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Leak Stereo 20. Value?

Discussion in 'classic' started by Mullardman, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    A chap I know via another forum has been offered a Stereo 20, described as 'fully re-capped', for £600. He's thinking of using it with a Croft pre.
    I have no idea what they go for now..so any comments?
     
    Ianp likes this.
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Depends entirely on condition and quality of work done. Sadly many are horrendous botches judging from what go through eBay. He’ll need to get the Croft gain-reduced, which Glen can do (just a resistor change somewhere IIRC).

    PS I’d certainly want well over £1k for mine!
     
    Nagraboy, Ianp and Mike P like this.
  3. Junaman

    Junaman Well-Known Member

    Ebay price is around £1k. If he is getting it for £600 might be worth sending it to Classique Sounds for a check over. If it has been certified by them, then it will fetch a grand.
     
    Ianp likes this.
  4. Mike P

    Mike P pfm Member

    I'm in complete agreement with Tony. There's all the difference in the world between one that has been done well and one that has been done badly.
     
    Ianp likes this.
  5. notevenclose

    notevenclose pfm Member

    Sounds expensive for a resistor, but hey, that's the way the market's going...
     
    Ianp likes this.
  6. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    I have just sold an immaculate, rebuilt by an expert, grey Stereo 20 for £565 on E-Bay.
     
    Ianp likes this.
  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That is just ridiculously low. You’d have got way more here! As I say I’d fully expect to get over £1k (without valves) for mine and may well put that to the test soon as I don’t need it now I have a similarly nice pair of TL12 Plus.
     
    Ianp likes this.
  8. Mike P

    Mike P pfm Member

    My fully rebuilt spare was snapped up within minutes on here for about £1K (I forget the exact figure). And I had a queue of people with second dibs if the deal fell through.

    I have another (minter) which I may sell soon and I'll be asking over £1K which I fully expect to get.
     
  9. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob 47 Lab Rat

    I sold mine, Classique Sounds restored, for £800 about 7 years ago. I haven't seen even a manky one for £600 for a long time.
     
  10. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’d likely take that for my totally unrestored grey one without valves. It’s possibly NOS, but not cosmetically mint, which makes it very hard to grade/price!
     
    Ianp likes this.
  11. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    Do why does the Leak Stereo sell for so much? Is it because it's got classic appeal or does it sound amazing too even compared to modern amps?
     
    Ianp likes this.
  12. Mike P

    Mike P pfm Member

    All of the above. In the right context with the right partnering equipment they are excellent sounding amps. Valve amps have been a mature technology for decades. A state of the art valve amp from the 1960's is still a top end valve amp today!
     
    Ianp and sideshowbob like this.
  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    IMHO it sounds amazing if rebuilt sympathetically. It will never be a powerful amp (though 10 Watts go way further than one would ever expect), but it is a very, very good sounding one. I’ve found it very interesting putting the TL12 Plus (the mono version of the Stereo 20) up against my Pass Aleph 3 class A solid state amp. I suspect most people would pick the Leaks as being ‘better’. The Aleph 3 is an amp Stereophile felt was so much better than their top ‘Class A’ equipment rating they needed a new one above it, so not a shabby comparison! FWIW I like both, though they are certainly different.

    PS I’d also argue it doesn’t sell for much. The new English Electric clone is >£4k, and that’s about the price level it performs at to my ears. Don’t let Chinese crap persuade you valve amps are cheap technology. Done right, as the Leaks are, they cost far more to make than typical solid state. I’d certainly put the Stereo 20 in the same class as the EL84 Leben, stuff like Jadis etc.
     
    Ianp, Steve 57 and sideshowbob like this.
  14. Ianp

    Ianp pfm Member

    In the nicest non unpleasant manner Dave, it was very good cosmetic condition as opposed to immaculate and the rebuild looked a little wonky. And you only put two photos on your auction.
     
  15. Ianp

    Ianp pfm Member

    In very brief summary, both of these things !
     
  16. Ianp

    Ianp pfm Member

    Sorry, I should have done mult quote and one single post ! We may be over valuing these a little, eBay sold items is to my mind a definitive tool in providing the monetary value of something that might vary in condition and servicing needs/work done and prices aren't sky high.

    I say this as I have a beaut that's surplus to requirements and have decided to stash it away !
     
  17. calorgas

    calorgas Ratty bumpkin

    Yeah I was wondering if the numbers suggested here are a little hot when talking of a 'general guide' to value. To be worth £1k it needs to be absolutely exceptional imo. I like them and have had two good ones, but with a few hundred quid at your disposal there are quite a lot of other good options.

    There's a decent one for sale on the Wam that has previously had a full Classique Sounds rebuild and has a full set of Mullards (bar one ecc83 iirc) AND a spare set of Mazda el84. It's been up there for over a week, no takers yet at £850. In fairness it's not immaculate and does have a small amount of flaking paint on one side, but still better than most I'd say.

    I can see it in ebay completed listings, but it looks like it sold for £686.
     
    Ianp likes this.
  18. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    To my mind the quality of the rebuild and components used is the key here. To my mind about 75-80% of Stereo 20s that go through eBay are either botch jobs, i.e. some “expert” has “improved” them, or have been rebuilt using unsympathetic and cheap modern components (metal film resistors, poly caps etc, which tends to push the sound too thin and bright). To do it right costs money, to do it neatly takes skill. Ones lacking in either need doing again. I’d take a totally unrestored original over one that had been done badly every time.
     
    TonyScarlett and Ianp like this.
  19. calorgas

    calorgas Ratty bumpkin

    Sure but to be worth full whack (for me) it would need to have had a good quality rebuild AND be in excellent physical shape, and those really are few and far between.
     
    Ianp likes this.
  20. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Agreed. I don’t mind some legitimate ageing on something that is older than I am:

    [​IMG]

    Here’s mine. It’s certainly tidy, but not mint. There’s the odd mark here and there, but nothing that detracts and that also makes it obvious that it isn’t a respray (I have the guitar collector mentality that refinishing loses value). It is a really nice honest looking example.

    [​IMG]

    My grey one is far harder to grade as I suspect it is NOS. It has no darkening at all around the hot-running green resistor, and the valve-set (what I bought it for) all date ‘65 and test at 100%. The annoying thing is it was stored with the octal cable on the top panel and it has left a circular mark that can’t be removed. I tried very gently and actually started making it worse, so that will have an impact on price. It also has a scratch that I suspect the auction house did as it looks fresh. I’ve obviously never powered this one up. It is entirely stock.

    I’m actually thinking about letting them both go soon as really I only need the TL12 Plus, which I prefer the looks of, and they don’t use ECC83s so that gives me a much bigger stash of really nice Mullards for my main system preamp.
     
    Ianp likes this.

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