gotta say it..what you have is a classic system, many others will go to the poorhouse searching for the music that your system will consistantly deliver. never sell either.
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I had a scott 299c it was the best sounding amp I ever had that intergrated amp had magic. I used it on KHORNS and LASCALAS sweet midrange and punchy midbass just like you hear at a live jazz club, also had I belive it was a scott labortory 290 with el34 tubes it was just the amp did not have the magic of the 299c but maybe if i had a good scott preamp in front of it would
Thanks for the informative responses. Output tubes on the Scott 222c are 7189a's. Some reviewers say that this family of tubes (6BQ5 / EL84 / 7189 / 7189a ), while not high power, is exceptionally musical. I think that the early Beatles' Vox amplifiers used 6BQ5's. I wonder if output tubes are just a personal preference, and if some of the more powerful Scott integrated amps using 7591's, 6CA7's, or KT-66's are just as magical. Any opinions on this?
I just got a 222(A) here too and I am in love! True, I am not a seasoned "audiophile" but I am a amatuer musician (piano, guitar, banjo, dobro and mandolin) and have obsessed with the sound of instruments and gear for many years. I think I have a really good ear for music.
On those occasions where I finally found the right instrument or amp, a strange thing happened. I could then totally concentrate on music and not be obsessed with gear. On top of that, playing became more inspired as the quality of the instrument helped rather than hindered me. This occured with guitar when I settled in with a Mesa Boogie amp and a wonderful Strat, with banjo when I found my Wildwood Solist and most recently when I inherited my uncles mint Steinway M grand piano (that he picked out of a showroom of 20+ Steinways in the 1960s - it "spoke" to him then as it does to me now).
The same thing is happening with my Scott. It's all about music now. I noticed that right away I could no longer just jump to a different song to "hear the amp" as I was doing with everything else I listened to - instead I wanted to just hear the music because I was enjoying it so much! I'm sure there are better sounding amps out there, but I would need to spend near 10 times by $275 to get it and you know what, I'm happy so I'll just take my money to the used record store and buy some vinyl and cds!
I used to be an avid HH Scott collector and at one time had 98% of all their models, including many of the various versions. I remember the difficulty in finding schematics that would actually match what was underneath the chassis. The best one in my book, with upgraded coupling caps and no other changes, was the 233. Marvelous little integrated and you dont see many around. I didnt like the 299 series, never could get it to sound right to me. Never change the resistors on these unless you have too. The old carbons give these amps a special flavor and magic. While not the best in detail, they can be very musical. That music disappears with modern resistors, I dont know why. My feeling was that the output transformers were really not all that good. Or it could be all the compensation caps, equalization "chips" and other components in the circuit. They certainly were not minimalist. But that is my opinion. There are a couple of older absolute sound issues that went into detail about Scott equipment. The author was Steve Stone if my memory serves me. My 2 cents, hoped this help you.
Linnlp12 - thanks for the post! Can you help a complete tube newby and non-techy (hands on kind any way!) by steering me toward some kind of resource to learn how to take care of this thing? The person I bought it from checked it all out on a variac and put in some tubes, but other than that it is 45 years old and has not been touched. I am having so much fun with it, but dread the day when it will need some work and/or having to spend so much more to get something close to it!
Other than my dad, who was one of the best bench technicians that I knew, and who at age 82 retired his soldering gun a long time ago, I would recommend Bill at Music Technology. His particulars are:
MUSIC TECHNOLOGY, INC.
5418 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22151
Bill did a great job restoring some 30 year old Marantz receivers for me. Fantastic guy to deal with.
Karavite, thanks for your thoughtful comments. Hopefully, you won't need service anytime soon, because Scott designed these units for very long tube life. My understanding is that their policy is to bias tubes at about 75% of recommended voltage. They must have done something right, because so many of these units built at least 40 years ago are still in circulation, still in demand and still making music. Some units even have their original tubes.
I second Linnlp12's prudent thinking about not changing resistors (or other parts) unnecessarily. It has been my experience that with components designed around older parts, whether guitar amps or stereo equipment, mixing in new components for modification or repair sometimes takes away from what you liked about the unit. If you have leaky caps or other problems, you do what you have to, but otherwise I think it is best leave things alone as long as possible. A Scott engineer was quoted as saying "if it measures well but sounds bad, it is bad. If it measures badly but sounds good, then you have measured the wrong thing." I think that like the people at Linn, they listened carefully, and that is what makes their stuff sound so good.
Someone told me one time, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I try to follow that with the exception of coupling caps. I think changing the coupling caps can many times improve the sound of the amplifiers to a significant level. But changing the resistors, as I stated, previously destroyed the sound magic. As far as maintenance, the only things I would change are, first, some of the old units used selenium rectrifier bridges. Those were terrible and would fail according to my techie friend. That to me is the only required change I would make. Second, in agreement with the above posts about some of the older electrolytic caps. Finally, I would use a contact cleaner for the potentiometers and clean the grunge off the old RCA inputs. I didnt change them, because as a collector, I wanted them original. But for ease of use, if there was something I would not sell, I would change them. I have nothing left on Scott now but try and get a hold of that old absolute sound series. It was detailed and in some cases, Steve talked, I think, about maintenence. There was also an old Sound Practices or Glass Audio article about how to maintain these old pieces. I dont have these any more so I am sorry I cannot provide much detail.
I just browsed "Scott" in the category "tube amp," and most of the working Scott pieces are labeled "sold" or "sale pending." Is there increased interest in Scott pieces recently? I wonder if this forum thread could actually be contributing to that interest on AudiogoN. (No, I don't own stock in the company. I'm not even sure if it still exists.)
The Scott integrated amps may be getting scarcer and / or pricier, but Scott also made some receivers. I have not heard much talk about them, but a receiver is basically just an integrated amp with a tuner section. Does anyone out there know if any of the Scott receivers were really good pieces, or is it best to stick with the integrated amps and / or separate components?
Hey, thought I would wake up this old thread. You see, just for kicks I got a second old Scott on these very pages, a 222-D. This D had some work done to it including the replacement of resistors mentioned in this thread. I know this is hardly scientific, but I'd like to offer my comparison to the never touched 222-A (I bought a few months ago and this repaired 222-D. One will win out for the living room while the other will go in my wife's studio (she is an art teacher).
A few caveats - the 222-D needs to have the bias set and I need to go get a voltmeter (this is all new to me). The 222-D has adequate tubes, but the seller told me I might want to look into better tubes. The description of the work on the 222-D is: "Replaced coupling caps and bias resistors, replaced selenium rectifier, cleaned all controls and switches, replaced power filter cap, repaired solder connections."
Okay, so though these are not the exact same amps I have to say right out of the box (40 years after it was in its original box!), the 222-D just does not sound as musical and warm as the 222-A. There is something about the A that instantly blew me away, but is not quite there with the D. The D has a great soundstage, way more bass, but there is something in the tone of the A I can't describe. I could go on with all kinds of totally subjective audiophile terminology here ("liquid smooth mids and tight responsive bass... blah blah blah..."), but I won't do that.
However, one of my "test" CDs is Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations (his later/older version from the 1980s). I have listened to this recording a million times and with the 222-A, the piano sound is wonderful and brings out "piano-ness" to near perfection to my ears. FYI, I have a real Steinway grand sitting 12 away feet from the amp, so I know what a piano sounds like!!! The D sounds nice on this same recording, but after the A, it is really no comparison. It's nice, it is all there, but there is no "magic."
However, now I will go out and set the bias, try some better tubes and report back. In the mean time, any thoughts or suggestions?
P.S. You might be able to figure out who I bought this D from and I want to clearly state he was a fantastic seller and I am 100% satisfied with the purchase. My comparing the D to A is in no way a commentary on anything about the seller of this D. He was perfect and a class act for sure. Couldn't find a better seller anywhere.
It may be an old thread, but it's a good thread. I would also suggest that you look into different tubes, because I have experienced major sonic differences between brands and between new and old tubes. Suggestion: previous participants in this thread agreed that selenium rectifiers and coupling caps should be replaced. However, you had to be careful changing resistors as the old carbon types gave these amps a special magic. I am not sure whether or not they were including the bias resistors, or if your new bias resistors aren't similar carbon types. Perhaps you should look into this. Also, setting the bias correctly can make a huge difference. It might be worthwhile to see if tuning the amp up optimally can bring the lost "magic" back.
Okay - I am a complete neophyte here to electronics, so I am simply and dumbly parroting what I have been told! :-)
I think he only replaced resistors that measured bad and then used some type of higher quality resistors he has a supply of. As to getting magic back, I never heard this amp before it was repaired, so I will never know what it used to sound like. The only think I can do is compare it to the 222-A which is untouched and sounds great. Maybe not the best comparison, but what the heck. I think new tubes are the way to go for now. Can I ask another newby question - who do you recommend for tubes, meaning a place to shop from who can offer honest advice?
Hi Guys, welcome to the wonderful world of vintage audio. No, this thread has not influenced the demand for vintage scott amplifiers. If you have been paying any attention at all..... scott amps and tuners always sell very quickly here and elsewhere and rightly so I might add, they have for a very long time. I have collected, repaired and restored many of them over the years. I still own an original stock 310d tuner[circa 1964???] that has provided us with great FM radio for more than 25 years. When properly aligned and adjusted... it's performance even surpasses the legendary Marantz 10b.It will also go to the grave with me! Regarding service... The earlier poster who mentioned replacing the selenium rectifier is right on the money.... not only are they dangerous to the health of your beloved vintage equipment,but they are mediocre sounding as well.Also... replacing the electrolitics in the power supply section of any vintage amplifiers is manditory.Most of them have leaked or dried up and are enevitably way out of spec. The best of the vacuum tube gear from this era were almost always tubed rectified. Swapping out coupling caps and resistors will change the sound of any amplifier[vintage, modern or otherwise]and can be a good or a bad thing depending on system synergy.... sometimes a hit and miss proposition. There are also many other amplifiers from this era that can capture that same musical magic. The Fisher 400 is another good example,a dandy sounding amp with a terrific sounding tuner to boot. This particular receiver also employed a junky selenium rectifier that constipated the dynamics of a great amplifier section. Updating the power supply of all vintage amps can [and will] only make a good amplifier a whole lot better. Best of luck out there gang. PS: there is currently a Scott 270 power amp listed here on the Gon. For those in search of a more powerful vintage power amp.... that one is a honey of an amp, employing a pair of 6550 beamed tetrodes/channel, pushes about 70 watts/side and is tube rectified to boot. The seller states that he has never heard a better amp that is under $2500. I wouldn't go quite that far, but would add that his enthusiasm is not to far from the musical truth. A genuine bargain for the doe,ray,me.
My only question now is where is a non-technical neophyte to go to to have his old Scott checked out? Who can I trust to have the same kind of knowledge and care I find here on audiogon? My little 222 A has such a nice sound I am loath to risk it, but at the same time, the thing has not been touched in 40 years!
Karavite, where do you live? AudiogoNers on these pages could more effectively recommend an expert if they knew what city you live in or close to. If there is a good place near you, I assume you would want to take it there. If you don't care about proximity, Rar1 previously recommended Bill at Music Technology at
MUSIC TECHNOLOGY, INC.
5418 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22151
I think that if the amp is giving you the sound you want, and has a magic you have not found in other amps, don't do anything nonessential to it. Many a paradise has been lost trying in vain to improve on perfection. Priorities in audio reproduction vary greatly from person to person, and what someone else thinks will optimize your Scott may not be your cup of tea at all. Trust what YOU like.
Just a FYI, I have run into a variety of audio dealer people who tell me there is no way my old Scott can hold up to ANY new equipment, so I have had a $1200 Jolida 302 tube amp here and a $800ish Rotel integrated ss amp in a AB it just isn't happening - the Scott sounds so much better - same source, same interconnects, same speakers... I tell these same people this and they still say I am wrong. I even called my turntable mfg today on another subject and after asking about my system he also told me to throw out my old Scott and get a Creek integrated. It is amazing to me how people can have such opinions without even hearing the thing they want to throw away. Their arrogance makes it that much more absurd. Again, my background is in actually playing music, but if all this is true, why are vintage guitar amps or effect devices, analog synthesizers... so sought after, even by pro musicians who can afford almost anything?
The better vintage equipment has stood the test of time. There was good and mediocre stuff in the vintage era as well, but the dreck has long since fallen by the wayside.
Time will tell if people will still be looking for Jolida and Rotel pieces 30 to 40 years from now. Like the people who designed the Linn Sondek, I think that at Scott they designed around the idea that listening was much more important than specs. Fortunately, they also emphasized build quality so we can enjoy some real music decades later.
I owned a Scott 70b or 72b or something like that, as well as Golden Tube amps, Jolida's, and other BARGAIN PRICED TUBE AMPS. The Scott "stock" was good to a point, and enjoyable for cheep nonetheless. Still, it couldn't compete with the other amps!
HOWEVER, in defese of the old Scott, it did sound better than AT LEAST ONE JOLIDA 502A I owned, that I bought with some horrible tubes in it! Once you get regular good tube stock for it, it's no contest however. The Scotts parts are so old and antiquated I presume, the sound isn't so refined or anything. But, still better than cheap midfi any day!
Tubes is goooooooood.
Some vintage components portray the musical truth outstandingly well. In addition to my own Scott 222c, I bought a broken, tubeless LK-48 chassis for a few bucks and gave it to a electronic tech who could fix it. He reports the same thing I heard - an absolutely magical and often startling "you are there" quality to lead vocals and lead instruments. When he first tested it, his wife in the next room asked him "are you playing drums in there?" I don't find the old Scotts to be the last word on transparency, speed, or background detail, but what they do well stands up to the best I've ever heard. I think you would have to spend much more money to better them with modern gear.
Is vintage tube gear smoother-sounding than modern tubes?
There are preferences on both sides of the old versus new debate. People who like the newer stuff often talk about more detailed presentation and extended frequency response, while those who like the older stuff cite an elusive musicality, flow, smoothness, and lack of harshness that may be tough to find in modern gear. What are the differences?
Is stock power supply capacitance optimal? Any experience out there with adding more capacitance to the power supply in Scott integrateds? An Atlanta tube technician claims that the power supply output may drop off about 10% during demanding passages, and that adding a few more capactors to the power supply can rectify this and help clean up the bass. Could such a modification actually improve the sound, or is it something to be avoided?
I tweaked my 222c, and now it sounds even better. The tweaks were simple and reversible. First, I replaced my old 7189a power tubes with matched new tubes. I couldn't find a matched quartet, but I had a number of tubes on hand so I was able to get matched pairs on each channel. Next, I followed my tech's advice who measured the power supply sagging on demanding passages, and added two extra capacitors to the stiffen power supply. (If I didn't like the result, he offered to remove them free.) No alterations were made in the signal path. The result? Background instruments and vocals are now much more defined and distinct. The striking you-are-there quality on lead vocals and instruments now extends to the background as well. The sometimes wooly bass that I took to be a feature of living with a low-powered tube amp has tightened up considerably. My conclusions? It is definitely worth springing for good matched power tubes. If you have a good tech and your amp sounds good but suffers in the bass, consider whether the diagnosis might be a power supply inadequacy. This is the second amp I have owned for which adding capacitance to the power supply made a noticeable improvement. Personally, I still would not make any changes in the signal path unless absolutely necessary. Any other experiences out there with these kinds of tweaks?
A Spendor BC-1 / Scott 222c combo was auditioned. The Spendor's were very musical and listenable, but didn't seem to mesh with the 222c as well as the LS 3/5a's on most material, at least not to my ears. Although vocal clarity was excellent, the Spendors were a bit harder on top, more extended but loose on the bottom, and listening position was much more critical. Perhaps a more recent model Spendor would match better. I still wonder what other speaker-H H scott integrated amp combinations others have tried that can be recommended
Hello, I thought I would wake up this thread with a question (and boy do I sound like a total newby up there in those old posts!). Alas, my 222A is starting crackle and pop somewhat frueqently. My problem is, where do I go/send it to get it checked out? I read enough warnings about how various replacements could ruin what I like most about this amps sound, so now I am wary. I live in Philly, but I could ship it anywhere. I tried writing www.hotglassaudio.com and http://www.nosvalves.com/, but the former's mailbox was full and the latter seems quite busy. In addition, I know nothing about either one (just Google). I have about zero electronics knowledge, but is there anything I could check on my own? Could it just be tubes?
It might just be dirty contacts. My Scott 222c did that initially because some tubes had worked loose during shipping. My suggestion is that you first make sure it is not some other component in the chain causing the crackling sound by switching components. If the sound persists, clean all connections thoroughly - I prefer to use Cramolin products. If it still persists, clean the potentiometers. Make sure the tube sockets are clean and tight. If you know how to work safely with the unit on, try tapping the tubes gently - if one makes a particularly loud noise, you may have a microphonic tube. If a tube has a bluish glow, it could be gassy. If you have access to a tube checker, check the tubes one by one, making sure that you put each back in its respective socket (if you have two matched pairs and not a matched quartet on the power tubes, changing the order could affect the sound). If all these measures fail, I would refer you Benny at Modular Electronics in Roswell, Georgia. He's the tube tech many of the high-end dealers in Atlanta use, so he comes highly recommended.
Hey JBG, good to see you are still around! I did check connections and microphonic tubes, but no go. The thing is it seems to be getting worse, more frequent yet unpredictable and happens at any odd moment. From that I am thinking it might be time to get it checked out. I just cooresponded with Craig at www.nosvalves.com. I think he has the right philosophy (no wild modifications, just get it back to spec since Scott engineers knew what they were doing), So, I am about 99% sure I am going to have him work it up. What do you think? Am I making a big potential mistake? I have read all the warnings here, but I still can't see how something this old couldn't benefit from being worked on.
Anyone else know about nosvalves.com? I hadn't heard of that outfit personally, but checking their website they certainly seem to have the right philosophy - restoration of old units to original specs rather than designing amateur modifications. If you know this to be a place that owners of old Scott units trust to get it done right, please share the knowledge. Oh, and good to hear from you also, Karavite.
JBG, you are always looking out for me! I could swear I first heard about nosvalves somewhere here on audiogon (I bookmarked it long ago). I do remember that wherever I found it, was with some good recommendations. I just did a forum search and found two or three people who mentioned nosvalves and dropped them an email.
JBG: I have used Craig at NosValves to fix my Fisher 400. He does excellent work at a reasonable price. I can highly recommend him. He usually has a long waiting list which speaks highly of how much in demand he really is.
I would be interested to hear what parts he replaces. Most vintage forums suggest replacing the selenium rectifer (a must really) and the electrolytic caps. The original paper and wax caps where made to last 20 years and are now 40 years old. Also, the high wattage resistors are notoriuos to go out of spec and sometimes need to be changed.
Good luck and enjoy that Scott.
Ldatlof and Wwwrecords, many thanks, excellent advice. Karavite, looking out for each other is our PURPOSE in these forums. When we all share information like this, we spare each other wasted time, disappointment and costly mistakes in our search for truth in music reproduction. One thing I've always loved about vintage Scott gear (and the reason I started this thread) is the opportunity to get into some really musical gear without mortgaging the house. Karavite, when you get your Scott back, please be sure to post and let everyone know how it turned out. By the way, what speakers have you been using that mate so well with your Scott 222a?
Will do. I'll let you know about everything!
I agree about the budget issues. Before I found my Scott I thought I had to spend thousands and thousands for great sound and I indeed spent thousands and thousands for nice, but not entirely satisfying sound (Totem, Rotel, B&W...). Actually I now know you don't have to spend so much $$$ even for great sounding new gear (Prima Luna integrated for example), but it is tough out there and most of us learn the lessons only after spending money.
My speakers are Omega Loudspeakers Super 3Rs. I bought them about three years ago. Omega has a new model of my speaker out now and here is the website: http://www.omegaloudspeakers.com/super%203.htm
Louis at Omega is a fantastic guy. I mean it, Grade A, super number one. He put up with all my newbie questions with 100% class and patience. He was anything but arrogant or pretentious (so rare in the world of audio). On top of that he makes some awesome speakers. At 93db and with a single 4.5" full range driver these speakers are a fantastic match for my Scott. When I first turned them on it was love. Then I bought some nice speaker cables from Louis and it was even more love. Then I got the Skylan stands and it was insane love. Then I filled the stands with sand and it was over the top out of control love (I was skeptical this would have any effect, but it was huge).
Any way, that and a Rotel CD player and a Music Hall MMF turntable are all I have here in the living rom, but it keeps me happy. Well, in a month or two I should be set up with a modded Squeeze Box 3 and one of my Macs as a music server. I think it will be kind of neat to have a 45 year old amp hooked up to a wireless computer based music network.
Well I did it and despite warnings of doom, the results were fantastic. I had my Scott 222 worked on by Ryan at http://www.hotglassaudio.com/. Like Craig at Nosvalves, Ryan uses the right kind of replacement parts and his whole approach is to get the amp back to its original design specs. From what I could tell, this guy knows just about everything there is to know about old tube audio. Highly recommended.
Thanks to Ryan I now know that I have a somewhat rare 222 (just 222, not an A, B, C...). He said the 222 is biased very close to class A and is one of the best sounding Scotts. He replaced all the caps and other parts. Turned out someone replaced the power transformer and tried to disguise it as being the original part. Ryan said the replacement wasn't outputting enough voltage so he set me up with a new power transformer that he likes to use. All that and a few new tubes is all that was needed.
So, how does it sound? Fantastic and very much improved. I cannot do the whole audiophile sound description thing (liquid midrange with lushness in the upper...), but in a nutshell it sounds cleaner, brighter and crisper yet lost none of the warmth that I liked so much about this amp. Is the Scott the best amp of all time? Of course not, but even though the price of a used Scott is going up a bit you could buy one, have it restored by someone who knows their stuff, and you will end up with a Jolida or Prima Luna beater at half the price.
Just picked up a 222c, needs filter caps, I'll boost them by at least 100% tightens up the bass, keeps the mids clear as the volume goes up. I'll probably go with auracaps for coupling caps- this has worked wonders on other Scotts I've moded. May raise the B+ for the line stage (see my article in Glass Audio vol 1 issue1) and then increase the load resistors.
Be glad to let you know how it comes out- been working with these and other CLASSIC amps for 20 years.
This is a very interesting thread, filled with insightful comments. I have an old Scott tube integrated amp that I'm thinking about trying to get up and running again. When I say that I "have" it, I should actually say that I have access to it -- It is somewhere in the rafters of my father's garage, where it has been stored for twenty years or so. I'm not sure of the model number, but based on my review of the HH Scott web site and my childhood memories I'm pretty sure it's a 299A or B (I think it's a B based on the cosmetics, but I won't know for sure until I get my hands on it). My dad purchased it new around 1960 or 61 and used it until the mid '80s when he replaced with some Japanese SS mid-fi receiver. (Sadly, he probably thought that he was upgrading at the time...) He tells me that it was still working when he retired it, but he recalls that it had developed a slight hum. Happily, he kept it and is not interest in restoring it himself, so it's mine for the asking. Perhaps my memories are clouded by time and nostalgia, but I still remember the incredibly great sound of my dads 60s-70s system, which included this amp, a Scott tuner, turntable, Ampex reel-to-reel, and a pair of horn-loaded corner enclosure speakers (not Klipsch, I think that they may have been Electro-Voice). I caught the audiophile bug listening to this modest system as a kid, and I suppose Ive been chasing after its elusive sound ever since.
Based on these fond memories and the many favorable comments here and in other forums, I'm very much inclined to restore the Scott amp. I've done a bit of research and Ive seen nothing but positive reviews here and elsewhere for both Ryan at HotGlass and Craig at Nosvalves. Karavite, I noticed above that you indicated that you were going to use Nosvalves for your 222, but ended up going with HotGlass instead. What influenced your ultimate decision?