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rabski

Ah.

27 posts in this topic

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?

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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.

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This one is a 30 plus and frankly, it has no damned right to sound this good.

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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.

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Don't all amps sound the same?? :geek:

Only good ones!

S.

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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.

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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.

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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

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...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 :love:

"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.

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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!

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You have no idea how strong and important a point this is :love:

"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.

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