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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:11 pm 
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The talk of integrated amps in another thread tickled my nostalgia fancy.

I now remember fondly an integrated amp that I owned some time in the late '70s. The problem is that I can't quite remember what it was. Perhaps one of you could help.

Here's what I think I know. It might have been called the "Brown Mark I" - emphasis on "might" since a search has so far yielded no such beast. I recall being told by the seller (McKeen Electronics on Bank St., I think) that it was designed and manufactured in the Ottawa area. Since I bought it used it might have been made a few years before. It had a black face, screen metal top, and wood walnut side panels. It was not overly big, but was very solid and somewhat heavy for its size. It ran fairly hot - and was rated at either 65 W/ch or 85 W/ch - can't remember exactly which it was. It saw only very limited production. All of the knobs and switches had a good solid feel to them. And other than a buzzing coming from the screen top (cured by placing a hockey puck on top!) it was very quiet and clean sounding.

Does this ring any bells with anyone?

Jeff

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:37 pm 
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There was a thread many moons ago about amps that matched your description .Canadian made I think the name was Audio Design but I thinks these were separates. Might be worth a search D.R.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:42 pm 
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Thanks but I'm almost certain that it was named after the guy who designed it and founded the company, and if not "Brown" it was something like that.

I will do some thread searching just in case.

Jeff

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:15 pm 
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I owned an Audio Design Integrated amplifier in the 70's that sounds like it may be the one you are referring to..I bought it used in Hamilton...Nice amp as I recall....

In the following thread someone refers to a Howard Brown from the Hamilton area as the owner and designer...

Hope this helps...

http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php? ... gn.338321/


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:16 pm 
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More thanks for the info / suggestions.

I've looked at the links (and links within links) and the pictures of the Audio Design gear, but that's not it. I am intrigued by the "Howard Brown" info. Since the Audio Design gear looks much more refined / newer than what I recall of my own integrated amp, perhaps Mr. Brown had made an earlier attempt at launching a line of gear - using his own name. That might fit with the McKeen salesperson telling me that there was only a very limited production run.

In any case I see that Mr. Brown has posted on this site as recently as 2016, and that another member has been in touch with him in 2018, so I'll send him a PM.

Jeff

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Last edited by JeffMackwood on Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:18 pm 
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Here I get to be the all knowing, all seeing, all telling.

The amp was a thing of beauty indeed called the Brown Mark 1.
Manufactured by Brown Manufacturing, lead by Alan Brown.
It was rated at 70 watts, but I had mine tested at 85 watts.
It was dead stable down to 2 ohms impedance. I bought mine from Great Metropolitan Sound Co out of TO. The guys at Great Met used to demo it by unplugging patch cords from it while running it at high volume and then plugging them back in. The Brown would shut off and restart accordingly after a few moments. Legend has it was designed as a prototype for the U of T engineering dept then built in limited # and sold thru GMS. It sold for about $800 in 1977. I had 3 of them: sold 1 to a buddy (he still has it) and it was so good, that when my first wife and I split up she insisted on keeping one of them (she still has it) and I have the original 3rd in my personal Audio Hall of Fame. Wood side walls, one that folded down to reveal preamp inputs, black mesh top, black face. It ran warm, not hot. Very smooth sound. A small amp that punched above its weight. That amp saw me through many many a good time in the late 70's and 80s. It gave way to Conrad Johnson in the 90s and VAC in the 2000s but it rests in a place of honour for overseeing the soundtrack to my life. I've tried to chase Alan Brown down to no avail. Would love to have him upgrade the amp to modem standards.


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Last edited by Digital Don on Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Amazing! That's it!

I'd completely forgotten about the folding side.

Huge thanks.

Jeff

ps. I'm now nostalgic enough to (perhaps) see if I can acquire one!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:40 pm 
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You're welcome. Glad to run into another fan!
If I see one, I'll be sure to let you know.
Maybe through the 6 degrees of separation of social media, we can connect with Alan Brown, and have him restore mine.
It still works fine but not quite up to the audio standards today of what Canuck Audio Mart has helped me evolve to.

A litle known Canadian legend.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:06 am 
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I knew someone that drove a pair of OHM F speakers with a Brown amp. I'm not sure which Brown and their must have been more than one model since his was not the one shown in the pic. Evidently a Brown amp could drive speakers that had swinging impedance whose loads dropped low perhaps to 2 OHM's as mentioned. That requires high current from the amp which for it's size the Brown was capable of handling the load. This guy used to crank it up pretty good as well.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:47 am 
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I forgot to mention I too used the Brown Mark 1 with Ohm F speakers. It was a crazy time - I also had a second Brown driving a pair of IMF TLS50 in the same room. Bi amping with two integrated amps! Man that room was rocking.

To be honest the amp was a “bit” over matched with the Ohms because I heard the Ohms later on a McIntosh high power amp (*) and they definitely sounded fuller. But the Brown still sounded great esp in tandem with the IMF. Miles Davis Bitches Brew and Mahavishnu Orchestra Inner Worlds at full blast never sounded so good. And those were very inefficient speakers. All my friends were astounded at that amp driving those two speakers. 4 ohm. 86db efficiency. And as mentioned dips down to 2 Ohms. And that with a “70” watt amp.

(*) The sub story on the Ohms was they were reputed to need 200 watts to play them and they blew up at 201 watts. My friend with the McIntosh blew them up.

What a great blast from the past!

I repeat, Little known Canadian legend!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:07 am 
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Musicware4u wrote:
I knew someone that drove a pair of OHM F speakers with a Brown amp. I'm not sure which Brown and their must have been more than one model since his was not the one shown in the pic. Evidently a Brown amp could drive speakers that had swinging impedance whose loads dropped low perhaps to 2 OHM's as mentioned. That requires high current from the amp which for it's size the Brown was capable of handling the load. This guy used to crank it up pretty good as well.


I was puzzling over your statement that the one you heard looked different; and wondered if possibly it was the original prototype that was commissioned by the U of T Engineeering department, because I don’t think there ever was a second version (Brown Mark II). But I would be delighted to be wrong.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:39 am 
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Digital Don wrote:
Attachment:
The attachment 363165F3-828F-4F68-8873-47F8DFCBCE75.jpeg is no longer available
Here I get to be the all knowing, all seeing, all telling.

The amp was a thing of beauty indeed called the Brown Mark 1.
Manufactured by Brown Manufacturing, lead by Alan Brown.
It was rated at 70 watts, but I had mine tested at 85 watts.
It was dead stable down to 2 ohms impedance. I bought mine from Great Metropolitan Sound Co out of TO. The guys at Great Met used to demo it by unplugging patch cords from it while running it at high volume and then plugging them back in. The Brown would shut off and restart accordingly after a few moments. Legend has it was designed as a prototype for the U of T engineering dept then built in limited # and sold thru GMS. It sold for about $800 in 1977. I had 3 of them: sold 1 to a buddy (he still has it) and it was so good, that when my first wife and I split up she insisted on keeping one of them (she still has it) and I have the original 3rd in my personal Audio Hall of Fame. Wood side walls, one that folded down to reveal preamp inputs, black mesh top, black face. It ran warm, not hot. Very smooth sound. A small amp that punched above its weight. That amp saw me through many many a good time in the late 70's and 80s. It gave way to Conrad Johnson in the 90s and VAC in the 2000s but it rests in a place of honour for overseeing the soundtrack to my life. I've tried to chase Alan Brown down to no avail. Would love to have him upgrade the amp to modem standards.


I can see why the Alan Brown amps in Hamilton could be confused with the Audio Design Amps by Howard Brown in Waterloo they are both of the same era.
I have several Audio Design Amps and they look as if they came from the same family. Interesting that the two small but high quality amps should look so similar, I wonder if the Browns were related in some way.
Attachment:
IMG_20180512_085749.jpg
IMG_20180512_085749.jpg [ 331.39 KiB | Viewed 783 times ]

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:52 am 
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They are very similar, almost identical. Maybe they bought their cases from the same supplier!

The Canadian Audio Lore deepens!

We need someone from Great Metropolitan Sound Company to weigh in!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:51 am 
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Digital Don wrote:
Attachment:
363165F3-828F-4F68-8873-47F8DFCBCE75.jpeg
Here I get to be the all knowing, all seeing, all telling.

The amp was a thing of beauty indeed called the Brown Mark 1.
Manufactured by Brown Manufacturing, lead by Alan Brown.
It was rated at 70 watts, but I had mine tested at 85 watts.
It was dead stable down to 2 ohms impedance. I bought mine from Great Metropolitan Sound Co out of TO. The guys at Great Met used to demo it by unplugging patch cords from it while running it at high volume and then plugging them back in. The Brown would shut off and restart accordingly after a few moments. Legend has it was designed as a prototype for the U of T engineering dept then built in limited # and sold thru GMS. It sold for about $800 in 1977. I had 3 of them: sold 1 to a buddy (he still has it) and it was so good, that when my first wife and I split up she insisted on keeping one of them (she still has it) and I have the original 3rd in my personal Audio Hall of Fame. Wood side walls, one that folded down to reveal preamp inputs, black mesh top, black face. It ran warm, not hot. Very smooth sound. A small amp that punched above its weight. That amp saw me through many many a good time in the late 70's and 80s. It gave way to Conrad Johnson in the 90s and VAC in the 2000s but it rests in a place of honour for overseeing the soundtrack to my life. I've tried to chase Alan Brown down to no avail. Would love to have him upgrade the amp to modem standards.


Beautiful ! (story, pic's).

pj

-- 14 Nov 2018 15:52 --

allhifi wrote:
Digital Don wrote:
Attachment:
363165F3-828F-4F68-8873-47F8DFCBCE75.jpeg
Here I get to be the all knowing, all seeing, all telling.

The amp was a thing of beauty indeed called the Brown Mark 1.
Manufactured by Brown Manufacturing, lead by Alan Brown.
It was rated at 70 watts, but I had mine tested at 85 watts.
It was dead stable down to 2 ohms impedance. I bought mine from Great Metropolitan Sound Co out of TO. The guys at Great Met used to demo it by unplugging patch cords from it while running it at high volume and then plugging them back in. The Brown would shut off and restart accordingly after a few moments. Legend has it was designed as a prototype for the U of T engineering dept then built in limited # and sold thru GMS. It sold for about $800 in 1977. I had 3 of them: sold 1 to a buddy (he still has it) and it was so good, that when my first wife and I split up she insisted on keeping one of them (she still has it) and I have the original 3rd in my personal Audio Hall of Fame. Wood side walls, one that folded down to reveal preamp inputs, black mesh top, black face. It ran warm, not hot. Very smooth sound. A small amp that punched above its weight. That amp saw me through many many a good time in the late 70's and 80s. It gave way to Conrad Johnson in the 90s and VAC in the 2000s but it rests in a place of honour for overseeing the soundtrack to my life. I've tried to chase Alan Brown down to no avail. Would love to have him upgrade the amp to modem standards.


Beautiful ! (story, pic's).

pj


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:08 am 
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Hi,

Great thread - great pics - wonderful nostalgia - just one of many things CAM excels at.

I had friend who had the Ohm Fs. Incredible surround sound effect but placement was an issue. He settled on right in the centre of a large room about eight feet apart. Hippy's used to dance around them like they were Stonehenge slabs.

I too had a pair of IMF TLS80's and sold them on. Two rich kids from Toronto bought them and told me later they had a party on their dock in Muskoka and set them out there on the dock one summer night and turned it up so loud they blew them out. They juts laughed about it - money!

Cheers,
David Neice

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