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Sinclair Hifi? I'd never heard of it.

Discussion in 'audio' started by kennyh, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. kennyh

    kennyh pfm Member

    Until this afternoon that is when the phone bleeped and told me this had been added in the local buy/sell group.

    A very swift google shows it was a kit (I think), anyone ever built one or even seen one? I hadn't so I doubt they were on the shelf at the old Comet.

    As an aside, now I've freed myself of the wifes wrath and the rooms full of old hifi there doesn't half seem to be some bloody decent kit appearing on these groups at little money......but a promise is a promise:)

  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    They were, in true Clive fashion, cheap as chips, and rather innovative despite the hopeless cost-cutting. They opened up (borderline) hi-fi to beer-budget expense. I think you’ll find quite a bit of info on Jim Audiomisc’s UKHFSOC site (link at the top of the classic room here).
    kennyh likes this.
  3. booja30

    booja30 pfm Member

    You probably saw this already, but for others:


    I wish there was more of this kind of thing today! I've been tempted by things like Dynaco clones, but £800+ for a ST-70 is too much for me.
    kennyh likes this.
  4. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Golly, do I ever have a lot of soul!

    Yes, I had a mono amp consisting of the Stereo 60 pre (bottom), Z30 amp (top right) and a power supply (PZ5, my memory shouts) that’s the bit top left. Part of my first ever non-Dansette type record player between a BSR MP60 and a Wharfedale Unit 3 speaker kit in a DIY chipboard cabinet. I was about 13. Oddly enough I have a vague recollection all of that came from Comet, but I could be wrong. I have seen the original ads and prices on the internet somewhere.

    The input/output bit doesn’t ring any bells. I suspect that is not an Uncle Clive product.

    Don’t expect much or you might be disappointed.

    There was also a Sinclair ready-built amp that looked similar - called a 2000 IIRC.
    kennyh likes this.
  5. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    Sinclair sold a modular system called Project 80. Control unit had sliding controls and amps were bare bone things. In 1975 I built one into a case with a kit (connoisseur? was it) turntable on top - a bit like a student version of a music centre. Home built speakers from KEF B200 and T27 units completed the set. I wish i had taken a picture of the finished unit.
    kennyh likes this.
  6. kennyh

    kennyh pfm Member

    I'll have a look now at those two links, thanks Tony and booja.

    I'll be interested to find what they retailed for and how they sounded.....my guess was they were a very budget minded piece of kit.

    I'd never have known Sinclair dabbled with this only for that advert.
  7. kennyh

    kennyh pfm Member

    Thanks March and Jensen, no I've not bought it haha, just intrigued to see it and interesting to now find out some of you guys actually owned and built these, nice one. Yes it's shame we have no pics of these when you owned them too.

    They all didn't come in that awful box I'm assuming?
  8. sp25

    sp25 pfm Member

    My first step in this slippery slope too, in 1970. Project 60 modules built into a base underneath an SP25mk2, with some awful little Sinclair speakers (Q10 ???). Managed not to blow it up, passed on to younger sister when I built an RSC Super 30 mk2 (anyone remember those?).
    Wouldn't buy any of that now.
    kennyh likes this.
  9. ian r

    ian r 401's Nakman

    i had a ghastly very very flakey sexy black number called the Sinclair 2000

    stylistically gorgeous but breaking the trade description act every time it was switched on...mine was not a kit but vought from Laskeys along with the worlds worst ever deck

    This terrible Goldring deck ...GL 808 or something...belt drive (ooo! bought to impress my SP25 owning friends) with a built in mock plastic arm and finished off with bugger the source- humongous Wharfedale Dovedales

    Rank built and Rank by nature.

    Getting a good sound out of Sinclair was never possible then and i doubt age has helped.

    Think C5 only an amplifier
    kennyh likes this.
  10. kennyh

    kennyh pfm Member

    Wow, just started looking at the links....they did turn out a few different models I see. Far older than I'd assumed, I guessed Spectrum time. £9.19 /6d :D
  11. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Golly, do I ever have a lot of soul!

    No. I built mine on a metal sled which slid into a wooden sleeve with no front or back.

    Hang on a minute, that sounds familiar... does anyone know if Julian Vereker admitted stealing other people’s ideas?

  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Sinclair started out with audio, miniature radios etc, and only later moved to computing. There are a few good videos on YouTube from the retro computer community telling the Sinclair story from the beginning e.g.

    kennyh likes this.
  13. kennyh

    kennyh pfm Member

  14. kennyh

    kennyh pfm Member

    I'll watch that Tony thanks. Have to say looking back in time the Spectrum ZX was a truly exciting piece of kit to get your hands on. How things have moved on.
  15. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    I loved the look of the Sinclair audio products; they had a minimal look which appealed to me but I never owned any. Towards the end of the last century I became friends with the chap who had been his factory manager back in the early Sinclair days. By all accounts it was a nightmare with Sinclair always wanting to drive costs down with no thought given to reliability or suitability of components used in his designs. A consequence of this approach to quality (or lack of it) was a truly horrific returns rate which much have created an enormous fiscal drag on what was, by all accounts, a fairly fragile economic situation.
    kennyh likes this.
  16. mickhick1

    mickhick1 pfm Member

    The Sinclair stereo 60 was probably responsible for my life long obsession with hifi. My dad built one in about 1971, paired with a SP25 mk3 with Goldring G800 and a pair of homemade speakers with Wharfedale unit 2 kits fitted, Denton size, it was the envy of my friends. It was a huge step up from a single box record player. Dad made a pretty good job of fabricating a case from sheet aluminium covered with black leatherette and a wooden facia. Happy days.
  17. peterm

    peterm pfm Member

    I started out with a Sinclair Stereo 60 pre amp and a pair of Z50 power amp modules with one of their power supplies when I was at university and first got interested in stereo (hi fi would be a misnomer!).

    With a Garrard SP25 (mark 2 in those days) and a goldring G8oo cartridge it got me on the road along with a pair of second hand AR4x speakers.

    The speakers survived for a few years but the rest soon went. The Z50s in particular seemed to spend a lot of their time en route to and from Sinclair after blowing up (again).

    Can't remember what the sound was like but I had nothing else to compare it with at the time.
  18. kennyh

    kennyh pfm Member

    A great story that!!
  19. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    My first hi-fi (sic) amp was a silver Sinclair 2000. Occasonally there was a distinct spark from the power switch when you turned it on. And the devices on the back were at the voltages of the transistors with no insulating covers.

    I recall that when I played "All along the watchtowers" by Hendrix the volume level used to modulate with the bass guitar. Similar for some other tracks.
    kennyh likes this.
  20. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Sinclair even made what was quite probably the first production class D amp way back in the sixties... it was bloody awful! and about 5WPC...
    kennyh likes this.

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