• WARNING: Tube/Valve amplifiers use potentially LETHAL HIGH VOLTAGES.
    Building, troubleshooting and testing of these amplifiers should only be
    performed by someone who is thoroughly familiar with
    the safety precautions around high voltages.

A new setup, advice wanted

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This question could probably fall into 3 or 4 different forums, so I'm just picking this one since ultimately my interest lies in amp building.

I am looking for some advice on putting together a basic tube-driven system for some listening, but also to get my ears accustomed to hearing tubes before I go nutty building all the tube projects I have planned. :D

Basically, I grew up listening to reel-to-reel and vinyl recordings on my dad's Dynaco ST70/PAS 3 setup and I know I like how that rig sounds. So far I've only built a guitar amp in terms of tube projects, but now I want to tinker with slightly more refined audio ;) and I want to get some components together so when I build a new amp, or a speaker project, or whatever, I have a rig that I can swap components in and out of for listen-tests.

So, I'm going to pick up an ST70 because I know I can for not too much dough. I have an old PAS 2 preamp that's gathering dust in my basement as well. What I need are some speaker and turntable recommendations:

1) I want a set of speakers that are decent - nothing too crappy, I'm not too concerned about vintage, but something that will give me okay sound reproduction in a small (15' x 15') room, and be reasonably efficient so that when I built up some tiny SE triode amp and swap it for the Dynaco, I get a little bit of sound out of them. Preferably something small but that's not the primary concern. Cheap is good. :D

2) I need a turntable. Something that wasn't $5 at Sears and made of pink plastic would be good, but it doesn't have to be a $10,000 reference unit either, and something I can still find a cartridge for. A few options here would be good, since eBay may be my primary source and you never know what will turn up and when.

In terms of cost, I can be flexible, but I don't want to go crazy - I want to spend the dough on the fun part - the project building. So a few hundred dollars for each component would be about as much as I'd really want to spend, and if I can find a bargain, all the better. I know that may not be much money, but I'm looking for the basic functionality here, not the ultimate system that I'll retire with in 35 years. :rolleyes:

Anyway, thanks in advance for the help.

Well let's see what we can suggest here...

Not too sure what to recommend on the speaekrs - really depends to a large extent on what kind of music you prefer - the quieter chamber and jazz stuff might point you towards a bookshelf like an Aegis AE1 second hand, or if louder style rock etc is your flavour then I'd suspect nothing with less than an 8" woofer in it would do...generally with the bookies efficiency is not their forte either, so you have a difficult one to balance in tradeoffs. I'd sooner suggest going for accuracy over extension for the same money, hence the original Aegis recommendation.

On the turntable front I would have thought something in the Rega line would surely be good value. Heaps of spares around, lots of upgrades and tweaks too, and a good solid company backup which never hurts.

You might even find someone on this forum who may have either a kit speaker they made up they're happy to part with or a turntable on offer???? Most of us are hoarders!!!! :D

Whilst ebay is a good source, which I also use, I'd try and get to listen to something and definitely put a higher value on that experience as you'll be surer you do get what you want. I'm confident some local dealers would have some suitable trade ins on offer also.

Good luck!
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