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Thread: Radford and Radford Renaissance

  1. #1
    Join Date: Feb 2018

    Location: London

    Posts: 28
    I'm Charlie.

    Default Radford and Radford Renaissance

    Hi all,

    I know that there are a lot of Radford valve amp fans on here and, from what I heard when listening to Tom's (Montesquieu) set up, I can understand why!

    There are quite a few sites and AoS posts explaining the history of the brand, and I know that Will from Radford Revival is a member of AoS, but I was specifically interested in knowing whether anyone has any information on how the Renaissance series of amps (in particular, the STA25) produced by John Widgery in the 80s compares to the original Radfords (in particular, the original STA25)? Were they pretty much the same as the series 3, or were significant changes made (for the better, or worse?)?

    I think that Josie (The Black Adder) has/had one and there were previously some photos of the insides on which people were commenting, but the photos are gone, making the comments rather difficult to follow out of context!

    I know that my chances of finding either (or the even more rare STA100) are pretty slim, but it would be helpful to understand what the options are while I bide my time patiently(!) for something to turn up!

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: Middlesex, UK

    Posts: 3,210
    I'm Alex.

    Default

    About 1984 the STA25 was produced again, it was a feature of a Hi Fi mag, indeed the STA25 was on the front cover with the title "Radford Reborn" (I think!)

    I probably still have the mag somewhere.

    I seem to remember that the new STA25 was pretty much identical the the Mk3, except things like an IEC mains connector. One of the differences was the use of KT77 output valves, as good quality EL34's were getting hard to find.

    I bought my STA25 III second hand over forty years ago, it is original and not had any components replaced, except the Mullard EL34's have been removed to store, and KT77's fitted.

    Somewhere on this PC I have a few photos of the inside of my amp. If of any use I can look for them.
    Spendorman

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Sheffield - UK

    Posts: 5,924
    I'm Mark.

    Default

    I think it was Ken Kessler writing in Hi-Fi News.

    100% Analogue

  4. #4
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: Middlesex, UK

    Posts: 3,210
    I'm Alex.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by YNWaN View Post
    I think it was Ken Kessler writing in Hi-Fi News.
    Hi Mark, I think you may well be correct.

    I know Sheffield, at least in the early 70's I knew it, was at Sheffield University.
    Spendorman

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Yorkshire

    Posts: 7,078
    I'm AnDreW.

    Default

    I've got the Radford STA25 and matching pre-amp and I'm seriously thinking about selling them. They are the very ones which Joe owned.
    SS CD Teac VRDS25X(Mega Modded) DAC Caiman SEG+Anker PSU DECK 1210 Mat Analog Studio Crystal Mods MN Base/Bearing/Platter+Ebony arm Board Feet Isonoe PSU Paul Hynes SR7EHD-27XL/DCSXL Ag DC lead/Jaeger(low-impedance) connector/3 StageRegs/Recapped PCB+No Pitch/Strobe/Light ARM SME V(Kondo Ag Rewire&Tags) MC Cadenza Black CABLES Arm Yannis SPD-4 IC Yannis 222 Litz+Ag bullets Power WAR PRE ATC SCA2 SPEAKERS ATC 50ASL STANDS Atacama PHONO Sugden Masterclass PA4 SUT Ortofon ST80SE POWER PSAudio P10

    Valve PRECroft Epoch(Mega Modded) AMP Sondex S100 SPEAKERS Tannoy 15"MG+RFC Warwick cabs+ Reference XO DECK Garrard301 MatTeunto GunMetal Bearing SPH Plinth Moldovan Arm SME 3012(Ikeda Ag wired) PSU NSC MCAg Meister SPU/DECCA Maroon CABLES Arm Yannis 420.5 Litz+ Speaker3mm2Ag IC Oyaide FTVS-510 AgWBT 0110Ag Phonostage Paradise


  6. #6
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: Middlesex, UK

    Posts: 3,210
    I'm Alex.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by REXTON View Post
    I've got the Radford STA25 and matching pre-amp and I'm seriously thinking about selling them. They are the very ones which Joe owned.
    SC22 pre?
    Spendorman

  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Yorkshire

    Posts: 7,078
    I'm AnDreW.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spendorman View Post
    SC22 pre?
    Nope Renaissance SC25 and STA25
    SS CD Teac VRDS25X(Mega Modded) DAC Caiman SEG+Anker PSU DECK 1210 Mat Analog Studio Crystal Mods MN Base/Bearing/Platter+Ebony arm Board Feet Isonoe PSU Paul Hynes SR7EHD-27XL/DCSXL Ag DC lead/Jaeger(low-impedance) connector/3 StageRegs/Recapped PCB+No Pitch/Strobe/Light ARM SME V(Kondo Ag Rewire&Tags) MC Cadenza Black CABLES Arm Yannis SPD-4 IC Yannis 222 Litz+Ag bullets Power WAR PRE ATC SCA2 SPEAKERS ATC 50ASL STANDS Atacama PHONO Sugden Masterclass PA4 SUT Ortofon ST80SE POWER PSAudio P10

    Valve PRECroft Epoch(Mega Modded) AMP Sondex S100 SPEAKERS Tannoy 15"MG+RFC Warwick cabs+ Reference XO DECK Garrard301 MatTeunto GunMetal Bearing SPH Plinth Moldovan Arm SME 3012(Ikeda Ag wired) PSU NSC MCAg Meister SPU/DECCA Maroon CABLES Arm Yannis 420.5 Litz+ Speaker3mm2Ag IC Oyaide FTVS-510 AgWBT 0110Ag Phonostage Paradise


  8. #8
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 2,818
    I'm Tom.

    Default

    Will is the expert here but I hope he doesn't read this as I'm hoping he's slaving away on my STA100. I'm so-ooo keen to get it back and had hoped for Easter .. but I know the wait will be worth it.

    From what I can gather where I've dug in and listened to stuff and ask questions, the rationale of Woodside and Radford Renaissance were a little different, aiming to update things for modern tastes and configurations, so there are more higher power amps, more monoblocks, modern-style preamps, even a Woodside CD player (which used the CDM-1 mechanism and was highly regarded). In doing so they did drift rather a lot from old Arthur's way of doing things (whether it be layout, feedback, or transformer manufacture), so can't really be considered classic Radford (though still very decent kit).

    I think Will and Steve have taken Radford Revival (clue's in the name) back to Radford's roots, back to the original configurations, designs, transformers and even transformer winding methods. In doing so they have been (in my view) more successful in recreating the sound and approach of Radford's glory days. (It helps that the world has come back to more efficient speakers from the 4 ohm, watt-guzzlers of the 80s and 90s).

    They've been very careful to focus on curation of what Radford was famous for and not rushed to bring out modern products that simply exploit the name ... rather as in the case of the STA25 MkV they've sought to tweak and gently modernise, and very conservatively improve, an all-time classic. I do hope that they keep this up!
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ortofon 309 Limited tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N + Shure M3D Jico stylus; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0 retipped by Ana Mighty Sound bamboo cantilever, Spirit '78' 3.0 conical from Ana, also vintage GE VRII, Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Duncan 'Tuberhunter' 200w class D; preamp - Pass DCB1; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage SPU-GE; SUTs - Ortofon 2-15k & Bob's Devices; Phono Stage: Schiit Mani; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Feb 2018

    Location: London

    Posts: 28
    I'm Charlie.

    Default

    Thanks for the replies all!

    Andrew, if you do decide to sell, please let me know!

    Tom, I am sure that the wait will be worth it as you say!!

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