I'm new to AudioGon, so I have no feedback here. But I'm a long time eBay seller of vintage HiFi gear. You can check out my feedback here. In fact, I recently sold this amp's twin to a very thrilled audiophile. Check it out here. You can expect the same quality and satisfaction I have offered for nearly two decades on eBay.
For Sale is One
Harman Kardon Citation II Amplifier
Fully Restored with Jim McShane parts
This amplifier is in flawless operating condition. It works, essentially, as a newly manufactured Citation II would have, but with the benefit of the modern parts selected by Jim McShane and some custom adapters designed and manufactured by myself.
Here are the full details of the restoration:
The chassis was stripped to bare metal, scuffed, primed with automotive primer, sanded smooth, given a color coat, sanded, and given another color coat. At this point, I applied a complete set of custom-made replica gold-flake decals to the chassis. Once the decals were applied, I sprayed the chassis with a coat of 2K high-gloss automotive primer, sanded it, and gave it a finish coat. The transformers were treated likewise. Please judge my workmanship by the photos, I think you'll find it's quite excellent.
The original bottom plate had lost all its original markings, was rusted and warped. The plate you see is a 304-4 stainless steel replica.
All hardware used in the amp (screws, bolts, nuts, washers) is new and made of stainless steel, or in the case of the black screws, steel with a black oxide finish.
Every capacitor, resistor, and wire in the amp is brand new. The only original electrical parts are the power transformer, output transformers, choke, bias meter, and meter switch.
McShane Kits installed:
Why trust my work, you ask?
- PSU Level 2+
- Bias Supply Upgrade
- Premium Resistor Kit with Mills tail resistors
- Premium Capacitor Kit with K40 PIO coupling capacitors
- Premium Wire Kit with Belden shielded input cables and silver-plated PTFE hookup wire
- Before installing your McShane kits, will your tech install new, high quality turrets that allow the parts to drop into place for better contact with zero lead tension, thereby avoiding the possibility of your parts failing over time? I did.
- When choosing material to use as your amp's bus-bar, will your tech special-order a 1/8" diameter oxygen-free copper round for the cleanest grounding, or just some random wire? I special-ordered the copper.
- Silver and copper tarnish and oxidize quickly. Before soldering parts into place/together in your amp, will your tech lightly abrade the surfaces, apply rosin flux, then securely affix the parts to be sure they make strong mechanical contact with each other? I did.
- Will your tech make sure to twist and/or tightly parallel-pair all supply and return wires to minimize loop area, thereby making sure your amp's circuitry doesn't act like a noise antenna? I did.
- Will your tech make sure that all your amp's grid-stopper and screen resistors are installed the right way (soldered as close to the tube pins as possible) in order to maximize their ability to block RF signals from causing noise and potential oscillations in your amplifier? Or will he, like 99% of Citation II's out there, just solder them however is easiest? I did it the right way.
- Will your tech tightly twist your amplifier's heater supply wires, including where they cross the tubes, or will he be lazy and let them radiate stray 60Hz waves into your sensitive input section? I took the time to do it right.
- Will your tech be sure to route your amp's wires away from potential sources of noise, and neatly and securely fasten them with heat-resistant ties? I did.
- Will your tech experiment to find the most noise-free location to ground your amp's power supply? I did, and it wasn't right next to the rectifiers, like so many people ground the circuit because it's easiest.
- Before reinstalling the Citation II's wafer switch, will your tech remove all the old wires, remove all the old solder, disassemble it, soak it in electrical cleaner, bake it dry, wire brush all the lugs, brush all the contacts clean with DeoxIT, then lubricate the electrical and mechanical parts with appropriate products? I did.
- Before reinstalling the Citation II's bias meter, will your tech thoroughly clean it, buff all the scratches from the lens, lubricate it, then install a new calibration resistor to make it as accurate as possible? I did.
The above are just a FEW of the many steps I took to be sure this restoration is as solid and perfect as possible. I know what I am doing, and I take the time to do it right.
- There are no modern potentiometers that physically fit this amp. Many people reinstall the originals and cross their fingers hoping the 60 year-old parts won't fail. Others drill holes in the chassis to install new parts. Instead of doing any of that, I designed and installed a set of adapters. They allowed me to install modern parts (RV4 Mil-Spec potentiometers from P.E.C. Canada) without modifying the chassis. So you get a reliable bias circuit and keep the amp's original look.
- It's impossible to fit 4 high-quality binding posts on the amp without modifying it in some way. Some people sacrifice the 16 Ohm tap, others cut the chassis. Instead, I created adapters that fit over the original terminal-strip cutout, preserving the full functionality of the amp without sacrificing aesthetics.
- Even when brand-new, the Citation II's bias meter was far from precise. So, I installed two test points to the left and right of the meter, as well as a switch that allows you to select between use of the meter or the test points.
- I installed a power switch in place of the courtesy outlet, again, using a custom designed adapter.
- I designed and installed two adapters for the RCA jacks, mainly so I could install modern parts and keep the amp pretty.
The amp is functionally brand new and is unused, having only been bench tested after its restoration. It operates flawlessly with a bold, effortless musicality and clean presentation that no tube amplifier before -- and very few since -- have ever matched. No hum or buzz.
The matched set of tubes I have included (the ones pictured) -- also supplied by Jim McShane -- are pretty quiet and I find take about 15-20 minutes to fully warm up and sound their best.
There are a few aesthetic flaws on the back of the amp (see the photos) where my screw-driver slipped. That's that only damage of any kind.
I will pack this like its the Mona Lisa and ship it by the most cost effective carrier to your address, either FedEX, UPS, or USPS ground service. It will be fully insured.
International buyers, please message me about shipping. I can most likely find you a better rate.
I have done my absolute best to describe the amp as fully and honestly as possible. If you have any questions, ask them BEFORE buying.