Friday, December 26, 2008

Super Power in 1970'

Phase Linear 700

The Phase Linear 700 amplifier got its name from its combined output of 350 watts per channel. Introduced in 1970, it was, for a while, Phase Linear's only amplifier. The 700 put both Bob Carver, the amp's designer, and Phase Linear on the high end audio map.

The early 1970's were heady times for Bob Carver as he worked to expand North American distribution and beat the drum for Phase Linear. The 700 soon became a favorite of recording studio engineers (19-inches wide, it was designed for rack mounting), rock bands, jazz musicians and audiophiles.

The first generation 700 was laid out asymmetrically, with the VU meters and control knobs toward to right side of the front panel. Carver did two things with the 700 that were meant to eliminate the need for a cooling fan, lower operating temperature and aid in servicing when it became necessary: he placed both the output transistors and the power transformer outside the amplifier enclosure. The output transistors were mounted to the rear heat sinks. The 700 was 45 pounds!

The 700 listed for USD$749.00 in 1970, and rose slightly to USD$779.00 in 1972 and 1973. In 1974 it was replaced by the 700 B

Bob Carver redesigned the 700 and introduced the 700 B in 1974. It featured dual left and right channel controls. It was rated at 345 watts per channel. Rack handles were now standard. Performance specifications of the 700 B did not change measurably from the 700, but then, component improvement was not visible to the buyer and listener. List price was USD$799.00 but jumped to USD $879.00 in1977, its last year of production. It was superseded by the 700 Series Two.

The 700 Series Two was introduced in 1978 and reflected the design approach of A. P. Van Meter, Phase Linear's new design manager. More attention was paid to the 700's aesthetics; the unit was undeniably handsome. Functionally, the VU meters were replaced by red LED meters, with a single volume control under each meter. Performance included 360 watts per channel, reduced THD and IMD and other improvements.

The impressive array of output transistors and drivers is visible on this 700 Series Two with the output device covers removed. With a list price of nearly USD$900, it was half the price of some economy cars! By 1980 inflation had pushed it to USD$1000. The 700 Series Two was replaced by the completely new DRS 900, part of the Dynamic Range Series introduced in 1982.

At that time, there were Crown DC300A, Marantz 500, Mclntosh MC2500! These are the mammoths in the Hi End Audio market! I was a student and was just a dream to look into the price tags, When I entered the Hi Fi Shop, the shop keeper would like to ask what Hi Fi equipment you used as to probe on your buying power. At that time a Taksun 120Y was HKD20,000 and that Phase Linear was HKD8,000.00 half the price of a CAR!

At that time 1973 a Rolex Date Just Stainless steel and Gold two tone man's watch was just HKD4,300. Until 1982, a Rolex Stainless steel man’s watch was HKD4,200.00.

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