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those vintage ebay pre amps (example inside)

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by SeniorFedup, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. SeniorFedup

    SeniorFedup Guest

    i mean im in search of getting a preamp a good sounding one for cheap like theBrick. but when i see ones like this im all

    A VINTAGE TUBE PREAMP FOR 88 BUCKS. why am i not all over it?
    but then again ..are these just people selling old stuff thats not really worth the hype when it comes to vintage gear? please help clear this out much appr.

  2. GregP

    GregP Guest

    Well, it ended at $152 so don't feel bad. ;)

    Not sure how you'd connect it individually.. it says it's part of a Heathkit system-- were the other components integral for voltage conversion, etc?

    In any event, I'd never heard of Heathkit (perhaps to my shame?) and it seems like pretty much the hobbyist stuff of its day. Nothing special compared to something like The Brick, anyhow. Microphone on 1/4" mono jack... yuk. :D

  3. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Never heard of Heathkit?!?!? Hang your head in shame, Greg! Hehehe..... (it's ok, it was mostly home/hobbiest stuff..not professional studio gear....still, it was fun stuff to build at the time.)
  4. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Hmmmpfh... Kids... Ya'll don' know nufin'...

    Maybe not necessarily compared to a brick, but I can GUARANTEE you that that old heathkit, if it was wired and soldered halfway decent ISN'T one of these over-hyped-over-priced-noisy-assed-starved-plate-piles-o-silicon-junk!

    Heathkit, in it's day, was a mail-order/cataog store mid to high-end audio component manufacturer. If you knew electronics back then... (a lost art/science today), you could order replacement and upgrade components for your kit and have some pretty classy stuff... on par with McIntosh and Crown. You originally couldn't order anything from Heathkit built, you had to build it. You got upper-end gear on the cheap, because there wasn't any labor involved in the assembly.

    Oh, and the
    ... shoot son, never heard of swappin' out a connector and slapping in a little jensen matching transformer? Maybe an hour to hour and a half mod. Cost... 30 bucks. Trim out the extra component interconnect to fit a standard XLR... Rock-n-roll! Call it less than $200 for a nice warm, relatively quiet class A preamp that will cost you in "new" gear on the order of $300-$500. Not a bad value in my book.

    It DEFINITELY ain't an API, Neve, or any such animal, but with a handfull of cheap components and a coupla' hours, you can have a servicable pre for not much money. IMO, well worth the time if you're so inclined... just know your schematics and be sure what you're getting into.

    Just an old fart barkin', so don't mind me.
  5. GregP

    GregP Guest


    Yeah... I'm only 32 now, and Canadian. Who knows if Heathkit was popular up here? Probably. I bet my dad's heard of'em. Old-timers. ;)

    You're probably right that it'd make a good little project. And you're right that in any event, it HAS to be better than a starved-plate design.

    What about the plug thingy? Would a unit like the one in the eBay link in the first post be able to plug directly into a wall jack?

    <hangs head in shame>
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    One of the things that Heathkit was best known for was all of their amateur radio equipment. Of course it was anything audio for the consumer, they made some pretty nice stuff as well. I really miss them. And one must not forget "Knight Kit". I had one of their 150 W AM/CW transmitters. When I was 14, I became a radio station pirate in Detroit. Thankfully, the FCC never caught up with me. I grossly de-tuned my transmitter between the 80 and 160 meter bands, in the international frequencies. I used to use approximately a 50 foot-long dipole wire antenna. One day I took my Radio Shaft DX150A shortwave receiver and since it was transistorized, I connected a couple of nine volt batteries to it and strapped it down to my bicycle. I had made a disc jockey tape and plugged that into the transmitter. I had a simple 1 foot piece of wire dangling from my receiver and when I got about 3 miles away from home, I started to get a little nervous since I could still pick it up clearly with good signal strength. I hi-tailed it back home and shut it down. After that I only went on the air sporadically for like half-hour intervals but quickly gave that up when I became a commercial broadcaster at 15 years of age.

    Don't pick up the phone Man, I think it's bugged. (Cheech and Chong)
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Well, while we're on the subject of Heathkit and Radio Shack.

    Anyone remember what LRE stood for? (Hint: it was a one-time competitor with Radio Shack "back in the day", and they often sold "Shamrock" recording tape...hehe...)
  8. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    You talking about Lafayette Radio?

    I wore OUT countless reels of Shamrock on my little R2R!

    I eventually made my first tape echo with that thing... Wish I still had it... I could eBay it for that "warm analog sound"! (heheheh)

  9. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    You've GOT IT, Max! Yep....Layfayette Radio Electronics was their full name originally... I remember when we had one about two blocks away from the local Radio Shack. We actually had a choice of gadget stores in those days.

    They also sold vacuum tubes (and had a tester in the back of the store!), blank open reel tape, turntable belts and cartridges, their own brand of receivers and amps, along with tons of other analog goodies.

    At one point in the seventies, there actually was a Heathkit store about a half mile from both of them. We were lucky; most people only knew about them as a mail-order company, but we had a local walk-in franchise going in NE Phila. Geek heaven!
  10. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I had a Heathkit guitar amp that was really made by the Thomas Organ Company and had features very similar to the hiddeous Vox amps (like the "Royal Guardsman") they made at the time. Sounded about as bad, too. Lafayette is where I bought my first wah-wah pedal, a UniVox that had a built-in siren! Boy did my folks dig that one!
    And what about..DYNACO !!! Their DynaKit stereo preamps and power amps were great audio products at the time, and they still have their fans and collectors today. In fact, the original SUNN bass amps used slightly modded Dynaco tube power amp sections in their original line-up.
  11. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Those were the days. I can remember helping mykeyboard player's father put together a Heathkit PA amp back in 1971. (First PA I worked with. Four !!! inputs. Who could afford that many mics?) Built a couple of column speakers. Man, we were are PRO BAND. Wish I still had that amp.
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    GEEZ!! I can't believe I forgot about Lafayette radio electronics! And yes, those were the good old days! I also forgot to mention Olsen Electronics! You guys forgot about that one too! And as a kid, I used to love to go to those stores more than I like shopping for clothes. What the heck are we supposed to do now??? Digi-Key?? I don't think so?

    I can see those old tabloid electronics catalogs now.....
    Ms. Remy old-timer David
  13. anxious

    anxious Guest

    Right On, Red Mary! 1968, all of us cool kids were hanging out on Canal Street. The hell with the Village...

    The only people growing up today who can have that kind of experience are probably living in Shanghai or Seoul.
  14. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Dang, I haven't thought about or been able to remember that stuff for YEARS!!! (The lightning took much of the memory away, but I guess my Alzheimers is bringing that stuff to the surface!)

    Yup, forgot about Olson's too...

    I spose' we (ol' farts) all remember the local Tandy dealers being overwhelmed when Archer sold out to em'?

    What to do with ALL that leather stuff... you could only make so many tuning cap cleaners!!

    I sure miss being able to run down to the local parts store and snaggin' a couple of parts to stuff into some project or another...

    While some will contend that those days are gladly gone, the truth is, they were some of the better days for quality... You could actually fix your own gear and keep it running for lots less than having to do RMA's and deal with all this surface mount crap they're trying to pass off as high-end gear. Oh well, that's another gripe.

  15. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Yup, I still remember making those Indian (Native American) mocassins from kits too!!!!
  16. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Yup, I always wondered how leather was associated with electronics when I was a teenager? It wasn't until I became an adult and discovered my own sexuality and the sexuality of others when I finally understood. Too kinky for me. Never touch the stuff.

    Plain old leather girl
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  17. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    (Uhhhh.... That's her story an' she's stickin' to it!)

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