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


    Tube Noob Intro

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    ggnarley

    Posts : 8
    Join date : 2018-05-11
    Location : Columbus, Ohio

    Tube Noob Intro

    Post by ggnarley on Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:48 am

    Background:  Briefly flirted with hi-fi back in the 80's while in college.  At the time, I had some hand me down speakers and a NAD 3020 amp.  Favorite pastime was to go to the campus used record store and see what was new that week.  Music then dropped way down on the priority list as family things took over while raising the ankle biters.  Plus, it doesn't matter how good your system sounds if it only gets to play Barney, Teletubbies, or the Wiggles shows.

    Last couple years, the hifi bug started rearing it's head again.  Set up what I had: same old NAD amp and some Bose cubes playing ripped cd's through old pc.  It did make sound, but was probably one notch better than a walmart boombox.  Purchased a separate DAC and noticed immediate improvement.  Next got a decent pair of bookshelf speakers and built a class D amp from power supply and development board.  Sounded better, but would harshly clip when playing anything remotely dynamic.

    Midlife crisis rears it head and decided it is time to go all in and build my final system.  Kept reading that speakers make most difference so went with those first.   Wanted to build everything myself, so researched what speaker kits were out there.  Settled on a 4pi kit that that has about 98db sensitivity.  Finished these off, sounded great, and could wake the neighbors with just 20 watts of the old NAD.  Purchased a highly rated sand amp to replace NAD and was not impressed.  The old NAD actually sounded better.  That went back for refund and I decided to see if a tube amp would be the ticket to a sweeter sound.  

    Bob's VTA ticked all the right boxes for what I was looking for.  Send a couple emails to him and got immediate response answering my questions.  Pulled the trigger on a VTA-ST70 with cap upgrades, stepped attenuator and TDR.  Took my time and spent 3 days building kit.   Poured over the excellent instructions forward, backward and sideways to make sure I had wiring correct.  Bob's quick responses to my emails definitely saved my bacon in one instance.  On my power supply, the red and red/yellow wires were coming out of the opposite holes that were showing in the picture included with the instructions and even online.  I was ready to wire it thinking the factory swapped the wire colors.  Emailed Bob and he promptly replied "No,  stay with the colors of wires no matter what hole they come out of".   Pretty sure connecting power transformer wires to wrong spots would not have had a happy ending.  Anyways,  after following the test and startup instructions, everything worked!  This is a testament to the excellent instructions and support that come with the kit.  Before this kit, the last tube I saw was when I was the ankle biter and Dad was fighting with the console TV swapping tubes out and hearing words I'm pretty sure my Mom didn't want me to know.

    Well, I have been greatly enjoying this amp for the last week listening to music that just sounds right.  Only minor tweaks from here out.  Again, I can't say enough about the support Bob gives with his kits, and also to rest of the members here.  Pouring over this forum has been greatly educational for someone jumping into the hifi waters again.

    Paul
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    cci1492

    Posts : 192
    Join date : 2016-05-09
    Age : 57
    Location : Bergen County NJ

    Re: Tube Noob Intro

    Post by cci1492 on Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:42 pm

    Congrats Paul, good move. If you wait too long your hearing starts to go and then you'll kick yourself for not making the move you did. Post a picture of the amp and the speakers.
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    deepee99

    Posts : 2005
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Tube Noob Intro

    Post by deepee99 on Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:51 pm

    Welcome to the looney bin, and congrats.
    Roll a few driver tubes (preferably NOS Sylvanias or equivalent quality) and I bet you'll find an even nicer niche.
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    ggnarley

    Posts : 8
    Join date : 2018-05-11
    Location : Columbus, Ohio

    pics second try

    Post by ggnarley on Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:13 am

    Legrace, Thanks for info on original pics

    Hope these work.  Thanks for the patience.

    My two heaters for the winter.  
    https://ibb.co/m2jtzp

    From sweet spot.  Dining room right behind, so setup is great for entertainment.
    https://ibb.co/jqiaC9

    Half wired.  Was super focused so didn't get pic of completed wiring.
    https://ibb.co/ey7Dzp
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    bluemeanies

    Posts : 258
    Join date : 2015-02-09
    Age : 68
    Location : Folsom Pa.

    Re: Tube Noob Intro

    Post by bluemeanies on Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:41 pm

    Congratulations!
    Welcome!

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    deepee99

    Posts : 2005
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Tube Noob Intro

    Post by deepee99 on Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:06 pm

    bluemeanies wrote:Congratulations!
    Welcome!


    Nurse Ratched: "Alright group, we finished yesterday's session with Mr. McMurphy's comment about sand amps. . ."
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    ggnarley

    Posts : 8
    Join date : 2018-05-11
    Location : Columbus, Ohio

    Thanks Guys

    Post by ggnarley on Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:04 pm

    Been years since I saw that movie. May be time to queue it up again.

    Paul
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    CNCfan

    Posts : 21
    Join date : 2018-08-13
    Age : 70
    Location : Houston Texas

    Re: Tube Noob Intro

    Post by CNCfan on Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:00 am

    Welcome, you will like this place. Lot of very helpful people. Oh and they don't come
    down on you if you ask a noob question. Know that first hand. Very Happy
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    deepee99

    Posts : 2005
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Tube Noob Intro

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:46 pm

    CNCfan wrote:Welcome, you will like this place. Lot of very helpful people.  Oh and they don't come
    down on you if you ask a noob question.  Know that first hand. Very Happy
    Yep, and if we don't have the right answer to your question we'll make one up that's so cool you'll think we know something ...
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    crkohut

    Posts : 12
    Join date : 2016-11-02
    Age : 57
    Location : Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    Re: Tube Noob Intro

    Post by crkohut on Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:02 am

    Great choice!! Love mine!!

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