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Old 18th August 2011, 07:59 AM   #11
Lavcat is offline Lavcat  United States
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I figure I've built about eighteen Heath/Scott/Knight/Dynaco kits over the years. Off hand I see three Heathkits from where I'm sitting. Have not powered them up in a long time though.
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Old 18th August 2011, 09:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKHeathen View Post
.....and i would verry much like to see a line of wood cabinet and aluminum cabinet retro amps and recievers.......


Yamaha came out with some gear like that several years ago (the R-S receiver series and A-S integrated amp series) - their marketing people must have thought it was a viable idea, probably based on all the whining us old people posted on the net the past decade!
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Old 18th August 2011, 09:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
Was the woofer also a Philips?

dave

Those Mid/squawkers sure look like the Philips (/Becker) ones I have in my 3-ways... From the above comment,I assume that's true?

/random tangent
Does anyone know where I can get new dust caps for these Mids? They have finally deteriorated on mine. The surround is still okay though.
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Old 20th August 2011, 01:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
... wonder if they will be doing any audio?
I'd be a little surprised if they did. In their heyday, Heath, Dynaco, Eico, et al could offer products with good price/performance tradeoffs because the retail competition had a fair amount of touch-labor content. An individual who was willing to invest the time could save a little money over a store-bought product, or get more features and performance for a given cost. (As a side benefit, you actually COULD learn some electronics by studying the product you assembled.)

Now, touch-labor has been driven out of consumer products. In many cases retail prices are less than my cost for raw components - even if I bought in 1000-piece or 10,000-piece lots.

If the new Heathkit offers audio products, they would have to offer truly desirable features that simply aren't available anywhere else. I suspect their product line is going to be dominated by gadgets (albeit, effective and useful gadgets) and trendy or faddish products.

Dale
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Old 20th August 2011, 07:32 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dchisholm View Post
I'd be a little surprised if they did. In their heyday, Heath, Dynaco, Eico, et al could offer products with good price/performance tradeoffs because the retail competition had a fair amount of touch-labor content. An individual who was willing to invest the time could save a little money over a store-bought product, or get more features and performance for a given cost. (As a side benefit, you actually COULD learn some electronics by studying the product you assembled.)

Now, touch-labor has been driven out of consumer products. In many cases retail prices are less than my cost for raw components - even if I bought in 1000-piece or 10,000-piece lots.

If the new Heathkit offers audio products, they would have to offer truly desirable features that simply aren't available anywhere else. I suspect their product line is going to be dominated by gadgets (albeit, effective and useful gadgets) and trendy or faddish products.

Dale
Thanks for the reality check. To add to this, while reading it I remembered I read an article back in the 90s (in an actual paper magazine! ) about the author's trip to one of Panasonic's manufacturing facilities in Japan. He described how Technics receivers were built mostly by robotic means & the humans there were mostly just present to wrap & place the product in shipping boxes and to make sure things were running smoothly.

Nowadays I'm sure those facilities are even more automated, & probably have to be, to allow even entry-level A/V receivers to be priced at @$200 which are commonly equipped with 5 or more amps, system control microprocessors and multiple 192/24 PCM DAC and DTS/Dolby/etc decoder chips, not to mention their automated speaker set-up systems w/included microphone (whew!).

So it's easy to see how a surround sound receiver kit could never be offered (if it could even be built by most kit enthusiasts) for a competitive price.

But how about something buildable which is also difficult to find these days, like a plain ol' 2 channel all-analog power amp, matching preamp or integrated amp. Say, in the 15 to 50 watt per channel range?* And I need to further clarify that, because there are plenty of hi-end/exotic power amps and integrateds with that range of power output but which cost in the $X,XXX range, so what I am suggesting here would so-called mid-fi components. In other words, I'm talking about Heathkit selling the Buicks and Nissans of the audio world.

Speakers of course(?) could be a profitable item, either with fully assembled cabinets; or if you're like me and like carpentry but right now do not have the space to use their tools, a version that the DIYer assembles him/herself with just clamps, wood glue and maybe a few screws. This would also include subwoofers.

I'd love to build an FM tuner, but seeing as how awful commercial radio is these days, except for the one listener-supported station we have here, there are no other stations I would listen to on it.

Lastly, I think a standalone DAC - for CD and dvd players but also for use in the emerging world of PC-based music - would also be relatively easy to build (but that's just based on reviews with included photos of their interior, so that could be wildly incorrect!).



* looking through old catalogs, one can see that up until the early 90s most manufacturers like Pioneer and Sony commonly offered receivers with only 10-15 watts per channel and that was with acceptable amounts of THD and 20Hz-20kHz response. But they weren't "cheap", in other words, they still included multiple audio inputs, lighted tuning dials on the older gear, and many even were equipped with signal strength meters (this was when radio was still a viable music format ). And for smaller living rooms and bedrooms, that was all the power many people needed, even when paired with speakers with 8" and 10" woofers, as long as they were not acoustic-suspension speakers with 84dB efficiency ratings.

Last edited by River757; 20th August 2011 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 20th August 2011, 08:23 PM   #16
Obe1 is offline Obe1  United States
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For some insight into what Heathkit will / may roll out, see the following short article at Enjoy The Music at:

High-End Audiophile Industry News

Once you get to this web page, scroll down to the news item posted on 8/17/11.
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Old 20th August 2011, 11:19 PM   #17
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^ Thanks for the link.

And from that link....
Quote:
After much discussion, the head of Heathkit's marketing, Mr. Wake, told Steven that he is astounded by the demand for the tube kits.
If they didn't cost too much I would buy one (specifically, a power amp), say $150 for 20 watts per channel. Is that a realistic price point? I know tubes but especially transformers are pretty pricey these days, especially since the price of copper is scary-high.

On a functional note, I hope they supply or at least offer as an option a real cabinet for a tube amp, in other words, a chassis and a real front panel for the input selector/volume/etc and especially a cover for the chassis.* I like what tubes do for music but would worry about the tubes being open to curious fingers or objects falling from above. I have no dedicated listening room and my gear must be able to deal with real-world living.

I wouldn't mind a good SS amp either, and while I know the following isn't "green", I would also be interested in building a class A amp.


* I know this is very subjective and probably sounds rather shallow to some people, but personally I do not like the look of tube amps that consist solely of a chassis with the components mounted on top and its control functions crammed into the small space at the front and rear of that chassis. While I love audio gear, having what looks like military-inspired industrial equipment sitting on my shelf alongside printed artwork and similar objects just won't cut it
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Old 20th August 2011, 11:48 PM   #18
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I found heathkit gear to be very expensive.

I was a Maplin fan when they produced some great amplifiers and disco gear in kit form.
Sadly some of those great kits are no longer sold by Maplin.
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Old 21st August 2011, 08:21 PM   #19
JoeDJ is online now JoeDJ  United States
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It had been my experience that although many Heathkits were comparable to many mass marketed ready built units, when it came to their hi end kits, they spared little effort to make them the best avalible. This was true prticularly in the last years of their existance.

Example:
The pre amp I assembled had a phono RIAA EQ on an IC.
However it only brought the currve up to +/- 2 db but, that was not good enough for their high end pre/amp.. So, they added a few few components to bring it up to +/- 1 db.

I purchased only hi end Heathkits not for any monitary savings but, striclly for their performance and the pleasure of assembling the klits myself which also insured quality assembly.

Last edited by JoeDJ; 21st August 2011 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 21st August 2011, 10:33 PM   #20
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From the initial kits they refer to on their website, I wouldn't get my hopes up. Nowadays I don't see them likely to offer any kit that has spots that would hurt like @#%%^ if one of their customers touched them. Like tube amps with HV supplies.... or even anything with exposed line-mains power leads. With luck we might get a Nuvistor based preamp out of them.

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