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Nytech Audio / Ion Systems Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'classic' started by deltaunit, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. deltaunit

    deltaunit volume reveals detail

    What can be said about the audio equipment designed and manufactured by Nytech and Ion?

    Who were they? What products did they design and manufacture? When were they business? There is surely a story behind the rise of Nytech and the fall of Ion - how did it happen? And most importantly of all, why were their amplifiers so special?


    Let's put our collective heads together in appreciation for the little amps that could.

    If you have any information, reviews, printed matter, tales to tell about this company or it's products, please share it here.


    Nytech Product List

    1252 – Compact System with Garrard turntable (http://www.gramophone.net/Issue/Page...compact+system)
    CTP102 - Tuner / Preamp
    CTA252 – Tuner Amplifier
    CTA252XD with redesigned disc input,
    CTA252XD II – Mark II version of the CTA252XD. 252 means 25 watts x 2 (i.e. per channel)
    CT206 - Tuner
    CP102 - Preamp
    CP112 - Preamp
    CA202 – Integrated Amplifier
    CA252 – Integrated Amplifier
    CA252.S - Special?
    CXA252 – Crossover for the Nytech / ARC active system
    CA302(?) - Integrated (more inputs?)
    CPA602 - Power Amp 602 means 60 watts per channel
    CA102 "Obelisk", later to become just Nytech Obelisk

    If there are any more products that have been left off, please reply in thread. Thank you.
  2. deltaunit

    deltaunit volume reveals detail

    To start off, here is an information sheet for CA202/252 and a mysterious 252.S.

    Does anyone know what differentiated the models?
  3. mudlark

    mudlark nearly half a clue

  4. theoldtrout

    theoldtrout pfm Member

    Nytech used to be based at Chew Magna near Bristol. Richard Hay was the MD [Haven't seen him for years]. Dave Alner and Paul Hablin were design engineers there, both Ex-Radford. A company I worked for made a few hundred of the first generation CTA252s as a sub contractor, I still have one in daily use. There is some information on Alner-Hamblin's site. http://alnerhamblin.com/
  5. Gromit

    Gromit Plasticine Dog

    Wow! That could've been my system from about 1986, including the black LP12. :)

    Great little amp that 252, in fact mine's still doing sterling service at a friend's house.
  6. darrylfunk

    darrylfunk Banned

    still my fave amps....had those ion nexus power amps active - beautiful amps.....if still a tiny bit low powered.
  7. koi

    koi pfm Member

    I still remember the ion obelisk 3 and xpac power supply

    It was brilliant

    Thanks Chris Brooks Audio
  8. deltaunit

    deltaunit volume reveals detail

    Alas it is an Axis. The 252 I have is quite amazing, I was planning on putting it to use in a second system but it hasn't left my main one yet. I've compared it to a serviced 102/180 without a HiCap and it is a nicer sounding amp. It can't be I keep telling myself but I think on balance probably is...

    I hadn't heard of the Nexus but I had wondered if Ion did a separate power amp. Was it connected to an integrated like the 252/602 or to a pre-amp?


    What were the respective product line ups of the two companies then? What products did Ion release?

    There is a Ion Obelisk & Xpac on ebay atm with a pair of Royd Sintra II speakers which I bet would be an awesome setup. I'm very tempted to sell my Naim stuff this week and get taxi down there :)


    Reading up again tonight, I see that Russ Andrews was also involved at some point...

    Interesting to read about the Radford connection, do we know roughly who did what and when or who stayed on to work at Ion?

    There must be a story about the reasons for the change from Nytech to Ion...?
  9. mudlark

    mudlark nearly half a clue

    i'll bet no-one owns up to designing the case of the 202? i note that the power amps had finned heat sinks instead of the bit of alloy at the sides. i bet that really helped things....not.

    i like the shape, just not the quality of construction, the materials and the nasty paint.

    my stuff was from Chris brooks also.
  10. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    I have a Nytech CTA 252 XD still doing sterling service in a second system with Rega Kytes. Needs a couple of bulbs but I've no idea how to get into it. The tuner bit is wonderful.
    I've got the 2 sided users manual and some reviews I'll scan and put up tomorrow if I can root them out.
  11. deltaunit

    deltaunit volume reveals detail

    I'm beginning to see it as a bit of an under-appreciated masterpiece of Brutalist product design!

    The outer is pure function. Long throw sliders. One row of buttons. Raked front for viewing from any angle. Black.

    Possibly 'naturally distressed'.

    Inwardly, 'complex'.

    ! :D

    It's one of my favourites actually, the original Nait might just pip it with it's simple functional design though.


    Thanks Bob, I look forward to reading those reviews - brilliant.
  12. Interzone

    Interzone pfm Member

    I that a scanner?
  13. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    slight hiccup, having had a good root round here I realise the documents are with the second system - in France!

    I'll stick them up next time I'm over there.
  14. Mignun

    Mignun pfm Member

    I've had plenty of nytech and ion amps over the years. I still have a nytech cta252xd2 but it needs a service. Bob, opening up is a bit tricky but you will figure it out. The top boards lift off connectors on the base board. You think you're about to break it but it's ok. The bulbs are like the ones you fit in auto side lights.

    I have owned all the obelisks and only recently sold my obelisk 1 and 2. The 1 is a sweetie but a bit laid back and lacking drive. The 2 is great and my one is now being enjoyed by a fellow pfmer. The 3 is basically a 2 with a more sophisticated phono stage. Things get very much more serious with the 3x and x-pak. Worth remembering that back in the day this duo cost twice what a nait 2 would set you back, about £600 in old money. It has a lovely dark and smooth sound but with serious dynamics and a very sophisticated top end. When I did a cull of some amps, this was the ion I decided to keep. It's paired with the very rare Fmt1 tuner, based on a magnum dynalab in acshoe box case. As you might guess, I like the nytech/ion gear.
  15. per flemming

    per flemming Registered User

    I have owned and enjoy'ed Obelisk 3X/Xpac with Royds for years, a serious VFM musicmaker combo allthough any Obelisk should now need service/recap.

    Never really came on song with the recent eqv. Heed stuff
  16. 406v6

    406v6 pfm Member

    My CTA 252XD II recently celebrated its 32nd birthday and is still in daily use. It had some servicing work done recently which included recapping and adjusting the tuner so that it can receive stations above 102 MHz. Older readers will remember that in the 1970s the top end of the UK FM band was used by the emergency services so a hi-fi tuner didn't need to receive that part of the band.

    I've updated the excellent Nytech product list produced by deltaunit with a few near-useless facts still recalled after 30+ years.

    1252 – Compact System with Garrard turntable (http://www.gramophone.net/Issue/Page/February 1977/113/863411/Nytech+1252+compact+system)
    CTP102 - Tuner / Preamp
    CTA252 – Tuner Amplifier CTA252XD with redesigned disc input, CTA252XD II – Mark II version of the CTA252XD. 252 means 25 watts x 2 (i.e. per channel)
    CT206 - Tuner
    CP102 - Preamp
    CP112 - Preamp
    CA202 – Integrated Amplifier
    CA252 – Integrated Amplifier
    CA252.S - Special?
    CXA252 – Crossover for the Nytech / ARC active system
    CA302(?) - Integrated (more inputs?)
    CPA602 - Power Amp 602 means 60 watts per channel
  17. Mignun

    Mignun pfm Member

    Don't forget the Nytech CA102 "Obelisk", later to become just Nytech Obelisk, and then re-born as Ion Obelisk with improved cosmetics, better volume pot and other detail improvements.
  18. nitrous

    nitrous pfm Member

    The OP's opening photo was a blast from the past! I had an axis/k9 into a nytech 202 in to Heybrook HB2r....great system. Although I got mine from from Beaver Radio in Liverpool. Amazingly at the time there were three outlets in Mersyeside that sold them that I can remember. Christ Brook Audio, Beaver and Doug Brady (before DB moved to Warrington).

    Gave amp to a 'mate' who killed it:(
  19. coupe-sport

    coupe-sport pfm Member

    Interesting thread. My first real taste of hi-fi as a young teen was a friends dads LP12, CTA252, ARC101 system. His friend had ARC202 speakers with the active Nytech electronics. Great systems.

  20. Darmok

    Darmok "A Priori Teleology."

    Edinburgh Wireless Co
    based preset tuner!!

    I have a faulty Nytech
    CTA252XD2. :(

    Paid £25:00 :)

    The usual fault with
    Nytechs, dry joints,
    the occasional loud
    crack is the tell tale
    sign of this common

    Remedy, re-flow the
    solder connections
    across the boards.

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