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 products and all products

    Virgin here: a few questions



    Posts : 110
    Join date : 2009-12-30

    Virgin here: a few questions

    Post by Laminarman on Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:07 pm

    Hi gang, very new here, great forum. I have been involved in mid level audiophile stuff for a while but lately have a hankering for a tube amplifier (coincidentally I live a stone's throw from McIntosh in upstate NY). I currently have a home theater system that also is my main listening system too with a Carver Cinema Grand amp, Rotel RSP1570 processor/preamp, 50" Samsung plasma, Marantz CD player, Tannoy speakers all around, and Cardas cables/interconnects all around (got the cables used for a song). I am envisioning a second, stereo only, system. In the beginning I will likely just use my current speakers (Tannoy D70's) until I finish the room for the new system. I would not rule out a turntable and would like the new system to be simple and clean, amp/preamp/speakers/table and/or CD. I would like to build the amplifier, which I have not done before, but I'm very handy. That out of the way here are a few questions, sorry for the length Embarassed

    1. I was looking at the Elekit TU879S single ended amp and Bob's Dynakit model 70. Since I am totally clueless, any thoughts on these two items? I would be listening to classical, vocals, blues (God I love the blues) some soft rock, no head banging stuff or metal.

    2. With the Dynakit would I need a preamp and is that the only way the unit could be used?

    3. Would the Dnyakit drive my 89 sensitivity Tannoys temporarily? I'm not totally getting this 1,2 or 3 watt lower powered tube thing I keep seeing elsewhere quite yet, sorry.

    4. Can you recommend any books on basic electronics and amplifier building? Overall I want my first project to be a success and kit form for me is the way to go. I am looking at the Morgan Jones books on amp design and building.

    5. there a way to use a small subwoofer if I need it? I will be using a rather smallish 16x18 room...small in the sense that ceilings will be only 7 1/2 feet tall.

    Thanks in advance, I'm having fun learning this end of things. I just seem to enjoy putting music on two speakers while it seems everything else is multiple speakers, bajillion watts per channel, digital overkill and big box retailers selling junk. A year ago I heard a Cary Audio tube amp with a pair of BW speakers and I almost died, the sound was so nice. Want to try to get some of that mojo without remortgaging the house. For the record, I am very happy with my Tannoy's and my amp/processor in two channel mode, musical, clean and well put together.
    Bob Latino

    Posts : 2639
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: Virgin here: a few questions

    Post by Bob Latino on Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:18 pm


    To answer your questions ....

    1. The Elekit TU879S is $575 with all (3) tubes. The VTA ST-70 kit is $709 with all (7) tubes.

    The Elekit is 7 to 8 watts per channel while the VTA ST-70 is 35 watts per channel. You would need very efficient speakers to run the Elekit and have it sound loud in your average sized (16 X 18 foot) room.

    The Elekit is a single ended amp. The VTA ST-70 may be run in triode or normal pentode mode.

    One other thing to consider is customer support after the sale. I am here every day. Elekits are from Japan and have distributors here in the USA but I don't think the distributor could answer questions about the amp should you run into an issue during assembly.

    2. With the VTA ST-70 you don't "need" a preamp but it helps. What you need is a signal source with a volume control. It can be a preamp, an Mp3 player, a portable CD player, A CD player with a volume control or a computer line output.

    3. My Tyler Acoustics Linbrook II speakers are also 89 dB efficient. I drive them with a VTA ST-70 in a 14 X 26 foot living room to volumes louder than I care to listen.

    4. Like the original Dynaco ST-70, the VTA ST-70 is designed to be built by a complete novice. The assembly instructions require no knowlege of electronics. If you can use simple hand tools, use a soldering pencil and follow directions - you can do it.

    5. To use a subwoofer you need a combined L & R output from your preamp. Most preamps today have two outputs. Most people use one set to the power amp and (if they do use the second set of outputs) the second set goes to to a subwoofer.

    If you have heard a good tube system at any point in your "audiophile career" it usually spoils you and makes it tougher to go back to listening to solid state gear. Check the link below for an article on the sonic differences between tubes and solid state gear.


    Last edited by Bob Latino on Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:58 am; edited 1 time in total


    Posts : 110
    Join date : 2009-12-30

    Re: Virgin here: a few questions

    Post by Laminarman on Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:18 pm

    Thank you so much Bob, I will check out the link. I know, I know, that Cary and a few Mac's I've listened to at Audio Classics killed me. Both times all speakers were way out of my realm, but I can dream and build.

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    Re: Virgin here: a few questions

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