Vintage tube guys


I was an SS guy till not that long ago on vintage Klipsch Lascala's. (now with Duelund VSF and CAST caps)

After hearing a Fisher x101d and it blowing the doors off my SS pre and amp that was a $10k (new) combo. I kept the SS system for a few months thinking I would have second thoughts. Bought some more Fishers (after taking out the output transformer in the x101d) 500c x101st and x202 none have sounded as good as the x101d (do not know on the x202 as it is being fixed right now) but all better then my SS.

My question is you do not hear much from say Marantz 7c Fisher 400c guys etc. Are they happy? I was in Audio la la land till the output transformer went. Amp was so quiet I could hear around instruments!

The Marantz goes for big $ is that becuase collectible or sound reasons? Not much talk about them either? Is that because how can you be excited over 50yr old gear!

I am thinking about Fisher 400c or 400CX, CX-2. Any happy owners out there?
volleyguy
I think that one of the reasons that you aren't running into a lot of chatter about these products here is that this forum is primarily about using and listening to equipment/music.A lot of "classic" old tube stuff has been collected now for a good 15-20 years - but it's been collected - not necessarily much used .Now with the collector "bubble" being burst at least temporarily - more folks like you may get a chance to let these units sing again.
Some things to consider : 1.) Rarely are you going to encounter a classic tube unit that has been used continuously.Most have spent a decade or two as closet queens.Under these conditions a very fair assumption is that all the electrolytic caps are bad. Replacing these is a research challenge and tends to require a lot of labour ( expensive if you aren't doing it yourself).2.) Switches and pots were very high quality ( had something to do with Avery Fisher's habit of occasionally grabbing a service order off the NY city area pile and personally making a house call to the customer's home or business - if he found that the same part was failing -re-sourcing this part became a priority.Those were really different days!).Good as these parts were - they are inherently subject to wear and are at least 45 or more years old at this time.Replacements today are often times going to have to be salvaged out of a "carcass" identical unit - understandably this makes unique component parts for these units both very expensive and well used.The chances of any of us lucking into a "listenable as sits" or even listenable with new tubes - classic half century old unit from any of the great manufacturers are becoming more remote every year that passes.
Frankly - these units sound amazing given their age ,BUT something like a pair of Quicksilver mono-blocks aren't going to cost nearly as much as restoring a "classic" will.Mike is there to back his products if you have service issues.Most importantly - the Quickies have that effortless musicality that the classic tube units had when new(er) - plus much better bass performance.
If you decide to restore one or more of these classy glassies - please post your experience(s) here.
Dear Volleyguy,
You may find additional sources of information at the Klipsch forum, Audio Karma, Audio Circle, and Audio Asylum about vintage tube amps.. I am using a Art Audio Px-25 with my Klipsch's. This is a new amp but it uses an old tube (PX-25 ) that was developed in the 1920's.
One of the wonderful facts about Klipsch's is that they can sound so good with a few watts- my amp puts out 6 per channel. May I suggest looking at some single ended triode(SET) amps. If you get a set amp with a variable output you will not need a pre amp with your digital input. I think a system that is very simple: Cd player-interconnect-SET amp-speaker cables-speakers is a system that matches the Duelund philosphy.
Best wishes.
David Pritchard
Volleyguy, if you didn't like the 500C, I doubt a 400C would make you happy. You might want to do some research on a Scott LK150 or some of the older McIntosh MC amps, HK Citation II amps. These are enjoyed by many who like the vintage tube sound (like myself). A low powered SET amp like David suggested above would definately be worth investigating. That is where I am heading sometime in the near future with my Altec 604's or EV Georgians.

Also, like mentioned above, AudioAsylum and AudioKarma have 1000's who are knowledgeable and enjoy what vintage tube gear has to offer. So make sure you check those sites out.
Stonedeaf

I am having my tech guy check them out and told to replace anything that they need. Nothing to exciting though I just said go to Tempo Electric's site and use the top level parts available.

Thanks David I am looking into the SET route as well.

It was just the comment in Stereophile about the 500c.

"I've invested many years chasing the best cutting-edge gear our industry offers, yet I've never been more satisfied with music and audio since finding a home in yesteryear with all those dead guys with ears".

I have been to Audio Karma but to me seems a somewhat different crowd vintage for the sake of vintage. I had no old gear before the x101d except the old Klipsch. So not really a vintage person.

Audiogon seems more of a Audiophile site and that is why I was wondering was there anyone who had modern gear and went backwards???

In the Stereophile article they also said.

"I'm not an antique audio collector or an apologist for single-ended triodes (SETs). I coax great sound from solid-state and tubes. I would never go vintage because it's cool or hip. I'm gaga over vintage for the sound".

Which is what I was wondering were there any Audiophile's kind of peoplr who say I have tried everyhing and a Marantz 7C is still the best?

wwwrecords Oh I like the 500c a lot. I like the x101st (EL84 amp love that mid range) a lot as well all are better than my SS was and at chump change price! My 500c is just not as good as the x101d which is the same thing without the receiver. Might just be in better shape.

I am combing trying to find out whether to buy a Fisher 400c, CX or CXII if the difference was big as I could find no fault at all with the x101d linestage.