Sunday, 3 March 2013

A $15 NAD Trifecta almost pans out.

I visited a thrift store that I don't get to often today. I have found a couple of things there in the past, but it is not close to me and it can be a bit odoriferous there and not so much fun to browse.

It's an SPCA store and the place has always smelled of cat pee. It's better now but being winter-ish weather they don't have the doors open. Apparently the long term old manager who did not care what the cats did inside is gone and they have cleaned it somewhat but it still can assault the senses at times. It may be an SPCA store but you still have to put the cats out when they need to go!

NAD stack

As soon as I walked in I thought I might be on to something though. Obviously recently arrivals as they were still in a box and not on the shelves were a couple of pieces of NAD gear. I have always had a soft spot for NAD so I dove in.

I found the 701 stereo receiver, a 6220 tape deck and the 5355e CD player, and ended up with all 3 for $5 each. I had to look around for a power cord for the CD player and a place to plug them in to test but eventually I managed to get some lights on all 3 units. 

The receiver appeared to work, but had what I knew to to be a very common problem with NAD and that was burnt out bulbs in the back light assembly for the LCD display. I have had several pieces where this is the case and have managed to fix them all. The good thing is that the thrift stores take the lack of display as a sign of not working at all. For most people that might be a big problem, but not for me, and the receiver was offered to me at $5.

The same price applied to the tape deck and the CD player. The tape deck worried me the most as the displayed LEDs for the meter were all lighting and I wasn't sure that it would be worth any investment to fix. However it turned out to be the easiest as all it took was a bit of tapping inside to find a bad connection and it worked fine. 

The CD player seems to have a bad laser assembly though. Most of the controls appear to work, but it does not recognize a disc in the tray. I might be able to find a TOPH 7810 somewhere though and install that...That is the reason for the "almost pans out" title of the post. I might have to spend some more money to make the CD player work, if I can do it at all. 

Anyway, the 701 looks good now that I have installed some blue LEDs in the backlight housing. It works great. i am recording some Santana for the tape deck in the car right now!


NAD set

Here are some pics of the process of fixing the 701 backlight display.

NAD 701

The original bulb is soldered in and has a supply voltage of about 12 volts DC. I have picked up some LEDs specifically for this purpose so I was ready to go. One LED is often going to provide too localized a display and potentially too focused. Some of the LEDs I bought are frosted to help prevent this.

NAD 701 bulb


After removing the original bulb from the small PC board at the back of the display I wired 2 in series with a small resistor. I drilled a couple of new holes in the PCB to hold the LED leads, and used one of the terminals on the the PCB to connect one side of the circuit, and the other one with the resistor I made an off board junction with the supply voltage line but covered it in heat shrionk tubing.

NAD 701 LED 2

It ended up working quite well. I had damaged the tabs that held the small PCB in place but it had also been glued in and I did this as well. The colour is darker than the original and much more to the Indigo side of things but I think it looks good!

NAD LED display

NAD set

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