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Vintage Audio (record players, hi-fi etc) Amplifiers, speakers, gramophones and other audio equipment.

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Old 20th Nov 2023, 6:25 pm   #1
G6Tanuki
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Default Avantic/Beam Echo prices....

There are occasional posts from people discussing Avantic/Beam-Echo amps, preamps etc.

Today I noticed an ad in a 1961 'Radio Constructor' mag from Premier Radio [yes, the people who offered build-it-yourself TV kits in the early-50s, and also the ubiquitous 3-valve-TRF MW/lW radios], which has some interesting pricing.

See attached scan.

The DL7-35 Avantic amplifier is on sale at £16.19.6 and the Avantic PL621 at 19 Guineas [that's essentially £20].



There are also some other Avantic prices - two DL7-35 amps and a SP21 stereo control-unit [presumably a preamp] - yours for 47 Guineas [reduced from its original price of £91.10.0]

Bear in mind that back then £15 a week was a typical wage; if you were making £25 a week you were very much in the 'professional' class! So who would be spending several weeks salary on such hifi systems?


Fascinating...
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 6:59 pm   #2
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Default Re: Avantic/Beam Echo prices....

HiFi only became remotely affordable in the 70s with the arrival of relatively cheap transistor amps and tuners. Before then it was a specialist, upper middle class interest. Even radiograms were a stretch for most middle class families.
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 8:08 pm   #3
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Default Re: Avantic/Beam Echo prices....

DL7/35s were distinctly among the larger amplifiers of the day, and with the high efficiency of contemporary speakers I doubt they would have had much appeal other than to folk occupying large properties: there were plenty of more modest amplifiers (Rogers, Armstrong, Pamphonic etc.) to which at least some less well heeled music aficionados will have aspired. Most folk by 1961 had televisions, and an ordinary TV wouldn't leave much change from £70. A few will have put a similar sum into buying a radiogram or modest audio separates - still quite a fringe interest - instead, others could stretch to both.

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Old 21st Nov 2023, 1:20 am   #4
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Default Re: Avantic/Beam Echo prices....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_RK View Post
DL7/35s were distinctly among the larger amplifiers of the day, and with the high efficiency of contemporary speakers I doubt they would have had much appeal other than to folk occupying large properties: there were plenty of more modest amplifiers (Rogers, Armstrong, Pamphonic etc.) to which at least some less well heeled music aficionados will have aspired. Most folk by 1961 had televisions, and an ordinary TV wouldn't leave much change from £70. A few will have put a similar sum into buying a radiogram or modest audio separates - still quite a fringe interest - instead, others could stretch to both.

Paul
Yes indeed my father built his own radiogram using an Armstrong Stereo 12, a Garrard AT6 and a pair of Japanese full range speakers manufactured by a company called Calrad.
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Old 21st Nov 2023, 2:45 am   #5
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Default Re: Avantic/Beam Echo prices....

Don't underestimate the spending power of young people living in their parents home.

If they don't have any expensive habits, they can accumulate a lot of cash which they can then spend on their main interest/hobby such as music.
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Old 21st Nov 2023, 1:55 pm   #6
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Default Re: Avantic/Beam Echo prices....

It does seem that there was some stratification at the upper end of the consumer hi-fi market. I've heard it said that "a Quad II system was what you had if you couldn't afford a Radford". It was also said that Quad were a problem for hi-fi shops because customers who, over the years, had worked their way up the quality ladder, sometimes part-exchanging their existing kit for items at the next level, got to Quad and were so pleased with it that they never came back.

I might have mentioned before that the DL7-35 is actually an almost exact implementation of the Mullard 5-20. From memory the only differences are in the HT smoothing capacitor values and in the way the negative feedback resistor aand capacitor are selected.

Cheers,

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Old 21st Nov 2023, 2:34 pm   #7
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Default Re: Avantic/Beam Echo prices....

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimJosef View Post
I might have mentioned before that the DL7-35 is actually an almost exact implementation of the Mullard 5-20. From memory the only differences are in the HT smoothing capacitor values and in the way the negative feedback resistor aand capacitor are selected.

Cheers,

GJ
I hadn't appreciated that! I guess the Beam Echo/Avantic people wanted to avoid the hassle of doing too much of the design from first-principles when there was already a well-established design available 'off the shelf'.

Another amplifier design mentioned in the same edition of "Radio Constructor" is the Cooper-Smith Magnum, 20 Watts output, 12AX7/12AU7 as phase-splitter/driver, two EL34 as output, GZ32 rectifier. Kit available from H.L. Smith of Edgware Road for £21.2.6 or ready-built for £23.12.6

I'd never heard of this before. Article here: http://www.r-type.org/articles/art-120.htm
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Old 21st Nov 2023, 4:11 pm   #8
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Default Re: Avantic/Beam Echo prices....

For reference, here is the price-list for the Cooper-Smith amplifier. Look at the prices for the valves and transformers, then compare with what you'd have to pay for such parts these days...

Out of interest, does anyone know if the Smith in Cooper-Smith was related to the Smith in H.L. Smith & co [chassis-bashers to a couple of generations of radio-enthusiasts post-WWII]?

I rather suspect they were.
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