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RE: Yamaha C2A -- anyone intimately familiar with this preamp? Repair advice needed...

Sorry, have never worked on C2A, these are general comments regarding popping, intermittent crackling static type sounds. Most times it is a connection problem, including the wipers in controls, cracked resistors, cold solder joints etc. Much less frequent, semiconductor (transistors, diodes) or capacitors. Changes in temperature can exacerbate it, due to expansion/contraction.

Any insulated tool is good for prodding, flexing etc., to see if you can cause the sound. Potentiometers, including bias, as long as you know how to adjust them, see if they make similar noise turning them, clean or replace if they do. Take your time, sometimes you have to touch/flex something in a certain way to replicate the problem. Then when you have, it can take time to isolate its source.

Side comment about appearance of power devices. Many, many years ago, just starting doing service, suspected some devices due to discolouration, for me at least, complete waste of time.

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