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    The Nobis Cantabile - An ST-70 type "hybrid" amp from the 1990's - photos ..

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    Bob Latino
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    The Nobis Cantabile - An ST-70 type "hybrid" amp from the 1990's - photos ..

    Post by Bob Latino on Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:05 pm

    Some may have never heard of the Nobis Cantabile "hybrid" ST-70 type amp. This amp was produced for a short period of time by the Nobis Company in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin in the early '90's. The main feature of the amp was a solid state driver circuit mated to a tube output stage. It was reported that the transformers were the same as (or clones of) the transformers that were found in the original Dynaco ST-70's. Supposedly Nobis designed a discrete-FET stage that they described as being an FET version of the classic Marantz 8B input circuit. This solid-state front-end drives a pair of EL34s per channel in the ultralinear mode. It had individual bias pots and an led for each output tube that signaled when the bias was correct. The price at the time was a hefty $1695. Stereophile (or is it Stereophool ?) magazine did a review of the Nobis Cantabile in 1992 and updated the review in 2004. Link below.

    Stereophile's review of the Nobis Cantabile





    Bob


    Last edited by Bob Latino on Wed May 27, 2015 7:12 pm; edited 2 times in total

    Andy Jersey

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    Re: The Nobis Cantabile - An ST-70 type "hybrid" amp from the 1990's - photos ..

    Post by Andy Jersey on Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:46 pm

    That's very sharp! I'd be curious to hear how that sounds compared to an vta st 70

    tubenutr

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    Nobis Cantabile Tube Amp v VTA ST70

    Post by tubenutr on Wed May 27, 2015 6:34 pm

    I haven't heard the Nobis Cantabile Tube Amp, but I can tell you that the VTA ST 70 has no rivals in the price or power point and beyond.
    It is so bloody musical that I can't believe it. I took a 10 + yr hiatus from audio and got sucked into HT. I have owned Sumo, Classe, GAS, Perreaux
    and Hafler (Musical Concepts) and if my memory serves me correctly, none of them have served music better. Though the Musical Concepts Hafler was very, very close.
    IMHO I'm sticking to that.

    Mike bounce


    Last edited by mlabrash on Thu May 28, 2015 12:01 am; edited 2 times in total

    sKiZo

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    Re: The Nobis Cantabile - An ST-70 type "hybrid" amp from the 1990's - photos ..

    Post by sKiZo on Wed May 27, 2015 9:36 pm

    Purty lil thang ...

    Supposed to have better clarity than either the original Dynaco or Panor. Couple interesting features were the power supply capacitance listed at 880µF, and the FET front end that was modeled after the Marantz 8B.

    Rumor has it Panor provided the iron for them ...

    One just went up for sale on Canuck right now for $750 ... somebody gonna grab it and report back on how it sounds?

    http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/649200401-nobis-cantabile-tube-amp/


    Bob Latino
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    Re: The Nobis Cantabile - An ST-70 type "hybrid" amp from the 1990's - photos ..

    Post by Bob Latino on Thu May 28, 2015 7:20 am

    It was probably a great sounding amp - BUT - I think the reason it did not sell was the price. $1700 in 1992 dollars is about $2890 in 2015 dollars. The VTA ST-70 wired and tested with all tubes and both cap upgrades is $1200 + shipping in 2015 dollars and seems like a pretty good bargain in comparison.

    As a side note - there is a inflation calculator at the link below which shows the relative buying power for the dollar for any two years from 1914 to 2015. In the comparison above, a 1992 dollar and a 2015 dollar have a value ratio of 1.70. In other words, you need $1.70 today to buy what $1.00 would buy you in 1992. See link below ..

    Dollar value ratios from 1914 to 2015

    Bob

    corndog71

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    Re: The Nobis Cantabile - An ST-70 type "hybrid" amp from the 1990's - photos ..

    Post by corndog71 on Thu May 28, 2015 10:01 am

    Bob Latino wrote:Stereophile (or is it Stereophool ?) magazine did a review of the Nobis Cantabile in 1992 and updated the review in 2004. Link below.

    Bob

    Why the disdain towards stereophile, Bob? Just curious.

    Bob Latino
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    Re: The Nobis Cantabile - An ST-70 type "hybrid" amp from the 1990's - photos ..

    Post by Bob Latino on Thu May 28, 2015 11:38 am

    corndog71 wrote:
    Bob Latino wrote:Stereophile (or is it Stereophool ?) magazine did a review of the Nobis Cantabile in 1992 and updated the review in 2004. Link below.

    Bob

    Why the disdain towards stereophile, Bob?  Just curious.  

    A good question ? The reason for the disdain is that in about 2007 I sent (at least what I thought) was a well composed Email to both John Atkinson and John Marks of Stereophile about the changes in hi-fi stereo that were coming because of the Internet. I mentioned the decline and shutting down of MANY "Hi-Fi Salons", the rise of Audiogon online because people were refusing to pay inflated prices for new gear, the rise of DIY Hi-Fi and Stereophile's complete indifference to DIY in their magazine and the lack of ANY reviews of DIY type gear.

    They Emailed me back with a sarcastic (I thought) return Email. They said that they had polled their readership and "found there was no interest in DIY gear at all" and that they only reviewed items "that were sold at least FIVE brick and mortar stores" and do not review anything sold just through the Internet. I Emailed them back and mentioned that the DIY crowd has long left their readership because they refused to pay for new gear sold at inflated prices through the old Hi-Fi salon system  ..

    Now I know that they basically only review the gear sold through their magazine and every review is "best in its price class" or "best yet" blah, blah. They are trying to cling to the old Hi-Fi salon system ways of gear being sold when that whole system is broken and irreparable because of Internet sales. They try to ignore DIY gear when DIY gear is more popular than ever. Look at Eastman Kodak - they filed for bankruptcy in 2012 because they did not make the switch from film based cameras to digital cameras fast enough. Same thing for Polaroid who filed for bankruptcy in 2001 because their instant cameras were out of style.

    Near where I live in Worcester, MA there used to be 3 or 4 Hi-Fi salon type stores. Now there are none.

    Bob

    GP49

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    Re: The Nobis Cantabile - An ST-70 type "hybrid" amp from the 1990's - photos ..

    Post by GP49 on Thu May 28, 2015 6:01 pm

    As Bob has previously mentioned HERE, the Nobis Cantabile was a blatant ripoff of the Sutherland ST-70 modification.  The Sutherland driver board sold for around $80 fully wired.  It was discontinued around the same time the Nobis Cantabile showed up.  The Nobis Cantabile looks prettier with its wood trim, and had a beefed-up power supply (also available from Sutherland as a $100 option) but that doesn't justify the extreme difference in price ($180 vs. $1700) unless one really, REALLY couldn't wire in the Sutherland board, a simple job; or find a technician to do it.  Or unless one were a real Audiophool.

    Ed Mottram did a comparison test of 1990-era modifications to the Stereo 70, including the fully-optioned Sutherland, HERE.

    Gregg R.

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    Sterephile/Stereophool

    Post by Gregg R. on Fri May 29, 2015 1:39 am

    Bob is correct about Stereophile. It clings to an outdated paradigm. Include The Absolute Sound.

    Despite these misgivings, I have long-term subscriptions to both magazines. They are well written and only cost about a buck an issue. They are just not relevant to the modern Internet-driven marketplace. I find enough of value to keep reading. I'm also more comfortable with print media.

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