21 year old AV receiver - waiting for the end?

Since 2002 my Rotel RSX-1055 has been on almost every single day. It has never failed in well over 20,000 hours of running - maybe 30,000. My $1200 investment has worked out well (However, had I put this in Apple stock, it would be about 150k). I know that capacitors can dry out over time, so I looked into some preventive maintenance. Rotel’s answer was it’s not supported, they don’t have parts, and a local shop who does a lot of work on old amps, mostly tube stuff, says they don’t work on AV receivers. I doubt I can find anyone to do this. So my question is, what will the end look like? Is it likely to fade out one day? Will there be a faint sizzle sound, or smell of electronics frying? Or will I wake up one morning to find it has passed quietly in the night? How long could this thing last? I don’t want to give up on it.



I always send all my stuff to independent professional techs for my service and repairs ,unless it’s under still under warranty that requires dealer documentation support to send it to a distributor designated repair shop,

I have my current trusted local independent pro tech Audiofave who is top shelf: European trained, prompt, experienced and fair price,

. Who can ask for more? Contemporaneously, he is the designated Canadian shop for seversl of the major Brit and Euro audio product Canadian distributors.

WRT dealers, there is a hierarchy of after-sale support : a paltry few of longstanding larger audio bricks and mortar ones with an in-house seasoned tech, and 99% have their own designated fave independent 3rd party. In the 45 years in this hobby, I know them all within a 150 mile radius. And the numbers keep dwindling over the years .

Of course we all intuitively trend to the independent shop for convenience and price and service …the challenge is finding a good and trusted one. I have a ranking list of quality types, and they all currently all decline AVR repairs out of warranty.
They all sing from the same songsheet …..dem’s da breaks …( 2-Channel audio  …all good … no problem ) 

As you point out, maybe you can go find SOMEBODY to fix the issue SOMEWHERE …. But At pro tech rates generally north of a $100 an hour and up …it’s all competitive and not insignificant.

. How much cash and personal time are most forum fans herein going to invest in a 20 year Uber-old AVR with an estimated best case minimal market FMV that will be dwarfed by the actual new costs to upgrade or repair it.?

carry on and choose wisely, sir.



So many times I’ve tried to tell contrary and that many times verified that it is inferior and it is overpriced pretty much anything


Fixing Rotel AVR for about $250 worth if necessary when the time comes, but while it’s still alive, no need to bother and no need to worry and no need to listen stories about smoke and be terrified about that.


@soix - great advice. Now I feel bad for telling my wife to remember to turn it off all the time. She was right after all! 

@erik_squires I'll shoot for those ten years! Maybe I could start a pool on when it dies? Gambling is probably against forum rules...


Not worth replacing when it does go, but no reason to junk it until then.  If you are worried that there might be a gap of time between when it goes and when you settle on a replacement, you can probably pick up a used AVR of more recent vintage for next to nothing.  Just verify that it works at time of purchase, keep it around in reserve, and when the Arcam dies use it as a temporary stopgap.  I have an old Pioneer AVR in the basement that I used as a preamp for a few weeks when  my Cary preamp needed some maintenance 

My Harman Kardon Citation 22 amps, Citation 25 preamps, and Citation 23 tuners are over 30 years old. Same with my HK CD players.

Over the past year or two some things started to fail. I'm almost done getting everything refurbished. Some things are getting even better parts than what they came with for better than new sound. This is all costing a fraction of what new equipment would set me back.

I did look at new equipment. For my tastes, it would have cost about 20 grand, not including new speakers. Hey, why not? For a system that sounds good to me it's worth that, but........ How long will the new stuff last? I asked more than a few folks. I said "anywhere near as long as my old stuff lasted?" All I got was laughter and replies of 8-10 years if I am really lucky. No brainer, get the old stuff refurbed.

It sounds great to me as it's what I'm accustomed to. I did buy a bunch of new Audioquest Tower interconnects and it sounds a bit better for it. Way better than the original $2 cords that came with the stuff 30+ years ago.

It's your money and your ears. Do what pleases you. There are places that will repair your gear, you just may have to pack it well and ship it.