Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

OT ... Dynaco, a trip down memory lane


Dave Horne

Recommended Posts

My first amp and first pre amp (and my first FM tuner as I recall) were made by Dyanaco. My best friend then, now a VP in a very big software company, assembled my Stereo 70 amp for me. This amp put out 35 watts per channel RMS and you used a VOM (volt-ohm- meter) to set the bias. If the bias was not set correctly those EL34's (I believe) output tubes would glow a pretty red color. That was pretty powerful amp back then. Stereo 70 - they didn't inflat the output the way they do now.

 

Am I alone here? Any of the older guys remember the 'kits' that were available back in the 1960's\ 1970's? Do kits even exist anymore?

 

A good friend of mine assembled a color TV from a kit back then. When something went wrong he had a pretty good idea where to look to fix it. I always thought that was 'neat'.

 

I guess the only similar experience today is with ham radio equipment. I always wanted to that but the thought of learning Morse code was a bit much.

 

Sorry, .... just rambling.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 12
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Well, my very first synth was one I created out of an "50-in-1 electronics lab kit" I had for Christmas. I was probably 11 or 12 and was in Heaven for months doing all those experiments. But one that I particularly found interesting was the synth one (in the book they called that lab an "electronic organ").

 

It was a simple oscillator made out of a 5 pin transformer, a transistor, a variable resistor and so on. Later I found out that changing the capacitor value would modify the sound quite drastically. A year later I got a Radio Shack "electronic organ" that had 15 morse code type keys. Again, it sounded more like a very primitive synth than an organ. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with ya. Back in the '70's, my band had a few the sound guy built and I think they were 400w. We also used a Teac Model 5 for a mixer. More of a recording board back then, but we used it for foh. Gene had the thing in stereo,3 way crossover, rhodes panning in the mains, dynacord echo on the vox. Great sounding system for the day.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Dave Horne:

My first amp and first pre amp (and my first FM tuner as I recall) were made by Dyanaco. My best friend then, now a VP in a very big software company, assembled my Stereo 70 amp for me. This amp put out 35 watts per channel RMS and you used a VOM (volt-ohm- meter) to set the bias. If the bias was not set correctly those EL34's (I believe) output tubes would glow a pretty red color. That was pretty powerful amp back then. Stereo 70 - they didn't inflat the output the way they do now.

 

Am I alone here? Any of the older guys remember the 'kits' that were available back in the 1960's\ 1970's? Do kits even exist anymore?

 

A good friend of mine assembled a color TV from a kit back then. When something went wrong he had a pretty good idea where to look to fix it. I always thought that was 'neat'.

 

I guess the only similar experience today is with ham radio equipment. I always wanted to that but the thought of learning Morse code was a bit much.

 

Sorry, .... just rambling.

Ah yes, the good old days. When I was in college I built a Heathkit TV. The TV really wasn't that good - it was a bitch trying to get the pincushion alignment just right. I accidently got the degaussing coil too close to one side of the tube, and I never was able to completely remove the color "rainbow" on that side.

 

My first kit was a 20W transistor amp featured in Popular Electronics or some such. I used it for my organ amp - it had barely enough power, of course, and it had pretty small heat sinks mounted on top of the recently introduced flat plastic power transistors. I ended up with several of them - often I had to replace one (or more) during a gig, because I'd blow them up. I discovered that you could prolong the life by replacing the heat sinks with bigger ones! I eventually went with an Bogen PA tube amp - at the time I thought it sounded better, but I figured that couldn't be really true, because after all, the solid state stuff *HAD* to be better, right? :D

 

I also built a PAIA synth - my first exposure to electronic music. I also tried to build some of the Moog circuits - they were published in old issues (late '60s?) of the AES Journals. I don't think I ever got them to work.

 

I still associate electronic music with the smell of rosin-core solder.

 

- Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Bob Rinker:

I still associate electronic music with the smell of rosin-core solder.

 

- Bob

:D Ah... the fragrances that lofted from my apartment in the late seventies. :cool::)

 

 

I built a PAiA 4700.

 

Dave, my Hafler XL280 was prebuilt at the factory. I could have ordered the kit and put it together. That's how old it is.

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kits most recently have been the province of analogue modular synth makers. I have a huge system that I built over the last 6 years. It is about 80% MOTM, Blacet and Oakley kits, with some assembled and some custom DIY thrown in.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Dynaco stuff was pretty good in stock form, but it's ironic that a couple of business are around today that offer kits to upgrade those to a higher level.

 

Van Alstine and Joe Curricio (sp) both offer modestly priced upgrades with options of factory installs.

 

Supposedly these units, once upgraded, can meet or beat the performance of the expensive stuff.

 

I sold a PAS-3 on ebay and the buyer had me ship it directly to one of the above.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sold my Stereo 70 to some guy in New Jersey for $150 about 25 years ago or so. I thought he was crazy. I think I originally paid $109 for the kit.

 

I remember the bias on the Stereo 70 was 1.56 V which was the same output as a one cell battery. I would calibrate my VOM using a battery before I would set the bias. Ah the good old days, setting the bias on your amp.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never had a Heathkit Vox but did play my Vox Jaguar through a Heathkit twin twelve amp that I had to assemble twice to get it to work. It later served as a leslie preamp with a neat (non standard) toggle switch which allowed me to go from the amp's stationary speakers to amp and leslie to leslie. Dynaco was much prized in my neck of the woods for PA purposes. A number of them seemed to go from band to band down the years, sold and resold. You couldn't bust 'em. thanks for the memories.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dave,

 

I still have a Dynaco SCA-50 integrated amp in my living room. I'm not an audiophile OR cheap. I just haven't found anything that sounds cleaner or fatter. Great stuff in it's day. Before the Dyna 400 came out, we used to use the 50's for stage PA. Square units with metal cage and big transformers. They were also used for public address at Shea Stadium. Super amps, but heavy.

 

Paul

WUDAYAKNOW.. For the first time in my life, I'm wrong again!!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...