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Sprags 5th April 2013 05:13 AM

Greetings from a lurker.
 
Hello all,
A few years ago I started looking into finally upgrading my hi fi system into something respectable. Back in the 90s I bought a Sony/Bose sytem that was popular in the day for home theater systems. I was sorta happy with it but it just didn't have the quality of an audiophile system.

Back in the 70s while attending school most of the guys had sound systems that were primarily for blasting on the weekends. I didn't quite go that route and purchased a system that made recoded music sound good as opposed to just loud.

I remember back in the day hi fi stores were different than today which is dominated by Best Buy and HHGregg which pretty much sell the same stuff. Back in the 70s stores were authorized dealers for a few brands each and if you wanted to hear a different brand you had to visit different stores.

The popular brands were Pioneer, Sansui, JVC, Sherwood, Aiwa and maybe another few brands. A step up from those brands were Marantz, Yamaha and Denon. Of course there were also Harman Karden, Phase Linear, Carver, Crown, Nakamichi, and SAE, David Hafler, Mark Levinson and McIntosh were the really esoteric brands. I'm sure I can remember more if I took my time to think but I'm writing this on the fly.

Of course there was also Radio Shack.

I remember Heathkit was there too. To be honest I don't remember seeing Dynaco in the stores but from what I now read they were still selling. I do remember hearing Dynaco stuff as a kid because one of my uncles had a tube hi fi. My dad had a Grundig console.

Anyway....now back to today.

Occasionally I had the opportunity to hear a few tube hi fi systems and I'm at a point where that's what I want. To be honest I found a kit seller that I bought a Dynaco clone from and decided from his sales talk that I would have no problem putting together a kit. When I worked on my kit I was not in a good place physically, mentally and health wise. I tried to rush through the kit between periods of a lot of back and leg pain and to be honest I made a mess of the system. I came to conclusion that my current Best Buy hoe theater system was something I should settle for.

Two years later I still desire that rich dynamic tube amp sound. I decided to contact te kit seller and ask if he would assemble a kit for me. Of course he accepted. I'll be getting my slightly modified and modernized Dynaco clone amp. next week. A month ago I found a tube preamp which would be a nice compliment. I purchased some decent bookshelf speakers that I've had hooked up to my SS system and can only imagine them sounding even better when I have them I'm my Dynaco tube system.

Ok...now hears my question. I'd like to still learn a little about electronics and put together a kit. I feel I'm going to still need to learn a little about electronics to build up my confidence level. And I found an online school that has a Basic Electronics course of study for less than 800 bucks that claims will teach me enough to be electronics apprentice some where. The correspondence school is PennFoster. When I try to find reviews I get about a 50/50 approval rating. Of course I'm sure a lot of that depends on what you're starting with.

I work as a manufacturing engineer and program CNC machines to fabricate parts for many different industries. I use CAD/CAM software and basically give machinists the tools they need to make good parts.

Does anyone here have advice or opinions of the online school?

If this isn't a good school can anyone offer suggestions or another school that will teach me just the electronics. ITT Tech wants to sign me to sign me up for a two year program that's going to cost 40 grand. That's fine for someone that wants to make it a career. I just want something that will help me with electronics from a hobbyists viewpoint.

Thanks....Blake

Richard Ellis 5th April 2013 07:11 AM

OK..Welcome Blake......How long have you been "lurking" thru here?.....Just a question.....I myself just would have jumped into the "fray"....but your right in that....someone eventually would have "shot you down"...looked down on or some such. We all started somewhere, myself I did do that big bucks ITT school, got the piece of paper saying I know 'something'. Go figure that my career path turned right after I graduated.
$800 will buy you a lot of books, books plus the Internet make for learning much easier than when I went to Electronics school.
Someone who actually charges REAL money for something you can get for free over the internet sounds a little fishy. Search for some free courses...I've found lots of "schooling"....complete with testing & grading to compliment my sons education. No doubt there are suitable & numerous.....plus, you can do it on your own schedule, not theirs. I would start right away....go to a bookstore as soon as you can, read it out first before you buy....find a style of writing that you find pleasing......In formal schooling you got texts 'they' wanted you to have, regardless of how 'dry' the writing was.
Get yourself some tools if you don't already have them. I would guess you still have some from your "botched" amp build.......with more knowledge, the more confident you get....& you'll probably want to "repair" your project amp.
By finding out how various schools organize their curriculum...you can follow suit...as to buying books in "sequence".
Hope this helps some...

__________________________________________________ ___Rick........


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