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 Post subject: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Mon 03, 2018 10:45 pm 
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Just yesterday I got my Heathkit EA-2 amp and connected it to my 12" Stromberg Carlson speaker and a 3.5" improvised satellite tweeter (e.g., a tweeter installed in a cheap plastic Admiral radio). I hooked up my phone to it to play music (downloaded .mp3 and .flac songs).

I was listening to The Capenters, and I could hear sounds that I've never heard before—could even hear the saliva in Karen Carpenter's mouth as she sang! :shock:

Probably the biggest thing thats been missing was the deep bass. I never knew that oldies could have so much of it. The amp boosts -17dB to +15 dB @ 30 cps (graph below), so the bass is really low in frequency. And the bass is so powerful that I keep it set near the minimum position; even set on +/-0 is too much (likely due to magnetic phono cartridge compensation).

Anyways, it's been fun re-living this old music. Finally, I have a system somewhat worthy of showing off to guests. The house is set up with red led bulbs (true red leds, not white leds with a red filter :wink: ) and vintage stuff all around. The tubes and even the light on the Heathkit all light up red, which gives the house a relaxing aura at night. It's been a rough two days getting the amp to work properly/dependably, so tonight I will power-relax and immerse myself in classical, oldies and twinkling love songs (Shania Twain, Carpenters, The Nutcracker Classical...).

Thought I'd share. Would like to hear if you've had a similar experience. :)


Attachments:
File comment: Same model but not my selfsame amp.
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il_570xN.410562519_pws6.jpg [ 35.23 KiB | Viewed 1698 times ]
File comment: Approx. model of console.
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File comment: Heathkit rocks! Within the 38 page manual, they included a bass/treble frequency response graph. How cool is that? Don't see that too often with the new stuff! ;)
graph.jpeg
graph.jpeg [ 187.26 KiB | Viewed 1698 times ]

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57' Heathkit EA-2 Amplifier
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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 1:51 am 
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That was a good choice for your first tube hi fi amp. Soon you will be lusting for an HH Scott, Fisher, McIntosh, etc. :wink:

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 3:51 am 
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That was my first tube hi-fi amp too. Built new, from a kit, when I was 14 years old.
I had an Electro-voice 12TRXB in an Aristocrat enclosure,
from a kit.


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 6:07 am 
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If you think it sounds good now, try it with an efficient floorstanding stereo speaker, one that's ported. The bass will be much better...come to think of it, so will the mids/highs

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 7:48 am 
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bedtime wrote:
...I could hear sounds that I've never heard before—

Would like to hear if you've had a similar experience. :)
In a nutshell, yes. When I built my first push pull amp that I call "Stealth AX" (it has a 12AX7 in it) I decided to put my TV audio though it (couldn't be permanent for reasons I need not go into).

I was watching Man From Snowy River, or the Return, I don't remember which. Anyway, there's a scene where a gaggle of wild horses run across the screen and, I swear, it sounded like they were running right through my den. Really. I wouldn't have been surprised to find hoof prints in my rug.

The clarity of sound was astonishing and, even more astonishing was that, a stereo amp had a 3-d effect projecting the sound into my den.

Now, I'm not one to make wild claims and people who build amps, myself included, tend to 'hear' things they've never heard before because, for one, they're 'paying attention' like they've never done before. But when something 'unexpected' happens, like that scene, I tend to give it credence.


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 11:04 am 
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Dave Doughty wrote:
That was a good choice for your first tube hi fi amp. Soon you will be lusting for an HH Scott, Fisher, McIntosh, etc. :wink:

Dave

This is what I'm afraid of. I am really hoping to settle and be content with what I have, but there seems to always be a yearning for something better...

Quote:
That was my first tube hi-fi amp too. Built new, from a kit, when I was 14 years old.

I wish I had the option of having a kit when I was young. The kits were nowhere near as good as the old Heathkits of the 50-70s.

Quote:
I had an Electro-voice 12TRXB in an Aristocrat enclosure,
from a kit.

That is one unique looking speaker. Cool design putting the tweeter in the midst of the woofer. :)

Quote:
If you think it sounds good now, try it with an efficient floorstanding stereo speaker, one that's ported. The bass will be much better...come to think of it, so will the mids/highs

I was wondering this. My issue with my open-back cabinet is that I live in an apartment; the sound is not contained and seems to go into the wall behind it, and, worse, into the hardwood floor underneath. I imagine that a ported speaker on a raised stand with pointed feet would reduce vibration and limit the sound going into other apartments. If I do get one, I'd like to get a 15" vintage, but I might have to settle for a 12" due to availability.

Quote:
In a nutshell, yes. When I built my first push pull amp that I call "Stealth AX" (it has a 12AX7 in it) I decided to put my TV audio though it (couldn't be permanent for reasons I need not go into).

I was watching Man From Snowy River, or the Return, I don't remember which. Anyway, there's a scene where a gaggle of wild horses run across the screen and, I swear, it sounded like they were running right through my den. Really. I wouldn't have been surprised to find hoof prints in my rug.

The clarity of sound was astonishing and, even more astonishing was that, a stereo amp had a 3-d effect projecting the sound into my den.

Really brings the movies to life! :)

Perhaps it's my imagination, but I believe that this antique tube setup has a more dynamic sound that 'pops' out at you; the solid state receivers that I've had sounded so much more flat and piercing. Again, could be a placebo effect due to what I've read or something to do with an appreciation of antiques and tubes, but I do like it.

Will be looking into a high-fidelity tuner eventually.

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 2:49 pm 
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bedtime wrote:
Dave Doughty wrote:
That was a good choice for your first tube hi fi amp. ...
Quote:
That was my first tube hi-fi amp too. Built new, from a kit, when I was 14 years old.

I wish I had the option of having a kit when I was young. The kits were nowhere near as good as the old Heathkits of the 50-70s.

Please don't lump in the Fisher StrataKit and ScottKit kits. They were very, very good.

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 6:14 pm 
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A decent ported speaker with a 12" woofer will put out far more bass than an open-backed 15" will. It comes down to cabinet tuning and woofer design. Speaker technology has really evolved since the 50's when woofers were stiff, and had limited cone excursion

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 7:36 pm 
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Don Cavey wrote:
Please don't lump in the Fisher StrataKit and ScottKit kits. They were very, very good.

Oh, didn't know that I was lumping kits. As a kid, I only saw the kits which were available at Radio Shack. Didn't know what was available anywhere else.

Quote:
A decent ported speaker with a 12" woofer will put out far more bass than an open-backed 15" will. It comes down to cabinet tuning and woofer design. Speaker technology has really evolved since the 50's when woofers were stiff, and had limited cone excursion.

Perhaps more bass, but would it decrease frequency response breadth being housed in a ported enclosure?

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 8:12 pm 
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No, it would improve by quite a bit. 1950's speaker technology was primitive---today's horn and dome tweeters are far better than the old cone type, and will reveal greater music detail

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 9:12 pm 
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I agree with what William said about speaker enclosures.

During which decade were you a "kid"? Maybe you missed out on the high quality tube audio kit building fad of the 50's nd 60's. It was a way to get great performance for less money...plus it was fun. Besides those already mentioned, there was Dynaco, Eico, and several other lesser known companies who offered kits. Speaker enclosure kits were also available. I once built an Eico reel-to-reel tape recorder kit that used tubes.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 9:29 pm 
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tubes4life wrote:
No, it would improve by quite a bit. 1950's speaker technology was primitive---today's horn and dome tweeters are far better than the old cone type, and will reveal greater music detail

Okay, so hopefully this speaker would perform better than my 12" 1948 Stromberg Carlson.

Quote:
During which decade were you a "kid"? Maybe you missed out on the high quality tube audio kit building fad of the 50's nd 60's. It was a way to get great performance for less money...plus it was fun.

I was an '80s child.

Quote:
Besides those already mentioned, there was Dynaco, Eico, and several other lesser known companies who offered kits. Speaker enclosure kits were also available. I once built an Eico reel-to-reel tape recorder kit that used tubes.

I'd have loved to build such kits.

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 11:22 pm 
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The audio equipment available when you were a kid in the 1980s was exceptionally good. It's fun to play with 1950s technology, but in terms of which equipment will sound most like a live concert, 1970s and 1980s stereo component systems were far superior.

-David


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Wed 05, 2018 5:03 am 
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dberman51 wrote:
The audio equipment available when you were a kid in the 1980s was exceptionally good. It's fun to play with 1950s technology, but in terms of which equipment will sound most like a live concert, 1970s and 1980s stereo component systems were far superior.

-David

I absolutely enjoy good mid-top line 50s-60s tube audio and it certainly has its place, but late 70s-early-80s top line and mid line stuff is phenomenal and far superior, IMHO also.

MOSFET is my favorite.

I was an 80s teenager as well and loved the stuff.

I still have it all, it is restored, and they are my go to sets for pure sonic LP and CD listening enjoyment.

steve

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Wed 05, 2018 9:47 am 
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dberman51 wrote:
The audio equipment available when you were a kid in the 1980s was exceptionally good. It's fun to play with 1950s technology, but in terms of which equipment will sound most like a live concert, 1970s and 1980s stereo component systems were far superior.

-David


And sometimes even 90's too. I have a '95 Kenwood 100 wpc receiver...weighs about 10 lbs due to the massive power trans, and the amp board is all discrete transistors, no IC's

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 5:25 pm 
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I have a Heath EA-3, and that baby sounds marvelous. Love tube amps.
RW

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 10:05 pm 
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Dutch Rabbit wrote:
dberman51 wrote:
The audio equipment available when you were a kid in the 1980s was exceptionally good. It's fun to play with 1950s technology, but in terms of which equipment will sound most like a live concert, 1970s and 1980s stereo component systems were far superior.

-David

I absolutely enjoy good mid-top line 50s-60s tube audio and it certainly has its place, but late 70s-early-80s top line and mid line stuff is phenomenal and far superior, IMHO also.

MOSFET is my favorite.

I was an 80s teenager as well and loved the stuff.

I still have it all, it is restored, and they are my go to sets for pure sonic LP and CD listening enjoyment.

steve

Hadn't known this. Very nice. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Sat 08, 2018 5:13 am 
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I found 2 of the ea-2 Heathkits and brought them up slowly to about 105 watts. When I played LPs through them connected to baby advents, I just could not believe the sound I was hearing from these tiny tube amps. Since then, I have picked up 1 more ea-2 as well as 2 ea-3 Heathkits. I highly recommend trying these to anyone!


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Sat 08, 2018 8:13 am 
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Heathkit was vastly underrated---their engineers were as good as anyone's

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit Amp: I haven't heard music until today
PostPosted: Dec Sat 08, 2018 2:13 pm 
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radiowizard wrote:
I have a Heath EA-3, and that baby sounds marvelous. Love tube amps.
RW

What is the difference between an EA-2 and an EA-3? They appear so similar.

Quote:
Since then, I have picked up 1 more ea-2 as well as 2 ea-3 Heathkits. I highly recommend trying these to anyone!

I was actually considering doing this in the future if I wanted stereo sound at that time.

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