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  • Geting a new amp / Valve amps... any experience?

    (Yet another) Fuz appeal to the tech heads on here...

    So I've had a marantz PM-66SE amp for 20+ years now but it seems to have died on me... 20+ years of good service, and me not having to even consider the pros and cons of any other amps.

    So is it worth getting it repaired? or replaced?

    If the answer to the above is replaced.... Has anyone got / heard / know anything about those Valve amps you see in swanky set ups?

    All the anecodtal evidence suggests that valve amps are best for turntables & vinyl and have that "warm" sound... But do they really and are they worth the money?

    The Marantz PM-66SE seems to be replaceable for under £100... I could be tempted by a fancy valve doodah but only if it comes recommended by the VG+ braintrust.

    Thanks in advance to anybody who replies...
    In ((( VISUAL ))) Stereo

    Eclectic Mud



  • #2
    The best sound from a set up I've heard was at Pete Sundaes shop. Sure enough he had one of those amps which probably makes the room look like a mad scientists laboratory when the lights are out. It could have been that, or it could have been the incredible Quad electrostatic speakers. Whatever, it felt like I'd had an ear transplant.
    Everyone tear down your own little wall
    That keeps you from being a part of it all
    Because you've got to be one with the one and all
    You've just got to be close to it all

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    • #3
      For Jazz, get valves.



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      • #4
        What's going on with the wonky spindle on that TT?
        Everyone tear down your own little wall
        That keeps you from being a part of it all
        Because you've got to be one with the one and all
        You've just got to be close to it all

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        • #5
          Originally posted by treeboy View Post
          What's going on with the wonky spindle on that TT?
          jazz records are always worn at a jaunty angle...

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          • #6
            Probably NOT the answer you're looking for - but I've got a Marantz PM-55SE sitting in my hall which I'm about to stick on Gumtree.

            I thought my old amp was duff, but it just turned out to be a duff record I was comparing with a CD. So have a spare amp, geez a shout if you choose not to go down the valve route. I've often wondered but suspect it'll be pricey.
            Club stuff: www.facebook.com/DivineGlasgow

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            • #7
              Shot the thread clean out of the sky! Excellent!
              Everyone tear down your own little wall
              That keeps you from being a part of it all
              Because you've got to be one with the one and all
              You've just got to be close to it all

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Divine One View Post
                Probably NOT the answer you're looking for - but I've got a Marantz PM-55SE sitting in my hall which I'm about to stick on Gumtree.

                I thought my old amp was duff, but it just turned out to be a duff record I was comparing with a CD. So have a spare amp, geez a shout if you choose not to go down the valve route. I've often wondered but suspect it'll be pricey.
                Well having had a wee google around the subject of valve amps, it would seem that good as they may be, i'll have to part with at least a kidney and possibly a limb to be able to afford one... so I'll pm you Andy! Thanks.

                I'd still like to hear any personal experience of valve amps though if anyone has any...
                In ((( VISUAL ))) Stereo

                Eclectic Mud


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                • #9
                  Ther has been a glut of 'valve' equipment over the last decade or so. Most of it is poorly designed with the valves actually just being a part of the output stage while all the other stages are solid-state. These one valve hybrid amps sold today are in my mind a con but there are some who are happy to pay lots of money to be ripped off.

                  A valve amplifier just like a transistor amp will produce its own distortions but in a different way, Transistor amps can be directly coupled with no transformers in the audio path whereas a valve amp may not, so phase shifts will be different, distortions will also be different, so really you cannot compare the two. Cheap audio transformers tend to be less efficient at higher frequencies so some valve amps will attenuate the higher frequencies.... Design is important not matter what type you're dealing with.
                  "THIS IS A FINE TAPE AND BRINGS BACK MEMORIES OF YESTERYEAR WHEN THE MUSIC WORLD WAS GOOD AND NOT FOULED UP BY THE LONG HAIR SCURVES WHO JUST BEAT WILDLY ON ANYTHING AND COME UP WITH A LOT OF STUPID NOISE THat only damnfools and liars say they like it"

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                  • #10
                    I'd recommend a decent 70's transistor, the bigger the better, Sony, Sansui, Pioneer, Marantz etc maybe some guys know some decent sellers who do proper reconditioned ones as its always a punt with a second hand one in as much as how much its been used in it's day and whether the capacitors are all in good shape. I've had so many 70's amps over the years the golden age of the 90's picking them up for peanuts is gone but you can still get very good deals.

                    I know with older valve amps you need 2 to get stereo, even some new ones work like that as I understand could be wrong. I had a 'Leak' valve amp a few years back I wasn't blown away by the sound but I expected it needed a good service, valves replaced etc. I got it for nothing and sold it for over a ton on eBay with all the provisos that it needed work to get it sounding as sweetly again. Anyway as you say serious MONEY!

                    I'm using a late 1976 or 1978 'Realistic' (believe the design is licensed from Sansui though so its a Sansui amp in actuality.) at the moment. It looked like it had been in a barn for years when I bought it for a fiver (a strange sticky yellow residue covered the whole thing) but it cleaned up like it was brand new with hardly any crackle from the knobs which was easily remedied with a bit of 'Servisol' and has been working well since sounding sweet. In my view I'd say it had seen little use but had just been left somewhere to rot albeit protected from the elements.

                    Not the best amp I've owned over the years but I've been quite impressed with its performance. Not everything from 'Tandy' was crap back in the day they even licensed a 'Moog' at one point.

                    Found a Pic:

                    Last edited by amidar; 05-07-2016, 05:11 PM. Reason: Pic
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                    • #11
                      'Gramophone repair man', taken in January 1932 by Leslie Cardew for the Daily Herald.
                      The man is working on a record player at the Oxford Street branch of HMV.

                      The Downstairs Lounge
                      http://downstairslounge.wordpress.com/
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                      • #12
                        I bought a Dual CV 1400 for 20 Euros last week. I had doubts it would work obviously but the sound is a million miles better than my old set up. Not fancy by 60s valve standards i guess but it sounds great to my ears.

                        The wonderful thing is that all my records are now ready to be rediscovered.
                        All the Wolpertingers

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