High fidelity equipment built to last.
In the age of disposable consumer electronics, vintage equipment that still outperforms its modern counterparts has an particular appeal to an engineer. In the beginning of the 2000’s, I was looking to get myself a hi-fi setup that would last for a very long time. I learned to prefer the sound of vacuum tubes, and built my own tube pre-amp to shape the sound more pleasing. After listening with it for a while, I started looking for proper tube power amplifiers to be driven by the pre-amp. I was initially looking for a Harman Kardon Citation amps, but almost by an accident I found a pair of vintage Dynaco power amplifiers being offered at a reasonable price at Finnish online auction site.
I did not know about the Dynaco or its products before these amps, but quickly learned that they were often referred as a “poor man’s McIntosh” amplifiers, which are considered as a gold standard of vacuum tube HiFi equipment. Dynaco’s line of amplifiers were offered both in a kit form and readily assembled, and they all shared the same design principles: rugged high power Ultralinear design that was simple enough to build and maintain. No high-end single-ended expensive triode A class voodoo room heater stuff here. Only brutal engineering that delivers even after 60+ years. Their most popular amplifier was the Stereo 70, that is still available as new units, after six decades since its launch. Like MK III’s, their original designers are not around any more, but the timeless design of these amps still lives on. The MKIII can be somewhat considered as high-power monoblock variants of the ST70.