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Dec 2 - at tech for checkup and routine maintenance, and mostly for his review of build quality and sound...stay tuned for the report
60 watt monoblocs - large power for tubes - will drive a lot of speakers
Boldly claimed by builder to be "The Best Dynaco Mk 3 Amps you will find".
Believe this - or not. Perhaps best to come for a listen. Meanwhile, consider the evidence to support the claim.
Opinions and superlatives aside - these are really nice set of tube amps - hand built to a high standard, and built to last
Includes a pair of vintage cages not in photos.
Probably best sounding amp I've owned, and I've tried somewhere approaching 100 now (mostly ss - but at least 10 tube amps). With a nice Sonic Frontiers Line 2 (upgraded) - these amps were quite something. Still great on a lesser preamp - but will respond to high quality pre thats for sure.
I'm no expert on tubes, amps, or anything else - but have a lot of experience where I've bought and lived with a lot of different amps. You can argue theories and impose attitudes all you want, I say buy it and try it. Or find someone whose tastes in sound work for you and take their recommendations.
It may be helpful to note that I'm finding a lot of people buying my amps (often sight unseen) are very happy with the sound they experience. I recommend an audition for sure, but thats just not possible sometimes.
These amps started with the well known Dynaco kit amps from Triode Electronics in the US.
But were built by Justin Weber, who is the owner/builder for Amps and Sound in California. Are not only built right, but parts like resistors and caps were all speced and selected to considerably tighter tolerances than normal. Also using a better quality power supply than the Triode kit, and also a custom designed power supply board was used instead of kit board. Designed by same guy who did boards in ampsandsound top line Casablanca amps ($4500 US a pair). Some other custom bits and mods too I am sure.
Yes - you can build your own for about $1700-1800 US shipped with tubes - but not the same. And you have to build them. Easy for some, not so easy for many of us. I personally avoid buying stuff that has been DIY built - honestly, not that many people do as good a job as factory built or someone whos built dozens of amps already.
Limited item - actually probably unique - as in only this one set will ever be built.
I doubt if you can get Justin to build another set - too busy now, and little interest. Been there, done that. You can buy his Casablanca monoblocs at $4395 US but thats it. Or with upgrades to around $5000.
It wasnt until I bought ampsandsound amps (owned 2 of them now) - that I got reliability from tube amps. Tried about 6 different tube amps and was about to give up on tubes due to breakdowns - until I tried ampsandsound gear. Went through some vintage Heathkit, Anthem, Golden Tube, expensive Chinese Grant Fidelity Rita 880, Jolida 801, and lastly an also costly made in Italy Unison Research amp. The first ones didnt' sound that good, the last 3 all sounded good and got me excited about tubes, but they all failed - even the new (6 months old) Italian job. Note that this is my personal story - your mileage may vary.
The builder Justin Weber was generous with his time and experience on the phone, prior and after purchase. A couple of things I recall from those calls, which helped me decide to try his amps, and which have since proven true. - On my run of bad luck with other tube amps failing - "you probably simply have yet to experience good enough quality in a tube amp". On the long run ownership of his amps "built to last decades, with normal parts - in 20 years any competent tech will be able to do any needed repairs and keep it going". (A lot of amps new and vintage have "special" or limited run or complex parts that wont/aren't be available at some point down the road)
If you haven't heard of Amps and Sound - spend some time on their website...ampsandsound.com. Lots of detail on what they do and why, with some reviews.
If you want a large power amp today from Amps and Sound, they only have the Casablanca - at 55 watts - and has been only option since at least 2015.. Set of 2 monoblocs now sell for $4395 US and keep going up. With upgrades considerably more.
Are these Dynacos as good as the Casablancas? No - Justin says the CBs are better. But these are very good for a lot less money. Law of diminishing returns is a law, dont you know. In other words - for twice the investment in Casablancas, sound quality may be 20-30% better, not twice as good.
Better sound than a lot of if not most of the amps out there, ss or tube.
These were built sometime 2014 maybe early 2015 from all new parts.
Looks old - like vintage Dynaco Mk3 - but all brand new parts from chassis and up.
This set is powerful - 60 watts a side. Thats why I bought them - I wanted some serious tube horsepower to power some more demanding speakers. I keep experimenting with speakers. Also, on occasion I wish to crank the tunes to pretty high volumes, and 3 watts SET (even on v efficient speakers) does run out of breath if cranked real hard. These bad boys certainly deliver. Using 6550s now - can use KT88s as well. Or kt90.
My Yamaha NS1000 finally sounded really good on these amps... never sounded better. Finally they had some serious bass - and no longer too bright. Very interesting. Most people dont like NS1000 much - "too bright, no bass" - well apparently the amp makes a difference.
I also achieved markedly better sound on my Celestion 551 speakers using these amps. Fairly remakable difference actually. Not all speakers have been showing me as much difference, but the Yammies and the 551 definately - which speaks to what these amps can do.
Both 4 ohm and 8 ohm speaker plugs. The small red plug is to measure the bias. Easy to adjust with screw on top of amp.. Run it at 1.3 to 1.5 volts DC.
In addition to the substantial info you can gather from the website regarding how Justin builds amps and whats to like - I asked him to tell me a bit more about this exact set. He built this set to do research into how his Casablanca amps compared with what else people could buy. So he built "the best" Mk 3s to give them best chance to compete. Also used a McIntosh 75 tube amp in a 3 way comparison. Says the Mac sounded better than these Dynacos, but at twice the price, and his CBs sounded as good maybe bit better than the Mac.
"The Dynaco MkIIIs you have started as a kit (Chassis and iron from Triode electronics). The power supply was designed specifically for me by a good friend Mr. C Chong...It's crazy beefy and has the bias caps on the PCB too as to not clutter things. The driver board is a DIY tube PCB...with several mods. I removed the AC Balance pot as almost everyone buys new tubes and they are matched (at least matched to a pair or a specific bias point, so AC balance adjustments between the power tubes is not needed adn makes the amp more fickle...I'm glad I removed it). The rest is pretty basic...over speced and tight tolerances."
Also - more recently he told me that the power supply is not the standard Triode unit, but a much higher quality supply.
Power tubes - 6550 - JJs - not sure on miles on them, but probably half or more remains?
Rectifier Tube - GZ34 - new production Mullards when I bought the amp - I doubt if have 300 hours on the amp since I've owned it.
12AX7 - upgraded to very nice old stock Rogers at cost of $150. Were tested and very good, and probably less than 100 hours on them since
ECC82 - JJ - came with the amp so not sure on mileage
Only for sale as I would like to try Justins top of line Casablancas, and at this moment have a chance at good deal on a set.
In central Alberta. Audition recommended but willing to ship as well. I know how to pack stuff.
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