Why We Love the Internet

IRebuildMarantz.com: Robert D. Bowdish sent us an email recently, pointing us to his IRebuildMarants.com website, which he describes as "my semi-DYI site that's for the purpose of keeping great vintage audio gear alive."

We checked it out and liked what we saw. Bowdish describes himself as "just a regular guy," but his site is filled with helpful suggestions, such as how to diagnose and repair common problems in vintage gear and step-by-step instructions on restoring certain models (with more promised to come).

The instructions are clear and helpful, but Bowdish stresses that a certain level of familiarity with a soldering iron is required. "Do not attempt any of the repairs on any page in this website if you have not previously had extensive soldering experience," he says. But you don't have to be an EE to benefit from his site—we learned some stuff that's going to be a big help on our Scott receiver restoration project.

The great thing about vintage hi-fi is that it was built to last—and to be repaired. Modern designs don't invite hands-on tinkering, for the most part, but the basic circuits and roomy chassis of vintage gear make it a pleasure to work on—not to mention providing a great chance to learn more about electronics. Plus, at the end of your project, you have a cool piece of audio kit that has a lot of you in it.

Nice site, Mr. Bowdish. We look forward to it growing—both in scope and popularity.

Manual overload: One of the great things about the World Wide Web is how simple it has made getting certain information. We're big fans of online owner's manuals here at Stereophile and can't understand why so many companies don't offer this service. When we go looking for a manual and discover we have to actually pay to receive a printed copy, all we can think is How 20th century!

We received a press release citing a survey conducted by OwnerIQ that reports that 86% of consumers now use online owner's manuals as product research. Well, d'oh we said.

It turns out that OwnerIQ offers a one-stop solution for audio manuals, called, for no reason we can determine, Audio.Manualsonline.com. High-end manufacturers aren't as present there as we'd like, but the concept of a central manual library is an attractive one—some companies either hide them or make you go through lengthy decision trees to find a specific manual.

Audio.Manualsonline.com is a good idea. Audiophiles may do well to add it to their bookmarks.