Need advice on SS Amp stored for long time


Jun 18, 2023
I'm the lucky guy (or not) who found and bought a brand new Audio Research DS-450 solid state amplifier in the sealed box! This amp has been in storage for at least 12 years, maybe longer! I have paid US$ 4.000 for it with no warranty from the seller.

I haven't turned on the amp yet!

When I opened the box and took off the top cover I found some signs of mold as you can see in these pictures:


But what is making me worried are 4 capacitors. I don't know if it's mold or if it's a possible leak.

See the pictures:




There are no signs of leaks at the bottom near the PCB, only at the top of them.

What do you think of these capacitors? Mold or Leaking?

I'm thinking of using a Variac transformer to slowly increase the voltage to try and slowly reform these capacitors and see what happens. This amplifier uses a linear power supply, but I don't know if its protection circuits will allow that.

What should I do? I would really appreciate if you guys could guide me.

Thanks a lot!


Well-known member
I reckon the same has just come through the grille in the top cover and ended up on the capacitors - a damp cloth is probably all you need to wipe it off.

Obviously clean up that right output terminal too, especially its metal part, as well as all other connectors.

No harm in using your variac for initial power up - good idea (y)
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