Heathkit EA-3 Finished


My heathkit EA-3 amplifier is finally playing music again. It's well over 50 years old at this point, but was worth every penny to bring back.

After I rebuilt it's internals (new caps/resistors), I left it on the shelf as it was still crackling on occasion. Fast forward to this past november when I found a supplier of old capacitors. I neglected to replace the main 4-part capacitor previously and figured this could be the cause. $40 USD later and the amp was still crackling.

Time for a professional to take a look... I ended up taking it to Hi-Tronics in Ottawa who are well versed in repair and restoration. One tube diagnostic later and it turns out all but one of the tubes were toast. I ended up ordering new ones from thetubestore.com. The full set for this amplifier ended up around $160.

Here's the list of tubes it needed:

  • 6CA4 - Electro-Harmonix
  • 6AN8 - GE NOS
  • 12AX7 - Electro-Harmonix
  • 2xEL84 - JJ

Finally, in order to feed the amp I turned to my favourite tiny computer, the Raspberry Pi. Since the last time I looked into a Jukebox, there's been an interesting distro that came out called Volumio. It checks pretty much all boxes that I wanted in a remote control Jukebox as it has a slick web UI that works on all platforms. Done.