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Prettiest and great sounding old school valve amp?


eartoday
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Id like to have a small second system in my dining room with some bookshelf speakers (maybe a pair of Harbeth P3's) and would love to have on the sideboard an old, smallish and  really pretty valve power amp. I love the look of the Leak ST20 but was wondering what else there may be out there which is vintage, still sounds great and would be a pleasure to look at?

Apologies for almost putting form before function!

Thanks for any thoughts/advice

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I had a Leak Stereo-20 driving a relatively small pair of Leak 2020 speakers, it worked reasonably well. Remember that there are some bookshelf speakers which aren't that efficient and the Stereo-20 puts out only 10w/ch so be careful about which speakers you choose. The Stereo-20 is a good choice!

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Posted (edited)

I don’t know what your budget is but what about a Luxman SQ38FD? Looks beautiful if you ask me! Or a Leben? Especially the Lebens have a nice small form factor. If you’re looking for that true valve amp look I can’t recommend Line Magnetic highly enough.

Edit: save yourself some money and check out Klipsch RP600M!

Edited by Ceko
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Posted (edited)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/284088413485?hash=item4224fd2d2d:g:D8oAAOSw-ktft~wA

A Rogers Cadet would be perfect for you. Nice and retro. The above needs a service and preferably a rebuild, but it's cheap at £200!!

Below is the same but working(ish) order and £400. 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/264944451838?hash=item3dafeb80fe:g:VjYAAOSwH-Rftn3F

You just need a volunteer to get the cheap one working. Not too difficult. Or here's an auction:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/174766926408?hash=item28b0ebaa48:g:JyAAAOSwWCJgnEbS

Another: http://www.hifi-intouch.co.uk/products/4625/1/amplifiers/rogers-cadet-valve-amplifier.aspx £250

Here's the big brother - good price right now but it's an auction. Mk II has 2x EF86 4X ECC83, 4x ECL86, GZ34

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/184829999507?hash=item2b08b9f993:g:HNEAAOSwTwtgmnsk

And here's a pretty Cadet amplifier. This would be my choice - avoids extra valves and controls in the integrated.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/124725943922?hash=item1d0a3ede72:g:8M8AAOSwupFgjFH0

Here's the schematic. Simple and classic with input valve and concertina phase splitter. 

http://www.valve-radio.co.uk/literature/rogers-rd-cadet-mk-3-stereo-amplifier-circuit-diagram-and-operating-manual/

Edited by pmcuk
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I always found Radford to be the prettiest valve amps. Smaller than an st20 and as easy to drive. Pye made some lovely stuff like the Mozart but it's not integrated. Leben ticks the boxes.

Sent from my BLA-L09 using Tapatalk

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Posted (edited)

You don't mention a budget and 'small' is a relative term.... on looks alone I'd consider a pair of Quad II power amps, excellent classic looks. Sound is rather laidback.

Maybe add a Quad 22 pre?

th?id=OIP.Kqd6SqMmqd6qKDNDR7xPYQHaCy%26p

Edited by JANDL100
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Posted (edited)

Edit: sorry, I forgot the valve bit...

.

.

.

Or a Bang & Olufsen? All listed here: https://beocentral.com/receivers

.

Beomaster 5000

https://beocentral.com/beomaster5000-1960s

beomaster5000-1960s.jpg

.

Beomaster 2400-2

https://www.hifinews.com/content/bo-beomaster-2400-2

220vint.promo_.jpg(a bit big this one)

Edited by tuga
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10 minutes ago, tuga said:

Edit: sorry, I forgot the valve bit...

.

.

.

Or a Bang & Olufsen? All listed here: https://beocentral.com/receivers

.

Beomaster 5000

https://beocentral.com/beomaster5000-1960s

beomaster5000-1960s.jpg

.

Beomaster 2400-2

https://www.hifinews.com/content/bo-beomaster-2400-2

220vint.promo_.jpg(a bit big this one)

The Luxman does have valves right? That’s why I also mentioned it. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, eartoday said:

Id like to have a small second system in my dining room with some bookshelf speakers (maybe a pair of Harbeth P3's) and would love to have on the sideboard an old, smallish and  really pretty valve power amp. I love the look of the Leak ST20 but was wondering what else there may be out there which is vintage, still sounds great and would be a pleasure to look at?

Apologies for almost putting form before function!

Thanks for any thoughts/advice

About the thoughts...

What's your main system and how much would you use the second one?

It is very likely that the expense would be better spent there, and you could get one of those retro-stilled cute wood-wrapped boxes like a Tivoli (I have the FM one and love it), lot's to choose from.

Unless it really has to be valve and old...

alexgregory_cartoon_vinyl_1000-1.jpg

Edited by tuga
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You haven’t mentioned how much your looking to spend. If it’s JUST a power amp, consider Jerry’s PrimaLuna. The Harbeth P3’s are not the easiest to drive at their low sensitivity of 83dB so you need something that can deliver a modest current delivery for them to sound their best. PrimaLuna are renown for doing just that. 
 

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Thanks for all the replies chaps.

The PL5 looks interesting (have sent a PM re this)  so thanks v much for the heads up on that.

The Pye Mozart is a thing of real beauty, wow.

Would a Leak ST20 with a passive pre be a bad match  for the P3ESR's? I just love that bronzey gold finish (makes me a superficial tart I know)

I should have said that I want something with the valves on show and which is not too big. Are there any modern relatively inexpensive valve amps that people really rate (power or integrated). My max budget is £1000.

Thanks

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29 minutes ago, radiant red said:

You haven’t mentioned how much your looking to spend. If it’s JUST a power amp, consider Jerry’s PrimaLuna. The Harbeth P3’s are not the easiest to drive at their low sensitivity of 83dB so you need something that can deliver a modest current delivery for them to sound their best. PrimaLuna are renown for doing just that. 
 

Tsk, how remiss of me.

I hadn't thought of putting in a plug for my own For Sale  gear! :doh: :D

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3 minutes ago, JANDL100 said:

Tsk, how remiss of me.

I hadn't thought of putting in a plug for my own For Sale  gear! :doh: :D

Well you need someone to do it lol. It will deliver what’s needed. Besides, it will leave you 74 amps not 75 😂

As much as I’m a fan and own Harbeths, the P3’s are harder to drive to reach their optimum performance. Some of these older amps were designed to run 15ohm speakers 

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26 minutes ago, eartoday said:

Thanks for all the replies chaps.

The PL5 looks interesting (have sent a PM re this)  so thanks v much for the heads up on that.

The Pye Mozart is a thing of real beauty, wow.

Would a Leak ST20 with a passive pre be a bad match  for the P3ESR's? I just love that bronzey gold finish (makes me a superficial tart I know)

I should have said that I want something with the valves on show and which is not too big. Are there any modern relatively inexpensive valve amps that people really rate (power or integrated). My max budget is £1000.

Thanks

How about an icon Audio stereo 20pp integrated. It has a Leak front end, valves on show and is in budget. 

Cheers Ady 

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