How about Dynacos own pas 2 or pas 3. There are plenty of them available and they sound good too.
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Consider a DAC with a passive pre. These can be found tubed for $200 to $600 new. I have a Grant Fidelity TDAC9 ($215 new) with tube output in a second system with a ST70. Two analog inputs and three digitals. Running a Denon 3900 to analog for SACD and through the DAC for redbook conected with the excellent Veloce Black Cat digital cable. The sound rivals my UDP1 in my min rig. A vintage Thorens TD160 with a Goldring 1042 completes the setup. Well, almost completes the setup, a Wadia 170 ipod dock is on the way. then the journey will be complete...maybe.
Don't skimp on a preamp. The ST70 is a far better component than most realize today. Using something too downmarket will show up as the obvious weak link in the chain, and hamstring the ST70 from giving you all it has.
The Audio Electronic Supply (Cary) AE-3 is a superb choice with the ST70. A sleeper, if you can find one as they're quite rare, is the Vacuum Tube Valley Ultrasonic. The AES offers remote control, the VTV does not.
Both sound good no matter they're used in budget or far more upscale systems.
Shay123, I have seen several pas 2 and 3s here on agon but i wasnt sure of the sound quality although I have no direct experience with them. I think I will pick up the next one just to see. Hey Hoopster, great idea. I have a SS Jolida I could try. Might not meet the look I was wanting. I want to have a vintage look. Looking to add a set of Klipsh horns. A departure from what I have now. Trelja, I was looking at wright preamps as well as the Cary gear. It sounds like you have experience with Cary. What about Wright?
I do not disagree with Trelja who has probably forgot more about tube amplification than I know. I think he is very much on point when he says the ST70 restored and upgraded is a very under appreciated piece of gear. However, I can tell you the sound through the Grant made me sell my CJ PV10 (which I have loved for many years) because I felt I did not nead it any longer. I bought the Grant as one of those I am going to try this thing moments and after living with it decided it was the way to go for me. Got a decent sounding DAC in the deal also, not state of the art but very pleasing. In the immortal words of Newbee, YMMV.
The Grant does not give you that classic tube look though. Another consideration might be a Mapletree pre which I have never read but only good things and want to try at some point in my main rig. I have a TAD 150 Signature there matched with a TAD 60 amp there which are very synergistic IMHO. (I tried a PV14 there but ultimately liked the TAD pre better.) Also the George Wright pres show up here from time to time. These may be a consideration. Again, I give these considerations with the disclaimer that I have not heard them either. Only putting forth these because they seem to be well thought of. I have not heard the Cary/AES Trelja mentions or the other one but I am sure they are solid choices.
We've rebuilt and updated a lot of PAS-3s and PAS-2s over the years- given it a new line stage, better parts, power supply regulation, stepped volume control and the like.
What's fun about that preamp is that if properly updated it can take on any modern high end preamp and give it a run for the money (of course it will not handle low output moving coil cartridges, but with a set of Jensen SUTs, you can manage that quite well too). Since you already have a modified ST-70, it might be something to consider.
What is the ball park cost of a rebuild/update on a Dyanco tubed pre? That is something I may want to consider at some point. Seems it might be difficult to find one original cheap enough to make this work if you are paying to have the work done. I found my ST70 already rebuilt/updated fortunately for a good price.
I used an Eastern Electric Minimax preamplifier with Tom Tutay mods when I had my lightly upgraded Dynaco ST-70 and it was a super musical combination. I have upgraded my components significantly since then and I'm not sure its more musical than what I used to experience with that pairing. Would love to try my current Shindo pre with an ST70 for grins.
Hoopster, your opinion is at least as valid as anyone else's.
I also like the suggestion from Gopher regarding the EE Minimax.
Personally, I even get great results using a CD player (including my Dynaco CDV-2) going straight into my ST70. In my second system with either the Merlin VSM or Fried A/6 loudspeakers that the Dynaco pairs so well with, I feel far more than satisfied on a late night.
Kollert and Hoopster, it seems to me that to do a proper update, its about $900.00. The power supplies are rebuilt, then the circuit boards are updated. The tone controls are removed and the EQ for the phono is updated and moved to the circuit board ( the stock unit has the EQ elements mounted on the selector switch). I like to install a high quality RCA connection for the phono, so the lower level input connectors are replaced. Finally the volume control is replaced with a stepped switch and regulation is added. The idea is to keep everything in the original chassis, without major modification to the chassis (otherwise you might as well start from scratch).