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


    Could it be my imagination?

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    music

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    Post by music on Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:58 pm

    I compared my ST-120 to my Pass Lab X-a25, I have to say, it very very close, but, I think the ST-120 has the edge, especially on the piano.
    Bob Latino
    Bob Latino
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    Post by Bob Latino on Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:21 pm

    music wrote:I compared my ST-120 to my Pass Lab X-a25, I have to say, it very very close, but, I think the ST-120 has the edge, especially on the piano.

    Roy and I have been saying this for the last 14 years or so .. The VTA amps and preamps are comparable or better than amps and preamps costing 5X what you would pay for kit versions of similar VTA products. Yes - they may not have the bandwidth or ultra low distortion levels of similar powered solid state gear but they just sound "right". Your Pass Lab X-a25 costs $5K and the VTA ST-120 kit (with a complete tube set is less than $1.2K. Read at the link below where a VTA M-125 owner is going to kick an expensive Krell amp to the curb in favor of a pair of our VTA M-125 monoblock amps. Even his wife noticed the difference !

    VTA M-125's replacing a Krell amp

    Bob


    Last edited by Bob Latino on Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:25 am; edited 1 time in total
    Brap
    Brap

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    Post by Brap on Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:35 pm

    I cannot agree more. With my VTA ST-70 and Fritz Carrera speakers, this is a outstanding set-up. People are amazed and the volume set at 11 o'clock, bookshelf speakers on stand and properly placed what this system delivers. I sold floor standers (zu druid) with Carver amp / preamp after I listened to this combination. After 40+ years I have found what sounds the best to me and I thank Bob for all his help and insight. Price tag for the above (not including a pre-amp) is <$4K.
    pedrocols
    pedrocols

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    Post by pedrocols on Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:31 am

    I currently have a Bryston amp for my TV speakers.  My TV speakers are highly regarded speakers by the way.  I tried the Bryston amp on my Magnepan speakers and still preferred the VTA amp. The VTA M-125's have more depth and musicality and a much better soundstage than the Bryston.
    MechEngVic
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    Post by MechEngVic on Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:11 am

    Many don't realize just how competent and beautifully resolving the original st-70 circuit design is. They are automatically turned off of it because it was originally sold as a budget amp. But what they don't think about is, even at a budget price, if it didn't sound good it wouldn't have sold hundreds of thousands of units.

    With the design updates that addressed the few issues with the first models, the use of better quality parts, and the thoughtful design upgrades of the VTA brand, it's no wonder these amps perform well next any other tube amp in any price range.

    My own experience with a VTA-120 vs. a Mac MC-275 was eye opening. The VTA sounded better, and not with one pair of speakers, but with three.
    markeby
    markeby

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    Post by markeby on Tue Mar 17, 2020 1:27 pm

    I have heard Mcintosh tube amps that do not have the sound quality of my PH16/SP-9/ST-120.
    PeterCapo
    PeterCapo

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    Post by PeterCapo on Tue Mar 17, 2020 2:51 pm

    MechEngVic wrote:Many don't realize just how competent and beautifully resolving the original st-70 circuit design is. They are automatically turned off of it because it was originally sold as a budget amp. But what they don't think about is, even at a budget price, if it didn't sound good it wouldn't have sold hundreds of thousands of units.

    With the design updates that addressed the few issues with the first models, the use of better quality parts, and the thoughtful design upgrades of the VTA brand, it's no wonder these amps perform well next any other tube amp in any price range.

    My own experience with a VTA-120 vs. a Mac MC-275 was eye opening. The VTA sounded better, and not with one pair of speakers, but with three.

    Agree the original Dynaco circuits, properly functioning and not handicapped by the ravages of time, comprise fine-sounding amplifiers, even by today's standards.  I strongly suspect that the original circuits, on a level playing field, have sonic qualities that many would prefer.  IOW, present-day parts quality does not have to be limited to so-called "modern" tube amps.  Present-day parts can readily be used for either a selective 1:1 refreshing of an original Dynaco circuit or for building an entirely new copy of an original Dynaco amplifier.

    The notion about the originals having been designed to a budget price point, which, by implication, supposedly renders them compromised in sonic quality, really falls flat if you think about it.  What I mean is that when you consider the economy of scale by which the original Dynacos were produced, and if you make use of an inflation calculator, the price of the original in 1959 was not all that different from what the present day Latino, Triode USA and dynakitparts.com units sell for.

    Furthermore, aren't the present day, re-imagined Dynacos like the Latino, Erhard and others also built to a budget price point?  They are among the least expensive amplifiers of their kind available today.  Because of this, should we therefore also believe they are inherently inferior, as some say of the original Dynacos?

    Therefore, I am positing that the notion of sonic compromise in the original Dynacos due to their being designed to a budget price point is specious.

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