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Peter Wieck[_2_] Peter Wieck[_2_] is offline
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Default Introducing a New Horse to the Stable

Howard Stone's experience with the Radford amp brought this on, so please f=
orgive the rant-like process here.=20

Guys and Gals:=20

When introducing a new piece of equipment to the system, please take NOTHIN=
G for granted, not even it it is brand-new, fresh from the box. And if it i=
s used, or, much worse, vintage-used please be exceedingly cautious. Equipm=
ent failure can be anything from minimally annoying to spectacularly annoyi=
ng to genuinely dangerous to life and property.=20

I have no problems running my 56 year old tube system in my office, and lea=
ving it unattended for hours at a time. It has been through my bench, sat f=
or hours on a metered variac, and I created a temperature-table using a hea=
t-gun such that if I see changes over time, I have a pretty good idea wher=
e to look for trouble. But when it came to me, I had no such faith.=20

In all seriousness, if one is going to pursue this hobby at more than an oc=
casional level, one should obtain the basic tools necessary to do so safely=
both for the equipment and the real-estate. This is not to suggest that su=
ch would have prevented Howard's experience - but he very probably would ha=
ve seen it coming in time to prevent the special effects.=20

If there is a consensus, I would be glad to take a picture of my (very basi=
c) bench, and (very basic) tooling, with an explanation for each item and t=
he purpose(s) it services.

Thoughts?

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
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Trevor Wilson[_3_] Trevor Wilson[_3_] is offline
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Default Introducing a New Horse to the Stable

On 4/09/2019 6:11 am, Peter Wieck wrote:
Howard Stone's experience with the Radford amp brought this on, so please forgive the rant-like process here.

Guys and Gals:

When introducing a new piece of equipment to the system, please take NOTHING for granted, not even it it is brand-new, fresh from the box. And if it is used, or, much worse, vintage-used please be exceedingly cautious. Equipment failure can be anything from minimally annoying to spectacularly annoying to genuinely dangerous to life and property.

I have no problems running my 56 year old tube system in my office, and leaving it unattended for hours at a time. It has been through my bench, sat for hours on a metered variac, and I created a temperature-table using a heat-gun such that if I see changes over time, I have a pretty good idea where to look for trouble. But when it came to me, I had no such faith.

In all seriousness, if one is going to pursue this hobby at more than an occasional level, one should obtain the basic tools necessary to do so safely both for the equipment and the real-estate. This is not to suggest that such would have prevented Howard's experience - but he very probably would have seen it coming in time to prevent the special effects.

If there is a consensus, I would be glad to take a picture of my (very basic) bench, and (very basic) tooling, with an explanation for each item and the purpose(s) it services.

Thoughts?


**Yeah, one. I don't get the attraction to valve (tube) equipment.
Anything that is done with valves, can be done, better, cheaper and with
more consistency with solid state.

I mean to say: I get why hipsters embrace the stuff. Hell, my business
has undergone a renaissance thanks to hipster. Old Marantz, Yamaha,
Sansui, Accuphase and the others are suddenly desirable and, therefore
valuable and worth repairing. And for an old fart like me, well, I cut
my teeth fixing that stuff. No surface mount, or microprocessors in
sight. Well, not if you exclude cassette decks.

But, Hell, valves start wearing out the minute they're first switched on!

And, before you get started, I've done a few blind tests with valves,
vs. solid state. The very best valve gear is VERY hard to pick from
decent SS gear. It just costs a whole lot more (check out the cost of a
decent, multi-interleaved output tranny sometime - YIKES!). And then, of
course, there's those pesky valve replacements at regular intervals.
I've replaced a full set of valves in a big power amp more than once and
seen the cost run to a couple of grand.

And yes, I've owned and built valve stuff too. Not anymore though. I
have better things to do with my life. Noisy and microphonic valves. No
thanks. You can stick 'em where the Sun don't shine.


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au

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Peter Wieck[_2_] Peter Wieck[_2_] is offline
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Default Introducing a New Horse to the Stable

Almost the entire reason for a hobby is to be able to indulge in pointless behavior without consequence.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
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Trevor Wilson[_3_] Trevor Wilson[_3_] is offline
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Default Introducing a New Horse to the Stable

On 7/09/2019 3:50 am, Peter Wieck wrote:
Almost the entire reason for a hobby is to be able to indulge in pointless behavior without consequence.


**I have a different aim: That is to attempt to provide for myself and
my clients, a musical experience that is as close to the original event
that is possible to obtain, given the usual room and budgetary
constraints. OH, and the partner, if one is in the picture.

[ASIDE] Many years ago, I was asked to supply and set-up a very nice
system for a local, well-heeled politician. The man was cultured and had
put in place an endowment for budding pianists. When I saw the room the
system was to be installed, my first words we "Well, the Steinway has
to go." Went down like a lead balloon. We compromised. The Steinway
remained. The sound system woulda sounded better without it.


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au

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Howard Stone Howard Stone is offline
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Default Introducing a New Horse to the Stable

I dont think Trevor, that the problem was caused by the fact that its a tube amp. I mean, in principle valve amps are as robust as SS arent they - apart from the fact that the tubes wear out,

My aim was to find an amp which I liked, regardless of whether or was valve or SS - the fact that the Radford has valves seemed an implementation detail which I would learn with,

Anyway, Id like to hear a list of your favourite amps Trevor. Since I still dont have my Radford!


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Trevor Wilson[_3_] Trevor Wilson[_3_] is offline
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Default Introducing a New Horse to the Stable

On 10/09/2019 8:08 pm, Howard Stone wrote:
I dont think Trevor, that the problem was caused by the fact that its a tube amp. I mean, in principle valve amps are as robust as SS arent they - apart from the fact that the tubes wear out,


**Not even remotely close. Assuming good design and build quality, a
valve amp will always be a less reliable product. If only due to the
necessarily higher Voltages involved and consequent extra stress on
insulation and other things. Then there's the output transformers. Two,
large, heavy and expensive components, which, whilst reasonably
reliable, are less reliable than a typical power transformer, thus
adding an extra layer of unreliability. And of course, whilst valve
failures are part of the game with valve products, the failure of a
valve can also result in the failure of some surrounding components. And
over the years I've seen some (ahem) 'interesting' valve amp failures.


My aim was to find an amp which I liked, regardless of whether or was valve or SS - the fact that the Radford has valves seemed an implementation detail which I would learn with,

Anyway, Id like to hear a list of your favourite amps Trevor. Since I still dont have my Radford!


**Oh, there's only one. Locally built (Australia) and has been out of
production for a number of years, but sonically stunning. Solid state
(BJT), of course. Many listeners say that it has some of the
characteristics of the finest valve amps (triode, of course), but with
none of the drawbacks. The key? Zero global NFB, critically matched
components (better than 1% for transistors) and over-sized power
supplies, employing multiple, small value capacitors. I have not had
another amp (permanently) in my system since 1980. I have, however, had
a great many in the system for short periods. Some costing a great deal
of money.


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au

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