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Old 29th December 2010, 03:58 AM   #1
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Default Realistic Stereo 24

Hi - does anybody have any literature or info/opinions on this amp? I just bought one from ebay, it is my first foray into tubes, and although I know it is low power, I have often found, especially for vintage, that Realistic units are often way under rated. I am hoping this is the case here. I seek "great sound" (duh) at a lower investment than some of the stuff I've seen float around (yikes). I have a variety of quality and efficient, new or vintage speakers to use with the amp, and intend to have the unit thoroughly inspected/bring-to-spec by a local respected stereo guy.

But I'd like anyone else's thoughts...worth putting some bucks into? Good circuit design? Waste of time? A manual would be most welcome...!! Thanks folks...


Yamaha Cr-1020 and CR-2040
Realistic Nova 8Bs
Athena model somethings - very nice
Boston Acoustics Micro 90s and 90c - excellent for the money, they pair well with athenas and i've heard few speaker matchings that did as well
Integra 8.3 Receiver - solid performer, clean sound
Onkyo Integra TH-SV919 THX - sweet sound - heavy as hell
Bunch of other misc...but I do say my stuff holds its own with any similar power range...
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Old 29th December 2010, 05:33 AM   #2
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Location: Monroe Township, NJ
Google doesn't turn up a schematic. However, it seems the unit employs the 6BQ5/EL84. Look inside and jot down the tube complement. Unless the O/P trafos are complete garbage (unlikely) the unit should be worth refurbishing. If you're very lucky, NICE Hashimotos are present and not refurbing is criminal.

Contact R/S to see if they can provide a schematic.
Eli D.
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Old 29th December 2010, 03:18 PM   #3
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I had a Realistic Stereo 24A which sounded very good actually, and used 6BM8s in the output stages and a couple of 12AX7A in the phono section. No idea what happened to it. Lost sometime over the last 10yrs..

Based on more recent experience with a Realistic Stereodyne 40, JJ electrolytic caps might just slot neatly into the amp as replacement caps for the power supplies.

The coupling caps in these amps are good sounding, but incredibly leaky paper things that must be replaced if the amp is to be reliable.

Don't know who made the OPTs in these amps, but they are tiny - and perform way, way better than they should. Rumors abound that the cores are actually something special like permalloy. Can't really confirm, but the lams are very thin and there are a great many of them.

There are sams for all of these amplifiers.
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine

Last edited by kevinkr; 29th December 2010 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 29th December 2010, 05:06 PM   #4
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Default Thanks

Thanks for the replies, guys. I appreciate it. What's a "sam"? :-)

I will post more info once I get it and have a chance to inspect - should come home early next week.

I'll hope for the better transformers - the pictures, too me, seemed like some heavy iron, but I really have no good idea. My older Yamahas and an Onkyo have some serious iron in them, but of course they are geared for different duties.

More comments are welcome, especially from any current owners.

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Old 29th December 2010, 05:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies - what is a "sams"?
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Old 29th December 2010, 10:18 PM   #6
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Never mind - I figured it out. However, they (Sams) did not have a "Realistic Stereo 24" amplifier - I'll have to wait until it gets here to evaluate.

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Old 29th December 2010, 11:47 PM   #7
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I await with interest. I have always been a fan of vintage 1970s Realistic sand but have no knowledge of their hollow state efforts.
Generic Signature
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Old 30th December 2010, 12:34 AM   #8
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Location: Monroe Township, NJ
Kevin's remarks lead me to believe that the R/S unit might be related to the Sansui 500. That receiver uses 6BM8 "finals" too and the paper in oil (PIO) coupling caps. employed are notorious for leaking. Those caps. should be replaced by Soviet surplus K40s.

When the unit arrives, definitely take a look and jot the tube complement down. Under no circumstances should the unit be plugged in. A variac is needed to slowly ramp the voltage applied up. The filter caps. need reforming, at a minimum, and rate to require replacement.
Eli D.
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Old 30th December 2010, 12:58 AM   #9
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Thanks Eli, that is quite interesting. As I stated, I happen to think many items of Realistic vintage are a bit local stereo tech is actually well versed on stereo matters. I will run your thoughts past him.

I actually considered Sansui 111 (I think that is the model)...I have high regard for much of Sansui older equipment - but the prices were more than I wished to devote. So I am hopeful the R/S piece is a "copy" or very good original design of contemporary items.

Anybody ever check out Radio Shack Catalogs ? The older catalogs show Realistic selling Mcintosh, Bogen, Lafayette, Scott and Stromberg-Carlson, among several others - surely they had to compete with those brands at some level, too.

Best regards and thanks for the input.
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Old 4th January 2011, 01:47 AM   #10
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Well, I can't tell what transformers it has; nor much about the design. Of course, I am an industrial engineer, not electrical. It has a bias control on the back, I think - it is labeled "hum balance"...?

Still, it looks solid and quality, overall...thoughts? I am taking it to my tech guy for a good overhaul...the receiver below it is a 40/T I will revamp eventually.
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