© Don Sachs, 2015
Vintage Tube Audio  Restoration and Repair

Harman Kardon Citation II

Probably the best amplifier I have ever heard!

A complete restoration of a Citation II amplifier takes about 35 - 40 hours of work.  The parts cost is approximately $650-$750 depending on options chosen.  The labor cost for this is $1400.  A full restoration includes a full two year warranty on parts and labor and 90 days on tubes.  The result is just a stunningly good amplifier that will last you for many years.  Of course I can certainly do less.  At a minimum I would recommend rebuilding the power supply with the McShane level II+ kit, and replacing the original coupling caps with better modern ones.  If you contact me I can give you your options and try to price it out for you.  For a complete restoration here is what is done:  1.  I install every single McShane kit - level II+ power supply (plus an extra little choke we have been installing in the past few as another small improvement. 2.  Every capacitor and resistor in the entire amp is new - all very high quality parts from Jim. This is the premium capacitor set with Russian K40 paper in oil caps as the couplers to the output tubes. It is a wonderful combination and what I have in my own Citation II. 3.  Every tube socket, jack, and wire is new. All wiring is teflon coated very high quality from Jim. A mix of solid and stranded wire is used, each where appropriate.  AC tube filament wires are twisted to minimize hum.  I replace all the jumper wires underneath the terminal boards as well. 4.  I install modern 5-way gold plated speaker terminals mounted on glass epoxy board. There is room for 3 terminals on each channel so they are connected as ground, 4, and 8 ohms with the 16 ohm tap wired inside the amp. If you require the 16 ohm tap it is simple to wire it to the terminals and put the 4 or 8 ohm tap inside the amp and I will do so before shipping the amp.  Most everyone wants the 4 and 8 ohm taps on the terminals.  If you want the original style screw terminals I can do that and the cost is reduced by $50. 5. I install a pair of triode switches on the rear of the amp. These are very high quality switches from Jim. They allow you to toggle between the stock ultralinear connection of the output tubes (65 watts/ch) or triode connection (34.5 watts/ch). Triode sounds a bit sweeter and still has more than enough power to drive most speakers in most rooms. The only caveat is that you should only change the setting with the amp off. 6. I install a pair of tip jacks and a switch that allows you to switch between the internal meter and the jacks for biasing and AC balance. You may simply plug your external meter probes into the tip jacks and flip the switch and use it instead of the internal meter. I find even a $20 multi- meter to be far more accurate for biasing and balancing than the internal meters. I will provide a pair of large dummy load resistors for AC balancing. Of course, with the switch in the upright position the internal meter functions as always. 7. Our new CCS upgrade that makes the amp about 10 - 15% better in all regards.  Better bass definition and more detail at all frequencies.  This can only be installed by Jim or I or a highly skilled tech.  You really need a dual channel oscilloscope to get it right. 8.  A new modern 3-wire grounded AC power cord.  9.  Optionally, I can have the transformers painted in a brown that is close to the original color.  These are done with two coats of automotive paint.  The transformers are reinstalled with Deflex washers under them to eliminate any vibrations.  The transformer painting adds $100 to the cost. 10.  Other options include a separate filament transformer and regulated DC filament on the two input tubes, and a custom made power cord using Belden 19364 14 gauge cable covered with TechFlex.  Both of these tweaks will improve the amp another 5-10%.  See photos on gear for sale pages.  
A recent full rebuild of a Citation II The back with custom speaker terminals, Belden cord, triode switches, and bias tip jacks