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 Post subject: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Mon 01, 2018 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Jan Fri 02, 2015 10:19 pm
Posts: 35
Hello,

I think this is where this belongs, if not please move it.

I would like to build a stereo up so I can use my record player (has RCA plugs), my DVD/cd player and small AM transmitter. I am not looking to spend $$$$$$ just a 'B' level amp would be nice. I then could find some speakers to make a nice surrounding stereo system. Does anyone have any recommendations on makers? I am looking at the late 60's-early 70's for quality and repairability.

Thanks,

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Mon 01, 2018 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 24, 2011 4:35 am
Posts: 4172
Location: Sunnyvale CA
1930artdeco wrote:
Hello,

I think this is where this belongs, if not please move it.

I would like to build a stereo up so I can use my record player (has RCA plugs), my DVD/cd player and small AM transmitter. I am not looking to spend $$$$$$ just a 'B' level amp would be nice. I then could find some speakers to make a nice surrounding stereo system. Does anyone have any recommendations on makers? I am looking at the late 60's-early 70's for quality and repairability.


There are plenty of early-mid-70's "silver age" Japanese solid state amplifiers for what I would consider "pittances" on eBay. But late-60's to early 70's amplifiers are *not* easy to repair if any solid-state parts fail, in fact, early solid-sate amplifiers can be nearly impossible to find parts for, or even to identify the parts, since many were either potted into modules, or only had proprietary markings. They also tend to have unusually difficult to repair and impossible to replace switches and pots.

The relatively good news is that these mid-late 70's Pioneer/Yamaha, etc, amplifiers are so inexpensive that you can get one, see if it works, if not, go get another one.

If you want repairability, I would recommend something built as a kit originally, like a Dynaco ST-150, SCA-50, or similar. They have easily replaced parts, and with a few exceptions, are tough as old boots. Also, there are legions of hi-fi guys who keep them going so any problem you have is soluble. They are certainly superior to silver age offshore components in terms of performance, too. Avoid they very first generation (ST-80 and ST-120, although there are certainly fixes for the ST-120, why bother when you can get a 150 that already works properly) as marginally stable and prone to problems.

I would also suggest that it's even easier to get earlier, late tube-era units that are generally excellent and very easy to work on.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Mon 01, 2018 10:36 pm 
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Joined: Jun Mon 24, 2013 3:00 pm
Posts: 1149
Location: Champaign IL 61822
I recommend the Hafler solid state stuff. The DH120 or DH200 power amps are
reliable. Mine ran continuously for 35 years and I still use it every day,
no repairs (and the caps check out fine.)

The preamp is excellent but you might or might not
have noisy switches.


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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 12:36 am 
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Joined: Jan Fri 02, 2015 10:19 pm
Posts: 35
Ok, I did some poking on ebay just to see what was out there and for what price. I apparently am getting my terms mixed up. I am looking for what I call an amp where I can switch between AM/FM, phono and aux where I can plug in my am transmitter. And speakers of course. If this not the correct term, will someone please school me as to the correct term.

Thanks,

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 2:35 am 
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Joined: Aug Wed 24, 2011 4:35 am
Posts: 4172
Location: Sunnyvale CA
1930artdeco wrote:
Ok, I did some poking on ebay just to see what was out there and for what price. I apparently am getting my terms mixed up. I am looking for what I call an amp where I can switch between AM/FM, phono and aux where I can plug in my am transmitter. And speakers of course. If this not the correct term, will someone please school me as to the correct term.


You seem to want a receiver (combination tuner, pre-amp, and power amp). This would be an example (which I have no association with nor connection to):

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pioneer-Model- ... SwfHZaSkDh

There are MANY similar items available. This is what I would refer to as a "silver age" component, typical of the breed. The performance is OK, not super-ho-fi, but inoffensive, with a sort of anodyne sound. They tend to all sound very similar to each other, although very different from a typical hi-fi component system.

I don't understand the last bit about plugging in your AM transmitter. To use a transmitter to transmit the output of the receiver, you wouldn't use the "aux" *input*, you would either use a pre-amp output (if it has one) or the tape output drive. The AUX would be used for a CD drive or something. It probably also has a phono input, meaning a MM phono cartridge (5 mv) level with an RIAA equalizer - DON'T connect a ceramic phono cartridge from a 40's-50's style record player to this input.

For speakers, I suggest a few-generations-old low-end hi-fi speaker like these:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/B-W-Bowers-Wil ... SwVNxaP-f2

There also many of these available for a wide range of prices, that particular listing seems a bit on the high side to me. Very good and relatively recent speakers are always available, sometimes for what I would consider dirt cheap prices because audiophiles tend to flit from speaker to speaker very quickly, when someone tells them its not good any more. Major manufacturers like B&W can service them and supply repair parts as necessary for many years/decades and they are servicable (as opposed to the crap factories like Polk, etc, that are sometimes glued together and can't be serviced at all without destroying something).


Brett

p.s. to be able to get service parts, definitely avoid anything with digital parts, like digital PLL tuning or digital signal processing. Very frequently, these are implemented using proprietary hardware hybrid ICs that are completely unobtainable (and were not availble 5 years after it was built, either). Discrete traansistors, and analog ICs, you have a chance if you can figure out what the characteristics were, but you have no chance at all of figuring out what a custom chip did, nor any way of getting a custom chip.


Last edited by Brett_Buck on Jan Tue 02, 2018 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 3:24 am 
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Posts: 1371
I've heard some good things about vintage Crown amps, but personally when I go with solid state I go with Adcom. For stereo I have a particular fondness for the GFA 5500, but another of my favorites is the GFA 6002 which is bridgeable for mono operation.

They are often on the bay, and very much worth the money, IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 4:30 am 
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Location: Hidden Valley, AZ
+1 on the Hafler DH series.

David Hafler was the same guy that wound and sold the Acrosound output iron and then started Dynaco. :D

DDG

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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 4:44 am 
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Joined: Aug Wed 24, 2011 4:35 am
Posts: 4172
Location: Sunnyvale CA
W7TFO wrote:
+1 on the Hafler DH series.

David Hafler was the same guy that wound and sold the Acrosound output iron and then started Dynaco. :D

DDG


Agreed, this is also a good choice (although much newer than the time range mentioned), particularly if it is desired to have it servicable.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 4:50 am 
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Location: Columbus Ohio
there is some great deals out there on Sansui, higher end Pioneers, save some cash for better speakers, or add an equalizer,
they too are dirt cheap. What was $2000 in 1980 is $200 today. not counting Marantz, McIntosh and some others.
Do you want a repairable unit?

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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 19974
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
I've always liked Kenwood amps, tuners, and receivers from the late '70's. Kenwood also was an OEM supplier for Lafayette and probably other "store" brands. There was fierce competition back then so any of the mainstream makers like Pioneer, Sansui, Sony, (Japanese) Marantz, etc. are likely to suite your needs just fine. It's hard to recommend specific models without knowing your budget but I think you can get a fairly nice, working receiver for under $100 if you are willing to take it apart and clean the controls and switches.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Jan Fri 02, 2015 10:19 pm
Posts: 35
Thank you for squaring me up on terms. Sorry I don't know all of the terms as this is just a hobby and I don't get very deep into it. The reason I wanted it repairable is so if something goes wrong I can take it to someone or if God is looking over my shoulder I can fix it. As far as budget goes I am looking at a $100-500 as I need to save for the record player rebuild. For the AM transmitter I just figured it would plug into the AUX outlet. Where ever it plugs into and transmits I am happy.

Thanks,

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 5:58 pm 
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Joined: Dec Fri 08, 2017 5:40 pm
Posts: 147
Location: 44141
Speaking as one that was associated with Crown 29 years, Kenwood 8+ years, back in the '70's, either would be my choices and can be found. HK would fit in this class also IMHO. There were lots of good brands in that era. Crown would usually drive a direct short while many of the others would smoke; loved it during the time I owned a repair facility.

Bruce

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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 6:25 pm 
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Posts: 26893
Location: Detroit, MI USA
Put most of your money into a very good set of speakers, probably not from that vintage as most were very inefficient. Something more recent with good specs (higher than 100db/watt/meter) would do very nicely with a relatively low powered amplifier from that era.

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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 8:22 pm 
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Posts: 1371
Dave Doughty wrote:
I've always liked Kenwood amps, tuners, and receivers from the late '70's. Kenwood also was an OEM supplier for Lafayette and probably other "store" brands. There was fierce competition back then so any of the mainstream makers like Pioneer, Sansui, Sony, (Japanese) Marantz, etc. are likely to suite your needs just fine. It's hard to recommend specific models without knowing your budget but I think you can get a fairly nice, working receiver for under $100 if you are willing to take it apart and clean the controls and switches.

Dave

I had a KR9600 with matching kabuki speakers when I was younger. Not a bad setup. My friends were amused at how the lights would dim in time to the music. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 10:35 pm 
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I have a vintage Electro-Voice EV-1244 solid state amplifier from 1967. It is quite compact and a good performer. They show up from time to time on Ebay.


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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 24, 2011 4:35 am
Posts: 4172
Location: Sunnyvale CA
1930artdeco wrote:
Thank you for squaring me up on terms. Sorry I don't know all of the terms as this is just a hobby and I don't get very deep into it. The reason I wanted it repairable is so if something goes wrong I can take it to someone or if God is looking over my shoulder I can fix it. As far as budget goes I am looking at a $100-500 as I need to save for the record player rebuild. For the AM transmitter I just figured it would plug into the AUX outlet. Where ever it plugs into and transmits I am happy.


AUX is for line *inputs* to the receiver, i.e. line level sources like CD players, not outputs. I think what you want is a line output, which for this era, is usually only available from the tape recorder output.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Wed 03, 2018 1:02 am 
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Joined: Feb Thu 08, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 11957
Location: 06457
Brett_Buck wrote:
1930artdeco wrote:
Ok, I did some poking on ebay just to see what was out there and for what price. I apparently am getting my terms mixed up. I am looking for what I call an amp where I can switch between AM/FM, phono and aux where I can plug in my am transmitter. And speakers of course. If this not the correct term, will someone please school me as to the correct term.


You seem to want a receiver (combination tuner, pre-amp, and power amp). This would be an example (which I have no association with nor connection to):

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pioneer-Model- ... SwfHZaSkDh

There are MANY similar items available. This is what I would refer to as a "silver age" component, typical of the breed. The performance is OK, not super-ho-fi, but inoffensive, with a sort of anodyne sound. They tend to all sound very similar to each other, alth.

I don't understand the last bit about plugging in your AM transmitter. To use a transmitter to transmit the output of the receiver, you wouldn't use the "aux" *input*, you would either use a pre-amp output (if it has one) or the tape output drive. The AUX would be used for a CD drive or something. It probably also has a phono input, meaning a MM phono cartridge (5 mv) level with an RIAA equalizer - DON'T connect a ceramic phono cartridge from a 40's-50's style record player to this input.

For speakers, I suggest a few-generations-old low-end hi-fi speaker like these:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/B-W-Bowers-Wil ... SwVNxaP-f2

There also many of these available for a wide range of prices, that particular listing seems a bit on the high side to me. Very good and relatively recent speakers are always available, sometimes for what I would consider dirt cheap prices because audiophiles tend to flit from speaker to speaker very quickly, when someone tells them its not good any more. Major manufacturers like B&W can service them and supply repair parts as necessary for many years/decades and they are servicable (as opposed to the crap factories like Polk, etc, that are sometimes glued together and can't be serviced at all without destroying something).


He is looking for a amplifier ONLY. He will plug his components into the amplifier. This what you are looking for.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sansui-A-40-In ... SwRbtaRSxV


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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Wed 03, 2018 11:05 pm 
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Posts: 8086
Location: Lehighton, PA.
I've had many different receivers over the years from Magnavox to Pioneer and most brands in between but I still believe the best bang for the buck is a Technics, 40W and up. Just my $.02.

Right now my daily driver is a Technics SA-303 (1980) driving a pair of Technics SB-CR33 speakers. The turntable is a Dual 1019. Sounds great!

Larry

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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Thu 04, 2018 10:25 pm 
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Location: Fort Washington,MD 20744
JVC is another brand that I found to be inexpensive and decent quality.

Doug


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 Post subject: Re: solid state amp recommendations
PostPosted: Jan Thu 04, 2018 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Dec Fri 08, 2017 5:40 pm
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Location: 44141
As we are seeing from the responses there were many good brands from this era. Technics was a Panasonic brand and they always made good products and were also an outstanding company . Mr. Detrola's comments are quite valid as speakers were almost always the weak link. Most amps had distortion levels well under 1% at very high levels. Just my opinion.

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