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REVIEW: Dynaco Dynaco ST-120 Kit: Wired & Tested Amplifier (Tube)

Model: Dynaco ST-120 Kit: Wired & Tested
Category: Amplifier (Tube)
Suggested Retail Price: $995.00
Description: Bob Latino built 60 wpc kit: wired and tested
Manufacturer URL: Dynaco

Review by whiskey777 on January 27, 2009 at 22:06:52
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for the Dynaco ST-120 Kit: Wired & Tested

This review is for the Dynaco ST-120 hand built by Bob Lantino, with the PIO cap upgrade.
I can only say the best things about Bob and the product that he produces. It is obvious the time and care that he has put into the design upgrades that this amp possesses. It is as far from the "budget" Dynaco amps of yesteryear as it can possibly be. The build is spotless and made to last. The sound is REAL, and warm. It has great separation and clarity and runs dead quiet. I am using all JJ Tesla tubes, blue glass KT88's for output. Speakers are Magepan MG-Ic's(86db sens. I believe). They sound better than ever with the ST-120, and have much more tight and focused bass than they ever had with my solid state rig. I am spinning mostly vinyl, but have played a fair share of cd's through the new amp and couldn't be more pleased.

My musical selections have run the full spectrum of styles from jazz of Coleman Hawkins and Miles Davis to Humble Pie, Van Halen, the Eagles, Pink Floyd, The Cars and some CSNY all with results that make it hard to wipe the silly grin off my face. The triode/pentode switch is a nice addition. The amp runs in pentode at 60 wpc and at about 32 in triode. The triode mode really sings sweetly with the Jazz and acapella vocals very warm and rich.

It is my true opinion that you will not, you cannot, find an amp with these features, of this quality, at this wattage, at anything remotely close to the price. If you do any research at all this will become quite apparent. Never mind the fact that you get to deal one on one with a maker who takes pride in his product and will stand behind it. A far cry from dealing with a corporation, or, God forbid, taking your chances on an Ebay special somewhere out of China.

Product Weakness: None that I can discern. After a month or so of constant daily use sounds better and better to me.
Product Strengths: Quality of components and build. The warm analog sound that we all deserve!

Associated Equipment for this Review:

Amplifier: Dynaco ST-120 Bob Lantino build
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): NAD 7100 reciever pre out
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Esoteric Sound ATEN table, Grado Cartridge
Speakers: Magnepan MG-1c
Cables/Interconnects: Monster Cable 16 guage cables
Music Used (Genre/Selections): jazz, blues, acoustic, rock, metal, you name it!
Room Size (LxWxH): 22ft x 14ft x 8ft
Room Comments/Treatments: carpet on floor, no wall or ceiling treatment
Time Period/Length of Audition: 1 1/2 months
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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Topic - REVIEW: Dynaco Dynaco ST-120 Kit: Wired & Tested Amplifier (Tube) - whiskey777 22:06:52 01/27/09 (3)


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