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    Canadian company has acquired the "Dynaco" trade name ?

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    rjpjnk

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    Post by rjpjnk on Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:22 pm

    I am starting to warm to the idea that solid state might be best for power supplies. Wouldn't it be a simple matter to modify a 5AR4 based amp to a SS B+ supply? Or would the voltage be too high without the rectifier tube drop? If we have to load up the circuit with resistors to reduce the voltage doesn't that introduce issues with voltage "firmness"?

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    Bob Latino
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    Post by Bob Latino on Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:40 pm

    Apparently the Dynaco ST-70X is no more .. If you go to the Radial Engineering web site now, you cannot find the Dynaco ST-70X for sale anymore. If you look for products on > https://dynaco.com/index#products you get a 404 error. If you read through this thread from the beginning you can see some of my posts about this amp. My problem with the amp was not its looks. It probably also sound pretty good. My problem was the price of this 35 WPC amp > $2999.99. You can't sell a 35 watt per channel "Dynaco" amp for $3000 USD ? You can't take the Dynaco name and "upscale" it. This was tried in the 1990's with the Dynaco ST-70 Series II and it didn't work. When they weren't selling at $3000, they dropped the price to $1500 and they did start to sell a few. This $1500 price only lasted a few months. They wanted to get a few of these amps out there and maybe they would catch on ? Yes - they caught on at $1500 but very few must have been sold at $3K. They probably decided to just pull the plug. They shut down the web pages that were selling these and now they are no more. RIP Dynaco ST-70X. The audio world will bury you right next to the Dynaco ST-70 Series II which went belly up in the mid 1990's.

    Bob
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    Post by rjpjnk on Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:53 am

    Hi Bob, Yes, I noticed that too. No more Dynaco ST-70 Series 3. Sad

    I am so fortunate to have bought one of them when they were 1499. I continue to be amazed every day at its classy looks and it's wonderful rich sound. This is the sweetest EL34 amp I've ever listened to. I love the VTA amps too, of course, but they have different strengths. Radial must have put an amazing amount of R&D into those output transformers, and no doubt lost a bundle of money when it didn't sell.

    In any event, I am truly sad to see that this endeavor failed, but as you point out, it was just too expensive. There is way too much competition at 3K from established brands for this amp to have ever caught on. However, I think it was a ridiculous bargain at 1499, and those who picked one up are truly lucky. I'm sure over the years we will see these pop up on the used market. I think they may become a collectable. Luckily I was able to obtain a schematic in case I ever need to fix it.
    Bob Latino
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    Post by Bob Latino on Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:18 pm

    I just Emailed Radial Engineering about this.

    They did confirm to me that they pulled the plug on this amp due to poor sales.

    Bob

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    Hops

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    Post by Hops on Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:28 pm

    If you want to use SS Rectification,  a Weber Copper Cap plugs in where the Tube Rectifier goes.   I use a WS-1 with thermistor.   Bob recommends a different Weber,  I am sure they both work fine.
    MechEngVic
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    Post by MechEngVic on Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:42 pm

    Bob Latino wrote:I just Emailed Radial Engineering about this.

    They did confirm to me that they pulled the plug on this amp due to poor sales.

    Bob

    Reading this thread was like reading the biography of the little amp that couldn't. Too bad. I think the more tube gear that exists in the market the better. Anyone who knows Dynaco knows that VTA is where the ST-70 has gone to grow up. But I can't help it, I still love my SERIES II !! It does a lot of things very well! This new and now dead series III shared as much with the series II as it did with the original. They even used a bunch of the same language in the series III manual that was in the series II manual. They should've left the input RCA's in the front.

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    Post by alanhuth on Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:36 am

    Bob, in the interview with their design engineer, he went to a lot of trouble to explain the lengths they went to to improve the transformers in the Series 3. You would be in a good position to determine whether they actually succeeded, so I’m wondering, since they have discontinued the amp, whether they would be willing to send you a few transformers for testing, and if they are actually better, maybe that could also become an option for VTA??? They seem to be communicating with you. Win win?
    MechEngVic
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    Post by MechEngVic on Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:20 am

    The Series II used a bigger power transformer and the same output transformer. I believe the Series III did the same. From the Series II manual:

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    Post by alanhuth on Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:52 am

    They claim to have done much more than that on the transformers. Here is A pretty detailed description by the design engineer:

    https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/review-new-dynaco-st-70-series-3.807980/page-3

    Starts about half-way down three page
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    Post by alanhuth on Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:14 pm

    Here is a quote. I was not able to paste in the oscilloscope shots. He claims that this is quite a departure, and improvement on, the originals. Bob should get some samples and find out for sure. If they are markedly better, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t be willing to sell or license them.


    Our first attempt at a custom transformer looked like what you see to the left (above). This is as good if not better than every off-the-shelf transformer we tried. Please note the vertical scales are different. The original is set to 2V per division while this one is at 5V per division. 20 kHz at the left. 40 Hz below.

    [​IMG]
    Though the top end was disappointing, the bottom end was stunning in comparison. The greatly improved power supply is a large part of it but still the transformer contributed a lot as well.

    [​IMG]
    In our second try after exhaustive work by our transformer vendor over many months including testing of the original A470 we got what you see here at 20kHz. While the rise time is not quite as fast, that was the price to pay to get the excellent bottom end. The issue is that there is no overshoot and no ringing or distortion of the wave shape that cause issues. Our listening tests confirmed that the rise time was not an issue. The lack of ringing is what makes the high end magical. Here is what we got with the new transformer.

    Besides preserving the high frequency and square wave response of the original transformer, we were able to extend the low frequency response to do justice to the dynamics and range of today’s music, recorded with the modern recording technology that is now prevalent. As far as we can tell, we feel these may well be the finest output transformers made for any tube amplifier, anywhere near this price point.

    [​IMG]

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    peterh
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    Post by peterh on Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:34 pm

    Does anyone has the schematics of the final ( 4 triode) version ?
    MechEngVic
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    Post by MechEngVic on Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:40 pm

    Yeah, that was the article I was looking for. I forgot the part about the new output transformer, but if you read the article, then read the series II manual, you'll find a lot of the same language, almost word for word in some spots. I bet that the original A470 with the stiffer power supply of the series II would test similar to the series III.
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    Post by alanhuth on Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:40 am

    Bob, do you have any interest in getting a couple of their transformers to test?
    Bob Latino
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    Post by Bob Latino on Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:44 am

    alanhuth wrote:Bob, do you have any interest in getting a couple of their transformers to test?  

    Not really .. They were probably very well made transformers. I still can't get over how they thought they could get $3000 USD for this amp ?

    Bob
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    Post by peterh on Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:58 am

    Bob Latino wrote:
    alanhuth wrote:Bob, do you have any interest in getting a couple of their transformers to test?  

    Not really .. They were probably very well made transformers. I still can't get over how they thought they could get $3000 USD for this amp ?

    Bob

    I think that they calculated as with "normal" appliances;
    Per unit cost + development + future support, and on top of that
    margins for importer / grossist and also margin for a dealer and shipping costs.

    If they can make one for the price of $750 it would in some
    environments be a customer price of $3000

    And if they ever thought of using commercial channels they cannot
    compete with it's dealer by underpricing their dealers.

    ( only a (qualified) guess of course )


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    Post by jsl1234 on Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:01 am

    Bob Latino wrote:
    alanhuth wrote:Bob, do you have any interest in getting a couple of their transformers to test?  

    Not really .. They were probably very well made transformers. I still can't get over how they thought they could get $3000 USD for this amp ?

    Bob

    Well, not to be snarky, but it is probably a symptom of a company run by engineers with few if any marketing/product management guys.

    I'm always surprised by the tendency of engineers and tech folks in general who disparage 'bean counters' and non-technical members of a business.

    To your point, any decent product management or market savvy 'bean counter' would have understood how the legacy positioning of the Dynaco brand was not going to support premium pricing.

    This brings to mind a similar (in principle only) situation I witnessed nearly 20 years ago.

    I was visiting the VW headquarters in Germany as part of my graduate studies. During our visit we were briefed by the head of engineering about a new WV model that was going to be launched in the US market named the "Phaeton". The starting price tag was like $80k and according to the guy in charge, it was a technological and comfort tour de force and even included a V12 engine option (it also shared a basic platform with Bentley I believe so he was probably not off).

    We pointed out however that the VW brand would never sell up market in the US re: the brand was built on low-cost, high valve/reliable everyday drivers, not luxury status vehicles--the brand is associated with the opposite of everything folks who shop in the luxury price segment care about and those folks would never be caught dead driving a $100k VW.

    I think they barely sold a couple of thousand of them before they stopped importing them to the NA market after just 2 years.
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    Post by PeterCapo on Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:28 am

    For most people, for better or for worse, perception is reality.  Maybe they thought they’d get by on the perception that their Stereo 70 is the only true and properly considered successor to the original.  They got coverage by the big magazines and audio shows and such, and maybe people would think they’ve got something more legitimate going on than the various DIY versions have.  If so, it wasn't enough to overcome the price differential, however.

    Or, perhaps the perception problems of the original Dynacos can follow the Dynaco name, and where they portrayed themselves as the legitimate heirs of the original, the perception problem came right along with it.  I’ll bet anything that plenty of folks thought the supposed “improvements” to their Stereo 70 was tantamount to putting lipstick on a pig.  Never mind forum chat, when I’ve visited local hi-fi shops and tell them I use original Dynaco circuits, they look at me like I have leprosy or something.

    Too bad prejudice dies so hard.  It’s good to have different options available.  While not the great value of the DIY versions, $3,000 really isn’t all that bad if you look around at what has happened to tube amp prices in general.  Prices are nuts and getting worse.

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    Post by alanhuth on Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:34 am

    Usually, when a company or product fails, there are leftover nuggets of value that the incumbent isn’t able to capitalize on. My simple thought was that if they had truly developed a superior transformer, as they claim, they might be eager to unload their excess inventory or license the design for pennies on the dollar. To me that would at least be worth looking into.
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    Post by alanhuth on Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:41 am

    They claimed that they looked around for a transformer supplier for months. Finally they found one. Chances are that a new transformer supplier (assuming not Jensen) would have an MOQ (minimum order quantity) to get going and justify the investment to design, source, and tool up a new product. Did they sell all the MOQ? Maybe their half-price sale did. Who knows? Once the supplier has received the MOQ order, they have usually recouped their investment and now they would like to make some money on volume sales. No need to pay for startup costs, just ongoing cost of goods sold. So, they are motivated to sell at a lower price. Or license. Who knows? There may be an opportunity here that seems like it should be investigated. Ten minutes on the phone with the right person would probably do the trick.


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    jsl1234
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    Post by jsl1234 on Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:49 am

    PeterCapo wrote:For most people, for better or for worse, perception is reality.  Maybe they thought they’d get by on the perception that their Stereo 70 is the only true and properly considered successor to the original.  They got coverage by the big magazines and audio shows and such, and maybe people would think they’ve got something more legitimate going on than the various DIY versions have.  If so, it wasn't enough to overcome the price differential, however.

    Or, perhaps the perception problems of the original Dynacos can follow the Dynaco name, and where they portrayed themselves as the legitimate heirs of the original, the perception problem came right along with it.  I’ll bet anything that plenty of folks thought the supposed “improvements” to their Stereo 70 was tantamount to putting lipstick on a pig.  Never mind forum chat, when I’ve visited local hi-fi shops and tell them I use original Dynaco circuits, they look at me like I have leprosy or something.

    Too bad prejudice dies so hard.  It’s good to have different options available.  While not the great value of the DIY versions, $3,000 really isn’t all that bad if you look around at what has happened to tube amp prices in general.  Prices are nuts and getting worse.

    when it comes to high cost discretionary purchases, perception is reality, especially in the 'audiophile' market--$5,000 speaker interconnects, $2,000 power cords, and $1K USB cables says it all IMHO.

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    Post by PeterCapo on Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:15 am

    If they hadn't used the Dynaco name, hadn't deemed it heir to the original and hadn't advertised that it was carrying a good amount of the original's DNA, it would have just been a $3,000 tube amp not likely to be as readily compared to the various DIY Dynaco versions.  It probably would have had a better chance of surviving. BTW, for the sake of my own integrity, I do not subscribe to perception as reality.  I only want to try to get closer to truth.

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    Post by rjpjnk on Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:19 pm

    I'm pretty sure the output transformers were made by in house by Radial Engineering themselves, or more specifically, in their Jensen Transformers division that they acquired. This company has a long history of producing some of the worlds finest audio transformers. Why would they outsource them if they have a resource like this?

    The reason it was (over) priced at 3000 is probably because it is made in Canada. In China it would be 999.

    https://audioxpress.com/news/Jensen-Transformers-acquired-by-Peter-Janis-and-teams-up-with-Radial-Engineering

    Some interesting history on the Jensen site.
    https://www.jensen-transformers.com/
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    Post by rjpjnk on Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:40 pm

    peterh wrote:Does anyone has the schematics of the final ( 4 triode) version ?

    I do. Radial refused to provide one, but fortunately the dealer I purchased my ST-70 Series 3 from got me one.

    I have no idea what the rules are on this. Would it be okay for me to share this online?
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    Post by peterh on Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:41 pm

    rjpjnk wrote:
    peterh wrote:Does anyone has the schematics of the final ( 4 triode) version ?

    I do. Radial refused to provide one, but fortunately the dealer I purchased my ST-70 Series 3 from got me one.

    I have no idea what the rules are on this. Would it be okay for me to share this online?
    You could mail me a copy. Tell noone :-)
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    Post by Bob Latino on Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:59 pm

    rjpjnk wrote:
    peterh wrote:Does anyone has the schematics of the final ( 4 triode) version ?

    I do. Radial refused to provide one, but fortunately the dealer I purchased my ST-70 Series 3 from got me one.

    I have no idea what the rules are on this. Would it be okay for me to share this online?

    If you have a copy of the schematic of the Dynaco ST-70 Series III, then you can post it here if you want. That amp is now "defunct" (not in production anymore) .. Below is photo of the inside wiring of this amp. I will make some comments about the internal wiring later when I have the time ..

    Bob


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