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  1. #1
    Cogito, ergo doleo. rabski's Avatar
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    Ah.

    Now I'm scared. Really scared.

    The Jadis are in the sin-bin for the moment and I really can't live without some music. So, trawled through the workshop and dug out an old transistor Leak Stereo 30 I bought from Tom about a decade ago for the price of two packets of fags.

    Has its issues, of course. Now and again it tips into serious distortion for no reason at all. Just gets bored, stiffs the ESLs with massive hum and sulks. For the price, I resort to my old man's electrical repair methods and just give it a quick whack. All perfect.

    Reason for being scared? It sounds fucking amazing. No, it doesn't have the soundstage of the Jadis. It doesn't do the micro dynamics and it doesn't have the see-through image. But it's scarily close. Really bloody close. Extremely enjoyable and a real foot tapper. Very dynamic, a reasonable slam factor and a lovely tonal balance.

    Now, I know that a lot of it is down to the front end. I haven't even thought about using the Leak pre stages, but the signal is still going through them. I've just used the tape in sockets and set the tone controls at zero.

    Oh shit. There is no fucking way on earth a shitty, 45 year old transistor amp should sound this good.

    Am I losing it, is this far better than it has any right to be, or were the Jadis buggered before?
    I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant.

  2. #2
    Wannabe Fishmonger 12Bore's Avatar
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    Quad 33 next.......
    If I was any happier, I could shit rainbows.

  3. #3
    I'm a cold Italian pizza Professor Chaos's Avatar
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    Take some measurements.
    And if you play Defender, I can be your hyperspace.

  4. #4
    Too much time on my hands SergeAuckland's Avatar
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    The Stereo 30 was Leak's first foray into SS amps, used germanium transistors and wasn't that good...really no better and in some aspect worse than the Leak 20 valve amp it was supposed to replace. The Stereo 30 Plus, however, was totally different. It was an all-silicon amplifier with extremely good performance. I have one of the later ones, after the sale of Leak to Rank, called the Delta 30 and it works pretty damn well.

    if you're interested, there's a review of the original Stereo 30 in this month's HiFi News.

    S.

  5. #5
    Cogito, ergo doleo. rabski's Avatar
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    This one is a 30 plus and frankly, it has no damned right to sound this good.
    I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant.

  6. #6
    Founding Wammer s2000db's Avatar
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    Don't all amps sound the same??
    There's no way I'm going to be the richest person in the graveyard...

  7. #7
    Too much time on my hands SergeAuckland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabski View Post
    This one is a 30 plus and frankly, it has no damned right to sound this good.
    Perfect right! Low distortion, wide bandwidth, reasonably low noise. Only issues are limited power and current delivery, but as a valve amp user, you won't be affected by this too much.

    Enjoy!

    S.

  8. #8
    Too much time on my hands SergeAuckland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s2000db View Post
    Don't all amps sound the same??
    Only good ones!

    S.

  9. #9
    In it for the money Tons of Fun's Avatar
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    On a tangentially related note, tonight is the first night I have my system as it appears to the left together after a long spate of reviews and other work. It is honestly a very satisfying feeling to not really miss the exotica that has been through this room over the last month. Sure, what's here isn't as good but it does awfully well.
    The saddest day of your life isn't when you decide to sell out. The saddest day of your life is when you decide to sell out and nobody wants to buy.

  10. #10
    Wammer opusover21's Avatar
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    Ohhh shiiite....don't forget the same is true the other end of the so called spectrum..a tad less a tad more...it's still an amp

  11. #11
    Moderator gjm's Avatar
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    I've got a Stereo 30!

    There. I've said it. And I don't feel at all ashamed.

    Mine has a mod so it'll accept the output from a CD player. Some of the selectors are a little mucky and need a clean, but it's generally pretty good. Even the string and cotton used to tie the wires into a harness is still there. I keep thinking of selling it, but... Well, it's still in the loft.
    Last edited by gjm; 20-08-2010 at 08:35 PM. Reason: por speling
    The best hifi show in the UK today - http://www.thehifishow.com/

  12. #12
    Acc shut see Purité North
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    I suspect the reason for the similarity lies not so much in any technical similarity of the amps, but in the inflexible nature of the Quads: to my ears they tend to sound the same no matter what's driving them, so long as it's powerful enough.

  13. #13
    Wammer Timbo's Avatar
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    I have 2 ye olde Sugden A48's-I keep thinking about sending them back to Yorkshire for a service but they have still spanked newer amps chez Hill (a modern Onkyo and a SonyES AV amps) down in our pitiful TV system

  14. #14
    Superb Wammer pluto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabski View Post
    ...There is no fucking way on earth a shitty, 45 year old transistor amp should sound this good...
    You have no idea how strong and important a point this is

    "All amplifiers sound the same"...a line often repeated with various, usually cynical, connotations. Well, while they do not all sound exactly the same, it does go to show that well-designed amplifiers that measure well*, for the most part, DO sound fairly similar when heard within the context of a familiar environment. A top argument in favour of blind testing if you need to know the truth.

    This is of course completely at odds with the total-subjectivity bollocks that the domestic audio industry has tried to force home for the past thirty years because it readily exposes the myth that thousands have to be spent to achieve respectable results, particularly when it comes to amplification. The fact that blind testing could reveal this truth is what scares the shit out of those who depend on flogging multi-thousand pound amps to true believers.

    Combine this with a clientèle that, by and large, doesn't appreciate the distinction between "better" and "different" and you have the ridiculous place in which the hi-fi industry now finds itself.

    * Reasonably exhaustive tests conducted with a wide range of load conditions, and subsequently operated well within their design parameters.
    Last edited by pluto; 22-08-2010 at 10:50 AM.
    Audiophiles don't always have their heads buried in the sand...
    Sometimes they emerge to shoot themselves in the foot.

  15. #15
    Gufmeister Leonard Smalls's Avatar
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    I used to use a stereo 30plus with Kef Chorale, then Cadenza, then Richard Allen RA1s.
    And it sounded pretty darned good with all of them, especially as it cost me a fiver!

  16. #16
    Contains mild peril browellm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pluto View Post
    You have no idea how strong and important a point this is

    "All amplifiers sound the same"...a line often repeated with various, usually cynical, connotations. Well, while they do not all sound exactly the same, it does go to show that well-designed amplifiers that measure well*, for the most part, DO sound fairly similar when heard within the context of a familiar environment. A top argument in favour of blind testing if you need to know the truth.

    This is of course completely at odds with the total-subjectivity bollocks that the domestic audio industry has tried to force home for the past thirty years because it readily exposes the myth that thousands have to be spent to achieve respectable results, particularly when it comes to amplification. The fact that blind testing could reveal this truth is what scares the shit out of those who depend on flogging multi-thousand pound amps to true believers.

    Combine this with a clientèle that, by and large, doesn't appreciate the distinction between "better" and "different" and you have the ridiculous place in which the hi-fi industry now finds itself.

    * Reasonably exhaustive tests conducted with a wide range of load conditions.
    Decent, if cynical post. But, anyone who gets in to this shit with their eyes open surely knows we are looking for the last 2% of performance. We all know that every £100 component from the last 20 years will perform competently to a level. I'm not in it for competent though. It's not just this industry either. Every enthusiast, whatever their hobby, is subject to diminishing returns, whether it's mega expensive cameras, speedboats, greenhouses, TV's, guitars etc. Almost anything these days, can be built to a price delivering a decent level of performance.
    Kondo mafia
    http://www.last.fm/user/browellm

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  17. #17
    Wammer George 47's Avatar
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    Now look what you have done, you have woken the 'all amps sound the same brigade'.

    I suspect it is a mixture of what Sodders says in that improvements in amps in the last 30 years have been in bass delivery and smoother high frequencies, which the Q57s doesn't tax. Also a bit of reverse expectation bias in that the hurdles it has to jump for good sound is lower than what you would set for a modern amp. And you REALLY are missing the Jadis, which is not surprising as it is a very musical amp (with added distortion and echoes of course). Do you know what damage the chinese valves did??

  18. #18
    Cogito, ergo doleo. rabski's Avatar
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    Minor damage by the looks of things George. I think one was drawing excessive current which has buggered a few bits, but we are in the early stages. Nothing burnt or hiding in a corner shivering in fear, so I'll likely get away with a couple of resistors and a bias pot (x 4 so it all stays matched).

    Don't get me wrong, the Stereo 30 Plus is no way in the same league as the Jadis. The Jadis have massively more depth, width and subtlety. Distortion? Well, if they do, they distort extremely pleasurably and I have no interest other than that they sound superb. Piano sounds like piano and vocals are so life-like it's almost scary.

    No, what really surprised me is just how good the old Leak is. I really expected it to sound like the kitchen radio, but I honestly think it could hold it's own against most of today's offerings up to a surprising price. Mind you, most of today's offerings don't need a good clout every now and again when they start oscillating or humming, and most don't look like the inside of a skip.
    I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant.

  19. #19
    Cogito, ergo doleo. rabski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    I suspect the reason for the similarity lies not so much in any technical similarity of the amps, but in the inflexible nature of the Quads: to my ears they tend to sound the same no matter what's driving them, so long as it's powerful enough.
    People have been nailed to trees for less than that you know.
    I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant.

  20. #20
    Sssshhh Shut The F..k Up It Cost How Much!?!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    I suspect the reason for the similarity lies not so much in any technical similarity of the amps, but in the inflexible nature of the Quads: to my ears they tend to sound the same no matter what's driving them, so long as it's powerful enough.
    It's not often I agree with you hippy boy, but you are right

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