I have done it in the past; no duty on a new $400 cartridge from England.
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Many times it works, especially for a small item. However, often the exchange rates and bank transactions fees do not offer any significant savings. For years I have purchased items UK manufactured from the UK. Presently the exchange rate is not that favorable, but when it was I often saved 30% from what the item would cost in the US.
Joe, we're on parallel paths, for sure. I finished my complete chassis-off rebuild of my Dyna 70 last week, after nine months. VTA board low gain, Russian PIO caps, Panasonic Electrolytics, German can cap, new paint, triode switches, the whole magilla. I don't think that I would've taken it on without your encouragement and guidance. Thanks very much and have a happy holiday.
Congratulations, Marty! What an inspiration!
Given that most of the commentary regarding the ST70 replacement boards comes out of the advertising for them, how do compare the sound of the stock and VTA driver boards?
Although I bought the VTA board before I even built my kit, I used the stock board to "baseline" things before moving to an upgrade. It turned out that once I put good (RCA) 7199s in mine, I was SO happy, I've never looked back. The upgrade from the Sovteks was larger than any tube roll I've been around. Eventually, I also installed a Mullard 5AR4 rectifier, which was more of a subtle improvement. I've been tempted about doing another kit, just to hear how the VTA board sounds in comparison.
It's funny how many folks pass over the Dynaco. Because of their availability, age, low cost, and I guess because people think if they were that special, they'd be in more expensive systems. But, I'll say this again, accepting its limits in absolute power and low end frequency extension/impact, it's the best sounding amplifier I've been around. And, that's all about the midrange. Despite having some highly respected amplifiers, none produce a better tone or sound more right than the Dynaco ST70. Not even close.
Joe, it's funny that you ask, as I have a mint, late model, totally stock ST-70 as well as the modded one. I only finished the mod last Sunday so things are not broken in yet and I feel a bit funny commenting, so an update will be in order. And I have only tried the amps on my Klipsch Cornwalls. But it is very clear that the original is rounder, warmer and less detailed and the mod is more "modern" sounding to use a word. The midrange on the mod is not smooth or developed yet, but I imagine some more hours (I only have about four on it) will make those oil caps sing. There is also a distinct difference in triode mode, which is rounder and more dimensional to ultra linear, which sounds more........well ultra linear. Flatter and more extended.
All that said, a friend brought over a James Burgess designed 6B4G single-ended amp this week. Only four watts, but wow, a really nice amp. I imagine that the modded ST-70 will close the gap a bit as it breaks in though.
Feliz Navidad and Propero Ano Nuevo