Ahh, yet another great week, for 40 year old hifi gear!!
At work late last week, a guy stopped by, and asked us if we wanted this old tube amp, that he was simply throwing it away. Of course, we said "sure!"...
Got to tinkering with it... an old Stromberg-Carlson ("a division of General Dynamics Corporation" :shock: Nuclear missles and hifi out of the same plant! ) ASR-333, with EL84 outputs, from about 1961-1967 or so. I can't find much reference on it, but from the EL84s and the voltages involved, I'm guesstimating about 20w/ch rated power...
I cleaned up all the connections, and fired it up... and it actually played. Garbled, but actual music coming out. Pulled the bottom, and happily noted the schematic inside! Started probing test points for voltage... and quickly found that one tube on each channel had NO POWER (in effect) due to bad resistors!
Well, after quickly changing out the bum resistors, I fired it up again... and WOO HOO... CLEAN MUSIC out of both channels!!
I let it warm up and "burn in" for a couple hours, and after it started sounding better and better (slightly mellow sound, but GOOD low bass!), I thought to myself: "Huh, I wonder... how would THIS sound hooked up to the Lancer 77s?"...
The answer? WOW. Holy cow.
If I want to maintain my resolve to sell this old gear and get it out of my way, I seriously need to NOT listen to this combo much, because the inclination is to scarf it all up, and take it home with me. Man, this combo sounds GOOD. The mellow midrange of the S-C amp is JUST the ticket, to smooth out the upper mids of the L77, which can get a bit abrasive sometimes. With this amp, no such problem. Dang near INSTANTANEOUS transient response in the midbass and midrange (man, is the EL84 a "FAST" tube, or what???), with some SERIOUS bottom end extension. Possibly the only real noticable fault was a lack of treble "air"... but after changing out the (original from the factory!) EL84s with some new Sovteks, I don't even think anyone could make that complaint anymore. Amazing as it would seem to some, there's also PLENTY of power, at least for those who aren't insisting on Ted Nugent Live levels of SPL in their living rooms- it has plenty of oomph for big sounds Uncannily good!
Amazing how well this stuff works, when it's teamed up with stuff that would have been available in the same era, isn't it?? Time-co-incident design ethos, anyone??