Everything about this kit is first class. Shipping was fast and the packaging was excellent; I'm confident that box could have been dropped from a third-story window with minimal damage. I've never, ever spent an entire half-hour unpacking anything I received by mail or UPS - until last week.
Construction went without a hitch, and the amp worked flawlessly on initial power-up. My secret was to work slowly and check all connections before going on to the next step.
A couple of tips for anyone interested:
- Installing the slide switches and power takeoff sockets in the chassis can be a real bear on a stock build, and those PIO caps really eat up any room you may have otherwise had to swing tools. I solved this problem by actually soldering the kep nuts to the flanges on each switch and socket, in effect re-creating the threaded holes in the original Dynaco switches (and described in the instructions). Use fine sandpaper to clean the surfaces to be joined, apply a little extra rosin flux, and use a HOT iron to flow the solder onto the lockwasher portion of each kep nut - and voila! Please note I did not do this for the power switch or the regular tube sockets.
- The extra unused lugs on those power takeoff sockets really gave me the willies. I had visions of these things rubbing up against the PIO caps and causing all kinds of mischief, so I removed them completely. This can be done without any harm by depressing the little barb on the back side of each lug, then pushing the lug out of the tube side of the socket. If you're an experimenter like I am you may want to store the unused lugs in a small ziplock bag for future use; they can easily be reinstalled at a future date if desired.
Oh, and I almost forgot: this amp kicks a$$!! Someone in this forum said Klipsch speakers and the ST-70 were meant to be together, and I couldn't agree more. My '70 is pushing a pair of RF-3's (98 dB/1W/1m) and they sound fantastic, to say the least. Signal source is a lowly mid-90's vintage Sony Discman.
I've listened to this setup for two days now, and it hasn't failed to take anything I've thrown at it: Steely Dan, Handel, Bach, Count Basie, Joaquin Roderigo, and even Nickelback(!?). To steal a line from Blazing Saddles, "Mongo impressed!"