2006

I learned alot of electronics from messing about with discarded or salvaged things. I still do, and if i see a reciever in someones trash, i usually grab it (then my wife throws it out later...)

There's lots of reusable parts in the average stereo receiver. transformer, controls, tuning capacitor, ferrite antenna. Sometimes, complete sections can be salvaged (eg entire tuner, power amp). Offer it to a friend , or to a kid who's into electronics.
posted by Artful Codger at 10:01 AM on September 18, 2006

There's always freecycle
posted by kc0dxh at 10:05 AM on September 18, 2006

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