The Dynaco Tube Audio Forum

Dedicated to the restoration and preservation of all original Dynaco tube audio equipment - Customer support for Dynaco VTA tube amp kits, all Tubes4hifi.com products and all Dynakitparts.com products


    My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Share

    Rich

    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2013-01-17

    My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Rich on Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:32 pm

    Hello.
    I just finished tonight my first kit I build ever.

    Here are some pictures:





    Just waiting now for my KT-120 which should be here next tuesday.
    I will fit 3 telefunkens e80cc as I replaced before 12AU7 with those and I liked the sound, but first I will fit 3 12AU7 to start working with it.

    Best regards from Mexico.

    arledgsc

    Posts : 340
    Join date : 2012-11-30
    Location : SF Bay CA

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by arledgsc on Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:33 pm

    Hi Ricardo and welcome to the forum! Nice job and you must be kidding on saying your first kit ever! Let us know how it sounds... Scott

    Rich

    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2013-01-17

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Rich on Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:51 pm

    Hello Scott, thank you for your welcome!
    Sorry I didn't introduced myself at first, but I was so excited when I finished my ST-120 kit that I forgot to do that!
    Yes, this is my first kit I build my self ever, I have some experience in metal working manufacture and with some industrial electronics, but no with audio components at all.
    Yesterday I received my KT-120 tubes and I fully completed my st-120, and I was more excited when it worked flawless at the first attempt and now, it has been working perfect for more than 10 hours!
    It just sounds great.
    I have had Macintosh MC-240 fully rebuild (not by me), a Harman Kardon Citation II restored, a pair of Quicksilver KT-88 monoblocks and all I can say up to now, is that this amp just sounds better than all of them.
    I must wait 100 hours for break-in, but I'm sure that it will sound better.

    Best regards!

    Ricardo

    arledgsc

    Posts : 340
    Join date : 2012-11-30
    Location : SF Bay CA

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by arledgsc on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:49 pm

    Great Ricardo! I finished my ST-120 mid Dec. 2012 so it is just barely broken in. The sound will slowly change for the better in the first 100 hours. 30 yrs. ago I had a Macintosh MC-240 and wish I never let it go. But really happy with the ST-120. The KT-88s are my new love and the way to go for hi-fi. Right now just trying to find the right preamp tube combination but closing in fast. The KT-120 was worth every penny spent on the purchase and was fun to build. Congrats again! Scott

    Rich

    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2013-01-17

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Rich on Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:20 pm

    Thank you again Scott!

    Here is a picture of my st-120 with tubes:



    and another one with paint effect:



    Regards!!

    EddieRock

    Posts : 1
    Join date : 2013-02-17

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by EddieRock on Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:38 pm

    I LOVE the photo with paint effect! What program did you use to create it? I have to admit, that photo is now my background on my computer! Thanks!!!

    That amp also looks FANTASTIC!! so what is your total cost on that build?

    Regards,

    EddieRock

    Rich

    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2013-01-17

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Rich on Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:49 am

    It is not a software effect.
    It is an effect done straight away from my camera.
    Sony DSC RX-100

    Regards

    MarcVBelgium

    Posts : 83
    Join date : 2013-12-06
    Age : 63
    Location : Antwerp, BELGIUM

    Paint photo of ST-120

    Post by MarcVBelgium on Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:51 pm

    Me too, I lave that picture. Wish I had a Sony........ been looking on my Nikon, it does not have that feature.

    I hope you are OK with the fact that it is now my "screensaver" ?

    Nice work BTW... I am also using 12BH7 (TAD) ..... I like the size..... :-)))

    Rich

    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2013-01-17

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Rich on Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:27 pm

    [quote="MarcVBelgium"]Me too, I lave that picture. Wish I had a Sony........ been looking on my Nikon, it does not have that feature.

    I hope you are OK with the fact that it is now my "screensaver" ?

    Nice work BTW... I am also using 12BH7 (TAD) ..... I like the size..... :-)))[/quote

    Hello MarkVBelgium, please be my guest using my picture as your screensaver, this is such an honor for me!
    Driver tubes are not 12BH7, I'm using Telefunkens (Amperex made) e80cc.
    Sound is superb, using actually with a McIntosh C-22 pre sometimes or a Conrad Johnson Evolution 20.
    Sad but my dad who's 86 years old confiscated me this amp, I'm using now a Leben CS-600 integrated amp and I miss my VTA-120

    Have my best regards.

    MarcVBelgium

    Posts : 83
    Join date : 2013-12-06
    Age : 63
    Location : Antwerp, BELGIUM

    LEBEN CS-600

    Post by MarcVBelgium on Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:21 pm

    Hello Rich,

    The Leben is certainly a very good amplifier, better than most.......but I can imagine, when you are used to a ST-120....

    Could'nt you talk your dad into using the Leben ?

    Good luck !

    and.... thanks!

    Rich

    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2013-01-17

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Rich on Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:01 pm

    Hello Mark,
    Actually the Leben used to be my dad's amp, but he wanted mine instead!
    Best regards!

    StephenMH

    Posts : 8
    Join date : 2014-08-30
    Age : 61
    Location : Aurora, Co.

    New on the Forum! Why the Dynakit ST120?

    Post by StephenMH on Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:07 pm

    Hello Rich,
    and the Rest of the Crew! This is my first time on this Forum just join. Been checking out Bob's website and Ebay for about Four or five years. Wish I could have check him out before moving from Cambridge, Ma. to Aurora, Co.

    I had Three Different Dynakit ST70 That I bought from Ebay; One was Rebuild which I used sometimes, One I gave away and another one in its Original condition(nice Chrome and it still works) which Probably need rebuilding.

    Rich and or any one else, what made you choose the ST-120 over the others? And I would love to Rebuild a Tube Amp maybe later A Tube preamp. I know Building computers is Different than Building Amps and Preamps. By not having experience in using or reading Schematics is it possible for me to Build a Tube Amp? I have a soldering Machine, took a small workshop at an audio show on soldering. and I seen a few YouTube on Soldering. Is there Hope? Question Exclamation bounce    cheers  bounce

    Thanks ahead of time for your Help.
    Peace, Love and Oneness!
    Stephen

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2411
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Bob Latino on Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:14 am

    StephenMH wrote:Rich and or any one else, what made you choose the ST-120 over the others? And I would love to Rebuild a Tube Amp maybe later A Tube preamp. I know Building computers is Different than Building Amps and Preamps. By not having experience in using or reading Schematics is it possible for me to Build a Tube Amp? I have a soldering Machine, took a small workshop at an audio show on soldering. and I seen a few YouTube on Soldering. Is there Hope? Question  Exclamation  bounce    cheers  bounce

    Thanks ahead of time for your Help.
    Peace, Love and Oneness!
    Stephen

    Hi Stephen,

    The VTA ST-120 is just a higher powered version of the VTA ST-70. Both amps use the same driver circuit but the resistors set is slightly different from amp to amp. The VTA ST-120 does not "sound any better" than the VTA ST-70 but it does have about 3 dB of extra headroom over the ST-70. It is nice to have a little extra headroom on musical peaks. Which amp would better suit your needs is determined by ..

    1. The efficiency of your speakers
    2. The size of your room
    3. The type of music and the general loudness level at which you play your music

    Lower efficiency speakers in a large room playing rock music at higher volume levels will need an amp with more power.

    The assembly manuals for all the VTA amp kits are written in a step by step fashion. You don't really need to know how to read a schematic to assemble one of the amps. As long as you can follow directions, use simple hand tools (screwdriver, pliers, wire stripper/cutter) and solder with a soldering pencil, you can build the amp. Rarely does anyone have a major problem in getting one of the amps together and working properly. If you do run into an issue, I am here by Email and/or phone for customer support.

    Bob

    Rich

    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2013-01-17

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Rich on Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:50 pm

    StephenMH wrote:Hello Rich,
    and the Rest of the Crew! This is my first time on this Forum just join. Been checking out Bob's website and Ebay for about Four or five years. Wish I could have check him out before moving from Cambridge, Ma. to Aurora, Co.

    I had Three Different Dynakit ST70 That I bought from Ebay; One was Rebuild which I used sometimes, One I gave away and another one in its Original condition(nice Chrome and it still works) which Probably need rebuilding.

    Rich and or any one else, what made you choose the ST-120 over the others? And I would love to Rebuild a Tube Amp maybe later A Tube preamp. I know Building computers is Different than Building Amps and Preamps. By not having experience in using or reading Schematics is it possible for me to Build a Tube Amp? I have a soldering Machine, took a small workshop at an audio show on soldering. and I seen a few YouTube on Soldering. Is there Hope? Question  Exclamation  bounce    cheers  bounce

    Thanks ahead of time for your Help.
    Peace, Love and Oneness!
    Stephen

    Hello StephenMH, sorry for not repling before, I've been too busy and I forgot to reply when I received the e-mail telling me for a new reply to my post.
    Well, I chose the VTA-120 because I wanted to try the "new" KT-120 and by the time I build this amp, there were only two commercial amps that can use the KT-120: The Leben CS-1000 (almost $7,000.00 USD and 2 year wait to have one built and sent to the customer) and the Audio Research V60i, both excellent amps but my pocket and the waiting time, can't afford any of them.
    VTA-120 is without any doubt, maybe one of the best sounding power amps ever, I can say that with no hesitation at all.
    I have had MacIntoshs, Harman Kardon citation II, QuickSilver monoblocks, golden tube, and so many others, and for SS amps, even compared against PASS ampsor even a Cello, I prefer my ST-120 hands down.
    I advise you to use a good tube preamp with it.
    Now I don't have this amp anymore, at least at home, it sounds so good that my old dad wanted me to change his Leben CS-600 integrated amp for my VTA-120 and he is using it with a MacIntosh C-22 preamp, it sounds really amazing.
    If you ask me if I can recomend this amp to you, I will say ABSOLUTLY, go ahead!!!

    Best regards

    Rich

    Rich

    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2013-01-17

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Rich on Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:46 am

    Last update: Leben has gone, got an Audio Research VS-60 and a Cary SLP-98 Preamp as a deal for it. I will keep the Cary, but the best part of all: My ST-120 will be back in home tomorrow again!!! My father want the VS-60 and he offered me to give back my ST-120. After two days listening to the ARC, I think it will be a good match for his Mac C-22 and the Cary will be an excellent match for the ST-120.
    Really happy!!!

    Jerryfan

    Posts : 7
    Join date : 2014-10-03

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Jerryfan on Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:09 pm

    Rich, how do the ARC and the ST120 compare?

    Rich

    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2013-01-17

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Rich on Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:05 am

    Jerryfan wrote:Rich, how do the ARC and the ST120 compare?

    Hello Jerryfan,
    Both amps are almost the same power and both amps were using kt-120.
    St120 is not as commercial as ARC and ARC is a very well known brand, but I have to admit that overall, I prefer my St120, it is a better match for my dynaudios. ARC is a little bit thin in its sound and seems to lack some authority in bass.
    I prefer the e80cc drivers performance instead the ARC's "supertube" 6H30 driver.
    Btw, vs60 weights about half of St120. Light weight transformers? Maybe.

    Best regards.

    Jerryfan

    Posts : 7
    Join date : 2014-10-03

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Jerryfan on Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:41 am

    Good to know. Ill be getting my st120 next week. Can't wait!

    Rich

    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2013-01-17

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Rich on Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:07 am

    Jerryfan wrote:Good to know. Ill be getting my st120 next week. Can't wait!

    You won't be dissapointed at all.
    It is one of the best amps in market, and yes, even better than many "mega bucks" famous brands amps around.

    Best regards, good luck and enjoy it.

    StephenMH

    Posts : 8
    Join date : 2014-08-30
    Age : 61
    Location : Aurora, Co.

    Dynaco ST70 The Best Minimum Budget Simple Upgrade!

    Post by StephenMH on Mon May 18, 2015 7:06 pm

    Rich and or any one else, what made you choose the ST-120 over the others? And I would love to Rebuild a Tube Amp maybe later A Tube preamp. I know Building computers is Different than Building Amps and Preamps. By not having experience in using or reading Schematics is it possible for me to Build a Tube Amp? I have a soldering Machine, took a small workshop at an audio show on soldering. and I seen a few YouTube on Soldering. Is there Hope? Question  Exclamation  bounce    cheers  bounce


    Hi Stephen,

    The VTA ST-120 is just a higher powered version of the VTA ST-70. Both amps use the same driver circuit but the resistors set is slightly different from amp to amp. The VTA ST-120 does not "sound any better" than the VTA ST-70 but it does have about 3 dB of extra headroom over the ST-70. It is nice to have a little extra headroom on musical peaks. Which amp would better suit your needs is determined by ..

    1. The efficiency of your speakers
    2. The size of your room
    3. The type of music and the general loudness level at which you play your music

    Lower efficiency speakers in a large room playing rock music at higher volume levels will need an amp with more power.

    The assembly manuals for all the VTA amp kits are written in a step by step fashion. You don't really need to know how to read a schematic to assemble one of the amps. As long as you can follow directions, use simple hand tools (screwdriver, pliers, wire stripper/cutter) and solder with a soldering pencil, you can build the amp. Rarely does anyone have a major problem in getting one of the amps together and working properly. If you do run into an issue, I am here by Email and/or phone for customer support.

    New Below: 2015-05-18 : 05:01:12 P.M

    Hello Bob,
       Forgive me for getting back late. We found out My Girlfriend got cancer two or three months after I last wrote here. I have Procrastination Skill that I'm taking time to undo. Lol...

       Like I mention Before It would be nice to connect with you before we move from Cambridge, Ma. to Aurora, Co.

       I had enough time to think what direction to go with my Two Dynaco ST70(Bought both from E-Bay). One was Rebuild from ground up; last year I had it hooked up for about a year(replace my Jolida JD801A one of my Favorite tube Amps needed Speaker terminal). Then it went out(Panic for a few second) Lol..; found out it was the fuse(did not put back in the setup instead use BK ST1400). It might need the Bios calibrated, maybe the tubes upgraded(everything was working before the fuse went out).

       The second Dynaco is in Original Condition when I last hook it up, was working. One of the Reason I Bought it because the chrome was in Great shape and of course it works. Will like to find out the Best way to Rebuild or Upgrade for the Best Sound and Best Value. I have Champagne taste and Beer pocketbook. I would like to do it my self. If I don't I've got someone in mind That repairs and upgrade etc...; he already have a Driver board for the 6Au6 tube set by Triode for about $75.
    http://www.triodeelectronics.com/st70boardparts.html If I upgrade it, would like to keep it simple with less parts if possible. It will not be my main amp; I have a collection of other Amp and Preamp. Yes this is one of the many hobbies I have(maybe to many). Lol Thank You for you Help!  

       When I save enough, thinking about getting the Dynaco ST120 later.
    (A.)The Speakers are the Von Schweikert VR-4jr; Recomed Power 20-300, Sens. 89, 6 ohms avg. http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/1204/vonschweikertvr4jr.htm
    (B.)Room size about 9ft-W, 10ft-L, 8ft-H
    (C.)My Main Love is Funk Jazz, Fusion Jazz and Funk! Other music is Classical and getting more into Traditional Jazz like Miles Davis(his fault), John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk(Loving the Monk) Etc...the list is growing on me(maybe age- hit the big sixty May 2)

       The Second Speaker is the Definitive Technology BP2002TL that's more for my Hometheater(sometimes music and Video music concerts). Mike Allen President of Jolida Tube said to use all tubes for Hometheater Surround. I was fortunate to buy that JD801A(he said for me to get). It was a Good ideal I thought tubes are less fatigue on the Ears. The downside take up a lot of room. Maybe in the future just for the Front-L-R for the Hometheater. Like I had it before the Move from Cambridge, Ma. Now I have a separate room one for Hometheater and one room for the Music. Later for the Man Cave in the Basement future plans Etc..  

      Almost forgot, A first time for me, What is the easiest and Simplest way to Calibrate the Bios on the Dynaco ST70?

       Again Thank You for Your Time and Patients! Enjoy the Best of a Healthy Soulful Prosperous Life! & Allow the Music To Heal!  farao

    Peace, Love and Soulful Oneness! Stephen

    StephenMH

    Posts : 8
    Join date : 2014-08-30
    Age : 61
    Location : Aurora, Co.

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by StephenMH on Mon May 18, 2015 7:21 pm

    Delete


    Last edited by StephenMH on Mon May 18, 2015 10:28 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Delete)

    StephenMH

    Posts : 8
    Join date : 2014-08-30
    Age : 61
    Location : Aurora, Co.

    Congratulation on your Dynaco ST120!

    Post by StephenMH on Mon May 18, 2015 7:27 pm

    Hello Rich,

       Read the Above from me to Bob. Forgive me for getting Back Late(like real Late).

       When I finish getting My two Dynaco ST70 up to part; I'm Thinking of getting the Dynaco ST120 or close to it. When I get my budget right.

        Congratulation on getting your ST120 Back! cheers   How is it working out for You?

    Enjoy the Best of a Healthy Soulful Prosperous Life! & Allow the Music To Heal!  
    Peace, Love and Soulful Oneness! Stephen


    Last edited by StephenMH on Mon May 18, 2015 7:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2411
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Bob Latino on Mon May 18, 2015 7:31 pm

    "Almost forgot, A first time for me, What is the easiest and Simplest way to Calibrate the Bios on the Dynaco ST70?"

    If it is a stock Dynaco ST-70 with the stock driver board and bias pots > Get your multimeter and set if for 0 to 2 volts DC. Place the red probe in the hole on one of the front tube sockets that say "Biaset 1.56 V". Place the black probe anywhere on the chassis and turn the bias pot for that channel until your meter reads 1.56 volts. Then do the same thing on the other channel. NOTE - Dynaco ran their tubes hard with a fairly high bias current. (50 milliamps per each output tube) Conventional wisdom now is to set the bias a little lower at about 1.25 volts per channel. This will give about 40 milliamps of bias current per each output tube. The amp will sound the same and the output tubes will last longer.

    Bob

    StephenMH

    Posts : 8
    Join date : 2014-08-30
    Age : 61
    Location : Aurora, Co.

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by StephenMH on Mon May 18, 2015 7:58 pm

    Bob Latino wrote:"Almost forgot, A first time for me, What is the easiest and Simplest way to Calibrate the Bios on the Dynaco ST70?"

    If it is a stock Dynaco ST-70 with the stock driver board and bias pots > Get your multimeter and set if for 0 to 2 volts DC. Place the red probe in the hole on one of the front tube sockets that say "Biaset 1.56 V". Place the black probe anywhere on the chassis and turn the bias pot for that channel until your meter reads 1.56 volts. Then do the same thing on the other channel. NOTE - Dynaco ran their tubes hard with a fairly high bias current. (50 milliamps per each output tube) Conventional wisdom now is to set the bias a little lower at about 1.25 volts per channel. This will give about 40 milliamps of bias current per each output tube. The amp will sound the same and the output tubes will last longer.

    Bob

    WoW! Bob You're Fast!

       So you say changing and Calibrating the Bios have nothing to do with the Sound Quality?
    I do not have them hooked up at this moment; will do within the next two days.

       On my other Rebuild ST70 will that be different? They're not all the same because of the Driver Board?

       On my Multimeter it has V-AC DC and mA-AC DC Which One? Question  

    Thank You for Your Help! Stephen

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2411
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Bob Latino on Mon May 18, 2015 8:06 pm

    If the driver board is a stock driver board or a replacement stock type driver board, then what I mentioned above will still hold true. If you have a different driver board then, then the bias instructions may be different. If you can post photos of the tops of your ST-70's, we can figure it out for you ..

    You set the meter to V (volts) and make sure that you are on the DC scale (not the AC scale).

    Bob

    Sponsored content

    Re: My first kit ever. My ST-120

    Post by Sponsored content Today at 10:07 am


      Current date/time is Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:07 am