Likely the most popular tube amps in existence, Dynaco has many fans both young and old. Given how well they have stood the test of time, I hope they continue to be sought after for many decades to come. There are a number of companies offering kits resembling the originals with modern bits and pieces, but if you want to build or restore a Dynaco as close to the spirit of the original as possible, Dynakit Parts offerings are a great choice.
Dynakit Parts is a company based in Paramus, New Jersey and has an impressive selection of reproductions of all the most popular Dynaco vacuum tube products. The kits are about as close to the originals as you can get, from the can capacitor to the screw-down terminal strips but have the benefit of using freshly made transformers and other modern parts.
If you are familiar with the older Dynakits from the 60s, you will remember they featured RCA inputs that are a little different than what we typically see today. On the pre-amps and integrated amps, they were spaced very close to one another and it is hard to find RCA cables that fit them now-a-days, not to mention middling quality (though good for the time).
There have been several attempts to reproduce the RCA board on the PAS using higher quality materials, however because of the spacing, not all the RCAs were able to fit in these offerings. Now that we're in 2020 that is not the case. Dynakit Parts has created a very nice-looking solution for those of you looking to feature all the inputs of the original while also providing a high-quality solution. Best of all, you do not have to cut or modify the existing chassis in any way, the kit fits like a glove.
Above you'll see the items that are included in the kit. You get the handsome brown polyimide board with integrated grounding scheme, nine pair of gold RCAs, two pair of half-watt resistors, a bag of hardware, some detailed instructions, and a nice decal to identify the connections. The cost is a very reasonable $75, especially considering how many gold-plated RCAs are included. Last I checked they run about $6 a pair at PartsExpress, so you can do the math.
Something else that $75 bucks buys you is you don't have to wire up all the ground connections. Just tightening on the RCAs makes electrical connection with the integrated grounding. The image below gives you a better look at the traces.
So what do you have to do to get this puppy ready for install? Simply populate the RCAs onto the board and lightly tighten with a socket tool of your choice. Next you add the resistors and solder in place, and viola! you are done. So simple you can knock it out in 5-10 minutes. You'd then install on your PAS chassis using the provided hardware, or if you prefer a permanent install you can use pop-rivets to fasten the board in place.
Here is the other side of the board when completed.
...and here are a couple of images of the unit installed in a chassis (the nice ground lug is included in the parts):
So what's the verdict? If you are looking for an RCA board that features all the connectivity of the original PAS, this is a no-brainer. It's well made, easy to use and the gold RCAs look like they'll withstand the test of time. You could make a similar board yourself by drilling out a FR4 board, but you'd end up paying the same or more and it probably wouldn't look as nice.
Now, if you're not a purist and don't need every connection available for the PAS, Dynakit Parts makes a nice kit with a couple less RCAs for a very reasonable $50 (as of this writing).
If you're interested in the PAS RCA board or other Dynaco-related items, whether building a kit or performing a restoration, Dynakit Parts should be on your short-list. I've ordered quite a few things from Kevin over the years and everything has been superlative.
Hope you enjoyed the write-up. For more PAS related entertainment, you can check out this restoration I did several years ago.
Review disclosure: Dynakit Parts provided a reviewer's sample of the PAS RCA Board to DIYAudioBlog for an honest review.
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