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After all these years, still love this amp...

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  • After all these years, still love this amp...

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Name:	Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S.JPG
Views:	505
Size:	3.44 MB
ID:	115690
    This is my Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S (the -S designated it has the triode/pentode switch). I've had this since new, about eighteen years. It was only about $700 back then. This is a very early production model, that had an error in the placement of a grounding wire that left it with two big issues:

    1. it is unstable in high impedance loads in pentode mode. Found that out first time I hooked it u to a pair of Gregoire Ikonoklast 3 speakers (about 12 ohm). Scary, but nothing was damaged. Switching to triode mode worked fine.

    2. It will instantly toast itself if you power it up with no speakers attached. It was in fact my first sample where this happened that caused them to replace it and analyse the issue. A quick mod (rerouting the ground wire internally) fixed the issues.

    15 wpc in pentode, 5 watts in triode. In most cases I prefer the sound in pentode mode. Very dynamic, gorgeous tone and very powerful tuneful bass. I still use it as my primary amp with my Tekton Lores or Sound Dynamics 300ti. It can't really drive my Maggie .7 and struggles somewhat with my Tekton Double Impacts.

    Though it is technically an integrated amp with three inputs and level control, I always use it as a basic amp (leaving the level up all the way) and control volume and switching through either diy a passive device or an active preamp (currently a Burson Conductor Virtuoso). It just sounds better that way. Even the designer of the amp seemed to feel that was a better option.

    I just use basic JJ 12AX7 and stick with the ValveArt KT88 that the designer recommended, though I plan on replacing the 12AX7 with JJ 12AX7 Long Plate Gold Pin (ECC803) that George Counas of Zesto recommended to me. It is stable, easy on tubes, and rarely ever needs bias adjustment. It is a workhorse.

    I really love this amp, though I have no idea what makes it sound so good. Simplicity of the circuit possibly.

    Running $700 through the inflation calculator from 2001 to now puts it right about at $1000. What's out as a current model that would compare, if there even is anything?
    Steve Lefkowicz
    Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
    -
    Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
    Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
    Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
    Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
    Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
    Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
    Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
    Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
    Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

  • #2
    Steve. Thank you. Will you email me at [email protected] I have a question for you. Thanks. Jonathan
    JLH

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    • #3
      deleted
      Last edited by chrisfromri; 06-24-2019, 12:59 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by chrisfromri View Post
        I built two of the AS USA kits back in the '90s, with a lot of part upgrades since I was building them as kits. One was a KT-88 ultralinear amplifier, and the other was an EL-84 ultralinear amplifier. Both still work fine and sound good today! Antique Sound USA was great!!!
        Pretty sure AS USA and Antique Sound Labs from Hong Kong were two different companies. Might be wrong, but wasn't AS USA based out of Washington or Oregon?
        Steve Lefkowicz
        Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
        -
        Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
        Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
        Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
        Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
        Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
        Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
        Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
        Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
        Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

        Comment


        • #5
          deleted
          Last edited by chrisfromri; 06-24-2019, 12:59 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            deleted
            Last edited by chrisfromri; 06-24-2019, 01:00 PM.

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            • #7
              Maybe a split happened afterwards, maybe when Divertech started importing them for North America. I remember mid 2000 (maybe 2005-07) calling them. At that time they were not associated with ASL in Hong Kong.

              Regardless of all that, yours is a great looking amp. How difficult was the kit to build?
              Steve Lefkowicz
              Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
              -
              Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
              Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
              Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
              Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
              Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
              Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
              Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
              Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
              Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

              Comment


              • #8
                deleted
                Last edited by chrisfromri; 06-24-2019, 01:00 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I believe the model designations with DT were the North America spec imported by Divertech. That’s why mine is an MG-SI15DT-S.
                  i thought they manufactured all their own transformers.
                  Steve Lefkowicz
                  Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
                  -
                  Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
                  Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
                  Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
                  Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
                  Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
                  Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
                  Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
                  Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
                  Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Steve, the closest thing I can come up with is the Jolida Fusion 3502S priced at $1875.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Audioraven View Post
                      Steve, the closest thing I can come up with is the Jolida Fusion 3502S priced at $1875.
                      I have a Jolida JD1000P. It is a very nice amp, though when i don't need the extra power I prefer the Antique Sounds Labs.

                      Vista Audio used to make some nice under $1000 EL34 and KT88 amps, but they seem to be focusing on their phono stages and a $349 compact solid state Spark amp now.
                      Steve Lefkowicz
                      Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
                      -
                      Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
                      Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
                      Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
                      Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
                      Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
                      Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
                      Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
                      Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
                      Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

                      Comment

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