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|For Sale Ads|
|Model:||Dynaco ST-70 KIT|
|Suggested Retail Price:||$695|
|Description:||An upgraded Dynaco ST-70 in KIT form|
|Manufacturer URL:||Dynaco ST-70 KIT|
|Review by Wolf012558@aol.com on February 04, 2008 at 07:09:30|
IP Address: 188.8.131.52
|Add Your Review|
for the Dynaco ST-70 KIT
After reading Louis Chochos, the owner of Omega Speakers, positive review of Bob's upgraded Dynaco ST-70 power amp on the Omega Speaker Forum I got in contact with Bob to get more information about his amp. I am familiar with the 70 since I already own an old Dynaco ST-70. It is an original amp and although it was still running and sounded OK, it really needed rebuilding. Rather than rebuild and after a few more conversations with Bob, I went with his amp kit. Although looking virtually identical to the stock amp, this amp has many upgrades over the stock amp AND every part was new, nothing was recycled from an old ST-70. I was really impressed with the quality of parts included. The power switch is rated at 16 amps! 16 amps ? My God, the fuse blows at 3 amps ! All seven tube sockets have cadmium plated pins for durability and better electrical contact. The beautiful stainless steel chassis made me want to throw rocks at my old 70 with it's hazy looking frame. The silk screening on the chassis is identical to the original Dynaco chassis. The three transformers, according to Bob, are USA made custom production transformers. The power transformer has about a 1/2 inch higher stack than my original power transformer. The USA made A-470 output transformers supplied are near exact copies of the originals with M6 grain laminations just like the originals but have 4 bolts holding the bells on instead of 2 bolts like the original output transformers. Bob says that winding technique on the output transformers is the same as the originals. The original amp had 90 Mfd of power storage on the quad cap and nothing on the driver board. On this amp the driver board and quad cap have a total of 258 Mfd of power storage. Also included are two triode/pentode switches which are installed in the holes where the original bias potentiometers used to be. The new amp has the bias potentiometers on the driver board so the holes are not needed for bias contols. All tubes are included with the amp. It may also be purchased without tubes if you already have the proper tubes - four EL34, three 12AT7's and 1 GZ34. You can also use KT77, KT88 or 6550 output tubes. The KT88 and 6550 tubes are +$60. I went with the standard EL34's that came with the kit, a new matched quad of ElectroHarmonix EL34's.
It was an easy kit to put together. The assembly manual was perfect with no confusing instructions. A nice pictorial with color coded transformer wires was included so that you could check each step against the pictorial as you went along. Best of all it fired right up and played perfect the first time I turned it on. After a few hours of listening I swapped in my old 70 and compared the two. There was no real comparison. The newer amp sounded so much smoother and more powerful with the upgraded power supply and better driver board. The bass was tighter, the top end was more extended and like many tube amps this one just sounded "right" not tubey but tonally very accurate. This amp was dead quiet with no hum even with your ear next to the speaker. The bias was easy to set on each output tube. Even after 3 or 4 hours on, it had barely drifted a fraction of a volt. Bias is .40 volts DC per each EL34 tube or .50 volts DC if you use KT88 or 6550 tubes.
The triode/pentode switches are a nice idea and can be switched from one mode to the other while the amp is running. I switched back and forth between the two and found I liked the triode setting over the pentode for most (but not all) music. I guess it's a matter of taste. Although advertised like the old 70 at 35 watts per channel, the specs show 40 watts per channel and a power bandwith of 17 Hz to 30,000 Hz in the normal pentode ultralinear configuration. According to Bob, about 22 watts per channel are available in triode. Even with just 22 watts per channel, there was enough power to drive my 90 dB speakers to a pretty loud volume in my 14 X 24 foot living room. This is a nice amp kit which IMHO is a bargain at $695 + shipping considering the quality of sound. It's an easy to build kit but if you're afraid of doing a kit, you can also get a wired and tested amp from Bob for about $100 more.
|Product Weakness:||None really except this is a basic amp and you do need a preamp with this amp.|
|Product Strengths:||Excellent quality of sound much better than a stock ST-70. Good value. High quality of parts. Excellent assembly manual.|
|Preamplifier (or None if Integrated):||Audio Research LS-16|
|Sources (CDP/Turntable):||Classe CDP-1|
|Cables/Interconnects:||Blue Jeans cable|
|Music Used (Genre/Selections):||Mostly jazz and some pop|
|Room Size (LxWxH):||24 x 14 x 8|
|Room Comments/Treatments:||Wall to wall carpeting|
|Time Period/Length of Audition:||4 months|
|Type of Audition/Review:||Product Owner|
Now, all you need is a pair of Quad ESL '57s and you will become a member of hifi heaven.
Greetings from the sunny Brønshøj riveria on the banks of the lovely Utterslev Mose
I am a little new to the Asylums, never posted a review before and just realized that I failed to mention Bob's last name. It is Bob Latino. Bob has been a Dynaco aficianado and restorer of Dynaco amps for many years. A couple of years ago he started offering a completely brand new and upgraded WIRED Dynaco ST-70. Last year he started offering the same amp in KIT form. Bob's own web site is at the web address listed below or you can just use the direct link to see what it's like to build the kit.
I happen to have built and installed that Driver board on my ST70. Its a killer, turns the old amp into a modern hot rod 35 watt tube amp. Bass is clean and well defined. I recomend that board and a ST70 to anyone looking for a great PP 35 watt amp for $500 (being you can buy a used working ST70 for $300) or to purchase this kit too...
Thanks for the link to the assembly
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