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German amps?

Discussion in 'audio' started by PaulMB, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    Anyone have any experience of very cheap, S/H German entry-level or just above amplifiers from, say, the 70s and 80s? The kind of thing you can pick up on Ebay for £30, and if anything goes wrong there are no integrated circuits but just plain old transistors and resistors?
    I need an amp in the garage to play an old tuner and a couple of terrible small Toshiba speakers, something solid and simple. Don't need anything powerful.
  2. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Why does it have to be German? Without tht requirement you can have all sorts.

    If you just want something that works I'd get a T amp or similar chip amp off Fleabay for loose change.
  3. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    Yes, you have a point. The thing is that German stuff from that period often had a "Germanic" design that I like. The English entry-level products did not look as good, although I'm sure many sounded as good or better. The Italian stuff was, mostly, not very well built and ugly.
    Another reason is that German Ebay is pretty huge, and shipping from Germany to Italy is much cheaper than from the UK. If I could get a NAD 3020 or similar for a low price I would, but they tend to have audiophile prestige and prices are much higher.
    Your T-amp idea is perfect, makes perfect sense. But I have a weakness for old, clunky stuff.

    Thanks, Paul
  4. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    Old pioneer amps were pretty good, so were rotel.
  5. jirij

    jirij Virtual Member

    +1, I can recommend the TA2020-based MUSE amp for around $33. You can get cheaper TA2020-based amps, but this muse one has nice clean PCB and no missing parts (like those for $20, which tend to break).
  6. Pinky

    Pinky In suspense, not compressed

    Maybe they play Kraftwerk better?
  7. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    Can't stand Kraftwerk. No, its that German, and also Swiss, design of some of the late 70s early 80s stuff that attracts me.Sort of functional and understated and "clunky". In my main system I've got a Uher tuner from about 1985 ( EG-730) that is like this. Sounds excellent, too. I know, its an irrational caprice. I've just re-commissioned a flea-market Akai AM-U03 in the garage. New PSU caps and cleaning spray everywhere, but it grates slightly on one channel.
    Maybe I'll have a look what the equivalent amp of the EG-730 tuner was.
  8. coltrane

    coltrane pfm Member

    just a side-thought if I may. that is, I have a Meracus Intrare, a German amp, made in the '90s - 1000 GBP of the time. I am a valve head, having owned all the Audio Innovations Series integrated, all versions, amps, just as the Audio Note Oto PP's 3 incarnations, the Sonic Frontiers Anthem Integrated 1, the Croft Troubadour, the Woodside ISA230, etc. tube designs - but sold all the above and kept the lil' Meracus, that good that amp is in spite being German an SS (I mean solid state ;) ) . it simply plays Music, all genres, with such an effortless and natural delivery that owning a valve amp is not an alternative to the Intrare for the latter doing all that these bottleheads can - but w/o the necessary and compulsory tube replacement chores... hence, all my praise for Meracus - and I honestly believe it's not only them, and at that comparatively high-ish price, who designed and built true Music-making wonders in Germany. go and try one from others like Restek or AVM, as well, should be worth it :)
  9. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    That's not a side-thought, just what I was looking for. German Ebay, here I come!
  10. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    Well, they must be pretty rare (and expensive), not a single one on Ebay, even using the "Weltweid" button. But thanks anyway.
  11. coltrane

    coltrane pfm Member

  12. 337alant

    337alant Negatively Biased

    Just build a LM3886 amp with a 10k - 20Kpassive volume pot, probably cost less than a second hand one

  13. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    Thanks Coltrane, but I was thinking of the £40, rather than the £400 price bracket.

    Thanks Alant. I've built three LM3886 amps, and they sound excellent. The cost, what with a nice big transformer and the case made of wood and slabs of thick aluminium, plugs and connectors, in the end comes out to £130 - £150 plus lots of work.

    I've been looking at a Dual amp, the CV 1250, and I may have bought one now for £40. Its that Germanic design that attracts me, which can be very ugly sometimes, but sometimes very simple and functional, depending on the models. There are also some beautiful Braun amps, of the late Dieter Rams school., like the A2. But these tend to be expensive because of their "design object" value and I have no idea how they sound.
    I'm also attracted that, back in the days, one wouldn't have been seen dead with a German amp, much coller American, British or Jap, but maybe they were not so bad at all.
    I've got 2 tuners, a Uher EG 730 and a Dual CT 1450, that look and sound wonderful and are built like the Tirpitz.
    (I hope I haven't become a crypto-Nazi.......)
  14. busb

    busb Mine's a pint of beer please

    If you could pick up a Restek Challenger for under the equiv of £300, you have bargain considering the SQ - very "Germanic" looks as well!
  15. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    Nah, the Restek Challenger seems to sell for a lot more than that. Also not really Germanic-looking, more "luxury-minimalist," could be Danish, Italian, Brit, or even Chinese these days.
    But I did like the look of a Restek V2 pre-amp! Very Braun-Dieter Rams.
    Is there an interior decorators forum? Am I risking being struck off?
  16. topa

    topa Sans CDPs

    Restek is nice, but avoid AVM please. Harsh & thin!
    If it's the looks you're after, and supposed to be cheap, why not simply get Braun Atelier?
  17. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    I've looked at the Braun Ateliers, the A1 and A2 are lovely looking, but they've gotten very expensive for what they are, because of the "design" thing. But if I spot one cheap in a flea market I'll get it like a shot!
  18. topa

    topa Sans CDPs

    Check on German Ebay, not too expensive here! And shipping to UK is cheap from here.
  19. topa

    topa Sans CDPs

  20. topa

    topa Sans CDPs

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