UK-Sold Amplifiers 1956-1981
All Years Completed. This digest of the Hifi Yearbooks & opinion ©2014 by select45rpm.
We are using the Hifi Year Book as we have the whole set 1956-1981. To list all interesting amps from these years is the idea, not interested in a full list, only cherry picking the better ones & interesting ones. The Early Receivers page was a bit of a roller coaster as some good ones for sure but too much repeating "again" & the dull ones got it to be a bore. So as this is our page, we'll scan the Books for ones we reckon are interesting or noteworthy. Starting in 1956 many valve amps will be 3 watt tiny Mono things, these are interesting to try & we had one years ago. But Hifi & for "serious" use, as in one you'd actually want to use occasionally going into ones you could use daily as years progress is the idea. We've looked through the listings & if we've missed anything out, we didn't rate it & in some years especially mid 1970s onward, whole brand ranges could be missed out. To list all amps of minor wattage after the Valve era isn't going to happen, go buy the books. See our 'Hifi Yearbooks' page for more.
Our Aim with these pages... is to try ALL the 40w-50w amps we can with ones pre 1972 with the cleaner sound can sound good up to 65w, later ones of over 45w can sound rough from too many transistors in the design. We're not too interested in ones with ICs in the Tone-Flat stage & certainly an IC power amp as some ghastly late 1970s 100W ones dare to use won't get our interest. From this, there doesn't seem many more to try beyond McIntosh & Fisher that would need importing as not sold much-at all in the UK. Read more on what we consider Good Hifi Sound on other pages.
This is our list year by year of ones that interest us in some way. For Transistors 20w is usually the limit, unless notable, increasing to 40w as on the receivers. For Valves 10w was actually a high power in 1958 so 10w minimum unless an early Integrated. 10w in Valve terms relates to about 35w in Transistor volume, from comparisons. Power ratings may say 10w in 1956 but beyond that no definition of 10w of peak, music, RMS, or into which ohms rating. So research these elsewhere to see the ratings we'd use today, but from the 1956-57 ones the ratings look like RMS so only later did the USA type misleading ratings begin. We'll try to weed them out.
If noted in the book, output valves that are still favoured today are noted: EL84, EL34, KT66 & KT88. Interesting to see how often these were used & why modern amps still use them. There are other output valves noted, but of less interest or not used today as often if at all.
The 1956 HFYB range of Amplifiers
The first book is a paperback or hardback book, the cover is a naive version of later & Quad get 3 of the 4 front pictures,, the Garrard 301 is the other. The first book attempts to be an all-in guide to Hifi covering a lot in one 180 page book. If you've read these facts before, it's not too interesting, but in 1956 it will have been well received. It is aimed at a more well-heeled type of Gentleman of the era, the enthusiast type tired of DIY Hifi & wanting ready-mades. As the years go on, this eliteness fades as readership will have been small. These books are around as age of original owner is now 57 years ago & assume reader was 30-50 then so time brings them out. To us, we found the book a little dull & skipped through a bit. There are 4 pages of Amplifiers with Control Units & Power Amplifiers in the same section. This year appears to only show high quality items & the list is only to be an impressive one, but in 1956 HFYB only listed ones they rated as worthy, actually narrowing their readership a lot, so we'll list the lot.
As noted on the Quad, all was Mono here, Mono preamp & one amplifier was the deal, early days still. Armstrong A10 CU+A 10-12w £29; Dynatron TC10/LF10 12w £38; EMG DCU1/DR24 12w £45; Expert CU+ Master Amplifier 15w £52, or Standard Amplifier 8w £23; G.E.C BCS2417/18 12w, BCS2415/16 25w KT66 £63; HMV 3050/3052 speaker unit with amp 18w; Leak Point One/TL10 10w KT61 £28; Varislope/TL12 12w £45, TL25 25w KT66 £34, all preamps can be used with any power; Lowther Master Control Mk I/TP10 16w EL34 £60, Linear 10 10w amplifier EL34 £25, Master Control Mk II £24 use either CU with any A; Pamphonic 1002/1002a 25w KT66 £42, 1003 Integrated Amp 10w £28; Pye HF5-8 Integrated Amp 5w £26, HF25a/HF25 25w KT66 £42; Quad 2 CU/A looks very like the Quad II because it is the earlier Mono one, preamp & one power amp 15w KT66 £42; RCA CU/A unnamed 12w £48; Rogers RD Senior CU/A 15-20w EL34 £42, Junior CU/A 9-11w EL84 £26; Sound Sales AZ Senior CU/A 20w £40; AZ Junior MkII 10w EL84 £22, Three Channel setup: CU/A Bass 22w KT61 , Treble 1.5w ECL80 & Centre(Midrange?) 10w KT61 £115 inc tri-channel speaker. The earliest appearance of this idea we don't like, phase errors abound!; Thermionic Products TP100 CU/A 10w; Whiteley WB12 CU/A 12w EL84 £25.
Abbrevs: CU/A=Control Unit/Power Amplifier. /= both together as denoted by model numbers
That was interesting! Lots of pictures too. Gives the idea only high power ones were sold, but there will have been plenty of the 3w type & Kits in this era. There are 2 early integrated amps & that bad-idea tri-amping that got revived later on. Some of these will now be unfindable & £1k+ sort of items. They will be very old by now & 25w valves will sound nothing like their best or what you'd like perhaps. They will be very musical, but bass light & treble rolled off. A true Retro sound like a big 1950s Jukebox, fun factor high, fidelity soft. Not to buy & try to upgrade, to get working to the old spec is the wise thing on these as buyers won't like you hacking holes for Phono Plugs & 4mm speaker sockets if there are none. One we had was a TV aerial type input, a shielded cable but very early. Buy with care & don't expect it to be modern sounding. The 1957 list is a much broader range, there must have been complaints from makers & buyers!
A Leak Point One TL/12 in untested condition but looking tidy sold for £1900 in May 2013
The 1957 HFYB range of Amplifiers
The book looks more like the later range until the dust jacket 1968/69 book with Quad ever-present on the front cover. Appears to be the Quad II as correctly named now but has to be Mono only as the round push button one is mono, but 1959 book shows the New Quad 22 control unit with the lever buttons & stereo, we had one before. Clearly the front cover is an advert or Quad sponsored the book as other brands may not have liked how Quad appeared to be the only brand. The 1956 idea of "the best" was wisely broadened with 14 pages of amplifiers including 6 pages of pictures. Some brands are known by unfamiliar names, ie Quad as Acoustical Manufacturing Co Ltd.
For this year, the control amps will be available, but the main ones already shown so only all the Power Amps will be noted. Quad (as Acoustical Mfg Co Ltd) II 15w £22; Armstrong A10 MkII 12w £21; Astronic (as Assc Elec Eng) A1333 10w EL84 £19, Beam-Echo Avantic DL7-35 20w £55 inc CU; Cape VL1 25w KT66 £33; Champion 853 11w £23-brand gone by 1958 book; Chapman 205 20w EL34 ; Dynatron L.F. 10w £25; HMV (as EMI S&S) 3051 10w was the amp in 3052 in 1956; Expert Standard 8w £23. Master 20w EL34 £35; GEC BCS2418A 12w £39 inc CU; Goodsell Golden MA5 Deluxe 15w KT66 £17, Golden GW18 'Williamson' KT66 15w or 25w ultralinear £35; Grampian 5-10 10w £16; Leak TL10 10w KT61 £18, TL12 12w £28 KT66, TL25A 25w KT66 £34, TL12+ 12w EL84 £18, TL25+ 25w £25, TL50 50w KT88 £33; Lowther LL10 10w EL34 £25, LL16 16w EL34 £40; Pamphonic 1003 Integrated Amp 10w £28, 1004 Integrated Amp 10w £28; 1002 25w £29, 2001 25w KT66; Pilot HFAH Integrated Amp 10w; Pye HF5-8 Integrated Amp 5w £26; Proctor HF25 25w KT66 £29; RCA HFYB now shows names on it's items New Orthophonic Amp LML32216 20w KT66 £24 & the preamp is LML32215; Rogers RD Senior Mk II 15w EL34 £29, Junior 9-11w EL84 £17; Sound Sales AZ Senior Mk II 20w £40 with CU; AZ (Junior) MkIII 10w EL84 £25 with CU, Three Channel setup: named Tri-Channel Tone-Colour Mk IV & pictured, Mk IV suggests it was altered a lot, a bad-idea amp; Specto Spectone 5-15 Eton Integrated Amp 10w EL84 £18, 5-15 Windsor 10w amp version £24 inc CU; Sugden HQ20 20w EL34 £31; Thermionic Products TP100 10w £19, £1 extra for carrying tray; Trix Trixsonic T800 Integrated Amp 8w £33; Whiteley WB12 CU/A 12w EL84 £25 inc CU.
The Leak "Point One" TL 50 Amplifier is a huge 50w powered amp using the KT88 amps favoured by Jamaican DJs in their Mobile Sound Systems, these Leak amps were the ones they used. 50w in valves is a huge amount more in Transistor terms ie a 15w Valve can put out at least a 60w type of sound before clipping.
Early 1957 Transistor Preamps. Lowther introduce Lowther-Murray Transistor Controls Units No 1, No 2 & No 3 with varying gain & battery switches (?). Germaniums will be the contents, what would they have sounded like when new?
Integrated Amps. Are getting more numerous. The Pye Integrated looks like the sort of innards of a Radio of the era, if no radio, Designed to be built in & hidden. Some HF5/8 noted as HF8/W have a wood case. The Champion 853 is built into a cabinet still looking like a table-top radio. The preamps were designed to be built into cabinets, the amplifiers sadly hidden below never to be seen, so are usually found in high grade. A pair of Quad IIs looks awkward we found when we had ours, no real best way to site it & the cables will determine how you use it. Pye again with the Proctor Control Unit use a wood case to need no building in & avoiding the no-grip situation of pressing the awkward old buttons. Thermionic preamp has a neat bookcase type stand for the preamp & the power amp has a tray like a toolbox. Trixonic integrated dares to differ & looks like a breadbin. Looks on these early amps were not impotant as the buyer bought a cabinet to fit them in. Few other options though.
Beam-Echo Avantic BL6-21 should be in here too, seen one on ebay, a mono amp. My is it basic, looks like a Record Player innards almost. Not going to be much wanted & probably only 5w so not shown in the HFYB. The appeal of buying a basic one of the more wanted early ones could have an appeal to a buyer, to get it working right & see what valves are about, but as just a Mono Integrated it's not much useable. What does it sell for? £188.
The 1958 HFYB range of Amplifiers
Stereo on Disc was the thing this year although not sold until August 1958 there was a renewed interest in Hifi though reading books about Stereo shows the public really didn't do it too well & why Stereo Radiograms will have outsold proper Hifi for the ease of it. "Two Speakers Mother!" would have been said in many a Drawing Room of 1958, where would they all go & all the wiring? Again Quad on the HFYB cover if still showing the old Mono preamp & only the AM tuner as no FM yet. The issue of Stereo hit all aspects of Hifi, the book's contents list a sizeable Stereo section from Stylus & Turntable, Preamps & amps, Stereo from forthcoming Radio & current Tape and Speakers. Stereo Radio only arrived in 1963 though Stereo Tape was introduced in 1956 by EMI if only non raucous types of music. 20 pages of Amplifiers including pictures.
As many of these Mono amps will be 1957 models, really not much point listing them again as "agains", only adding new Amplifiers and Stereo preamps & no point listing the "in preparation" ones until the 1959 listing if they appear. Worth listing Stereo preamps as more use to a modern buyer. Additions: Altobass 510 10w EL84 £24 inc CU; Astronic (as Assc Elec Eng) A1434 Stereo CU; Beam-Echo Avantic PL6-12 Integrated Amp mono 10w EL84 £35 gone by 1959, SPL12-D21 10w, the First Stereo Integrated Amplifier available if gone by 1959; Avantic SPL12 Stereo CU; Cape VL1 Mk II 25w KT66 25w; VLPS Stereo CU £25; CQ Audio Ltd CQ Integrated Amp 10w £19; Goodsell MA5 Mk II 15w EL84 £15 gone by 1959, MA25 20w £21, GW12 Mk II 20w £27, GW18 Williamson MK II 30w £40; Jason J10 Integrated Amp 10w EL84 £22; Pilot HFA12 12w £21; Pye HF10 Mozart Integrated Amp 10w EL34 £33, Provost HF25 25w KT66 £29; Period High Fidelity Saville Amplifier 20w £27, Saville Stereo CU £15; Shirley Labs Ltd Jupiter 3B/1-15E Integrated Amp 15w EL84 £23, Jupiter 3B/1-30E Integrated Amp 30w EL34 £33, Mullard 20-watt amplifier 20w EL34 £54 inc CU; HL Smith Cooper-Smith BP1 10w EL84 £14 or as a kit £12; Sound Sales lose the plot with the Tri-Channel Stereo CU & Amplifiers, £300 for CU, 2xA & 2 speakers equivalent of £5.6k in today's money!, A-Z Stereo CU £65 + 2 Mk III amps, £84 + 2 Senior amps. Tannoy Autograph Type F CU (mono) free-standing £37, mounting £31, Tannoy 20-watt amplifier 20w £33; Verdik Quality Ten 10w £14; Vortexion TRG10 EL84 £21, Wellington Acoustic Labs WAL Stereo CU use with WAL Stereo Ten Twin 5w £60 +CU uses LN309/PCL83 TV style valve; W&N Electronics W&N 520 20-25w £30.
The First Stereo Integrated Amplifier is the Beam-Echo one & several other Stereo preamps. But if Stereo tape was around since 1956, what did they use? A tape deck with a preamp & controls must be the answer plus two power amps. Never seen that B-E one, the EMI Stereoscope is usually the only one you see as the EMI or rebadged versions. Looking at the Photos, the typical build in & hide style of amps was the norm, the mono Beam-Echo Avantic PL6-12 just shows a face-on photo probably in a wood case. A reader adds..."Beam Echo PL6-12. It's actually quite a full-featured integrated, and the power section is based on the Mullard 5-10 (two EL84s), i.e. 10Wpc". The SPL12 Stereo CU is more modern looking, the long low caged type metal box look. The CQ one is the build-in type. Some combo ones are starting to look less grey & hide-me style, ie the Goodsell PFA & GW18 yet the GEC one you'd want to hide today even though the Leak preamps have a nicer look. The Jason, Pamphonic & Pilot integrateds and W&N control unit look futuristic, at least 1965 with metal cases, the Jason the better looker. Pye Mozart's turn up but they are small & the EL34 mounted sideways keeps interest low. The Tannoy CU despite the bread bin shape looks futuristic too.
The 1959 HFYB range of Amplifiers
1958 hooked you with Stereo, 1959 is the Tape Special. With Digital today, it's easy to forget what using tape was like. It was for enthusiasts. It was a pain in the ass too for later cassette users for how awkward to find tracks & edit was. Tape is great for making Masters of why it's still used in Studios today who don't like the Digital process. But once Analog is on Digital, the world is so much better. Tape was always the Bastard Medium for Home Users & those poor 1959 users had to wait until 1998 for CD-R & we ditched our tape deck instantly & have been archiving vinyl on CD & then direct to the computer since! Quad get the cover again & naturally as Stereo is the thing a pair of amps & ESLs is shown. Compared to 1956, the Hifi user will have had a jolly time with the current crop of Stereo items. But for how few turn up on ebay, very few must have sold & yet you see the endless amount of ugly radiograms that are unwanted. UK still bought the Radiogram heavily until the early 1970s when console & combo systems & music centres took over. Not many people bought the good stuff even in 1972, buyers still buy old music centres today as they are still worth having, if not for us Hifi readers, the Tape-Tuner-Turntable combo keeps Vinyl alive. 29 pages of Amplifiers & Control units in this book, the narrower half of the page is all photos which is great to see this many like the 1956 book did nearly all it listed. This year, the "square dot" denoting Stereo is on about a Quarter of all items listed, they had made fast progress, hopefully quality did not suffer as cheaper items we read of in early books get complaints of Mono = Hifi & Stereo just double with the effects but not the Fidelity. The Stereo Radiogram basic standard & probably the first cost-cutting as the masses wanted to break away from the 78RPM type players that still would have been around as 78s were still sold in 1959 if by later in the year releases on 78 dwindled & by late 1960 all were gone. The amount of Hifi & Radiograms as well as Record Players that 1959 must have brought into people's homes. But Rock & Roll was over mostly by now due to Payola, Teenage Pop was the safe thing & was the Mainstream until The Beatles arrived, not that plenty of great music was out there if not making the Top 30 Pop Charts, all the R&B & Jamaican tracks as well as quirky early 1960s now called Popcorn.
So what to list? The early years were interesting, but now a level has been reached. Brand names that dominated in Valve years mostly faded away in the Solid State years and not much of any of the early Valve stuff is around beyond Rogers Cadet & HG88, Quads & Leaks. The rest in 1959 are mostly Stereo preamps which we put a few in 1958 as new items, but by 1959 any maker without even a Stereo preamp-control unit was out of touch & noted below. The monoblock power amps will have sold twice as quick, which was nice for manufacturers. But Stereo Amplifiers were arriving now too. So to only list Amplifiers that are New and Mono 10w+, any Stereo & anything interesting, important or Transistor that may appear too. Additions: Quad (as Acoustical Mfg Co Ltd) Quad 22 Stereo CU £25; Airmec Stereo Integrated Amp 10w £33; Altobass Twin-Twelve 10w Stereo Amplifier £30; Astronic (as Assc Elec Eng) Atlas A1440 20w £37; Beam-Echo loses the earlier integrateds, adds SPA11 Stereo Integrated Amp 7w £29, SPA21 Stereo Integrated Amp 12w £48; BK Partners A205 5w Stereo Amplifier £42; BTH Hifi Power Amplifier Mk I 20w £24, nothing Stereo; Cape VL2 is an add-on amp for stereo to previous mono-amp buyers "second channel amp similar to VL1 but with reduced external supplies" for preamp & tuner mains assumed £25 saves buyers a fiver; Chapman 105 Mono Integrated Amp 15w in case & on legs, 305 Stereo Amplifier 8w £21; CQ Audio Ltd CQPA-10 10w £16, CQPA-30 30w, also a 3w Stereo Integrated Amp Twin-Four Stereo £22; their "Stereo Economy Pre-amplifier" for £8 is a little dubious for quality; Dulci DPA10 15w £12; SP44 Stereo Amplifier 4w EL84 £12; Dynatron LF11 10w EL84 £21, LF15CS 10w EL84 £17, LF16CS 10w £20 adds power outlets, LF20CS 20w EL34 £30; Expert as 1957, nothing Stereo; GEC as 1957 nothing Stereo; Goodsell MA8 Stereo Amplifier 3.5w £17, MA10 10w £18, GW25 20w KT66 £27, GW50 Williamson 40w KT88 £40; Jason J10 Mono Integrated Amp again, JSA2 Stereo Integrated Amp 3w £24, J2-10 Stereo Integrated Amp 10w £37; Leak adds Point One Stereo CU £33, Point One Stereo 20 Stereo Amplifier 10w £30 clearly sold well as often seen; Lowther LL15 15w EL34 £27, LL26 16w EL34 £47, S.C.U. Stereo CU £40, LL10s Stereo Amplifier 12w EL34 £40; LL8S 8w EL84 Stereo Amplifier £35; Pamphonic 3000 Stereo Amplifier 7.5w £31; Period High Fidelity Saville Stereo Seven Stereo Amplifier 7w £33, Stereo CU £15; Pilot HFA11 Mono Integrated Amp 10w EL84 £25, SHF15 Stereo Integrated Amp 7.5w £33; Pye Mozart HFS20 9w £35 chassis, £37 in metal case, a doubled stereo version of the HF10M with horizontal EL34s, one went unsold at £1300 start unsurprisingly in 2013, very basic looking thing; RCA nothing Stereo ; Rogers goes Stereo with Cadet & Junior Stereo CU Stereo Adapter to couple 2 mono CU for Stereo, helpful perhaps, HG88 Stereo Integrated Amp 8w £40 in wood case, this is the Mk I version with the brass front & usually with white fittings; Scientific & Technical Developments (aka STD, er..) cheekily gives the idea it's RCA with 'Orthotone' brand yet appear in 1960 as 'The Gramophone Company' aka EMI, STD-444 Stereo Integrated Amp 2.5w £27, STD-381 10w EL84 £28, STD-373 25w £25; Shirley SB 7-30s 20w EL34 £29 also 28w version £32, Jupiter SB/1-15F Integrated Amp 14w £23, SF-10 Stereo Integrated Amp 12w £46; HL Smith Prodigy Mono Integrated Amp 6w £17 or £13 as a kit nothing Stereo; Sound Sales again go crazy A-Z Twin Twenty Stereo CU £20, A-Z Wide Range Stereo CU with Transistors to add gain £26, A-Z Twin Twenty Stereo Amplifier 10w £30, A-Z Stereo Convertor to add Stereo to Mono setup inc 1x Mk III amp £34, A-Z Senior Mk II 20w £42 inc CU. Then the insane Tri-Channel range: CU with Transistors and Mk V Amplifier Bass 20-30w, Mid 8-12w, Treble 4w £125 inc speaker, the Stereo CU & Amp £300 one again, did they ever sell any?; Specto Ltd as 1957, nothing Stereo; Sugden as 1957, Connoisseur S66 Stereo CU £16, S66 Stereo Amplifier 7.5w £24; Verdik as 1958, nothing Stereo; Wellington Acoustic Labs WAL Gain impedance matching transistor preamp, battery powered £5; Westrex 2192 30w £49; Whiteley WB Stereo CU £23, WB8S Stereo Amplifier 6-8w £24; W&N Electronics Audiomaster 8+8 Stereo Integrated Amp 8w £34.
A busy year for Stereo, only a few avoiding Stereo inc RCA which was strange considering RCA Stereo LPs & EPs were released in the UK in Pop & Classical. Stereo Integrated Amps & Stereo Power Amps we weren't aware so many were made. In 1958-59 the only Stereo Vinyl really was Classical, Light Orchestra Pop & Vocals. A Bill Haley Stereo LP was released in April 1959, it's sales must have been almost zero, but copies are around as likely sold off as clearance. Cliff Richard made a Live LP in Mono & the EP versions were Stereo. Before 1960 very little Teen Pop & Rock was in Stereo and can you imagine Daddy wanting that infernal racket on his Hifi. By the amount of these styles in Stereo by 1960 clearly very few sold, even in 1967 Beatles 'Sgt Pepper' huge seller is more common in Mono. The idea these Stereo Amps mainly were just quick cash-ins is noted in the books of the time, as with any the next generation will have been superior in quality like the Mono ones were considered.
Lowther LL26 one on ebay Apr 2013 sold for £2050 & the MCU Mk IV CU sold for £330. 16w EL34 amp. This clearly is one of the prime Valve amps, though there are 25w-50w on this page that will outdo this one. We're not likely to try one so to have a look now we have somewhere to type it is worthy. Chromed case with Mains Transformer, Output Transformer & 4 tins of Spam looking things which will be Capacitors, no Mains Choke on it like Quad IIs had. Underneath neatly wired if a "is that all there is" to the design compared to others. But what would you do with it for your £2K spent? If you start upgrading capacitors & resistors the ancient low spec top 4 capacitors would need replacing, room underneath to hide some & leave the old ones visible as you do with old valve radios. But to use it you need the Control unit as it turns on Mains & for connectors else you'll be butchering it with modern connectors which we see as wrong. Quad IIs get this a lot. It's a very limited item & really is best left as original as possible as you'll buy it, try it, like it but not use it again & have it sitting there looking at you. The Preamp Control unit this early is Mono only so pretty useless as Stereo is what people are used to after 55 years. The Serial numbers are in the 200s on both, clearly Lowther aren't selling many by Mk IV or starting from zero each model.
The 1960 HFYB range of Amplifiers
Now Stereo had taken hold, there are unlikely to be any new Mono preamp units, though some like the Armstrong 221 from 1964 are Mono compatible, ie plug in a single cable Mono source & it plays through both channels. There are still new Monoblock amps as this was still the preferred way with the Control Unit-Preamp. Quad with the same items as before on the cover as that's all they made for years, in a garish orange design cover. The book includes Tape & Tape Recording & Cine Sound Supplement. 28 pages of amps with many pictures. Looing at the photos to see what there is, much is the samey looking old-style stuff & then the odd kooky one like the EMI Stereoscope 555 & several tin box type integrateds, the Rogers HG88 is alone as a nice wood cased amp due to building-in-cabinets way still the norm. Only amplifiers noted now unless the 'No Stereo' ones above add any to give a balance. Some items from 1957 will still be in the 1960 range & beyond. To look through & see what there is, after all not much 1960 Hifi apart from the higher powered ones are wanted or even around still. The intro to the section says USA buyers are far away from the British pre & power combo, with 90% buying integrateds & free-standing ones. Not all USA ones were sold in the UK as the British dominated listings show. Double the amp stages for Stereo, with higher power will have made a lot of cabinets inadequately ventilated for the built-in style & any cabinet you see today with the units in is readily disposed of for the electrical units which is a little sad as some are still nice furniture, if not that thing we got our Garrard 301 in on the Intro page, it met the hammer shortly after that photo! The HFYB complains about "The Fi Suffering" as more mediocre items are being introduced, such luck to only know the best in 1960.
The general idea in 1960 was there were 4 classes of amp, as price similarity above shows. 1. Integrated Stereo amps with ECL82 output 7-8w for £28-40. 2. Similar but 10-12w with EL84 & high gain for Tape heads £40-55. 3. The separate pre & one Stereo power amp £45-60 & the 4. Top Range with 15w+ usually KT66 or KT88 as seen above & priced from £45. The Top Range are the ones selling for £2000 today as they are rare & prime examples of their era, if now over 50 years old. Kits were available by Altobass, Heathkit, Jason & Pye saving 25-40% on finished product. It was a kinder time, imaging a kit for an i-phone. Problems with high power amps were corrected with DC heaters in preamps, thoug the power amp is AC on the output valves of our one, regulated DC is a great thing for heaters of ECC83 size preamp valves we found. Biut, oh dear, the American market, dem Yankees started hyping the Wattage, Blighty was fair with 12w which would be RMS, but USA sold it as 50w, ie 25w peak doubled as it was Stereo. Very misleading & a law stopped this. Centre channel output was on some USA amps & you see some until the early 1970s similarly, to make up for huge rooms with wide spaced speakers, not an issue in typical British shoe-box size housing.
What To List? The general idea of early Hifi is noted above & many of stayed until the transistor era with Mk II versions etc. It's not very interesting to be raking through & finding out xyz was in the 1958-59 listing, so a brief run through is needed unless something interesting gets added. Meaning ordinary 5-10w ones that may appear as new we're not that interested in, as well as models repeated or Mk II'd, if you are, go buy the HFYBs. Quad II; AFI; Airmec; Altobass; Armstrong; Astronic; Beam-Echo; BK Partners; Cape; Chapman; Expert; GEC; Goodsell; Gramphone Co Ltd (EMI) introduces the EMI Stereoscope 555 integrated 10w £63 & the 556 control unit-preamp version to be used with the EMI 600 amplifier of 30w, no prices; Grampian; Jason, Kolster-Brandes new name with 12w PHA30 power amp EL84 £22 7 a preamp; Leak; Lee DPA10 power amp 15w EL84 £12 & preamps & other low powered; Lowther; Pamphonic; Period High Fidelity; Pye; Rogers; Shirley Labs; HL Smith; Sound Sales; Specto; Sugden; Tannoy; Tansley-Howard 10w Archon SL101 stereo amp EL84 & preamp; Trix; Wellington with a stereo WAL Gain; Whiteley; W&N Electronics add a 25w Audiomaster EL34 monoblocks.
After the rush to get Stereo, actually most is the same as 1959 with a few we noted. By 1960 by the amount of Stereo vinyl that appears, it was still not very popular to play Stereo Records, artists like Cliff Richard & The Shadows together & solo are still rare items really until a few years later. Decca Classical LPs had the Blue Band on the laminated back cover which was gone by 1961 as a cheaper cover was introduced but with a spine title. The Blue Band Deccas are tough to find & in busier times we sold lots of Classical LPs on commission. The few Stereo 45s were long gone by 1960 & really the only Stereo vinyl that is slightly more findable from 1960 is Light Orchestral to Pop by the established names.
A range of Fisher brand items due to be sold in the UK from Autumn 1960 says the 'Unclassified' Stop-Press section but nothing is noted until 1963 in the books. Interestingly the same section shows John Lewis the department store making a tape machine.
The 1961 HFYB range of Amplifiers
The books grow a little thicker year by year in the 1960s now. Quad get the book cover again, with a jolly chap in his Ercol facing a single ESL with the Tuner & Pre in a cabinet. Decor so loud it hides the woman in the other chair even. After the almost holiday year of 1960 after the Stereo rush, what is there here? Complaints about the quality of some "hi-fi" taking advantage of the public's innocence of what constituted Hifi continues & the harsh realities of commerce of the day seem quaint to the Corporate toss we live with today. Some new brands enter with the majority still being the 1959-60 ranges. Quad II; AEI Sound Equipment Ltd 20w EL34 'Hifi Power Amplifier No 1' monoblocs £24 each, 'Stereo Power Amplifier' 10w £27 plus preamps; Allegro '66' 7w integrated amp ECL82 £29; Altobass make a 2w 'Twin II' integrated £16, why bother?; Ampex 303 amp(?) & 403 or 404 preamp, no details though a photo of a more 1966 looking amp as the 404 preamp; Armstrong; Astronic-Associated; Cape; Chapman; Expert; GEC; Goodsell; Gramophone Co-EMI 556 £41, no mention of the EMI 600 power amp if Emisonic 381 10w stereo powrr amp £29 & Emisonic 373 25w EL34 monoblocks £25 each, Emisonic 444 integrated only 2.5w £27 seems a bit pointless; Grampian; Jason; Leak; Lee; Lowther still the same LL15. LL26 LL15S; Pamphonic; Period, Pye; Radford introduce STA12 12w EL34 stereo amp £38, DSM preamp £34, MA15 15w EL34 monobock £23 each; Rogers Master Stereo Control Unit £35, looks like the HG88 Mk III & Cadet III with the silver-black halved fascia; Shirley, HL Smith; Sound Sales still with the crazy tri-amp thing; Stern Mullard '5-10' 10w monoblock amp £11 each also as a kit; Sugden; Symphony 2x 5-10w mono & 5w stereo amps; Tannoy; Tansley-Howard; Tripletone introduce 12w mono integrated Hifi Major, Stereo 12-12 preamp & amp combo 15w EL34 £33 for pre & 2 power amps, the pre looks like the £182 selling in 2013 integrated noted above; Trix; Wellington; Westrex 30w monoblock £49 for use with the Westrex 2241 whatever that is, Cinemas system (yes)?
Still a lot to keep the Hifi buyer going here & new names are cropping up. Plenty for the collector today, but to use them regularly is very unlikely unless fully rebuilt. Only the noted Transistor items, no full preamp or power amps yet though 1962 is noted for the first ones. A bit early still for most & after the first growth the next thing to come is FM Multiplex & Receivers by late 1963. Many more were buying Blaupunkt 'Blue Spot' radiograms to get Stereo & others similar as Hifi was still a very small market, than these awkward separates as many must have viewed the early ugly years of Hifi, though some designs are starting to look more 1966 if most still look 1958 at best. Can't say we'll be trying any to improve & write up knowing the work they need, even the Rogers HG88 of now is still the Mk I, it could be fully rebuilt as not too dissimilar to the Mk III but not for us having tried this ewith the Mk III
The 1962 HFYB range of Amplifiers
The Pop market started with Cliff Richard "The Young Ones" film & the Stereo version on the light green label from pre 1963 isn't too rare. Much of the Classical & light pop in Stereo is from 1961 onwards so the economy must have been better & buyers were gradulally getting into Hifi. Hip TV shows showed Hifi, the 1959 "Johnny Stacatto" series was about a Jazz fan-detective & is now on DVD at last, top show. Polite Society must have been featuring ways to incorporate these cumbersome items in Continental styled cabinets & to go Hifi & ditch the radiogram or record player must have been the thing. As was painting dark natural wood white as DIY was awakening, perhaps DIY meant "Drown It in Yellow" but books & TV were in B+W still so it looked white. Hifi sold in this year will have played The Beatles & their like which took over from 1963 onwards & put an end to the more sugary pop era, though plenty of good music was still around away from the Charts. Yes, Quad on the cover again in graphical form in a pink tiger stripe cover, honest! A 'Stop Press' type New Products section updates a few but they'll be in the next year so ignored. In Record Player sections, the Cartridge is still mainly 'old junk' no-one cares about unless having a portable record player & wanting to keep it authentic. Moving Magnet cartridges were actually more than we'd have thought, but the huge price increase over the basic crystal types will have kept them in shops, ie Ronette just under £2 inc PT and Goldring 600 at over £11 inc PT is a big difference. We remember an old radiogram of some heavy build with an odd cartridge head you tilted 10° in it's headshell arrangement to get the 78 or LP stylus, not a flip-over but 2 tips offset on one side of cartridge. Any ideas?
TRANSISTORS do get a start as a lengthy section on developments, theory & design is in the book. In 1962 Transistors were expensive, 'heat-conscious', of much varying spec in a run, poor on Treble & are noisy! Unreliable crap is the more direct comment. You can see why Transistors were only good for Portables as 1962 valves are hugely superior to these Germanium things until Sony & Sansui introduce full Silicon Transistor amps in 1965. They then say a 20w transistor amp is now possible with better qualities already, but not for sale yet. The 1957 HFYB has an early article too.
Amplifiers appear much the same lot again, not that progress is always good or they were out of date after 3-4 years either, some brands kept models available for much longe in the early days, unlike 1-2 year updates of later years. Quad II; Allegro; Altobass; Armstrong; AEI; Astronic; Aveley are actually importers of Dynaco-Dynakit items, Avel-Dynaco Mk IV amplifier 30w EL34 £35, A-D Stereo 70 35w £49 or £42 as a kit, a much rated early amp use with PAS-2 control unit £35; Cape; Chapman; Clarke & Smith is the HMV 555 Stereoscope amp EMI one rebadged £66, HMV 556 preamp £41, HMV 557 10w stereo £31, HMV 599 control unit for 557 £12; Expert; Goodsell; Grampian; Jason; Leak; Lee with Dulci DPA-15 12w monoblock amp £15; Lowther as before still, Integrated Stereo Amp 12w £70; Pamphonic 2001 25w monoblock amp KT66 £29; Period Hi-Fi with only a Stereo Integrated Double-Six 6w £39; Pye; Radford add MA15 Mk II 15w EL34, MA25 MK 2 monoblock amp 25w KT88, STA12 Mk 2 15w stereo amp, STA15 doubled version of MA15, all no prices; Rogers go Mk II on most: Cadet II monoblock amp 7w £12, Cadet II Stereo amp £27 inc preamp, HG88 is now a Mk II with 12w £42 or £38 no case; Shirley have 3x integrated stereo amps: 2SB10 7w £45, 2SB12 12w £48, 2SB50 25w £84; HL Smith; Sound Sales show some pictures of big cimema type amps Tri-Channel & Twin-Twenty; Stern; Symphony; Tansley-Howard; Tripletone; Trix; Wellington; Westrex some serious Cinema type monobloc power amps: 2192 30w £49 for the Westrex 2241 Loudspeaker it appears, 2230A 30w EL34, 2231A 60w EL34, no prices both are 100v output as well as 4-16 ohms; Whiteley.
This year does show signs of new improvements, high priced items £66, £70, £84 & the hefty Westrex range will be big money today, PA type gear for Cinema & similar. Most still looks 1958 at best some as illustrated look like the big money 'serious' amps collectors bid high on, before that not that many beyond Lowther & Radford. Watching the sales pages on ebay gets the money ones noticed. £2000 for a 1955 Fender guitar amp, a crazy £4000 for a Lowther LL15S 15w Stereo amp from 1960 when it was £45 new? ££££ for a Pye Mozart??? In comparison, a Tannoy GRF autograph huge horn loaded speaker was £165 in 1960 & The Garrard 301 was a mere £17. Prestige and demand is the thing here, just like the USA Classic Cars scene. Your £45 in 1960 is worth £800 in 2010 if based on retail prices, or £1940 based on earnings.
A Radford STA15 in high original grade sold for £1486 May 2013, stunning high grade is our opinion, not their hype, looked like new, 1963 dated caps. One questioner wanted it for his collection as all-original, don't people use these? Early PCB design if with the similar hardwired lined-up look, but after 50 years caps do leak depending on the brand as we found with the Armstrong 221. A Radford STA25 that had been butchered by some fool adding in brand new PCBs to 'upspec it' killing authenticity actually sold for £1250. "In 2004 Mike Davis (ex -Radford and Woodside Electronics) re-furbished it for me and brought it up to the final (Mk 1V) STA 25 specification" As bad as fitting a LCD screen in a 1950s TV cabinet really, these clueless butchers need stopping! If the STA15 made nearly £1500, the rare 25w sold for perhaps half of it's original grade value.
The 1963 HFYB range of Amplifiers
Quad on the cover again if more elliptical themed this year. USA had Stereo FM Multiplex a year before the UK, buyers by now were upgrading as things improved, the 1956-58 items will have generally seemed old & crude by 1963 standards. Upgrading from Radiograms too as money came as buyers got itchy fingers, HFYB notes one buyer with £400 wanted to be sure it was well spent: £6k in today's money. You can look back & see he will have bought the best of 1963 but outed the lot within 5 years as transistors took over. TRANSISTORS get a dismissive reply as they say they cannot better valve amps & are too expensive to compete. They were right though. An amusing note about transistors with a defined lifespan before failing: Germanium did that for them. Also the cheaper items were becoming better value & were reasonably like the top items, which says the top items should do better to us. Stereo vinyl was selling well in certain styles, ie the non Teen Pop range, but the cartridges were not delivering the full sound in the grooves as playing some old vinyl today reveals. Some is mastered poorly or dubbed from another disc, some is pure mastertape high fidelity to match Capitol & Frankie. The year's amps introduce some names still familiar: Ortofon & Pioneer, yes an Ortofon integrated amp. Looks-wise things are losing that dated 1950s look, one pictured, the Archon ST-101 looks like more modern amps with a row of valves at the front, transformers at the back & carry handles. Many are free-standing units now as the build-it-in ideals will have seemed more dated as Continental style influenced UK homes, Teak wood, Eames & the like, style started to matter. The earlier years of the 1960s were pretty dull looking in Hifi, the USA influence led the way & the 2 Japanese names took it to a new level: the Pioneer ones were the first receivers to be sold in the UK. The intro to the Amps section sums up the progress, quality & future hopes.
Again we'll just list the brands as some appear & disappear each year. Anything Transistor will be noted as some should be appearing as will Receivers which will be duplicated in the Receivers list as the 1964 book added a new Receivers section. The highlights of the year are some big USA brands finally arriving, no Marantz or McIntosh until much later & the Radford & Vortexion huge powered valve amps.USA brands are being introduced & the Power ratings are those of the manufacturer, not always UK RMS type wattage, so some may be misleading! Some Transistor amps introduced, in the Radon range AD140 is a 35w Germanium power transistor, the highest of the era. Looks like a TO-3 size & one on ebay is made by Mullard & others are available, if risky to buy as Germanium.
Quad (as Acoustical MCL); Allegro; Armstrong A20 12w EL84 £23 appears to be their best one; AEI; Astronic (as Assoc Elec Eng); Aveley still importing Dynaco; Bang & Olufsen first appearance with Type 608 Integrated Stereo Amplifier ECL85 15w £52 which is the wood case one with the Tone lines long window, Type GF2 Transistor Turntable amp £6; Chapman now Derritron; Clarke & Smith 555 & 556 Stereoscope now no EMI or HMV names; Decca add the "Decola" range based on the late 1940s Hifi radiogram name if more mainstream design as 1963 now Decola preamp £23, Decola 12w Stereo power amp £37; Derritron (Chapman) probably just rebadged 305 mono amp 20w EL34 £34, 305 preamp £19; 305 Stereo power amp 8w EL84 £21, the mono 105 integrated 10w £29, 306 Stereo integrated 8w ECL86 £36; Expert; Fisher arrive but clearly very limited distribution as by 'special order'; Goodsell; Grampian; Jason; Kerr McCosh DSL preamp £34, CWA10 10w monoblock amp £24; Leak; Lee; Lowther still the LL15, LL15S & LL26; Musicraft (see after Pye); Ortofon KS601 Integrated Stereo amp odd looking curved top design 15w £95; Pamphonic; Period; Pioneer make an entrance with SM-Q141 stereo receiver with MPX facilities though UK no MPX FM yet 14w £70; FM-B100 Mono receiver 10w £49; Pye; Musicraft MM3 mono integrated 3w £15. Not in AZ order but how the book does it; Radford adds some hefty amplifiers STA-20 Stereo 30w EL34 £67, STA-40 Stereo 60w KT88 £85, ISTA-30 Stereo 30w £67, ISTA-60 60w £85, SC 4-20 integrated stereo 20w Transistor £55, SC5 Transistor Stereo preamp £27; Radon R.600S stereo integrated 10w Transistor AD140 £42, R.610M mono integrated Transistor AD140 £35; Revox introduce Model 40 stereo integrated 10w £50; Rogers; HH Scott, USA brand introduced 299C stereo integrated 20w £142; Sherwood, another big USA company S-5000 II integrated stereo 36w continuous £82 inc case, S-5500 II 30w continuous. One has been on ebay for ages unsold at £230 but no posting. Looks a smart amp but no details of grade put buyers off as it'll need a full rebuild; Shirley; HL Smith; Stern; Symphony; Tansley-Howard; Tripletone; Vortexion 30/50w Amplifier 30w music 50w speech £59, 120/200w Amplifier £112, these seem to be aimed mnore at PA & Pro use; Wellington; Whiteley; Wordern.
The 1964 HFYB range of Amplifiers
1964 meant Beatlemania & the Ska sound hitting charts if as very Pop version by Millie as well as Motown hitting Number One. At last music was interesting again as in just the Chart Music. Hifi was certainly improving as MPX Stereo Receivers became available & the superior Japanese & USA makers started to modernise the British Hifi. No mere xenophobia from us, we are based in the UK & having tried many UK brands, the others were just better quality, better investment in advances & better looks. British Hifi was certainly the World Leader in the Years above, but the Japan & USA influence, as well as the generally poor European product except for Bang & Olufsen was taking over & making British build-in type Hifi obsolete, though as we go through the books we'll see things change as a good looking amp means a good sounding amp too in the era pre 1973. Reading above, we list all brands in the Amplifier section & some of the older companies quietly went out of business. quad on the cover as usual with a strange design. Ther HFYB reports on the Hifi scene & shows it is booming wuith FM & Tape growing & the new imported Japan & USA ranges are getting noticed with their better spec & better sound to the majority of UK made. Hifi certainly had come of age & it was still all-valve in the majority. Anything Transistor is noted clearly just to see what was being offered for sale, can't really say 'sold' as it's clearly not around as Germanium to know if it was popular, so assume it wasn't just yet. The Receivers section is added as shown on the Receivers page with listings similarly, all 10 of them & we have the Trio WX-400 written up as we have one. Looking through the pictures, the old style of build-in types were fading & the Fisher X-100 stands out as very ahead of it's time & attractive too as their receivers are. Leak & Lowther were still doing the same basic amps they'd done for the 1960s before, the big Radford amps look very serious & clearly these give the brand cred, not their transistor ones. All now are Stereo with very few Mono apart from Monoblock Amps like Quad II & budget Mono integrateds. A steady year with some new entries if 1964 is still 'early' compared to what was around by 1967 which will be interesting to see. The book came out in Autumn 1964 as opposed to Spring of the year as before.
Quad the same 11 mono pre, 22 stereo pre & II amp they'd had since 1959 & before! Progress, no sah; Armstrong introduce the 222 stereo integrated, the ceramic only phono version (221 is the MM one from later) 10w £27, 220 stereo amp 12w £25 & the 225 preamp £22; Astronic; Aveley with Dynaco-Dynakit; Bang & Olufsen 609 15w £52 Transistor hybrid version of 608; Bryan introduce Model 400 13w Transistor integrated £63, Model 500 preamp & Model 600 power amp Transistor 12w £63 the set; Clarke & Smith update the EMI 555 Stereosonic with their own items 657 stereo power amp 10w EL84 £25, 655 stereo integrated no scope now 10w £44; Decca; Derritron (Chapman); Eagle enter with SA.80 4w stereo integrated £9, SA.300 15w stereo integrated £32 looks a decent item; Elstone take over the Transistor WAL gain range; Expert; Fisher get a range now X-100 stereo integrated 20w EL184 (? typo) £60, X101-C stereo integrated 27w £100, X-202-B 35w £137, X1000 50w £161, only X-100 is stocked rest are special order aka imported; Goodsell, Grampian; Henry's Radio for their kits; Hart Stereo 20 Transistor 20w £50, Mono 10 Transistor £24; Jason still the same 2 after many years; Kerr McCosh; Leak introduce the Stereo 30 Transistor 10w at 15 ohm, 15w at 4 ohm £49 but beware it's the Germanium version until the 30 Plus update; Lee Stereo-Five preamp has Transistor modules; Lowther, Martin Electronics kits; Metro-Sound with a Transistor preamp £7; Musicraft; Ortofon; Pamphonic; Pioneer first amplifier for the UK SM-80135w valves £79; Period; Pye HFS30T 15w Transistor integrated £71 very square box looking; Radford SC5 & SC6 Transistor preamps £34 & £39; SC5-10 15w Transistor integrated £65 looks like the Heathkit S99 valve amp; Radon; Revox; Rogers; HH Scott; Sherwood only the S-5500 now; Shirley; HL Smith, Stern renamed Stern-Clyne; Symphony; Tansley-Howard; Technical Suppliers Ltd with obscure BH Hi-Fi 14 integrated mono 12-14w EL84 £10; Trio introduce WE-24 7w integrated £47, W41U 10w integrated; Tripletone 'Transistorised preamp' Transistor £4 mono, £6 stereo half-hearted attempt clearly; Vortexion biggies, a pic of the 120/200w amp shows how huge it is, Worden 'Stereo Transistorised preamp' Transistor & a power amp of no details £18, £15 in some way; Whiteley.
The 1965/66 HFYB range of Amplifiers
1965 saw the Folk boom in Pop also as the early Beatles & R&B-Beat group sounded went more towards Soul than the R&B of 1964. You know what the book cover has & it's now entitled 1965/6 as the book came out in August 1965 & they wanted it to go into 1966, before the idea of dating the next year came about. It will have given more time than a winter rush to get the book done in those typesetting slow days. There isn't too much else noted apart from a new Hifi Cabinets & Furniture section as the build-in ideas faded away, these have a certain Continental air with shelves & spaces mostly for free-standing units, though still some for Quad buyers to build in, a dying breed. But whether they sold much is another thing, your moneyed buyer would have custom built units as we saw in the mid 1980s as one house still had as it was cleared, whatever hifi there long gone. Even Speaker cabinets were looking more modern, cloth fronted wood box with little else. The basic ideas that carried on until the 1970s. There is another huge section on Transistor progress with FETs but lots with Germaniums still though, capacitor coupling, transformer coupling before the output stage & a few odd ones that are without the coupling capacitor but not complimentary either. Sherwood S-9000 is all Silicon Transistors which is very early with the Sony & Sansui. For Transistor again Complimentary is used if with the output capacitor on Leak Stereo 30, Truvox TSA100 & Pye HFS30. Fisher are noted as using some Silicon but still Germanium in the higher power stages as the Fisher 440 had. A Mullard complimentary circuit uses Germanium AD161 & AD162. Protection Circuits are mentioned too for Transistor amps. Also NFB is used higher as Transistors have such wide HFE gain specs as the spec sheets show. Compromise to be done carefully. POWER RATINGS now get a clarification as things are getting confusing. IHFM which is a Standards Institute of HiFi. Continuous Power means the Sine Wave Power the amp can deliver for 30 seconds without exceeding rated THD. Music Power Output means a tiny burst of a power that would trash the amp in a full second if not exceeding THD as it's so fast that is absolutely useless to know. The amp is not using it's own internal power supply, but a lab type power supply matching the voltages. It's total BS. Continuous Power at the amp's best power output spot frequency at rated THD in RMS. They quote P power = E squared / R resistance, where E= rms voltage across the load.
Quad; Armstrong; Astronic; Braun introduce CSV10 8w Transistor £58, CSV13 12v valves £86, CSV60 30w valves £108; Bryan; Clarke & Smith only the 655 now; Decca introduce TSA33 Mk II integrated Transistor 3w £26 & the Decolas again; Derritron (Chapman); Dual is the first of the 'Continental' brands with CV2 integrated Transistor 10w £60 with Germaniums if a fresher design styling; Dynaco finally break free from Aveley same range; Eagle add TSA.218 20w integrated Transistor £48; Elstone; Fisher add TX300 integrated Transistor amp 36w £169 which is an in-stock item not as smart looking as the X202C as no symmetry!; AR Franklin & Co introduce 'Preamp' Transistor £31, 'Main Amplifier' Transistor 10w £23; Grundig another 'Continental' brand with SV50 Transistor integrated 20w £82 odd looking teak cased grey-white fronted if hardboard backed, Hart; Heathkit; Henry's Radio last 2 are kit amplifier makers; Jason only the J2-10; Kerr McCosh; Leak; Lee; Lowther still the 15/26/15S; Martin kits; Metro-Sound MST-15 integrated Transistor 15-20w AD140 £84 modern looking; Ortofon; Pioneer; Pye only the HFS30T Transistor seems brave; Radford; Radon; Rogers updates Cadet III 10w £34 in case; HG88 MkIII 15w £46 in case; HH Scott 200 integrated '15w music' £86, 260 integrated Transistor '30w music' £156. music power ratings confuse; Sherwood only new S9500 with Silicon Transistors 18w no price, but the first Silicon Amp sold in the UK as Sony TA-1120 & Sansui TR-707A not in UK yet, S9500 looks more 1968 if for the knobs dating it a bit, the front may be perspex as a receiver of similar looks had paint issues; Shirley only 2 now; Sinclair kits, odd futuristic modular things as seen in Henry's Radio catalog; HL Smith; Stern-Clyne; Symphony; Tansley-Howard; Trio; Tripletone; Truvox TSA100 10w Transistor Germanium, see 'Other Brands' page for more; Vortexion; Worden 'Stereo Transistorised Preamp' + 10w Transistor amp £41
Lowther IA20 or I20A on early ones is an early Class A transistor amp from this 1962-65 era, one top grade & boxed sold for £1026 10w into 16 ohm also 12w into 8 ohms, It'll be Germaniums though. One non worker still made £797! Also a strange FM tuner with a tiny meter instead of a full dial for tuning, certainly early.
The 1966/67 HFYB range of Amplifiers
Note all from here on are Solid State-Transistor Integrated Amplifiers unless the book does not state anything either. The year of 1966 was a very good year for music, says we as Record Dealers & many great records issued, many sold sod all but a few charted. A sharp Pop-Art type of year building on from the 1965 Who hits brought some energy, early Psychedelia started to appear & Soul was on top form from it's 1965 strong year. Ska was hot & turned into Rocksteady in the overheated Jamaican Summer, though UK only got those tracks in 1967. For such great music, you need Hifi & from the 1965 list, if you were making valves & especially still preamps & power amps, the writing was on the wall as tastes were certainly changing. Some companies were already lessening their ranges in 1965, by 1966 an optimism must have been around & only when Silicon Transistors were Hifi did said Hifi start to really sell, leaving the boom in 1964 seem minor. Transistors are interesting in this era, but to try any risks Germaniums & though we may like seeing the progress, valves were sadly being brushed away until Guitar Amp users helped revive them. Some of the big valve amps on sale still were the best that valves had ever been & early transistor copied the valve sound initially. We've not added any to these pages for a few months & now reading through these 1967 era ones we are seeing ones we'd like to try, so off we go again. Will omit any not of interest such as very low power by basic brands & preamps unless well known ones.
Acoustical - Quad II valve& Quad 50 pro power amp again, Akai AA-5000 23w; Armstrong 221 & 222 valve again; Astronic A1646 preamp high priced at £88; Bradmatic MA30 power amp monoblock part of a kit 30w into 15 ohms £14; Braun CSV10 only 8w £78, CSV13 only 12w, CSV60 valveintegrated 30w £142, CSV1000 55w £345; Bryan Model 500 Mk III + 700 pre-power 13w £56, Model 3000 no power rating £56 assume 13w again, Model 900 (or 9000?) 10w £34; Clarke & Smith 655 10w £44; Derritron Chapman 205B 30w KT77 valve power amp, 310 integrated valve 10w £48; Dual CV3 only 7w, CV2 10w; Dynaco PAS-2 & PAS-3 preamps, SCA-35 valve integrated 17.5w £59 or £52 as kit, ST-35 valve power amp 17.5w £40/£34. ST-70 35w valve power £59/£52; Eagle SA80 4w, SA200 7.5w probably valve, TSA300 25w £58; Elizabethan Princess 10w, saw this one very likely & very basic looker & we didn't try a non worker for £10; Elstone WAL gain preamps; Fisher X100-A valve integrated EL184 (?) 20w £57, X101-C 27w valve integrated 7591 outputs KT66 type presumably, TX300 36w though it'll be Germaniums £141, Spacexpander valve reverb amp £29; A.R. Franklin Preamp £31, Main Amp 15w power amp. Appears to be an early home-made cottage industry effort from NW3; Goodmans Maxamp 30 small sized 15w integrated; Grundig SV50 20w £82 possibly Germaniums; Hart Electronics Mono 10 10w monoblock amp £24; Heathkit plenty of Kits; Henry's Radio lots of kits too; Howland-West System One/25 12.5w into 15 ohms, Systen Two/40 20w probably into 15 ohms; Kerr McCosh CWA 2/12 12w power amp £48, CWA40 monoblock 40w amp £45 both to go with DSI preamp £34; James B Lansing (JBL) S6520E seems to be an early graphic equaliser £265, SE400SE 40w power amp £170, SA600E integrated £205 if no preamp for the power amp!; Leak we'll list all: Point One range: TL/12+ 12w EL84 valve power amp £20, TL/25+ 25w EL34 valve power amp £26, TL/50+ 50w KT88 valve power amp £35, Stereo 20 11w EL84 valve power amp £32, Stereo 60 30w valve power amp £45, Varislope preamps, Stereo 30 Germanium transistor integrated £49; Linear Products Audio Fidelity Stereo-33 10w into 15 ohm £40; LL Electronics LL3SL only 3w £27. London N3 shouldn't have bothered; Lowther preamps No 2, Mk V, Mk II stereo, LL18 18w valve power amp EL506 £25, LL26 Mk I 26w EL34 valve power amp; Martin Electronics another kits maker; Metro Sound MST-15 15w into 15 ohms AD140 germaniums £75; Ortofon valve KS601 from 1963 again, Philips AG9019 20w, AG9023 12w; Pioneer SM-83 40w music power = 15w RMS probably 7189A valves £84, SR-101 reverb amp £44; Pye Brahms HFS30T 15w £55; Radford MA15, MA25, STA15, STA25, IMA30, ISTA30 & ISTA60 again; Radon R600S Mk II 10w AD140 germanium £60; Rogers Cadet III & HG88 Mk III valve again; HH Scott 200 15w music £86, 260 30w music £156, 299D 20w valve 7591s £137; Sennheiser a strange bachelor pad type system inc speakers VRS303, VMS303 & VKL304 30w £415; Sherwood S-9500 20w , S-5500IV 36w valve hybrid, S-9900 40w, S-900 65w; Shira TRM40 22w £47, not Nikko; Shirley SBS/15 12w EL84 valve £63; Sinclair more kits, these look futuristic but pretty basic; Stern-Clyne Mullard 5-10 monoblock valve 10w £13 or £10 as a kit; Symphony No 2 10w EL84 valve £29; Tates 10+10 10w AD140 Germanium £70 or £49 as a kit, picture shows a decent looking amp if no outer case; Trio W41U and WE24 valve again; Tripletone have a last blast before closing... DP12 12w EL84 monoblock valve amp £14, Stereo 8-8 Series 3 only 8w integrated £27 explains why they failed; Truvox TSA100 10w AD140 germanium as is the TSA200 too £51; Veritone Vega 15w OC35/OC29 germanium £40; Vortexion 30/50 and 120/200 pro valve amps again; Worden 4x4w basic thing £42, brand best known for the Worden Articulated Arm, a daft idea to reduce tracking error in the 5g+ play weight era.
The year is clearly a transitional one, some companies sticking to valve, others making both but still offering the older valve ones that sold well. But the Germanium transistor risk is still an issue & no Sony appear until the next book. Braun CSV1000 is the big 55w transistor one of the year but they sell for £1000 so unlikely we'll find one to try. Sennheiser are better known for headphones & made a strange system, try find one. Sherwood look impressive but unlikely to have sold much in UK. Some very obscure brands here inc one home-made type. Some brands that were doing well in the earlier valve years failed to get into Solid State properly & sadly failed, ie Elizabethan, Shirley & Tripletone were popular brands earlier. Frustrating seeing so many Germanium amps, you could alter for Silicon as the base voltage needs to be higher, but only 10w & mediocre looks on most, who cares? Overall not really much we'd like to try here.
The 1967/68 HFYB range of Amplifiers
Now this should start getting interesting as we rate three of the 1967 Receivers highly, but until we go through this, we're not too sure what there is in Amplifiers. Issued just after the Summer of Love & these amps had to cope with a lot of big ballad singers as well as all the Soul, late arriving Ska & Psychedelia. What amps did those big Psychedelic Light Shows use? From reading the Henry's Radio catalog it appears any cheap amp that would play loud. This 1967-68 era had perhaps the broadest range of musical styles being Hit Records than any other year, from Granny Pop, to Ballads, to Stax-Atlantic-Motown Soul to the late Ska tracks & the Summer Flower Pop, you can bet this was a good place to be if you didn't live in Surburbia or were making babies...
Acoustical-Quad; Akai; Armstrong 421 15w Germaniums with pink design features £42, stylish but not very good quality; Astronic A1646 again, A1671 £120-145 but where's the power amp?; Audio Engineering Ltd QL-4 speaker cabinet with 30w amp inside £40, probably the first active speaker; Bradmatic; Braun adds CSV250 15w £89; Bryan; Derritron; Coral A-707 35w £78; Crown SA 30-30 20w power amp £74 plus import duty, the first by this PA amp company; Dual still budget-end adds CV12 8w £35; Dynaco adds the Stereo 120 35w power amp £94 or £78 as a kit; Eagle SA-80N 4w £12, SA100 5w £18, SA200 7.5w £27 all valve basic integrateds, TSA10 5w transistor £13, TSA20 10w £24, Eagle stayed ultra budget until about 1978 sadly; Elizabethan; Elstone; Fisher; AR Franklin; Goodmans; Grampian 666 ambiophonic unit 2.5w x4 why bother at £50; Grundig all new SV40 15w £77 in wood or metal case, SV80 30w £97; Hart; Heathkit; Henry's Radio; Kerr McCosh; Leak; Linear adds LTA15 10w £16 seems very basic & maybe only mono as PTA15 at £15, Audio Fidelity AF10/15B mono? £24; Lowther wake up and add L18S 18w stereo amp EL506 valve £47; Martin; Metro-Sound only a preamp; Nikko TRM40 15w £39; Philips new with GH925 4w £23, GH923 7w £39, GH919 20w £59; Pioneer SA-400 valve 30w music = 11w RMS, SR-101 reverb again; Radford MA15, MA25, STA15, STA25, STA60 60w, STA60B 60w with extra 600 ohms input; J Richardson of London W2 MA 135 30w valve monoblock amp £35, STA170 valve stereo version £55, MA200 70w PA-pro gear company with some domesticated product; Rogers adds Ravensbourne 25w £63 inc case; Sansui at last with AU-70 25w valve hybrid; AU-111 20w; Sennheiser; Shira; Shirley; Shure preamps only; Sinclair; Sony at last with TA-1080 30w £103, TA-1120 50w £141; Stern-Clyne; Symphony; Trio; Tripletone add Gemini Series 3 4w £17 & Hifi Major Series 3 12w EL84 valve £17; Truvox; Van Der Molen Sonic 10 active speaker 10w £20; Veritone; Vortexion goes all silicon transistor adding CP50 40w £90, Mixer Amp 20/30 20w £35, 100 watt power amp £70, 200w power amp £112, all annoyingly written up in sales waffle probably a stop press type addition; Wharfedale WHF-20 20w £85; Wye Stereo 500 10w £29.
Complete System Hifi is a new section with Music centre type item packages, some still look like radiograms with Braun, Dual, Dynatron, Ferguson, Goodmans, Grundig, Musicraft, Philips, Truvox & Wharfedale offering package deals on component units as they did mostly for years to come. Only noted as HFYB adds this new section aiming for younger buyers not wanting a radiogram.
The Coral amp sounds interesting if no photo shown. Grundig has one interesting too, but these are likely Germanium. Why Philips made 4w & 7w amps in transistor is insane, hopeless. Other radiogram-innards ones like Decca & Ferguson feeble ones we don't list. The two Sony introduced look very ahead of their time amid the rest. Beyond some PA-Pro amps the rest isn't very interesting though the reliable selling older valve ones were still available.
The 1968/69 HFYB range of Amplifiers
Well the previous year was still pretty tame beyond just a few. The HFYB suffers from it relying on manufacturers & distributors sending them the info & the fact of book publishing deadlines mean some amps for sale at the time the book was published aren't included until the next issue, hopefully. 1968-69 was a sobering time after the excesses of before. The Stones getting arrested for drugs charges & remarkably a return to Rock & Roll and the decline of "Good 1960s Music". As record dealers we find some of the big hits from 1968-69 utter crap bland boring nothingness that sold hugely. Hickory Hollers Tramp? Why? And all those tedious pop offerings. It did hide the fact Soul & Reggae were still hot though the Supremes hit reality with 'Love Child' away from their usual style & the 'I Have A Dream' ideas that life was waking up to was the tone. A different 'Wet Dream' was a problem for many later in 1969, hope their hifi wasn't under the bed. Vietnam was another reality kick & the 1967 hippy ideals faded away. Hifi was getting into the second generation of transistor amps. The Japanese Hifi scene, to us, brought about a new quality in Hifi, though comparing 1967 receivers to 1969 ones they were improving as well as sadly losing the valve sound. But any era has great & average. We hope this book is more interesting, or maybe we know all the good ones already as the Receivers page showed? From now until 1971, Valve amps would be fading away as they were seen as old fashioned. The fact it took 12-25 years for hifi buyers to realise valves were good again means not much of the valve stuff survived. Thankfully UK have lofts & many spent their unwanted years hibernating above as transistor life took over below & then the older transistor ones got lofted too as the new was always better as the makers said. Perhaps they are still up there? Fifteen pages of Amplifier data & more for photos, very few aren't pictured.
Acoustical-Quad adds the Quad 33 preamp £43, Quad 303 45w power amp £55 & the Quad II and Quad 50 power amps but earlier preamps gone; Richard Allen (Sugden related later) A21 Class A 10w £52, C41 preamp £34, A41 Class A 20w £59. These later evolved into Sugden brand & as early Class A are often found overheated damaged; Ampex AA620 active speaker 20w; Armstrong only the 421 now; Astronic A1671 again, A1715 35w monoblock power amp £37, A1746 10w monoblock power amp £26; Audio Engineering Ltd again; Bradmatic, Braun, Bryan Model 900 10w £39, Model 9000 10w £48 confusingly similar numbers; Coral; Crown; Dual adds CV40 20w £64; Dynaco; Eagle; Elizabethan Dulci 220 10w £40, Dulci 207 7w £19; Elstone, Fisher X100-A again; TX-100 25w £88, TX-1000 50w £150; Goodmans; Grampian; Grundig; Hart; Heathkit; Henry's Radio; Kerr McCosh; Leak no valves now Stereo 30 first model again, adds Stereo 70 35w £69; L&H Audio Hi-Fi Master 6088 10w £41 oversells itself a little; Lowther same again predictably; Martin; Medley London SE7 company Medley 1600 8w £29, Medley MM25 12.5w £40. why another budget low powered maker bothers is a mystery; Nikko TRM-40B 15w £42, TRM-120 45w £95; TRM 40 is a silver fascia, TRM-40B is a black fascia; Peak Sound Twin-Twenty 26w Power amp £18, SA8-8 8.5w £21; Philips; Pioneer; Radford only SC22P preamp, STA-100 100w KT88 valve power amp £112, SCA-30 30w transister integrated £106; Radon R600.S Mk II as in 1966-7 listing & still with germaniums; J Richardson; Rogers still with valve Cadet III, HG 88 Mk III & Ravensbourne; Sansui adds AU-777 25w £110; Sennheiser; Shirley, Shure, Sinclair Z-12 mono power amp kit with 5 to 15w depensing on PSU used £9 inc PSU, Neoteric 60 15w £57, System 2000 35w £30. The last two are futuristic designery amps that sell for higher prices just for the looks & the rarity; Sony, Teleton SAQ-202E 5w, SAQ-501 50w RMS it says. These are sold under other brands like 'Sound' as we've seen; Trio no valves adds TK-250E 20w £49, Supreme I 33w bass - 23w midrange - 15w treble crazy multiamp system ignoring ideas of phase-shift £280; Tripletone; Truvox TSA-100 10w Germanium AD140 £51, TSA-200 incorrectly noted as "all silicon" £54 but oddly all are known still to be Germanium; Vortexion, Wharfedale, Wye.
Not sold in the UK, but Klein-Hummel ES20 at 30w looks interesting, with a Rogers Ravenbourne style build in and out & a brand rated by others. With DIN sockets as a EU brand. We'd try one if we saw one.
The Construction Kits section offers an interesting brand, not a familiar one to us, but not just low powered items. Knight-Kit of Essex are not a brand we've noticed before, but they offer an 80w RMS Amplifier kit! A bit more than the Heathkit 10w efforts, 80w kit is very advanced & perhaps beyond all but the most experienced builder. We'll list Tuners, Integrated amps & Receivers: Knight-Kit KG765A AM/FM tuner £63 complete kit inc case, KG790 AM/FM tuner £111, KG795 FM tuner £43, KG980 FM Receiver 34w £82, KG964 AM/FM Receiver 36w £122, KG240 Valve amplifier £26, KG854 34w amplifier £57, KG865 34w amplifier £45, KG870 28w amplifier £62, KG895 80w RMS amplifier £105. KM15 12w mono valve amplifier £20. The 80w KG895 looks smart as do they all, why didn't they sell better? The brand shown as 'Electroniques' prop S.T.C. in their advert on page 317.
The year adds more Active speakers as the Lifestyle Hifi of the previous year continues as with Systems. Modern ideas at last for the average buyer to get some reasonable Hifi, Valves are being abandoned now with only a very few older models still selling, or at least being offered. In 1969 people were very fashion-conscious if they could afford it & valves would have been considered well passé to most. As Hifi was updated every two years by the established brands by the Transistor era, this year is not particularly interesting beyond the Richard Allen Class A amps, the 45w Nikko, the 50w Fisher and the best-selling Leak Stereo 70 that was sold 1968-74 under 2 different stules, the Delta 70 is barely different.
The 1970 HFYB range of Amplifiers
aka the 1969/70 HFYB, if they just dropped the "in year" & only put the "main year" as it was issued in Autumn. The last book didn't add much beyond those few & the 1969 ranges are now the Second Generation era of Transistor amps as noted on our What Is A Good Amp page. To us, 1969-1970 amps are still amongst the best as our Top Amps page reveals. Late 1969-1970 musically was pretty boring on the Pop scene to the point of twee blandness, but Rock had the 'Paranoid' & 'Black Night' hits that spawned Heavy Metal, Reggae was charting with Skinhead tunes a plenty, Soul was getting Funky. Still plenty of good music but you generally need to look beyond the weak pop hits to find it. For us as Record Dealers, much non hit Pop is of no value but there still are gems hidden away on B sides of pop junk like the 1970 "Yellow" group 45 on CBS we discovered in the early 1990s. Many record buyers were not using the Hifi we list on the page, the amount still using Radiograms & cheap Portables as well as the cheap Systems was the main way & the Autochanger turntable was still King in this era. Adverts we've seen Herald the arrival of the Seventies, but to most people it was still 1966-68 but with Colour TV & worse pop hits. Only by about 1974 did the style of the Seventies arrive in it's gaudy glory. What will this book bring? Looking at our Receivers page on the 1970 section, we didn't find that too interesting as the best ones we already knew.
For this year, only 20w or higher amps will get mentioned now we are in the Second Generation. There are still plenty of under 20w amps, but they are of little value or interest though anything of interest will be noted.
Acoustical-Quad see Quad as renamed company now; Akai 5000S 35w £85; Armstrong release the 521 the shameful Germanium pile of crap 25w £52; Bang & Olufsen Beolab 5000 60w into 4 ohms £140 beware the lettering wears off; Bradmatic go insane with SSP2 100w into 4 ohms power amp £46; Braun; Bryan; Cambridge Audio P40 20w £64, P80 40w £92; Crown PA power amps D-40 30w £110, DC-300 340w RMS into 4 ohms 190w RMS into 8 ohms for your houseparty £320; Dual; Dynaco ST-70, Stereo 120, SCA-80 50w, ST-80 50w; Ferrograph F-307 20w £56 if first issued in 1968; Fisher only X100-A and TX-1000 now; Goodmans; Grundig SV40M 15w £88, SV85 30w £138, SV140 50w £187, Kerr McCosh; Kirksaeter no range noted; Lafayette LA85T 60w at 4 ohms £49, also LA-224 10w £28 , LA-450 16.5w £40; Leak adds the Stereo 30 Plus all-silicon 15w £359, Stereo 70 again; Lowther predictably same again; Luxman (aka Lux) introduce SQ77T 30w £64, SQ-1220 50w £123, SQ-505 30w £94. Lux was a Soap brand in the UK in the 1970s; Nikko adds minor models TRM-50 17w £59, ST301 10w £80 to the other two; Peak Sound Olympus 25w into 15 ohms + 2 low power ones; Philips all new but 6w RH-580 £26, 10w RH-590 £49 & 20w RH591 £73; Pioneer SA-500 only 13w £54, SA-700 34w £91; Quad; Radford inc the valve amps again; R.E.W. (Earlsfield) & Co CE6000 60w £51 sounds interesting; Richardson SCP preamp £50, SIA100 40w £120, MA135II 30w monoblock amp £40, 'B' version adds extras £47, SA 170 II 30w valve? stereo power amp £65; RLG obscure budget Germanium AD149 10w £16; Rogers Cadet III again, no HG88, Ravensbourne again, adds Ravensbrook 10w £42 it has a Germanium in the Mk I version. There was a 'New Cadet' with a STK amp block horror but never got in the HFYB; Rotel arrive with Rotel 100-AMP 15w £45, RA-840 42w £75; Sansui AU70 25w £76, AU-777 again, AU-222 18w £62, AU-555 25w £80; Scott 299 22w, 260-B 40w; Sennheiser; Shure; Sinclair; Sony TA-1080, TA-1120 again, introduces the pre & power pair TA-2000 pre £129 and TA-3120 50w £90, TA-4300 3 channel frequency divider bi-amping bad idea £72 but not the small monoblocks noted yet; Soundtracks Ltd at Decibel House, Sussex waste our time with SCS1010 7w £34 and SCS7074 4w £26 Germanium junk, laughable & probably this line is their only web presence; J.E. Sugden take over the Richard Allen product with A21 Series Two 12w Class A £56, C51 preamp £42, A51 class A power amp 25w £65; Telefunken V201 25w £153, V250 35w £89, not sure if £153 price is right; Trio Supreme 1 again, KA-2000 13w £36, KA-2500 2ow £52, KA-4000 41w £78, KA-6000 58w noted if 45w RMS really £105. The TK-250E of the previous year is now the KA-2500 rebranded. Tripletone fade away with outdated low power items; Truvox TSA-200 still wrongly stated as Silicon; Vortexion; Welbrook of Stockport SK1 obscure brand with W.30 15w £52; AMP103 15w £8 mono, £15 stereo; Whiteley Stereo 30 15w £66; Wye.
The Biggest Hifi Con was in this year as Armstrong actually made a Germanium transistor amp that was sold until 1973, see the Armstrong page for more salty deservedness. Grundig get more power in their amps, look worth a try for us but never seen these early ones. Some brands are putting their best efforts into the Receivers for the UK market sold items as Pioneer especially proves. The R.E.W CE6000 is perhaps the most interesting unknown but likely unfindable. For Shirley to still offer the 1960 looking Jupiter in 1970 will have looked so out of place, it's a build in a box type amp, but only £23 for a 12w amp. The Sugden A51/C51 pre-power 25w Class A is interesting but rarely seen. We type up this later paragraph to note ones that interest us that we don't know of & there really isn't very much. It's like watching all the "Wheeler Dealers" episodes & enjoying them, then looking at the show listing & finding out you've seen the lot in 8 weeks watching! Oh well, time for new.
The 1971 HFYB range of Amplifiers
By now it's clear there really isn't much we've not already encountered & the unknown ones are impossible to find. We'll keep it at the 20w limit or interesting unknowns until 1973 when in Receivers 30w became the limit as it was getting too uninteresting. 1971 music scene was pretty much like 1970, you had to dig deeper to find the better music, but as the 1970s until Punk arrived, the amount of music we know is collectable or good to play still diminishes year by year. This year brings in Decimal Currency so out with the LSD in more ways than one. We were too young to know 1971 except retrospectively, but it doesn't sound a very interesting time to us, so we'll just get on with the Amplifiers...
Acoustic Research AR Amplifier 60w £174; Akai; A/R/D 2000 only 10w £47; Armstrong; Bang & Olufsen; Bradmatic none listed; Bryan 9000/50 20w £60; Bush part of the Rank Bush Murphy (& Leak) range only 11w A746 £36; Cambridge Audio P40 again, P100 50w £105; Crown; Dual; Dynaco; Dynatron SA90 45w £62, also made endless tacky expensive repro furniture radiograms; Eagle only TSA.20 is 20w mono? £27, TSA.500 25w £59; Ferrograph; Fisher; Goldring/Lenco VV7 preamp £8, Goodmans still with the 1965 Maxamp now £54; Grundig SV85 & SV140 again; Kerr McCosh still with the 1966 CWA40 monoblock amp 40w £45; Lafayette LA85T again; Leak; Lowther again; Luxman (Lux) again; Midland will probably be all under 20w RMS but are 19-325 9w music power £29, 129-350 20w music £39, 19-375 25w music £46, best to list save wonder & no pics shown; Millbank look like PA gear MTA301 30w mono amp £62, MTA501 50w mono amp £76, MTA1001 100w RMS mono amp £103 + various preamp modules; Mullard introduce the low power modules to make an amp to build in a case, pre, two types of power amp & power supply all plug together, about 10w only; National (Panasonic) SA-73 only 16w £73 but it's a classy brand like the receiver we had; Nikko; Peak Sound; Philips; Pioneer; Quad; Radford still the valves etc; Radon feeble 4w Stereo 60 & 10w System 500; Revox enter with the A50 25w £106 from c1968; Richardson; Rogers; Rotel only 100-AMP now; Sansui again, no AU-999 shown though; Scott; Sennheiser; Sinclair; Sony as 1970, adds TA-1144 30w amp £94 looks like the 15w TA-1010 £59; Stentorian (Whiteley) Stereo 30 15w £72; J E Sugden; Telefunken; Teleton SAQ 203E only 6w £28, GA101 15w £37, SAQ 501S 25w £51, Trio (Kenwood) again; Uher (Bosch) CV140 35w £174 low profile EU styled; Vortexion; Welbrook; Wye last two only low power
Unusual to see two early Transistor amps from 1965 & 1966 still being sold in 1971, Goodmans & Kerr McCosh, but they were wisely silicon ones so they didn't need to update. Never tried either yet. Lowther are taking the mick still selling basically the same Valve range as they had in 1959 from the start of Stereo! This is ridiculous & by seeing some of the rather crudely made things selling for very high prices on ebay, to notice how low the serial numbers are perhaps explains their severe lack of progress & not many sold, they were still offered for sale as they were not wanted anymore. There must be unopened boxes of the things somewhere. As expected, not very interesting beyond the PA gear you don't see as trashed long ago by doing the party-hearty effects.
The 1972 HFYB range of Amplifiers
We had nothing much to say about 1972 on the Receivers page either, On with the amps... Having had a quick scan through what there is, it's still with new small companies coming & going, established brands still with the same models, Lowther still offering 1959 designs & the horror of Alba & Amstrad two of the most chavvy brands arrive. Alan Sugar made his money wisely selling mass market crap by the ton as did Ratners (who admitted it) & reading elsewhere an Amstrad was sold at the weekend & often brought back faulty on the Monday!
Acoustic Research AR Universal Amplifier 60w £174 no different to 1971 really; Alba UA700 15w £34 acceptable crap; Amstrad Stereo 8000 7w £26 laughable crap; Armstrong; Bang & Olufsen; Bradmatic SSP2 100w, SSP1 50w & more not noted; Bryan; Cambridge Audio; Crown International London NW1 with the big PA amps; Crown Radio Co Ltd London E1 unrelated to the PA lot 15w SHC-51 £81; Dual; Dynaco; Dynatron SA 90 again, HFC90 is the same with a turntable; Eagle, FAL, Futuristic Aids Ltd Leeds, Phase 44 20w £42 Phase 25 Class A 12w £56; Ferrograph; Goodmans; Grundig; Heco ampli 30w £75; Hitachi no details; Kampbel Stereo Simulator fakes Stereo from Mono, hopeless battery powered £10; James B Lansing (JBL) SA660 60w £228; Leak; Luxman (Lux) SQ707 17w £59, SQ503 30w £88, SQ202 80w £210, SQ507 60w £124; Millbank; National Panasonic again; Nikko TRM 1200 40w £98, Nivico (JVC) 5007B 12w £39, SEA-100E sound effects-preamp 346, MCA-V7 integrated amp with sound effects generator to make 2 channel into 4 channel - stupid idea 45w £110, MCA-104EB 16w similar effects thing £72, MCA-105E 50w £130, why all the naff gimmicks though; Peak Sound; Philco-Ford M1550 12w £40 basic but clean sound, the first amp we knew, see it's page; Philips; Pioneer adds SA-900 60w £133 to the other SA500 & SA700; Quad; Radford updates with SPA-50 50w power amp £80, PA50 mono power amp £55; Revox; Richardson; Rogers; Rotel RA310 20w £45, RA610 32w £69; Sansui adds AU-101 15w £40 this amp sold well, AU-555A 25w £86, AU-666 35w £109, AU-999 50w £166; Sony only TA-4300, TA-1144, TA-1010 & TA-2000 shown; J E Sugden; Telefunken; Teleton; Trio (Kenwood) mix of ranges KA-2000A 16w, KA-2002 17w £39, KA-4000, KA-4002 24w £57, KA-6000, KA-5002 exists too likely 30-35w; Uher (Bosch); Vortexion.
What is noticeable is quite a few small minor UK brands with basic under 15w amps being offered, hoping to get sales seeing how Comet type shops were popular selling mass market basic goods. Not everyone understood the better stuff & were upgrading from Radiograms that were as old fashioned as Valves. Valves got revived, most Radiograms are landfill. Minor brands, imports & London based obscurities may be collectable but low power keeps them cheap. A few interesting but rare higher power ones JBL SA660 60w, Luxman SQ202 80w, Luxman SQ507 60w, Pioneer SA-900 we've not had yet.
The 1973 HFYB range of Amplifiers
1973-74 brings the Fourth Generation of Transistor Hifi Amplifiers. Higher power amps started to become more numerous & for those liking good looking amps, really only the higher powered ones got more spent on looks & the luxurious veneered wooden cases cheapened into disappointing vinyl wrap, then part of the lid then just a tin box with no wood. The early Transistor era is now over, harsh capitalism & cost cutting will soon be the normal & if you know how the UK was in these post 1972 years, inflation, Europe, power cuts, strikes & short working weeks shows it's not a time of luxury again until about 1977 when Jubilee, Punk & Disco are the news. Looking through the pages, similar to the 1972 developments with 3 important brands Harman-Kardon, Marantz & Teac getting their first showing in the UK as well as Yamaha for the first time in amps. There was still a good range of Amplifiers to buy in 1973 as our Top Amps page shows, many a few years old and still available & at last Lowther update slightly. Not as many photos this year, pics in with the text. We'll keep to 30w as well as any that are interesting as the sound still buyable is still in our Early era enough, but by 1974 it will change to 40w as we found too many low powered items doing the receivers. Not that they aren't of use today, but they are not 'money' items and go amid general used vintage prices. Still some valve amps are available, if likely just unsold stock in hope someone wants these then very out of date items.
Acoustic Research; A/R/D again note the pic looks like one of those Naim amps; Argon no details; Armstrong; Bradmatic no details; Bryan again & a hint of another; Cambridge Audio; Canterbury Audio Stereo 80 Series 35w various options £32-£40;
Crown Intl again, adds IC-150 preamp with ICs, not Hifi then; Dynaco; Eagle; Elgar Elgar Integrated 18w £59; FAL again; Fantavox A3550 only 20w £40, A3525 9w £50; Ferrograph; Gabraphone from Kent Type 2001 35w into 4 ohms, modular multichannel amps 4Ch £295, 6Ch £325, 8Ch £357, 12Ch £475, we wonder what it would be used for, 12 channels is insane; Grampian 743 50w mono amp, 7431 adds a meter, 744 100w mono amp £142, 7441 with extras; Grundig again; Harman-Kardon Citation 11 preamp £179, Citation 12 60w power amp £179; Heco; Helme (as PF & AR Helme) Atlantis 100 55w possibly kit related as other product is; H/H Electronic of Cambridge IC-100S 100w pro power amp with tone controls, ABS plastic case with Bison grain! £96, IC-100 similar with protection circuit £129, but IC suggests ICs are in the main, TPA series 50w-200w iodular Pro gear; IMF Products of High Wycombe IMF Galactron IC Mk 10 70w £298 with 4 to 8 ICs & DF of 100+ suggests PA gear with a stupid name; JB Lansing (JBL) again; Leak again; Lowther we are a bit sick of. Still trying to sell ancient 1959 amps in 1973! LL18 18w mono amp £27, LL26 MK II 26w mono amp EL34 valve £47, L18S valve stereo amp EL506 £47, a new LA20 integrated 10w Class A amp £82 still looks like a 1966 amp & will be very rare; Luxman (Lux) SQ707, SQ503, SQ202, SQ507, 503X 20w £98, 507X 50w £155; Marantz enter with an impressive line-up: Model 1030 15w £79, Model 1060 30w £110, Model 1200 100w £399, Model 3300 preamp £255, Model 250 125w power amp £329; Metrosound ST60 30w £70; Millbank; Nikko; Nivico (JVC) same silly amps; Onkyo enter with Integra 725 22w £98, a brand so tiresomely common on ebay for budget modern stuff, the early stuff isn't around though; Philco-Ford; Philips RH580, RH590, RH521 30w; Pioneer SA-500A 13w £45, SA-700, SA-900, SA-1000 94w RMS into 4 ohms £148, SA-800 39w RMS into 4 ohms £120; Quad again; Radford again; Revox; Richardson adds STA 200 100w power amp £160, STA 100 50w power amp £110 & still SA170 Mk 2 & MA135 Mk 2 valve amps; Rogers Ravensbourne, Ravensbrook Mk II 15w £55 probably updates a Germanium; Rotel RA310, RA610, new RA210 is only 8w though £35; Saba VS80 45w music £85; Sansui AU-101 15w, AU-222 18w, AU-555 25w, AU-666 35w, AU-888 45w £152; AU-999 50w. An excess of amps with 3-5w difference is careless; Sanyo DCA1400 20w; Servo Sound SC1000BEE preamp for use with active speakers £60; Sony TA-1010 15w £53, TA-70 10w, TA-88 10w mini system amp £43, TA-1055 20w £63, TA-1130 75w (65w actually) £155, TA-1140 45w (35w actually) £110, TA-3140F 45w half size power amp £70, TA-3200F now 110w up from 45w for the early very similar looking TA-3120 £119 actually 100w RMS as the manual states, if no preamp shown to match; J E Sugden again; Sykes + Hirsch of London SE10 Compacta 30w £65; Telefi which is a TV to amp adaptor accessory really, in the days when TV had live mains on the chassis; Teac AS-100 actually 40w if not rated £107, AS-200 again 40w rated but a 1968 design £170, AE-200 power amp ??w, AN40 Dolby noise reduction. AN80 upspec version of AN40; Telefunken V201 & V250 again; Trio (Kenwood) with 3 eras of amp KA2000A, KA2002, KA4000, KA4002, KA6004 55w, KF6011 noise reduction; Uher; Vortexion; Wharfedale Linton 15w £60 supposedly based on a Leak Stereo 30; Yamaha CA-500 22w £75, CA-700 60w £100.
So some new brands that are familar today enter, Trio having three eras of Hifi still available is odd, Still Valve amps, lots of low powered minor brand stuff, imagine a book of all the Made In China crap of today. The Hifi market has established itself more now with Budget, Midprice, Quality & PA gear, as well as the Home Constructor Kits that were more popular in early days, a glance shows Richard Allen with Speaker Kits not Sugden amps now, Heathkit still making Transistor Amp kits though you see very few of them though AR-29 is a 35w receiver £159 that may not be a kit, AA-22U is a 20w amp kit £33, Henry's Radio as Henelec; Impex; Mullard; Sinclair are the only ones offering Amplifiers, the rest are speaker kits, SME parts & Vero board items.
The 1974 HFYB range of Amplifiers
As the Economy of 1974 was difficult, doing this year by year really does show trends growing & the low points as cost cutting have to be employed to keep companies afloat. The 1974 HFYB cover is a bit antiquated, 1957 Quad ESLs & 1968 Quad 303 system, was this a subliminal message? The book grows thicker as more items & more ads a bit unaware of what 1974 would bring, ie powercuts to not use Hifi in. Well up the power limit to 40w now, unless notable, as the era is becoming less interesting to us & with many pages to wade through many we'd never consider buying. Quadrophonic amps & Receivers get a separate section in the book but we're not interested in an obsolete format & for the 4 channels ICs will often be used as space inside is limited. 1974 was a pretty poor year for music, Pop reigned supreme though Reggae apart from the Pop end of it had mostly gone more underground as had Soul, but still enough to keep us interested when we can Timetravel back there again shortly. 1974 was a garish colours & flares year as we see it in hindsight, we got our first Portable tinny radio this year though too young to remember the music beyond hearing it years later. A year of queing for Petrol as well as miserable Power cuts means Hifi would not get much use, so why buy any? We think it's bleak today but they'd never dare powercut us as we'd all lose the will to live! Are we too dependent on that invisible stuff hidden in wires? Nearly 40 pages of Amplifiers including photos & the odd advert. Listing all 40w only unless interesting or notable, even if repeated from before. Some prices not inc VAT as just introduced.
Acoustic Research Intl AR Universal Amplifier 60w £121; Akai AA5800 45w £178; Amcron D60 power amp 42w stereo & 100w mono bridged probably £140, D150 100w stereo & 330w mono, DC300A 200w stereo 650w mono, crazy PA amps; Armstrong 621 40w £76 finally ditching the Germaniums; Astronic none detailed; Bradmatic none detailed; Bryan The Leader LE720 35w 396 daft name; Dual CV120 40w £143; Dynaco Stereo 120 power amp 35w £126, SCA-80 50w £167, ST80 50w £112, ST-400 hefty 200w power amp £297 not as a kit; FAL Phase 44 30w £47, Plase 25 12w Class A £59; Ferrograph F307 20w 1968 design one £68; Fisher none detailed of the post sell-off brand; Grampian 743 (7431) 50w £128 (£134), 744 (7441) 100w £142 (£148) power amps with minor varieties; Hanimex no details; Harman-Kardon Citation 12 60w power amp £185; Harwell Instruments 100 10w mono power amp £80; H/H Electronic IC-100 (s) 100w pro power amp with Tone £129 (£96); Hitachi IA-1000 50w, IA-600 27w £95; IMF Electronics 75w £298, JVC-Nivico VN700 40w £140, VN900 £169 plus other lower power & 4 channel amps; Leak new with Delta 30 15w £77, Delta 70 £94; Lecson AP1 55w power amp £82, AP2 70w power amp £104; Loewe Opta no details; Lowther still with 1959 valve amps L18, LL26 Mk II, L18S & LA20 10w Class A range; Lustraphone LP100 50w £118; Luxman (as Lux) SQ707 20w £79, SQ202 80w £267, (SQ)507X 50w £198, SQ505X 35w £165; Marantz again with Model 1030 15w £82, Model 1060 30w £121, Model 1200 100w £412, Model 3300 preamp £258, Model 250 125w power amp £335, adds Model 1120 60w £242; McIntosh at last gets a mention, but never any listing; Millbank MEX-3 mono module amp 30w £94 or 50w £110 or 100w £150, MEX-5 similarly £101, £117 & £167, MEX-1001C 100w mono power amp £145 will have confused buyers; National-Panasonic SU3000 £70, SU3400 £125, SU3600 £160 no other details; Nikko TRM-1200 40w £132; Pioneer SA-1000 94w RMS into 4 ohms £168; Quad 50/E 50w, 303 power amp 45w £62; Radford SPA-50 50w power amp £98, PA-50 50w mono power amp £65; Revox A78 40w £149; Richardson Electronics STA.200 100w, STA.100 50w; Rogers still Ravensbourne 35w £75, Ravensbrook Mk III 13w £57; Rotel RA810 60w £116, RA1210 80w £141; Saba VS80 45w music power £95; Sansui AU7500 43w £197, AU9500 80w £316; Scientelec from Surrey obscurity: Elysee 30 30w £122, Club A25 25w £122, Club A40 40w £134, Mach A30 30w £204, Mach A50 50w £230 never seen any; Sonab P4000 55w £136, Sony full range: TA-1010 15w £50, TA-70 10w £35, TA-88 10w £45, TA-1055 20w £70, TA-1130 '75w' actually 65w £140, TA-1140 '45w' actually 35w £100, TA-3140F 35w power amp £65, TA-3130F 50w power amp £90, TA-1066 17.5w, TA-1150 35w; Sugden A21 Series Three 20w Class AB it says £80, A48 40w £104, P51 45w or 100w bridged £88; Tandberg TA300 35w £90; Teac AS-100 actually 40w £137, AE-200 ??? £75; Trio-Kenwood KA200A 16w £39, KA2002 17w £47, KA4002 24w £62, KA6004 '55w' actually 43w £115, KA8004 '70w' actually 60w £150; Tripletone Hi-Fi 1818 Mk II 40w music power £53; Uher CV140 35w £150; Vortexion with 1968 range CP50 40w, Mixer Amp 20/30 20w, 100 watt power amp, 200w power amp, 4C/FET/100W power amp inc Tone; Wilkinson/Form of Northumberland Stereo Amplifier 55w £110; Yamaha CA-500 22w £98, CA-700 60w £141.
Plenty of low powered amps, several new obscure brands, McIntosh gets listed but never gets any detailed, Wilmex of London distributors clearly failed. Predictably Lowther still trying to flog it's unwanted aged Valve amps, laziest Hifi company ever! Some high power Pro amps with Amcron's 650w monoblock bridged amp a huge power to drive a long line of 50w speakers as no 650w speakers, Amcron made no speakers to use with them. Still some hangover amps from the 1971 era & some higher power amps arriving now, but at the wrong time.
The 1975 HFYB range of Amplifiers
The year of bland pop & probably together with 1976 the dullest years for Pop music since 1953. Rod Stewart's dirge 'Sailing' & the Bay City Rollers to blame. Soul-Funk was still interesting & a few charted, Reggae was starting to go away from the Pop scene beyond novelties like 'Fattie Bum Bum' and emerged as Roots, Bob Marley & later Lovers Rock. Rock itself was lazy too with Prog over, Glam fading & perhaps only Queen to add some quality, UK No 1 LPs included several artists Greatest Hits: Tom J, Engelbert & Stylistics then somehow Max Boyce No 1 LP with comedy! Beyond the growing USA Underground that spawned Punk, safe sleepy pop-rock was the thing. Next... For Hifi, the past year or so will have been hard with investments in brave products going unresolved. Quadrophonics inevitably failed though the success story was Cassette fuelled by big sales of Music Centres & the like which had one by default. 45 pages covers the Amps section inc Photos.
*STOP PRESS begins in the 1975 HFYB, so any relevant are included with the main items.
Akai; Amcron; Armstrong; Bose Power Amp 250w £548; Brahms SA9100 70w, SA1800 60w; Cambridge Audio P110 50w £145; Denon introduced with PMA-500 40w ; Dual; EMI 1515 only 15w £47 if first since valve era; ESS ESS 500M 250w power amp £424, ESS 200 100w £242; Ferrograph finally update the F307 slightly & in a new case to F208 aka 20+20 20w £78, F608 aka 60+60 £149; Fisher no details; Galactron Model 10 Mk 10 90w, Mk100 100w power amp dist by Goodmans; Goodmans Forty-Forty actually 35w into 4 ohms £78; Grampian; Hanimex still no details; Harman-Kardon; Harrison from London S200 "wholly British" 75w into 7.5 ohm £186; Helme Atlantis 100 55w £119; H/H Electronic adds TPA Series D pro power amps 50w-200w; Hitachi; JVC (no Nivico now); Leak new range with Rank designs 2100 30w £107, 2200 45w £135; Lecson; Loewe Opta still no details; Lowther yawn; Lustraphone; Luxman (as Lux) SQ707, (SQ)507X, SQ505X, adds SQ200X 20w £121, L309 75w £305, CL350 preamp £209, M150 75w power amp £253; Major of London look nice but AS-8000 no power rating 30w+ £145; Marantz add Quadro kit we're not listing; McIntosh still no details; Millbank only MEX-1001C; National-Panasonic; Nikko; Onkyo Model 732 56w; Philips usually low powered hit 30w with RH521 £135; Phoenix of London Phoenix 77 only 10w £29 why bother; Photax-Concertone Model 420 12w £67, Model 620 18w £80 & Model 80B 34w £107 we had this last one; Pioneer SA7100 25w £159, SA8100 50w £229, SA9100 50w £229 inputs vary on 8100-9100; Quad; Radford HD22 preamp £100, HD250 50w £185, HD502 50w £110, HD504 quadro version £185; Revox A78, A722 45w £186; Richardson Electronics SA170 Mk 2 & MA135 Mk 2 valve amps reappear; Rogers; Rotel adds RA611 35w £104; Saba; SAE (Gale) pro gear Mark 111 CM 200w power amp £625, Mark 1VCM 100w power amp £380, Mark XXX 1B 50w £195 also preamps & EQ; Sansui; Sherwood Model S-9400 50w £162; Sonab; Sony TA-70, TA-88, TA-1055, TA-1130, TA-3140F, TA-3130F, TA-1066, TA-1150; Sugden; Tandberg; Teac only AS-100; Trio-Kenwood KA-2000A, KA-2002, KA-4002A, KA-6004, KA-8004, KA-4004 18w; Uher; Vortexion; Wharfedale Denton 1 12w £53, Linton Mk 2 20w into 6 ohms £69; Wilkinson/Form; Yamaha arrive with the first classic range, also earlier CA-500 22w £105, CA-700 60w £156, CA-400 20w £89, CA-600 30w £144, CA-800 45w £214, CA-1000 70w £274 Class A on last two.
Not a great year for Hifi either, with only the 1973-74 Yamaha range being of more interest. The prices on Yamaha must have confused buyers, but the newer range was High Quality, the earlier ones just Midprice. More high power Pro gear including an odd one by Bose unusually more known for glossy mag Lifestyle systems not PA gear. Lowther probably are still trying to sell their valve amps even today, will they ever wake up & make something new? Wharfedale budget amps but odd they used the names on speakers too.
The 1976 HFYB range of Amplifiers
The Very Hot Summer we just about remember as stone paving was hot & cats hid up trees to cool down aided by the typist throwing water at said feline to help said quest for heat removal, but the ungrateful Siamese beast merely scarpered. The Music of 1976 is the same deal as 1975 except more Abba. How the hell did Slim Whitman spend 6 weeks as No 1 UK LP & other similar Greatest Hits were all a No 1 LP was with Beach Boys there for weeks. Only 'Rock Follies' offered something fresher & it was just Theatre music. A just-scratched-my-arse-with-it finger in the eye to the dull establishment with Dr Feelgood getting a No 1 LP in October a miracle but then Abba, Bert Weedon & Glen Campbell keep it boring again. Must have been a frustrating time listening to the Radio just hearing dull music, not too long to wait now. But in Hifi land, things were looking up & the start of the Monster Amp & receiver wars was starting as cash became more unwilling to stay put once again. This will have started the Mass Exodus of Better Quality Earlier Hifi to the Attic as New was Always better said the adverts in a time when such was still believed. The typist first saw 8-tracks & the pleasure of hearing Tom Jones, Englebert & Jack Jones 'Gingerbread Man' were the songs played by one's folks who found enjoyment in 4 hour car rides on a Sunday, if never really going anywhere. Bizarre. Boring! Amps section covers 44 pages inc Photos & Ads.
Accuphase are a classy start with P-250 100w power amp 3320, E-202 100w £375, P-300 150w power amp £450 & C-200 preamp £330; Akai AA5810 50w £150; Alba remarkably UA900 40w into 4 ohms; Alpha FA-600 32w their highest power one; Amcron; Amstrad IC 2000 Mk III 25w £59 to join Alba; A/R/D 2000 Series 2 15w £62, 2000 Series 3 35w £82 confusingly; Armstrong; BGW new Pro power amps from London: BGW Model 500D 200w £575, BGW Model 250(B) 85w £299, BGW Model 750A 200w £675, BGW 1000 250w; Bose 1800 250w; Cambridge Audio P110, Classic 1 60w; Cerwin Vega Model A-1800 S 250w power amp £450, Model A-3000 400w RMS into 8 ohms stereo power amp biggie; Denon PMA-500 40w £170, PMA-350Z 27w £130; Eagle A2004 30w £65, A2006 30w £85 start their escape from Budget items; ESS; Exposure another new familar-today brand with Pro Gear: Phase Linear 400B 201w power amp £435, Phase Linear 700B 350w+ 55lb £574, Phase Linear 4000 preamp 18lb £488; Ferrograph noted as F208 & F608 this time; Fisher finally get listed if only a TX-55 23w £82; Futuristic Aids Ltd (FAL) no details; Gabraphone Stereo 80 series 35w kit amp sort of units; Galactron; Goodmans; Griffin TOC80 preamp electronic touch operation like B+O 1900 £190; Harman-Kardon (even HFYB mispell it); Harrison; H/H Electronic; Hitachi IA1000, IA6000, HA300 20w £85; JVC JAS5 40w £168, JAS8 55w £194, JA-S310 25w £80 plus 4 channel ones, JVC get the ad opposite the Contents page; Kenwood (Trio) get two listings names: 700C preamp £300; 700M 170w power amp £430; Kensonic C-200 preamp 14kg £330 but a naff name; Leak; Loewe Opta never get listed, no idea; Luxman (as Lux); Macel Electronics Brown Mark I 70w 20lb £290 bizarre name; Marantz 1030, 1060, 1120, 250, Model 1200B 100w £425, Model 240 250w power amp £245 3600 preamp £305, 3800 preamp, plus several Quadro ones; McIntosh no details; Millbank; Mustang budget PA range: SS100 150w into 7.5 ohms £110, SS50 80w into 7.5 ohms £83; Nikko; Onkyo; Philips; Photax-Concertone; Pioneer full range: SA-5300 10w, SA-6300 20w, SA-7300 40w, SA-7500 45w likely as typo, SA-8500 65w, SA-9500 65w (actually 80w), SA-9900 110w, M3 Exclusive 150w power amp, C3 Exclusive preamp; Quad; Radford adds ZD2100 200w power amp £245; Revox; Richardson Electronics; Rogers adds Panthera A75 37.5w £92 based on Ravensbourne layout case; Rotel adds RA-810 45w £145, RA-1210 60w £182; Saba; Sansui AU9500, AU2200 15w, AU4400 26w, AU550 26w, AU7700 54w; Sonab; Sony most of 1975 adds TA-5650 65w, TA-8650 90w 20.8kg; Sugden; Tandberg; Technics (National-Panasonic renamed) SE-9600 110w power amp £407, SU-9600 pre £287, SU-3500 43w £157, SU-3200 20w £110, SU-3000 12w £64; Teleton confusingly 8 amplifiers none higher than 8-16w; Toshiba another familar new brand: SB-300 17w, SB-500 35w, SB-514 35w & quadro gear; Trio-Kenwood again using both brand names this year only: KA-4002A, KA-6004, KA-8004, KA-4004, KA-1200G or B 13w £57 gold or black finish, KA-1600G or B 20w £92, 700C preamp £300, 700M power amp 170w £430 listed under both names oddly; Wharfedale; Yamaha CA-400, CA-600, CA-800, CA-1000, B1 150w all FET power amp, C1 preamp, UC1 control unit, these are in a user manual we have, see Yamaha page
No more Lowther is a high point. Quite a lot of 100w-400w Pro Power Amps in the listings, not really Domestic Hifi & rarely seen as long ago blown up from heavy partay-ang or too much draught from the flares. Probably some of this info on them is a Web First & it's interesting to read. The amount of stupidly named Hifi based on Star Trek is amusing. Some brands still familiar today appear, though quite a few casualties noted by their non-appearance over the last few yearbooks. Some high powered amps that we've not seen before might be good compares to Yamaha, but the prices will be high as the era is entering the stuff the less historic Hifi buyer knows, probably from when it was new. Trio-Kenwood getting listed under both names is odd. Loewe Opta we keep listing as they may be good or average, Googling reveals a German brand of some age with old 1950s radios & TVs so probably just budget gear so we'll ignore.
The 1977 HFYB range of Amplifiers
The No 1 Singles & LPs of 1977 were still the bland safe pop of the few years before, but at long last something More Remarkable was arriving. Yes. The most boring track Hot Chocolate made managed to get to Number One yet Punk was spitting out it's diseased spleen in that wonderful way it did. Sinatra could still get a No 1 LP even in this year as well as all the Greatest Hits. The year of The Jubilee where schools held twee Jubilee Parties & gave out those big Silver Crown coins in PVC pouches, perhaps the last year of Britain's Innocence as by 1980 the Queen Mother crown coin wasn't so wanted as times had changed. God Save The Queen - Fascist Regime - Made You A Moron made you feel alive again after the dull years before. Unless you were born this year & missed All The Good Stuff, like Flared Trousers, Beige & Brown decor & Shag Pile Carpet. But Punk would have been played on BSR Fidelity crappy record players the cheapest possible plastic nastiness bought in Woolworths or Laskys, no Johnny Rotten on the Bang & Olly ma'am. But in most areas as with Flower Power, it passed over the heads of many but Punk did keep music Fresh with New Wave & Powerpop until it died out suddenly in 1983. 1977 brought in a Bang & Olly, the 1900 futuristic wedge thing, must have looked insane but they've not aged well as they were more style than quality. 1977 was big heavy stupid Monster Receivers Wars as started by Pioneer's tin cans as on the other page about Receivers, do we have to type that link too & not credit the readers with intelligence to go find that page by themselves? Oh they may complain these days if they're not told obvious things? The Moron as sneeringly predicted has been made the Official Ambassador of modern life. On with the Hifi... and in the ear with the safety pin.
Accuphase add M60 300w mono power amp; Akai; Alba; Amcron; A/R/D only Mk IV 35w £95; Armstrong; Bose; Cambridge Audio only P60 30w; Cerwin Vega; Dunlap Clarke (Exposure) Dreadnought 1000 250w power amp 1000w into 2 ohms, how useful, Dreadnought 500 150w power amp; Ferrograph now F208 20w £94, F608 60w £162 these are the 3rd era silver front ones now; Goodmans; Harman-Kardon A401 20w £105, Citation 16 150w power amp £465, Citation 11 preamp £228, Citation 12 De Luxe 60w power amp £209; Hitachi IA1000, IA600, HA-610 60w, HA-300 20w; Heathkit in the main amp section with AP 1615 preamp £75, AA-1640 power amp 200w? £272 not kits though; JVC JA-58 55w; Leak; Lecson (stop press only) as 1978; LG Sound Systems L2800 50w £208, L2600 40w £92, L2600G 40w £120, L2400G 27w £104, L2400 27w £82 not sure why G more expensive beyond black buttons; Luxman (as Lux) L309, CL350, M150, L100 100w £500, L80V 50w £210, L80 40w £175, L30 32w £120, M4000 200w power amp £850, M6000 300w power amp £1375, C1000 preamp £475, 3600 preamp £346, Model 1200B 100w £472, Model 1120 60w £317; Macel; Marantz full range: 510(M) 256w pro power amp, 250 126w pro power amp £387, 240 125w power amp £258, Model 1030 15w £89, Model 1060 30w £137, 3200 preamp £137, 1040 20w £137, 140 75w power amp £206; NAD (in stop press only) 60 30w £137, 90 45w £163, NAD 200 100w £298; Nikko TRM-600 30-40w?, TRM-800 65w £185; Pioneer; Quad 33, 303, 50E, 405 100w power amp £115; Radford full range: ZD22 preamp £165, HD250 50w £220, ZD25 preamp £210, ZD25H preamp, ZD2-100 75w £325, ZD100 90w power amp £275, ZD200 150w power amp £400 also pro versions of ZD100 & ZD200 with XLR & transformers; Revox; Rogers; Rotel RA1210, RA812, RA1212 70w £109, RA1412 110w £316; Sansui; Sonab; Sony now just TA-70, TA-88, TA-5650, TA-8650, TA-3140F; Sugden; Tandberg; Trio-Kenwood KA-1200G, KA-1200B, 700C, 700M, KA-3300 30w £78, KA-5500 55w, KA-7300 65w, KA-8300 80w, Model 6000 130w; Yamaha.
Not the most interesting year at all beyond the huge Luxman power amps & L-100. The HFYBs were always a bit late as these were 1975 amps. Brands gone from previous years again. A mix of good quality amps from previous years & a hinting of the future with 'Prestige' sort of amps arriving. Not as many under 40w amps now as that buyer was probably buying a system now to save more. A few 100w-110w integrated amps. From the 1978 listing, this book leaves out some Brands entirely & sadly was the norm for the rest of the series.
The 1978 HFYB range of Amplifiers
'Blondie' were the big thing this year, even if DH herself was older than the typists mom. Orange Tango was 15p in this year when bought from a shop with a straw and the Xmas brought that 'Simon' dumb computer game to our lives. As Supermarkets became more popular, shovelling down cheesy Ringos was de facto for life as was eating Ready Brek dry with added sugar, bizarre. 1978 was the year the Family Shop stopped selling spuds & went into selling old Junk which interested the typist greatly. Said typist found a 1930s Gold nib Parker pen in a drawer in these early chaotic days that others missed & still has it today. Other people's unwanted Junk became our New Possessions for little money. The Steptoe era had arrived chez us though as times changed over the following 15 years that era was soon sadly long gone, with really only the one we got our Garrard 301 being an exception around the London area for it's brief surreal time. Strictly only 40w+ from now on as 1977 Receivers sent us to ennui & back. This issue tediously misses brands that are in 1977 & in 1979.
Accuphase; Akai AM 2400 40w £162; Alba; Amcron; A/R/D; Armstrong; Audio Kraft Power Amplifier 100w; BGW as 1976; Bose; Cambridge Audio P80 40w £165; Dual CU 121-1 40w integrated says the pic £223; Dunlap-Clarke; Eagle A6400 40w £115, A6600 55w £138; Harman-Kardon; Harrison; Hitachi HA-610 60w £240; Leak 3900A 80w £284 Japanese made amp; Lecson AP1 50w power amp £140 that tall corrugated tube one; Lenco A50 40w £155; Marantz (Stop Press only) with most of 1977 & 1979; Monogram 3000 40w £269, 3050 75w power amp £329, 3200 150w with Class A £485, 3300 200w with Class A £595, Mustang as 1976; NAD 90 45w £137, NAD 200 100w £299; Naim NAP 160 50w power amp not speaker typo; Nytech A250 50w; Phase Linear 700B 345w power amp £452(typo), 400 201w power amp £452 also?, 200 105w power amp £381; Pioneer SA-9500 II 80w, SA-8500II 60w, SA-7500II 45w; Quad; Radford some of previous; Revox; Rogers Panthera A75 37.5w £95, A75 Series 2 45w £135 for the comparison; Rotel RA-1212, RA-1412, RA-1312, RA-712; Sansui AU4900 38w £174, AU5900 50w £246, AU7900 80w £338, AU9900 80w also but £559; Setton (Stop Press only) AS-5500 55w £294, AS-1100 40w £209, if only BS-5500 or PS-5500 is found online; Sony TA-5650, TA-8650, TA-2650 48w, TA-3650 60w, Sugden A48 Series two 45w £156 the orange one, P51; Technics missed 1977 HFYB back with SU-8600 76w £319, SU-3500 43w £220, SU-7600 43w(? typo) £114; Toshiba as 1976; Trio-Kenwood KA-5500, KA-7300, Model 600 130w £564, KA-3500 40w £111, KA-7100 60w £198, KA-9100 90w £351, L-07M 150w power amp with L-07C preamp; Yamaha CA-800, CA-1000, CA-610 40w £142 no mention of CA-1000II or CA-800II.
The appearance of some of the "Classic" amplifiers of high power arrive now. They may make good prices for raw but still-used unserviced ones but we are wary of them for risk of ICs & overdesign. These amps are the powerful ones also that never got put in the Attic & will have had long years use making reliability & servicing issues, as well as fools messing with them in years they had a low monetary value. But after getting a rough Sony TA-3650 & being surprised at the sound being better than those a couple of years before it was made, perhaps there are some we ought to try if the price is right.
The 1979 HFYB range of Amplifiers
The 1978 Receivers section was oddly not that interesting, but the lean towards bigger Amplifiers as well as Pre-Power combos with the 1950s idea updated of a separate box for each. Seeing 50w Power amps in the 1978 listing seems a bit pointless, really only 100w seems worthwhile. Music was still good in 1979 with plenty in all genres as well as enough cheese making big hits, Lena Martell's ghastly dirge doesn't really matter when there was just so much good music & an Unique Era was 1977-82 when the best stuff Charted rather than didn't sell. John Peel championing the Obscure on his BBC show will have helped hugely & for the Non-Hits of the era on the main labels, most really aren't all that, beyond the odd missed USA big hit. The Indie labels still had enough good New Wave product & much hit the Charts. But the HFYB was failing & missing out all Yamaha product was unforgiveable. For the amount that sold regardless, it seems HFYB wasn't so important now. The big Hifi magazine of the 1990s was What Hifi & with it starting in 1976, perhaps it led the way in years before we first saw it mid 1980s rather than a book on it's 3rd Publisher based on Hifi News & RR's original idea.
Accuphase as before & add P20 70w pro power amp £525, brand not in 1980 book; Akai AM-2400, AM-2600 60w £277, AM-2800 80w £287; Alba; Amcron; Amstrad EX-330 35w £78 is this their "best" amp?; A/R/D 4000 50w £180; Armstrong 621 though another very last model does exist we're told; Audio Kraft; BGW add 410 200w power amp & 203 preamp; Bose 1801 250w £682; Cambridge Audio; Cerwin-Vega get the "!" added now; Dual CV1600(MB) 80w £325, CV1400 (MB) 50w £240, Eagle A6400, A7400 45w, A7600 60w; Enigma Audio Variation 2 60w power amp £166, Variation 3 100w £192, Exposure get a bad typo with "Exposure IV 20w power amp £25" depending which it is 80w & probably £250 as the III preamp is; Goodmans SA-4000 40w; Goldstar (Stop Press only) GSA-8500 50w; Harrison; Hitachi HA-610, HA-5300 60w, HMA-8300 200w power amp £410, HCA-8300 preamp £220; HMV (Stop Press only) 4000A 40w £97; Jennings of Biggleswade, Beds: 101 100w power amp, 202 150w power amp, & preamps 101C & 202C; JVC P-3030 preamp, M-3030 power amp, JA-S71 85w very average looking item if with 1975 build & no ICs, JA-S31 45w; Lecson AP1, AC1 preamp £224; Lenco A50 40w £155; Luxman (as Lux) M6000, M4000, C1000, L-100, L31 38w £160, L81 45w £255, 5L15 80w £625, 5M21 100w power amp £950, 5C50 preamp £600 Valve Amps! MQ3600 50w £470, CL32 preamp £480; Marantz with new distributors, full range: 1030 15w £95, 1040 20w £113, 1060 30w £132, 1070 35w £167, 1090 45w £182, 1122DC 61w £259, 1152DC 76w £323 not our favourite..., 1180DC 90w £395, 1250 125w £580, Mission Voltage Amplifier 150w power amp, Control Amp preamp; Monogram 3200, 3300, 5000 preamp £189, 3000 preamp £250, 5300 250 power amp £545, 3500 (Custom) 300w mono amp £329, 5600 ??w power amp £189, 5200 150w power amp £279; Mustang; Naim NAP 160 50w power amp, NAC 12S preamp, NAP 250 70w power amp, NAC 32 preamp, NAP 120 40w power amp, NAC 22 preamp. Yes, those ugly things; Nikko TRM-650 30w £102, TRM-750 55w £140, Alpha-II 110w power amp, Beta-11 preamp; Phase Linear 700B 345w power amp £700 correct price, 400, 4000 preamp £547, 2000 preamp £262 with C3 cabinet £24, C200 105w £330 with C3 cabinet £29; Philips AH483 says 4w but likely 40w typo, AH386 65w; Pioneer; Pye oddly revived A12000 60w £177, A8000 40w £150; Quad still with 33, 303, 405, 50E doing a Lowther; Revox A78, A722, A740 175w power amp £740, A750 60w £365; Rogers A75 Series 2; Rotel RA1412, RA1312, RA713 45w £148, RA913 60w £210, RC5000 500w (really!) power amp £1344, RC5000 preamp £708; Sansui (Stop Press only) AU-717 etc as 1980, CA-2000 preamp, BA-2000 110w power amp; Sharp Opticona SM1515 33w £115, SM3636 45w £213, SM4646 70w £239; Sony all new TA-E88 preamp, TA-N88 160w power amp, TA-F 6 integrated(?), TA-E7 preamp, TA-N7 100w power amp, TA-11 30w, TA-F7 70w; Spendor D40 40w; Sugden still C51 preamp, A48 series 2, P51 power amp; Tandberg (Stop Press only) TPA3003 150w power amp, TCA3002 preamp; Tandy (Realistic, Radio Shack) SA-800 ??w £100, SA-1500 ??w £140, SA-2000 ??w £190; Technics SU-8600, SU-8080 92w £270, SU-7700 70w £170, SU-7300 55w £135, SU-7100 40w £105; Toshiba new range inc SC-530 60w, SC-335 42w, SC-330 40w £90; Trio-Kenwood Model 600 130w £538, KA-7100 60w £191, KA-9100 90w £351, L-07M 150w power amp £351, L-07C preamp £400, KA-5700 40w £112, KA-6100 50w, KA-8100 75w £253, LO9M 300w mono power amp £439. No Yamaha included in the book at all, would be the CA-2010, CA-1010, CA-810, CA-610 etc range.
Some 1980s brands being introduced, the Linn Sondek LP12 was as early as 1974, but as not for no 45s, useless to us! The book is now a bit tiresome with stupid errors & omissions, the Exposure error just careless. No Sansui details & Yamaha nothing shows the book was out of date & manufacturers weren't so bothered not having their details in it. The books 1978 on do get progressively rarer proving this. Luxman daring to issue Valve Amps is interesting, though they did do Valve amps before their popular years.
The 1980 HFYB range of Amplifiers
The Seventies were over, 1980 All Clear as a Bowie promo said. Or was it? Not for Hifi, the market was not for the Excessive high powered amps & receivers now. A new Microprocessor World was arriving & Silver was about to go Black, making all Silver Hifi worthless for Over a Decade until it started to be revived in the mid 1990s. We've read the 1980s books & found the progressions interesting, if knowing Yamaha with their worrying reliance on ICs in their 1980 range was probably a death knell for Hifi & it never really fully recovered the Rich Sound of the Seventies gear. Plenty more about this on other pages. The gaudy style of 1978-79 was replaced with more sleek computer styles in Amps & some of the wilder designs will become wanted for this Style within the next Decade as 1980s gets further away. The Antiques Roadshow often shows Mid Century & later designer items so why not Hifi? One day.
One oddity that gets put into the Speakers section is the Cerwin-Vega! Bass Excavator that they claim turns a 200w speaker into a 400w using it & other wattages are doubled. Googling finds one, it's no more than a crude Graphic Equaliser that apparently adds a hefty Bass gain in the Upper Bass regions but limits the Lower Bass that to us is more important. It sadly sounds like the sort of junk Car Stereo folks would like, giving an 'exciting' Bass kick but at the expense of quality & some say it was noisy too. At £29 new in 1980 it's not going to be more than some rough sounding ICs. Probably only a good idea if you are under 25 or a bit thick like it'll sound, to us it sounds hideous. One to dispatch with a hammer says we!
Aiwa AA8700 75w £313; Akai adds AM2450 45w; Alba 2050 surprisingly an adequate 50w amp not the chav brand of today; A&R (Arcam) A60 30w £140, E version with DIN sockets; Armstrong; Audio Kraft; Audio Pro B2-50 sub woofer active speaker £391; Cambridge Audio (not Arcam) P80; Cerwin-Vega! A1800HF 225w power amp £451 with M and I minor variants, A300I 500w power amp £673; Denon first since 1976 with PMA-4000 50w, PMA-200 55w, PMA-850 85w, PMA-830 65w, POA-1001 125w power amp, POA-1003 100w power amp; Dual CV1600, CV1400, CV1200 40w power amp £192; Eagle A7400, A7600; Enigma Variations 1 preamp, 2 power amp, 3 power amp, 4 integrated 45w £170; Exposure only shows III preamp, Series II 70w power amp; Harman-Kardon missed from 1979 book 503 40w £221, 505 60w £301, Citation range: 16A power amp 150w £665, 17 preamp £488, 19 power amp 100w £514 options no LED or Graphic EQ on pre; Harrison still as 1975; Hitachi all new HA4500 43w, HA5700 50w, HMA6500 50w power amp, HCA6500 preamp both very basic looking aluminium front & black metal lid, HA7700 60w; JR of St. Albans, Herts confuse with odd EX1 electronic crossover (?) £90 & PA50 60w mono bass amp £60; JVC P-3030, M-3030, JAS-11G 33w, A-55 35w, JA-S77 70w £299, JA-S55 65w not much for a range much talked of at this time; Lentek Stereo Integrated Amplifier 65w; Luxman (still as Lux in the UK, why?) M6000, C1000, MQ3600 valve, CL32 valve pre, M4000, 5L15, 5M21, 5C50. New range M12 80w power amp £565, B12 150w mono power amp £510, L5 60w £330, L11 100w £625, L2 33w £150, L3 42w £200, L10 55w £485, C12 preamp £485; Marantz 1152DC, 1180DC, 1090, 1122DC, 1050 40w £84, 1072 50w £111, 300DC 200w power amp £444, 3650 preamp £327, 170DC 122w power amp £279, 1300DC 190w £522, 3250B preamp £195; Mission 771 preamp £650, 772 power amp 150w £500 with daft burst ratings, Monogram 3100 100w power amp £385, 3200, 3300 (typo as 330); Mustang still as 1976; Naim as 1979 less last 2; Nakamichi (Yamaha related) 410 preamp £226, 420 60w power amp £266; Opticona (aka Sharp) similar to 1979 Sharp: SM3636C 40w £195, SM4646C 60w £239, SM5100N 40w £120, SM7100N 65w £185, SO9100N preamp £160, SX9100N 100w power amp £328, see Sharp below; Panasonic gets two listings, here only SU-2400 30w £80, see Technics below; Philips AH386; Pioneer new range: SA9800 100w, SA8800 80w, SA7800 65w, SA708 65w less controls version, SA608 45w, SA508 25w, SA408 20w; Pye; Quad still selling the 1968 303/33 & aged 405, 50E: lazy; Radford selling aged gear too: ZD22, ZD50, ZD100, HD250 but adds Valves TT50 50w SS main + KT77 outputs £425, TT100 100w £575 + pro options XLR, 50-100v line; Rappaport no power ratings but PRE-1E preamp £395, PRE-1A preamp £475, PRE-2 preamp £345, PRE-3 preamp, AMP-1 power amp, a brand loved & hated; Realistic (Tandy, Radio Shack) SA800B only 20w £100, SA1001 45w £130, SA2001 58w £190; Revox A722, A740, B750 Mark II 75w £365; Rogers; Sakai obscure Wren Electronics Middx PA3050 50w; Sansui get a listing this year: AU317 Mk II 60w, AU217 Mk II 40w, AU117 Mk II 25w, AU-X1 160w, AU919 100w £432, AU719 90w, AU417 65w, BA-F1 110w power amp, CA-F1 preamp; Sharp Opticona get listed again, duh: SM1515 preamp £129, SM3636, SM4646, SM1616 40w; Sony add B versions (?) TA-E88B preamp £699, TA-N88B 160w power amp £699, TA-E7B preamp £533, TA-N7B 100w power amp £580, TA-F7B 70w £667, TA313 25w, TA-515 40w, TAF-4A 60w, TA-F5A 70w also TA212, TA-F3A, TA-N86B, TA-E86B no details; Sugden still C51, A48 Series 2 gaudy one, P51, adds P101 100w power amp £176; SES (Sussex Electronic Services) pro gear CU2000 preamp, PA1000 100w power amp, PA1500 150w power amp; Teac first since 1975 with AS-M30 30w £105, AS-M50 50w £168, Technics (National Panasonic) gets another listing, all new SU8055 50w £200, SU8077K 62w £293, SU8088K 85w £364, SU8099K 120w £577, SU9011 preamp £169, SE9021 65w power amp £204, SE-A1 350w power amp £4088 (yup, £4k), SU-A2 preamp £6133 (oh my) SU9070 £329, SE9060 75w power amp £328, SU-CO1 preamp £153, SE-CO1 50w power amp £296; Toshiba SC-330, SB-820 82w £302, SB-620 62w £213, SB-420 42w £151; Trio-Kenwood (still as Trio) L-07CH preamp, L-07MH 150w power amp, L-05M 100w power amp, KA907 150w, KA801 110w, KA701 80w, KA601 60w, KA305 40w & KA501, KA405 no details. Most amps shown as 'High Speed' nonsense implying other are slow!; Videotone Sirac 50 says 20w but then 50w, probably 200w as pictured & £528; Yamaha return with A-1 70w integrated, CA-2010 120w £488, CA-1010 90w £400, CA-810 65w £293, CA-710 45w £213, CA-510 35w £151.
Loads of Amplifiers listed. The stand-out are the insane £10,000 system by Technics, not much info online even, but these we remember reading were the Class A heatpipe that Technics foolishly cheaped into the 1984 SU-V707 type amp. You can see the branching out from the more familiar mid 1970s Hifi with small brands that would be Loved & Hated by many as the 1980s progressed, the Pre & Power ideals to get you buying two expensive boxes not just one, If over 100w this is justifiable, but under 100w as 50-60w are sold too seems a bit pointless to us. We are not too keen on this era, but having typed these pages up it'll get model numbers more familiar & we might buy some, or just write a quick few lines on the Other Amps pages as we go Circuit Diagram gazing to see if any are worth buying to try. On the Receivers page we highlighted 100w+ rated ones, but as the Amplifier range covers Pro Gear going back into the 1960s, to separate Domestic from Pro is not easy as some brands did both.
LAST ONE: The 1981 HFYB range of Amplifiers
This is the Year some will find an Exclusive, as the guy doing PDF scans of the book doesn't have this & for how it's bound like a magazine, it'd be hard to scan without ruining the binding. So here it is folks... The Hifi Yearbook changed formats into an A4 sized slim book, much the size of a What Hifi magazine, so be sure this book is lost amongst Magazine collections. The HFYB as we've noted lost it's way after 1977 with omissions & errors, or perhaps the makers saw better outlets for their efforts than the book which isn't that interesting as reading deeper articles. 1981 was Sinclair ZX81 computers, a pretty useless object to most people but learn Machine Code & it done something, so we are told. Computers were the thing & we remember the Console one like on tha Kraftwerk 'The Model' record sleeve & being introduced these at school we had no idea what to with them apart from write dumb code to fill the screen with the same line. Syntax Errors, Crashing & waiting ages for a reboot of the main computer with 12 terminals from it. All gloriously pointless & you had to hit CTRL+E to escape, which was hard as we were all locked in the room. 1981 was Chas & Di and still a naiveness & warmth in British life that was very soon gone, you can easily see this looking back as well as having lived through it. For those who bought 7" vinyl in the UK, this was really the last year you got a Serrated Edge on the record label area, by 1983 they were smooth or recessed. Autochangers were out-of-date by then is why. Only a Record Dealer would know that.
Aiwa AA8700, AA8300 45w £125; Akai adds AM2650 65w £215, AM2850 85w £335, AM2950 £435; Alba; A&R (Arcam); Armstrong still the 621, Audio Pro; Cambridge Audio; Crimson Elektrik CS1200/M 100w £160, CS2000 200w mono power amp £230, CS1204/8 ??w power amp £230; Denon PMA-530 70w £200, PMA-400 50w £230, PMA-200 55w £190, PMA-850 preamp £397; Dual CV1400, CV1200, CV1700 100w, CV1500DC 60w, CV1100 25w; Eagle A8500 50w; Esotec (Marantz) MA5 ??w mono power amp, SM1000 400w power amp, SC6 preamp, SM6 power amp stereo version of MA5 ??w Class A & AB, PM6 Class A & AB, PM5 80w Class A & AB, details lacking here; Exposure III preamp, IV 40w (?) £500 for III + IV, Dual Power Supply £650, Passive Preamp inc Passive RIAA(!!) £750 getting silly now; Grant Lumley GL50A 50w power amp, GL100A 70w power amp; Griffin G82 100w £337 metal case £352 teak (how 70s!); Grundig V1000 25w £84, V2000 33w £104, V500 70w £248, MXV100 mini preamp £110, MA100 35w mini power amp £130 both 27 x 22 x 12cm size; Harman Kardon HK725 preamp £117, HK770 power amp ??w £222; Harrison; Hitachi HA5700, HMA 6500, HCA 6500 preamp £89, HA7700 60w £289, HA4700 50w £119, some are Mosfet amps; HMV 4000A 40w £96 strange revival; ITT Hifi 8045 60w; JR adds info on JR LPA Woofer system 25w sub & low pass, JR EX1 electronic crossover & separate 60w mono power amp needs a preamp assume £260 for xover & 2 mono? confusing again; JVC P-3030, M-3030, JA-S77 70w £305, JA-S55 65w £260, A-X9 'Super DC' 105w £571, A-M1 50w mini sized £306 not mini price!, JA-S44 48w £216, JA-S22 43w £128 pluis Graphic EQs from £111-£488; Klark-Teknik Graphic EQs; Lentek; Luxman (as Lux) M12 80w power amp £480, B12, L5, L11, L2, L3, C12, L4 55w £235; Marantz 300DC, 3650, 170DC, 1300DC, 3250B & midprice new amps: PM200 25w £70, PM400 50w £112, PM500 58w £138, PM700 80w £173 huge dip in quality here; Meridian another big 80s name: 101/101MC preamp £192, 103S 35w power amp £198, 103D idiots upgrade £301, 105S 100w mono power amp £210; Mission; Mitsubishi DA-U530 30w £105, DA-U630 50w £136; Monogram; Mustang; Naim NAP 160, NAC12S, NAP250, NAC32 pre, NAC42 pre, NAP 110 40w power amp; Opticona (Sharp); Panasonic gets two listings, here only SU-2700 25w part of system only, why list it?, see Technics below; Philips new lot AH304 40w, AH305 45w £154, AH306 60w £181, AH370 60w power amp £162, AH280 preamp £225, AH380 100w £260 their biggest yet; Pioneer SA9800, SA8800, SA7800 & new SA410 20w, SA510 30w, SA610 45w, SA710 65w; Pye new lot: SX6392 20w £89, SX6393 30w £99, SX6394 40w £109; Quad the old 1968 stuff again, 44 preamp £236 & older 405 100w amp now look early 1970s; Quantum of Leicester leap in with 201 55w power amp £93, 202 45w power amp £114, 203 130w power amp £108 very budget price, 204 110w power amp £133, 205 145w for only £115 are these monoblocks?; Radford ZD22, ZD50, ZD100, TT50, TT100; Revox; Rogers A75 Series (3?) 50w £239, A100 60w £299, Rotel reappear with RA350 35w £80, RA314 25w £80, RA414 35w £90, Ra2030 80w, RA2040 120w, RA1000 40w £110, RA2020 60w, RB1000 65w power amp £108, RB2000 power amp 120w, RB500 500w power amp; SAE Two (Cambridge Audio) A14 140w, A7 70w; Sansui all but 117 & 417, adds A40 25w £66, A60 45w £92, A80 65w £139; Scott (related to 1971 company?) 480A 85w. 460A 70w, 440A 55w, 430A 45w, 420A 40w, 410A 30w no prices or pics; Seoum Videotone Ltd, London dare to offer just a SA4130 30w £65; Sony only TA-E88B, TA-N88B, TA-E7B, TA-N7B 100-160w pre-power combos; Spendor D40 40w, RB50 50w; Sugden still C51, A48 Series Two if stated as restyled looks like the orange one still, P51; Tandberg reappear after 1977 last show with TPA3003 150w power amp £443, TCA3002 preamp £338 pictured with TPT3001 tuner, gone is the old Legoland styling; Teac BX-500 55w £129, BX-300 £95; Technics only SU-CO1 preamp, SE-CO1 power amp from before and still optimistically the £6k/£4k ones, adds SU9011 preamp £169, SE9021 65w power amp £204, SU9070 preamp £329, SE9060 75w power amp £329, SU-Z1 235w amp to impress women called Suzi, SU-Z2 35w, SU-V2 40w, SU-V4 55w; Tensai TA2045 48w £78, TP2200 preamp & TM2250 50w power amp £105 both, TA2330 pre + TA2350 50w power amp £87 strewth; Toshiba SB-230 35w £97, SB-820, SVB-620; Trio-Kenwood (as Trio) L-07CH, L-07MH, L-05M, L-01A integrated 110w £778, KA907, KA801, KA701, KA601, KA-400 45w £91, KA-80 48w £128, KA-500 43w £137, KA-405 55w £137, KA-501 65w £164; Videotone Sirac still noted as 20w probably 200w power amp; Yamaha made no amp range of xx20 or xx40 as they did with the Receivers, A450 30w £115, A550 40w £140, A1 70w £320 ends the listing.
The 1980s really does arrive with Graphic Equalisers & Mini Systems. The average prices dip sharply for the Power Ratings offered. Some stuff we hate starts to arrive, though many do like them & they probably like Hair Shirts too. Marantz & their midprice PM series really do spell the end of the Golden Era. Meridian with a 35w power amp plunges to a new low & cynical too as Naim became with the stupid 103D 'extra' with dual power supplies, why not just make one better product. Quite a lot of midprice or budget stuff arriving & this is really what Hifi of Today is: cheap mass produced Product & the Exotic-Luxury stuff. It's how most goods are really & creates separate markets for each so you know better what is average or best. Quad still selling the 1968 33/303 in 1980 is lousy, or maybe like Lowther nobody bought the crap & they offered it until it was all gone, or the things got an insurance job. Enjoy our venom at lazy brands & piss-take brands that think you should buy upgrades & if you don't there is no need to tell us. On many the separates-system slimline look is the thing, still in Silver but not for long. Tensai make an ultra budget 50w pre-power for just £105 and even cheaper one 50w at £87, just looks like any other cheap stuff. Boring mass market crap. This HFYB year has bored us a tiny bit. Still, most of it is in landfill now or long since recycled into bean cans as not worth servicing or repairing, so Justice serves. Thankfully the HFYB ends now, the range of offer is really very uninspiring beyond the few hang-offs of a more prosperous era.
We hoped you enjoyed our Rake-Through of amplifiers in the HFYBs...
The General Idea of what we think isn't too hard to realise as some years are growing & interesting & some are frustrating. But that is Hifi, Records, Music, Food, Cars, People and Life too: most of it is crap or of no interest to you after you are aware more (older), but one who finds the Best Stuff by a little research finds things can still be interesting in the Darkest Years. What Hifi became 1982-date you'll need to see What Hifi magazine as this showed the Populist View of Audio & CD rather than esoteric slanted mags that championed the obscure & highly priced & in terms of Hifi, the Best was generally buyable on the High Street. The British Hifi market, considered a World Best in the Valve era you can see sharply decline as the 1970s progressed. Only really Pro-PA amps by UK makers get a look in & the odd sad UK company using a Japanese name. Japanese audio is revealed in broad terms as the Best There Is, they designed & progressed Transistors & ICs so knew how to make better use & more economical use of Hifi circuits. We read the Hifi mags from 1986 & gradually bought each issue until tiring of What Hifi's over-excited at each 'Winner' in about 1990, every other month it seemed some black tin box always so much better, & taking up with Hifi News so that esoteric stuff & 1986-93 era we do know about. 1982-86 is a bit of an unknown & from what we've found, we're not missing much. Now we have the full list of ones we might like to find, we will delve past 1973 & Yamaha to see what else there is, any recommendations welcome, but no ICs in Tone-Pre or Power Amp as we'll not knowingly try IC amps.