Two years ago we wrote about the separates (preamp and power amplifier) ENBEE ZX1 and ENBEE ZX80 from India. Enbee was based in Delhi, it was active from the early 50’s until 2005. Its owner was Nishi Nakra, who also designed the Enbee products. The Internet knows no the borders, and our article has found readers also from in the homeland of Enbee and Mr. Nakra.
One of these readers wrote to us about an older, this time integrated amplifier: ENBEE EA-50B. According to information from readers, the amplifier is from the late 1970s (the owner bought it in 1978). Its power is 50 W per channel. The amplifier worked fine for several decades, but lately developed a problem with randomly fluctuating volume in the right channel. We have advised to thoroughly clean the amplifier, especially clean all switches and potentiometers with a contact cleaning spray; Problems with fluctuating/fading/quieter/distorted sound in one or both channels in amplifiers are often caused by oxides and dirt depositing on contacts in switches, potentiometers, and relays. The cause many be different of course, same symptoms could be caused be a dry capacitor, a dying transistor, bad solder joints and many other things, but it’s a good idea to start with cleaning – in many cases it turns out to be sufficient. And, as you can see in the pictures, this particular amp certainly needs a good cleaning and basic maintenance.
We also proposed to test the amplifier with an external power amplifier or powered speakers (the amp has appropriate PRE OUT outputs). This test allows to determine which section of the amplifier is causing the problem. If the problems persist with an external power amplifier connected, for the source of the problem is somewhere in the preamplifier section. If the sound is good and problems disappear when an external power amplifier is connected – the problem is in the power amplifier section.
More details can be found in the comments under our original article about Enbee.
In the gallery we present the photos of ENBEE EA-50B sent to us by the reader and copies of the technical information for this amplifier (originally printed for the non-B version of EA-50, corrections in ink were made by Mr. Nakra and contain updated specs for EA-50B). We extend our thanks to Mr. Johnson Chacko for making them available. He has also sent us a short review, which you can read below:
“In 1978, I was 24 yrs old and I was looking for a good music system which would last me a lifetime. I surveyed far and wide and good systems existed but import_ into India was a major problem. Import duties were high as this was considered a luxury item. Since I was flying fighters for the IAF, I came to know that a few officers messes had bought music systems from ENBEE. If I am not wrong they were quadraphonic systems. I listened to music on those systems with input from a LP record (phono) and the quality of sound impressed me, especially the clarity at low volumes. I visited the Nakra Brothers shop at Shankar Market near Connaught Place in New Delhi to buy it. Mr Nakra did say that he had made the EA 50, but he was making an improved version in EA 50 B (Enbee Amplifier 50 watts RMS model B to be precise) and I opted for it. I had to wait for it to be made – about a month, before I could own it.
I used the Philips turntable GA 242 to play LPs, which were the only input devices those days. There after I have used all kinds of devices with changing times including the MIC for functions.
I have transferred my residence 26 times during my career and I must admit that the system is really robust to take all that movement. It never gave me a problem and always worked well.
ENBEE had a tagline “Sound that leaps into Colour” and it lived up to it.”