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Nytech Audio / Ion Systems Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'classic' started by deltaunit, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. snowman_al

    snowman_al pfm Member

    Hi Ende,
    There is an Ion Obelisk 100 on ebay in the UK at the moment.


    That might give an idea of its 'value'.

    I always thought the 100 and 200 came after the Obelisk 1, 2 & 3 versions. But I have never had an Obelisk 100 or 200, only seen them in pictures. They are certainly more modern in design and layout than the 1, 2 and 3.

    Was there another '100' to those you can find pictures of on the internet?
  2. Ende neU

    Ende neU pfm Member

    Hi, no, only this one.

    I've read that the 100 is better than the 1 but can someone who ever compared them confirm that?
  3. coltrane

    coltrane pfm Member

    the 100 was an integrated made by Heed Audio, Hungary, in lose co-operation with the late Richard Hay. it sounded different than the ol' Ion 1-2-3-3X integrateds with a somewhat (even) warmer and less rhythmic presentation, and was much less reliable - that is, it was prone to overheating due to some design weaknesses. the 200 was a stereo power amp, while the 300 in reality a 2-box mono power amps, all in full-width cases, and made in small numbers. the 300, though, was the peach, really - if you see one don't hesitate but go for it. this new line, however, didn't exist long, and Ion disappeared completely from the audio scene - until, of course, when it was reborn under Heed and Richard's co-operation some years ago in the former's Obelisk Si line
  4. Ende neU

    Ende neU pfm Member

    I've thought that Heed audio is not that old. I've heard of them only a few years ago.
  5. Nytecholdie

    Nytecholdie pfm Member

    Thanks to everyone for the info above. It helps to fill in some of the blanks in the Nytech / Ion / Heed history especially during its later years.

    The Nytech/Ion Obelisk 1/2/3 and 3x definitely were older than the 100/200/300 range as it was only in its last couple of years that Richard was using Heed for manufacture (and I'd left Nytech long before then which Is why I've never seen one)

    I wouldnt like to say which is "better" because "better" is so subjective and I've never seen or heard the later obelisks and it would only be my opinion :).

    Heed are very helpful so an e-mail to them should be able to clarify the spares situation. These amps used input switching ICs rather than switches so the biggest issue will probably be if these are still available. most of the other components are discrete and still available (or equivilent)

    If anyone else has any info (or pictures) of these later amps I'm sure they will be well received here

  6. Nytecholdie

    Nytecholdie pfm Member

    A conversation between Robert Hay (Richards son) and myself helps to add some meat to the bones.

    Towards the end of Ions life the Obelisk 100,200 and 300 were made in the UK whilst the Obelisk 1 was being built under licence in Hungary by Alpar Hustzi (Founder of Heed).

    When Ion decided enough was enough Alpar continued to build Obelisk amps under the Heed name with the approval and continuing development assistance from Richard Hay until Richards death a few years ago

    Heed have now moved on with a new range of amps designed by their own in house designer, and I wish them all the very best for the future!

    Still not heard (or seen) a 100,200 or 300.

    Anyone with one fancy a trip to South Wales for a head to head with an Obelisk 3X? :)

    Free cup of tea and a factory tour for any takers!
    (Factory tours are by appointment only and will last approximately 38 seconds :)

    Happy listening!

  7. gmsingh

    gmsingh New Member

    In case anyone was still wondering about the CA252S, I have just been in touch with the new version of Nytech and got this: "
    The 252 "S" was the last 252 made by Nytech Audio before it was superseded by the 6 button CA302.

    Its pretty much the same as a standard 252 but it had an improved power supply arrangement with extra regulation for the power amplifiers. Its a subtle improvement but noticeable with decent speakers or source.

    There weren't many made so they are quite rare (we've only seen one in the last 5 years) but not so to make a significant difference in S/H prices, so perhaps an extra £5-£10 over a normal 252"
  8. Phil_AVI

    Phil_AVI Member


    All I can say about Nytech is having repaired a few over the years I can say they sound excellent, and are very reliable pieces of kit.

    They can be very akward to work on but are well worth it.

    CPA 602 and CPA112 are two excellent products.

    I note Nytech claim to be repairing these but I see they say simple spares are no longer available?

    They also do not state what sort of guarantee they offer on repairs.

    I would expect at least 12 months against any failure or its worthless

    There are too many offering 30 to 90 days, ot "parts fitted only" guarantees.

    We need to weed these bodgers out of the game
  9. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    What a nasty, unnecessary dig.
  10. NRWler04

    NRWler04 pfm Member


    BTW: It's a CP112... CPA 112 never was made ....
  11. TTSFR

    TTSFR Member

    Has anyone had any experience using a separate Power Amp with an Obelisk 3x & X-Pak?

    I have an Ion Systems Obelisk 3x with X-pak that was serviced and upgraded last year by Phil at Nytech. It really is a brilliant little amplifier, even more so since Phil worked his magic.

    I am now considering upgrading my Neat Mystique 2 speakers to Spendor A5's and am thinking they would benefit from more power than the Obelisk offers.

    I notice on the back panel of the 3x there is a set of Pre-out RCA connectors which I am assuming bypasses the internal power amp. I know Ion Systems offered the Nexus range which was separate Pre-Power's. I am unsure though how the 3x would pair with other manufacturers power amps.
  12. Nytecholdie

    Nytecholdie pfm Member

    the Obelisk Preamp out can be used with most power amps as long as they have similar input levels to the Ion.

    There are wire links on the board which link the preamp and power amp so you dont need an external plug to link the preamp out and poweramp in which should be cut (to stop the poweramps trying to drive signal into an open circuit load) if using an external power amp, but you will then have to make short phono-phono link leads (or re-connect the internal links) if you ever wanted to use the Obelisk on its own again.

    Hope this is helpful!
  13. jonnoshore

    jonnoshore physicist, engineer and healer

    Does this improve the sound of the 3X as a Pre amp if I wanted to use it as a pre-amp or can the power amp not be connected?

  14. Nytecholdie

    Nytecholdie pfm Member

    In theory the preamp should sound better if the power amps are disconnected but in practice it doesnt seem to make much difference (we tried it here witha 3X and one of our new power amps and none of us could tell the difference).

    Its more to do with the power amps in the 3X working into no load which shouldn't be a problem but there's always the laws of Mr Sod to contend with so the ideal solution would be to cut the links, and connect two "shorting" plugs (simply phono plugs with the centre pin connected to the outer) to make sure the power amps in the 3X get no signal.

    You could always re-solder the links or provide a couple of short "link" cables if you ever sell the 3X on.

    Hope this helps

  15. Tony_NWA

    Tony_NWA New Member

    Hi All
    Just wanted to say hello to everyone! Have just recently reassembled my Ion System after 15 years in mothballs. Was worried on first "switch on" about exploding electrolytic capacitors etc but after 3 weeks everything seems fine. Had LP12 serviced and updated with new power supply and phono stage at the same time. Although the system at present is shoehorned into a small room it still sounds absolutely amazing. Cannot believe how good this system sounds after so many years. My Hifi interest started in 1983 with Rega Planar 3, Nytech CA 252 and Kans, progressing to Naim 42/100 still with Kans before remortgaging the house for a LP12/ITTOCK/ASAK second hand with Naim 32.5/Hicap/ 135s and still with Kans. Amazingly in 1991 when I auditioned the Ion system against my Naim system it very surprisingly just blew it away for sound quality. Hence my present system which was mothballed because of a central heating installation and only put back into service till I recently retired.
    I was considering having the Ion System refurbished with new electrolytics etc but to be honest it sounds so good, I thought I would wait. I would be interested to hear what other members think. Hope my ramble is not too boring!
    Best wishes to you all!

    Ion Systems SP1 Pre-Amp + XPAC2 + 2 x System 240 Stereo Power Amps + JC-1A Speakers
  16. winchman

    winchman pfm Member

  17. nitrous

    nitrous pfm Member

    Nytech have been back for a while ;) I've dealt with them and can heartily recommend them. Better check with Phil B. to see if they service none Nytech gear.
  18. winchman

    winchman pfm Member

    I emailed and had a nice reply they can service my Obelisk, it says Ion systems on it but its not the modern tat on Ebay etc bearing the name. Checked the date label on the base and shocked to find its 30 years old!
  19. nitrous

    nitrous pfm Member

    Good news!

    My 202 is at least 30 years old and probably nearer to 35! I'm listening to it now and still sounds great.
  20. oldgit

    oldgit pfm Member

    Have just completed my collection of ARC speakers.
    Pair of 202 are about join the gang.
    Will see how they match up to the 050,101,102 and pair of early Sara isobariks.
    All run actively.
    Also have a really old pair of non passive/active 101s.

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