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texas42

Harman Kardon Citation II Tube Amy with Heritage

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Anyone have experience with this amp on a pair of LaScalas or Khorns?  Would it be a good match or too noisy?  I'm worried at 106db efficient, the amp might produce too much hiss or hum from the speakers.  I don't have the ability to listen to it first so just wondering if anyone here has used it to success.  This would be a modded one (as it should be since this particular unit was built around 1962) Thanks.

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Hard to go wrong with a H/K Citation II, IMHO!  It was one of the best stereo tube amps in its day.  Keep in mind that its CONSERVATIVELY-rated power output is 60 WPC, and what achieving that power output entails in a stereo tube amp.  Unfortunately, many originals were robbed for parts to build other tube amps...especially so for the output transformer units...which were and are still VERY highly sought after.  If it is in good working order, then it should surprise you with use on big old horn speakers.  Although, for a tube amp, its output is high,  you will never need to pull that much from it for La Scala or K-horn units!  The ONLY caveat I would note is that it was the progenitor of H/K's movement towards ultra-wide frequency band response, the goal of which was to reproduce the MUSICAL signal ACCURATELY, WITHOUT COLORIZATION in its output, by extension of the frequency response in both directions well above and below the human range of hearing.  So, many tube equipment lovers get confounded by the fact that the different colorizations between tube brands are less pronounced in their colorization when used in a Citation II.  If you are one who likes those colorizations, you might be disappointed. It's all in your ears, and what your mind WANTS to hear, since we are all affected by the sound nuances we particularly gravitate towards.

 

ME??  I highly desire to have A Citation II for my main stereo listening system..after I get settled into my as-yet-unbuilt retirement home.  I would "settle" for a Citation V, though...it is the "younger brother" of the Citation II.  Hopefully I end up with both, eventually.  Keep in mind that the Citation II is best suited for use with the Citation I pre-amp...they were both DESIGNED by Stu Hegeman to be together.  With that combo, you should be amazed at what you hear.

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Ive built monoblock versions which I use daily with my Cornscalas. 

These are with the original front end config. There is no noise issue.

These are remarkable amps and are extremely wide bandwidth and low coloration.

FR is 6hz to 128Khz at 1 watt

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On 9/8/2019 at 5:10 PM, justinsweber said:

Ive built monoblock versions which I use daily with my Cornscalas. 

These are with the original front end config. There is no noise issue.

These are remarkable amps and are extremely wide bandwidth and low coloration.

FR is 6hz to 128Khz at 1 watt

Would love to see those monoblocks...

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On ‎9‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 7:10 PM, justinsweber said:

Ive built monoblock versions

Did you just break down the schematic and go from there or is this a kit of some sort.  I once heard that the Citation II was an amp to play with, I was told  Jim McShane performs some hot mods to these, always wanted to check them out.

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We broke down the schematic. Did some upgrades too.  It uses a CCS as well.  

It runs kt88 and kt120s. The stock Cit IIs were hot for kt88s even back then. The kt120s just hum right along.  

We had done a version where we used the stock output transformer and really liked but I prefer new when investing at this level a build.   This version was made with all transcendar transformers.  

To my thinking.  The HKs use simple transformers but have complicated circuits.  Whereas McIntosh used relatively simple circuits but had complex output transformer windings.  

The HKs can be made from scratch and meet or exceed the performance of the originals.  

 

Im in the process of building an over the top Cit V as we speak.i hope it will be done in time for capital audio. 

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On a side note. I have a friend that is selling a fully restored Cit II with all same Mashable style upgrades.  If anyone is interested, just pm me and I’ll put you in touch. 

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So Ive been working on a project for a hair over a year... Its kinda my moonshot. Its a Cit V Mono. It was an effort to make the Cit monos repeatable. My Cit IIs are incredible but the metal work is far too time consuming... to make it work the metal work had to be CNCd. 

The hardest part of the project was the metal work. We worked on paper first, then an Al chassis... which we have spare and then linked up with a sheet metal fab shop.

12Gage SS is a total pain to work with but the end results are incredible. 12gage, with 2 12gage mid braces, all seems are welded and ground flush... surfaces are jitterbugged. All labels are laser etched. The Chassis with its bottom plate and 2 mid braces was ~ 30lbs before any parts were installed. 

Rather than rehabbing a Cit V, I wanted to build anew... new connectors, new turret boards and enough room to make serving for the next 50 years a breeze. 

We like went a bit over spec on the transformers... 200% or so on the power... 8A on the filaments... think I can lightup anything and tube Rect. 

Our measured performance was 4hz to 110khz -3db @ 1watt and 10hz to 100khz -3db @ 10watts. 32watts RMS... Not the power monster my Cit II is with KT120s but digs sooo deep with a flat fr. 

Here are some of the pics... 

IMG_0114.jpg

IMG_0095.jpg

IMG_3369.jpg

IMG_0100.jpg

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The last step it to make our own customer transformer covers. Ill try to laser etch the bias instructions... I figure Ill never have to search out the instructions that way.

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The magic of the HK designs are that the transformers are relatively common.

HK, complicated circuits... basic iron... UL for Cit II and Non UL for Cit 5.

Macintosh... simple circuits, complex transformers. 

Its very difficult to duplicate Mac Iron... HK outputs can me made for any number of great suppliers. 

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My buddy who is the one that introduced me to horn speakers via his Model 19s, has both the Citation II and the Citation V and he preferres

the Citation V and uses it as his daily driver on the Altecs.

They both sound very nice to my ears!

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On 10/9/2019 at 2:35 AM, justinsweber said:

The magic of the HK designs are that the transformers are relatively common.

HK, complicated circuits... basic iron... UL for Cit II and Non UL for Cit 5.

Macintosh... simple circuits, complex transformers. 

Its very difficult to duplicate Mac Iron... HK outputs can me made for any number of great suppliers. 

Justin, you've certainly come a very long way from your Heresy and H/K 430 receiver days from around 20 years ago when you were still at home going to high school!  We need to talk sometime.  I'll probably end up as one of your customers!  Glad to see that you got hooked on "ultra-wide-band frequency response" way back when!  I kinda think it was my fault, though! 😉

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