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[FS] Concordant Exhilarant Valve Linestage

Discussion in 'classifieds' started by eastone, Apr 9, 2021.

  1. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    Classic British valve line stage by the legendary Doug Dunlop.

    Approx 14dB gain via 2x12AX7, 2x5965 and 2x6CG7. CD input attenuates gain by approx 3dB.

    Being a cathode follower design output impedance is approximately 1kOhms so will match well with power amps of 10kOhms input impedance and above. I’ve used various Quad and First Watt amps to great effect.

    The Tape Out connection is taken from after the gain stage rather than just passing through the input signal.

    Power supply caps are in great condition with no leaks or bulges. Has the original Midwec polypropylene output capacitors.

    The previous owner installed an IEC inlet and replaced some of the resistors with current production equivalents (Takman films I think?) and installed a snubbing cap on the rectifier (later Concordant designs had this as standard).

    Later examples of the Exhilarant used 2 output caps in parallel per channel and I have a good stock of Midwec caps that I will include in the sale in case the new owner wants to experiment. I will also supply a pair of Leclanche Signal Path caps.

    I had it serviced by AD Audio in Wimbledon in 2016 at which time the RCA sockets were upgraded and an earth lift was installed.

    In 2018 I had a very nice TKD volume pot installed by Giovanni at Retro Reproductions in Edinburgh, at which time the amp was looked over and again given a clean bill of health. The main benefit of the TKD is much improved channel balance at the bottom of the volume range which means you can listen at low levels without penalty.

    Overall the amp is in excellent working order. I’ve given all the controls a good clean with Caig faderlube and been all around the connectors with Deoxit Gold. It’s clean and quiet.

    The only mechanical defect of note is that one of the threads for the lid has long since detached and been lost, so there are now only three screws attaching the lid to the case.

    There are some cosmetic marks on the exterior as you’d expect of a 30 year old piece but it’s in lovely vintage condition. The black faceplate has faded a little which you can see in certain lights, where it takes on a nice burnished hue. In my rack it looks black.

    Currently fitted with JJ ECC83S, NOS GE 5965 and NOS Westinghouse Japan 6CG7, all fitted in the last month.

    I will be listing some very nice late ‘50s Tungsram ECC83s soon which really elevate performance.

    This amp owes me over £1000 with the Earth Lift, RCAs and TKD potentiometer. However, as it’s had joyful daily use for the last 5 years I’m happy to let it go for the same as I originally paid for it:

    £650 (firm)

    I can pack this extremely well for shipping in the UK. Collection also welcome from Edinburgh but unfortunately I can’t demonstrate given COVID restrictions (I have asthma but am not yet vaccinated, so still being extra careful).

    Shipping cost not included, I’d estimate about £25 including insurance.
     
  2. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

  3. treeswampy

    treeswampy pfm Member

    For those who are not so old these are fantastic bits of kit. If anything dies or goes out of spec a competent valve repairer can fix them. If I didn't have my Music Reference and Graaf pre's this would not be here now. Oh they also sound superb as well as looking good.
     
    eastone likes this.
  4. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    Thanks for the kind comments.

    Indeed, I am listening to a rather good NTS show through it now with a big grin and my foot tapping... and feeling a bit nervous about selling... it just never fails to make me smile...
     
  5. montesquieu

    montesquieu pfm Member

    Silly cheap for its performance level. Doug Dunlop knew what he was doing.
     
    Rana and eastone like this.
  6. Dan K

    Dan K pfm Member

    GLWS. This was mine before and I can't imagine what Eastone has in mind to replace it.

    People don't realise this pre is a single gain stage with an augmented cathode follower, that's what the other valves in the LS are doing. The taller valves are the 2 stage HT regulation.

    And there is only 1 single cap in the signal path!

    A truly stunning pre amp, also quite compact.
     
    eastone likes this.
  7. bencat

    bencat pfm Member

    GLWS I have one of these but mine looks very different has two pre amp outs and a very big wooden sleeve over it . I also think the valves used are different but in truth I do not remember. Mine is packed away and note used it since a loan out . Still want to hang on to it though.
     
    eastone likes this.
  8. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    From what I hear Doug was quite restless with his designs, which didn’t help commercially. There can’t be too many of these out there...
     
  9. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Never seen one of these before - looks great. Just out of interest - why are there two 'mute' positions on the source selector?
     
  10. eastone

    eastone pfm Member


    I'm not replacing it as such. I'm just using a little home-made passive. I don't need the gain or the extra inputs these days as 99% of listening is with family or background music or movies. Time for someone else to enjoy it, basically.

    It's a really special amp and I reckon you'd need to spend upwards of £3K now to get close to its performance. I've heard a few other preamps around that price but always preferred the Concordant. It does that thing where the hifi just disappears and leaves you with music pouring into the room...
     
  11. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    I suppose it’s so that whichever input you’re using you only have to turn the control once to mute it.
     
    paulfromcamden and eastone like this.
  12. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    That's curious isn't it, I don't know tbh but a layman's guess... better crosstalk reduction? @Dan K is more knowledgeable on the technical aspects of these.
     
  13. Dan K

    Dan K pfm Member

    Just spare gaps/ channels on the switch.
     
  14. Dan K

    Dan K pfm Member

    These amps deserve to be cloned. The only thing that I know of that is similar is a Broskie CCDA.

    These are more compact and are DC coupled!

    The Midwec output caps are all you'll ever need, both myself, Eastone and Audiojoy have tried almost every cap going in these amps. The LCR PSU caps seem to retain their ESR forever and should also not be changed.

    Look up 'Broskie buffer' and then drop a gain stage on the front, carefully select your valves and operating points to allow DC coupling and that's pretty much your circuit - I think.

    And the front panel hasn't faded. It's supposed to be that shade of 'aubergine'.
     
    eastone likes this.
  15. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    What sort of sensitivity range in partnering power amps is this pre suitable for? Quad 303, Radford, Croft? Or more like Quad IIs?
     
  16. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    It’ll depend on speakers and size of room / listening volume, naturally.

    When I used it with Quad amps (306 and 405-2) they’d had the input sensitivity modded to 1.5V and I was using BBC type speakers and Snell K (90dB but need some grunt).

    My current power amp is a crazy 3V for full power and only has 20dB gain. Speakers are 93dB and it works brilliantly although as I’m in a small room I was always in the bottom quarter of the volume pots range (hence the TKD).

    So probably not ideal for sensitive vintage power amps unless you have speakers that need a lot of driving and a big room, or want to change the input sensitivity.

    Still way less gain than the current Croft preamps.
     
    Nagraboy likes this.
  17. Dan K

    Dan K pfm Member

    There is a Concordant Mod to Quad II's, specifically designed to go with this pre. No idea how to get details of it. Maybe ask Keith Snook?

    Absolutely fantastic with a KSA-50 or anything Bedini
     
    eastone likes this.
  18. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    Doug was known for his modded Quad IIs though so I suspect it would be a great combo of the sensitivity was right.
     
  19. ellamoo

    ellamoo pfm Member

    I've had one in the past and very good too. I once spent a lunch time with designer Doug Dunlop at his house listening to his version of the Quad II valves. Only problem was having to be subjected to a constant playlist of country and western (if my memory serves me)!
     
    Dan K likes this.
  20. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    Dan beat me to it. I know some other pink fishers had his Quads so maybe they will chip in...
     

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