In case you are much like me – you will love ‘old’ stereo equipment, especially valve amplifiers. Some might say landmark manufacturers including Leak, Quad, Thorens, Garrard, Shure, SME, etc, who made an impact on the progression of ‘Hi Fi’ (does anyone call it that these days?).
My memories of record systems and valve amplifiers go back to pre-33rpm; when our dad had a large collection of 78s. I remember he had an electric record player (very posh!) and by its side resided a tiny box. In this Shanling CD3.2 Tube CD Player lived needles – these were religiously changed every eighth record. Dad kept a pad by the record player and every time that it was played he will make a note on the pad!
With the creation of LPs into our house, the equipment to experience them also changed. First, dad bought an HMV valve amplifier/radiogram – needless to say – just before too much time he changed this for separate stereo pieces.
The first set-up he bought inside the late 1960’s was comprised of:
Thorens TD150 record deck; SME 3009 Series 11 Tonearm; Shure V15 cartridge; Leak 30 Plus amplifier; Leak Sandwich 600 Speakers.
I am just very proud still to possess the Leak 30 Plus Amplifier. Furthermore, i still have the original packaging and brochure which was included with it! The style of instruction inside it is much like going back years!
Dad (as dads do!) provided me with his cast-offs when he updated, therefore i continued to utilize his Leak stuff for a number of years – such as the fantastic Leak Sandwich 600 Speakers – boy did they sound good? Regrettably I don’t have the speakers anymore.
Through the years a few of my buddies bought Quad valve amplifiers – which at the time were way out of my range! However it did sow the seeds of interest, and around a decade ago I had been fortunate enough to acquire an un-molested set of Quad 11 valve amplifiers & Quad 22 control unit. Many people inside the 80’s thought it good to ‘Modify’ them – some advice – if you prefer a set of Quads, usually do not buy anything but unmodified stuff. Others have already been destroyed.
Last year I got a pair of Mingda MC368-B90 KT90 Tube Amplifier from EBay – unseen and untested. I am pleased to say – like a lot of people on EBay – the seller was actually a genuine person and that i now own a great pair. They are not yet operational since we are during this process of some serious renovation operate in our home so when completed I am going to use a ‘Listening room’ specifically for my Hi Fi. I’ll keep you updated with progress!
Now my system consists of:
Thorens TD125 Mk11; SME 3009 Series 11 tonearm; Shure M75ED; Quad 11 mono blocks; Quad 22 control unit; Quad ESL-57 speakers.
Currently I am using Tannoy Mercury Speakers – they’re good from the Quad 11 valve amplifiers – mind, I really do have them on a couple of high quality stands – creates a world of difference. The Quads are hnhzvf towards the Quad service department for any well earned restoration – so I’ll help you stay updated using the renovation.
Based on their design, tube amplifiers want to see XIANGSHENG Pre-amplifier in constantly. Once the speakers aren’t plugged, the amps usually blows the transformer which regularly costs between $200 and $300. To prevent this always ensure that you don’t manage a tube head or tube combo without plugging within the speaker.
Don’t get it wet
This can be a common sense issue, however, many people bring it without any consideration. Because of this many people tend to leave drinks on the amp. For ideal results you need to never have the amp’s cover wet as it has a tendency to degrade the cover which ruins the resale value. If you get the amp really wet, the moisture can seep to the wood thus ruining the tonal balance of the wood. This type of water even offers the capability of getting in to the electronics causing short circuiting.