If you are like me – you are going to love ‘old’ stereo equipment, especially valve amplifiers. Some might say landmark manufacturers like Leak, Quad, Thorens, Garrard, Shure, SME, etc, who made a direct impact on the progression of ‘Hi Fi’ (does anyone consider it these days?).
My memories of record systems and valve amplifiers go back to pre-33rpm; when our dad experienced a large collection of 78s. I recall he had an electric powered record player (very posh!) and also by its side resided a tiny box. Within this Shanling A3.2 Amplifier lived needles – these were religiously changed every eighth record. Dad kept a pad by the record player and each and every time that it was played he will make a note on the pad!
With the development of LPs into our house, the equipment to try out them also changed. First, dad bought an HMV valve amplifier/radiogram – obviously – before too much time he changed this for separate stereo pieces.
The initial set-up he bought within the late 1960’s was comprised of:
Thorens TD150 record deck; SME 3009 Series 11 Tonearm; Shure V15 cartridge; Leak 30 Plus amplifier; Leak Sandwich 600 Speakers.
I am just very proud still to possess the Leak 30 Plus Amplifier. In addition, i continue to have the first packaging and brochure which was included with it! The style of instruction within it is like going back years!
Dad (as dads do!) provided his cast-offs when he updated, so I continued to use his Leak stuff for many years – like the fantastic Leak Sandwich 600 Speakers – boy did they sound good? Regrettably I don’t hold the speakers anymore.
Over the years a number of my pals bought Quad valve amplifiers – which at the time were way out of my range! But it did sow the seeds of interest, and around ten years ago I used to be lucky enough to acquire an un-molested list of Quad 11 valve amplifiers & Quad 22 control unit. Some individuals in the 80’s thought it good to ‘Modify’ them – a little bit of advice – if you prefer a set of Quads, do not buy anything but unmodified stuff. Others have already been destroyed.
A year ago I got a set of Meixing MingDa Valve Amplifier from EBay – unseen and untested. I am pleased to say – like a lot of people on EBay – the vendor was a genuine person and I now own an excellent pair. They are certainly not yet operational as we are along the way of some serious renovation function in our home and once completed I am going to have a ‘Listening room’ especially for my Hi Fi. I’ll help keep you updated with progress!
Now my system contains:
Thorens TD125 Mk11; SME 3009 Series 11 tonearm; Shure M75ED; Quad 11 mono blocks; Quad 22 control unit; Quad ESL-57 speakers.
Currently I am using Tannoy Mercury Speakers – they’re good with the Quad 11 valve amplifiers – mind, I actually do get them on a couple of top quality stands – makes a world of difference. The Quads are hnhzvf towards the Quad service department for any well earned restoration – so I’ll keep you updated with the renovation.
According to their design, tube amplifiers like to see XIANGSHENG DA-05B DAC in all the time. When the speakers aren’t plugged, the amps usually blows the transformer which frequently costs between $200 and $300. To prevent this always ensure that you don’t run a tube head or tube combo without plugging within the speaker.
Don’t get it wet
This can be a common sense issue, but many people take it for granted. Due to this a lot of people have a tendency to leave drinks on the amp. For ideal results you should never obtain the amp’s cover wet as it has a tendency to degrade the cover which ruins the resale value. Should you get the amp really wet, the moisture can seep to the wood thus ruining the tonal balance of the wood. This type of water also has the capability of having into the electronics causing short circuiting.