Old Amps that can still Kick Butt

Not being a believer that time necessarily = progress, I would like to offer the following example of a sonic gem that has transcended time and can totally kick butt in a modern milieu:

The Robertson 4010. I got one of these about two years ago because it was in immaculate condition, the price was so low and I was inquisitive. I hooked it up and let it warm up for a couple of days. OMG this thing was in the super amp league: Transparency to die for, slam that you couldn‘t‘ believe for for a 50W amp.. Peter Moncrieffe wasn‘t wrong in his review of this amp: this thing is in the Sterreophile Class A component category hands down. Even after all these years.

What amps have you encountered that have defied time and can still kick butt today?


Showing 4 responses by knotscott

There are still lots of Dynaco ST-70 and ST-120s in service.  Many with rebuilt driver boards.  I ran a pair of slightly enhanced Dyna 70s for over 25 years, then added the VTA boards.  One was built by the factory in 1961, the other built by my uncle as a kit in 1964.  They still make me listen and smile.  

B&K EX442/ST-140
PS Audio 200C/CX
VSP Labs Trans Mos 150
Acoustat TNT120/200
Moscode 300
Berning EA230
Onix OA21/21s
Tandberg 3012/3012a

It’s been fun reading through this thread and seeing some blasts from the past.

I built a DH500 from a kit in 1985, then moved on to a New York Audio Labs Moscode 300 about 2 years later (that one’s a bit obscure, and was surprised to see it mentioned! I actually got to meet Harvey Rosenberg...a very colorful and interesting character, as so many of these high-end entrepreneurs are!). My next amp was a Distech LS-2 based on the B&K ST-140. Ironically, I just picked up one of the last of the B&K ST-140s for my son as a graduation gift....he’s gonna love it!
@knotscott / @lou_setriodes -     Did either of you ever perform any of the mods, to your Moscodes?     Great amp!

Other than changing some tubes, I didn't do anything else to mine.
@ lou_setriodes

Harvey Rosenberg from NYAL addressed our audio club back in the mid or later 80's, and I had the pleasure of picking him up from the airport.  He wanted to stop by my house, so he could personally "bless" my Moscode 300 and listening room, so we drove 30 miles round trip out of the way.  I have a picture of him in a sport coat wearing a bow tie pointing to my amp!  He was a little out there, but his presentation was riveting and brilliant, as he talked through the timeline of mankind and the importance of music throughout human history.  We thoroughly enjoyed having him as a guest speaker.

The Distech LS-2 was made/marketed by Sal D'Amico, whom I also met at the CES shows.  It was essentially an enhanced ST-140, with some upgrade caps in the signal path, and possibly other minor stuff.  I got to know Eddie Mutka from B&K in Buffalo about 70 miles west of me ....he repaired my Distech amp after I shorted the speaker outputs accidentally (D'oh!).  Good guys....all of them, and fairly down to earth compared to Harvey, LOL.  The son who's getting the amp, isn't fully invested into audio as hobby yet, but he likely will in time, and he appreciates a nice system, and enjoys hearing the history behind the vintage components in his new system.  

Many of the vintage components were designed and built by the same guy who would answer the phone if you called the place of business.  High end audio had a lot of true "Cottage Industry" participants back then.