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BFaught

Bob Latino ST-120 Kit Review/Experience

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I purchased the ST-120 kit without the tubes from Bob Latino, shipping was fast and everything was very well packed and organized into neat sections. Instructions are very clear and concise. the entire kit went together in about 10 hours just like estimated. Anyone with decent soldering skills and some patience can do this kit. I enjoyed the whole assembly process, very satisfying to get to fire it up when finished and hear just how the work paid off.

 

I was having a problem getting any kind of voltage readin from the bias pins and sent Bob a email he was able to quickly help me check some connections and voltages. He identified the issue very quickly, I had placed a connection in the wrong place. I got very lucky it didn't cause any major issues. Very good customer service though he really knows his amps!

 

The sound of this amp is just beautiful, crips highs and nice deep lows.  Now I have it connected to the pair of stock 1982 Klipschorns I recently acquired, they make quite the match made in heaven.  Way more than enough power for me, I was worried I would be pushing the 60 watts per channel to the limit. Boy was I wrong, I haven't moved it much past one o'clock (half volume) for my daily listening. If I wanted to shake the paintings off the walls this amp could probably do it. I got the 21 step attenuator and it's just perfect for playing straight from a DAC without a preamp. I can't get over how this amp sounds every instrument sounds very real, like the artists are standing in the room playing in front of me. 

 

Truly a wonderful amp and experience. Someday if I decide to upgrade to the monoblocks I know I will go right back to Bob at www.tubes4hifi.com for them.

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I built the VTA ST-70 with 6550 output tubes about this time last year and it's given me zero issues. It went together without much of a hitch and I agree in how good these amps sound and perform. It started out on my CF-3's and is now running my Belle clones with authority. Bob is top notch helpful and it honestly doesn't get much better. I believe I'm going to order the cage for it from Dynakit soon. Just trying to decide if I want black or brown. 

 

http://www.dynakitparts.com/dynakit-products/covers/DYNAKIT-ST-70-COVER

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It was an excellent choice to go with the stepped attenuator.  By eliminating a powered preamp you eliminated a potential source of noise and degradation of the sound.

 

There's no question that Bob offers great value for those who are interested in a high power push-pull amp.  This is especially true when his pricing is weighed against the ridiculous cost of other popular Dynaclones which don't sound any better.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Maynard

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After 2/3/59, the other day the music died was the day Tyco bought Dynaco.  It’s good to see the DIY traditions of Dynaco live on, with real improvements, through efforts like this.

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I built my ST-120 six or seven years ago and have done some tweaks to it over the years, and never had a problem with it. I am running KT-120 power tubes and a Mullard GZ-33 rectifier tube. The driver board is  using vintage RCA clear top 12au7's. I also have the Russian PIO caps on the driver board, the stepped attenuator, and the delay start module. It is dead quiet and I couldn't imagine anything sounding better. Bob Latino is one of the best people in the industry to deal with as well.

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I agree with this.  Bob was a great guy to deal with when I was contemplating buying a new tube amp.  He answered questions on weekends and late at night and was always most helpful.  I bought and built the ST-70 using 6550 tubes and wired mine for using the 4 and 8 ohm taps.  It's not given me a hint of trouble and I have only bought a couple of different rectifier tubes to have around; one being the Ruby GZ34 and the other the Genelic Gold Lion that's currently in.  I've got a Genelic in the center position and a pair of RCA clear tops on the sides.  It's a great sounding amp and dead quiet on my Klipsch inspired Belle clones.

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On 2/4/2018 at 6:44 AM, BFaught said:

I purchased the ST-120 kit without the tubes from Bob Latino, shipping was fast and everything was very well packed and organized into neat sections. Instructions are very clear and concise. the entire kit went together in about 10 hours just like estimated. Anyone with decent soldering skills and some patience can do this kit. I enjoyed the whole assembly process, very satisfying to get to fire it up when finished and hear just how the work paid off.

 

I was having a problem getting any kind of voltage readin from the bias pins and sent Bob a email he was able to quickly help me check some connections and voltages. He identified the issue very quickly, I had placed a connection in the wrong place. I got very lucky it didn't cause any major issues. Very good customer service though he really knows his amps!

 

The sound of this amp is just beautiful, crips highs and nice deep lows.  Now I have it connected to the pair of stock 1982 Klipschorns I recently acquired, they make quite the match made in heaven.  Way more than enough power for me, I was worried I would be pushing the 60 watts per channel to the limit. Boy was I wrong, I haven't moved it much past one o'clock (half volume) for my daily listening. If I wanted to shake the paintings off the walls this amp could probably do it. I got the 21 step attenuator and it's just perfect for playing straight from a DAC without a preamp. I can't get over how this amp sounds every instrument sounds very real, like the artists are standing in the room playing in front of me. 

 

Truly a wonderful amp and experience. Someday if I decide to upgrade to the monoblocks I know I will go right back to Bob at www.tubes4hifi.com for them.

image.jpeg

 

Well done, you did a great job.

 

I bought my ST120 fully assembled in 2013 and it's still up running my 1980 Conrwall.

 

cheers..

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I built the VTA ST-70 with 6550 output tubes about this time last year and it's given me zero issues. It went together without much of a hitch and I agree in how good these amps sound and perform. It started out on my CF-3's and is now running my Belle clones with authority. Bob is top notch helpful and it honestly doesn't get much better. I believe I'm going to order the cage for it from Dynakit soon. Just trying to decide if I want black or brown. 
 
http://www.dynakitparts.com/dynakit-products/covers/DYNAKIT-ST-70-COVER

So that is what my CF3'S were running on. I gave them a quick listen with a Prima Luna Prologue 5 and a horrible hybrid tube preamplifier. A Melos MA-110 B. No tone controls. Nothing but harsh midrange. Don't like 6922 EH tubes one bit. Then tried the same amp with a Adcom GFP-555, ss preamp and all I can say is WOW.....love my new CF's. I am now on the hunt for a good all tube preamp with tone controls. It's a must have for me. Spoiled with the McIntosh C20. All is good avtxguy.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

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Omg I stayed up late reading forum arguments about tubes, and am happy to discover that no one agrees on which tube is better for anything...unless I want to spend twice the value of my amp on some 1965 NOS General Electric 6550s or New Jersey Tung-Sols. 
 

So I won’t have to spend more money on upgrading the Russian Tung-Sols that come with my amp.

 

You know, if I decide to keep it.

 

Oh Christ, I’m starting to sound like one of you crazy Tube People.

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1 hour ago, JohnW said:

Omg I stayed up late reading forum arguments about tubes, and am happy to discover that no one agrees on which tube is better for anything...unless I want to spend twice the value of my amp on some 1965 NOS General Electric 6550s or New Jersey Tung-Sols. 
 

So I won’t have to spend more money on upgrading the Russian Tung-Sols that come with my amp.

 

You know, if I decide to keep it.

 

Oh Christ, I’m starting to sound like one of you crazy Tube People.


Don’t fall into the trap of believing blanket tube recommendations as their performance varies greatly from one piece of equipment to the next.  You will see claims that even the color of the glass affects the sound.  If you are happy with the sound of your amp there is no need to start messing around with other tubes.  It is easy to convince yourself that the more a tube costs the better it sounds.
 

Maynard

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On 2/28/2018 at 7:51 PM, hogwylde09 said:

Don't like 6922 EH tubes one bit.

 

You might not want to blame the tubes...

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Are these the 

 

www.dynakitparts.com

 

or does the Bob Latino sell another version?  If no, why go thru a reseller.

 

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@John Warren

 

Bob Latino works through

 

www.tubes4hifi.com

 

Where Roy Mottram has been selling his Dynaco upgrades for years. I have no idea what the legal issues are. There's a new version of the ST70, a series III, now owned by Radial Engeneering. It's not a kit.

 

https://www.dynaco.com/

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On 11/26/2020 at 7:26 AM, Marvel said:

@John Warren

 

Bob Latino works through

 

www.tubes4hifi.com

 

Where Roy Mottram has been selling his Dynaco upgrades for years. I have no idea what the legal issues are. There's a new version of the ST70, a series III, now owned by Radial Engeneering. It's not a kit.

 

https://www.dynaco.com/


Yeah, but who sells it?

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I think you should contact Bob Latino and ask him where he gets the parts to put his kits together.

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On 11/25/2020 at 9:18 AM, JohnW said:

Omg I stayed up late reading forum arguments about tubes, and am happy to discover that no one agrees on which tube is better for anything...unless I want to spend twice the value of my amp on some 1965 NOS General Electric 6550s or New Jersey Tung-Sols. 
 

So I won’t have to spend more money on upgrading the Russian Tung-Sols that come with my amp.

 

You know, if I decide to keep it.

 

Oh Christ, I’m starting to sound like one of you crazy Tube People.

Here's the thing, a tube is a fairly complex component, susceptible to variations of manufacture, even within the same batch. Of course there are small differences in "zones of optimal performance" (ideal voltages) between the same type of tube of different brands. But I can guarantee you one thing that I bet the amp builders here will agree with: the circuit design has way more to do with the the sound of an amp than any tube of the same type you install. You may be able to distinguish some differences between brands and even NOS vs New Production (hopefully price paid is commensurate to manufacturing quality and consistency of SQ). Remember I am talking about the same type of tube, if you start rolling different types (EL-34 vs KTxx for example), you'll get significant changes in SQ because the circuit is seeing resistances, capacitances, and other characteristics way different from what it was designed to see (usually resulting in increased THD). Some amps can easily handle the differences, some might need mods.

 

The Tung-Sols are more than adequate. What amp do you have? 

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13 minutes ago, MechEngVic said:

Here's the thing, a tube is a fairly complex component, susceptible to variations of manufacture, even within the same batch. Of course there are small differences in "zones of optimal performance" (ideal voltages) between the same type of tube of different brands. But I can guarantee you one thing that I bet the amp builders here will agree with: the circuit design has way more to do with the the sound of an amp than any tube of the same type you install. You may be able to distinguish some differences between brands and even NOS vs New Production (hopefully price paid is commensurate to manufacturing quality and consistency of SQ). Remember I am talking about the same type of tube, if you start rolling different types (EL-34 vs KTxx for example), you'll get significant changes in SQ because the circuit is seeing resistances, capacitances, and other characteristics way different from what it was designed to see (usually resulting in increased THD). Some amps can easily handle the differences, some might need mods.

 

The Tung-Sols are more than adequate. What amp do you have? 

Jolida 3502p.

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On 2/3/2018 at 6:44 PM, BFaught said:

 

image.jpeg

SHE'S A BEAUT! I love that polished deck. I have heard an ST-120 vs a Mac MC-275 and the ST-120 was the winner (with Chorus II's and a pair of Wilson speakers, don't remember the model but they were about 5k new back in the early 2000's). Granted, the ST-120 was new and the MC-275 was several years old, but it was a clear difference.

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