A Tom Evans ‘The Groove’ phono amplifier that blows the mains fuse when you switch it on.
This isn’t a mainstream piece of audio kit as it carries a very high price tag so it was interesting to see what made it tick.
It’s a funky looking unit in a very reflective black acrylic case. Shielding inside the unit is accomplished with pieces of unetched PCB connected to 0v. An unetched PCB is basically a sheet of copper that’s used as shielding.
If need your amplifier repaired please email me about the fault along with the model number to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Groove has two independent power supplies and two audio boards. It’s in effect two separate turntable phono amplifiers in a single case.
The fuse blowing was due to a faulty mains transformer. Also a failed op-amp on an audio board was pulling a lot of power from the power supply. That’s probably what took out the transformer.
There’s no circuit diagrams or any information on what any of the parts are so finding replacements took a bit of working out.
This isn’t helped by the fact that all the semiconductors have had their identifying numbers scrubbed off and all the op-amps have heatsinks glued to them. They’ve probably also had their numbers removed!
The special design element of the The Groove is a very low noise voltage regulator shown below that Tom Evans calls a Lithos regulator. It provides +/- 14v for the audio circuitry.
Fortunately the Lithos regulator appeared to be working. A new transformer and op-amp for the audio section brought it back to life.
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