Adcom GFA-585 replacement circuit boards are here!

Hi Everyone,

At last, GFA-585 input boards! Available at my store.

As you may know, the Adcom GFA-585 suffered from the same leaky capacitor issue as the GFA-565. Nearly every GFA-585 was affected by a bad batch of leaky capacitors that cause speaker-blowing DC offset to appear on the output. You can try to clean up the original board, but the DC offset issue often persists. The electrolyte actually soaks into the fiberglass, making it ever-so-slightly conductive. This affects the balance of the high-impedance circuitry around the input stage and DC servo. Amps that seem fixed can actually develop DC offset later on, as the electrolyte continues to spread through the fiberglass. It’s a frustrating problem to work on.

My solution is a new board!


  • Two-layer, plated through-hole circuit board. Traces are routed on the top and bottom layers. This allows for shorter, wider traces, better spacing between conductors, and better component placement. The layout is slightly different from OEM, while maintaining physically compatibility.
  • Improved labeling. Lots of thought went into making component placement as confusion-free as possible. To prevent mistakes, all components are labeled with their value and type.
  • Thermal bonding of the input and cascode transistor pairs: Matched transistors pairs that make up the input stage should be thermally bonded with thermal paste and heat-shrink. These transistors have been located adjacent to make this easy.
  • Use your original parts, or new, modern equivalents: It’s possible to build a completely new board if you buy all the parts on this list. Or, use some old components.
    • Transistor pads accept any pin-out, ECB, EBC or CBE. The original 2SC and 2SA type transistors have leads arranged in ECB format. These are no longer available, and the modern equivalent replacement transistors are either EBC or CBE. (KSP42/92 and BC550/560, respectively.)
    • KB362 and KB262 stabistors are no longer manufactured. The only modern equivalent comes in a SMD SOT-23 package. The Central Semiconductor CMXSTB400 replaces both types. The board accommodates either new surface-mount stabistors, or original through-hole stabistors in one footprint.
    • Use the original driver heatsinks, or the larger ones I recommend.

More here at my original blog post about the GFA-565. (The 585 uses the same circuit as the 565, but with a shared power supply and fewer output devices.)

How to Fix Leaking Capacitors in the Adcom GFA-565 for good!

Skills Required:

This is a job for an experienced amplifier tech. If you have not fixed amplifiers before, the GFA-585 is not really a good place to start. Given the complexity of the design, and relatively high component count, it is very easy to make a small mistake in assembly. Mistakes are to be expected, but you should have enough experience with amplifiers to troubleshoot any issues that arise.

Buying a pre-assembled and tested board is no guarantee of success. You must still possess the skills to troubleshoot a complex amplifier. Every component on the output modules should be checked before installing the input board, or the board could be damaged. Damage due to installation error is not warrantied.

I can provide limited tech support—answering questions about what parts go where, clarification on documentation, and such. But if would like help in actually troubleshooting your amplifier, by email, text, or phone, I’m happy to provide that service for my usual hourly rate of $60/hr.

All parts available from Mouser, Digikey and other suppliers. (No affiliation), and if you buy everything on this parts list, it’s around $200. That’s absolutely everything you’ll need, not just for the input boards, but for a thorough refurbishing of the whole amplifier, including higher-voltage driver transistors, parts for the soft-start board, power switch, etc. Likely, you can re-use many original parts to save money.

I also sell matched sets of input transistors, along with their cascodes, 8 matched transistors in total for $40. Matching these devices is a significant project in itself, so I sell matched sets. I use a test jig to sort and match transistors, based on this discussion at You can use the original transistors if they are good, but they often have electrolyte goo on their leads, so if you do re-use the originals, make sure you clean them really, really well, and that the leads are not corroded too much.

Before ordering, please read through these instructions to be sure this is a project you’re comfortable doing. (Document is for the 565, but it’s basically the same thing.)
Many thanks to the community at DIYAUDIO.COM for enlightening discussions on the topic of the GFA-565/585, and for collaborative efforts to identify modern equivalent parts for everything.

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