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Thread: Bozak 919

  1. #1
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Bozak 919

    Hey guys. Let me start by saying how excited I am! I have made a deal for a Bozak 919 pre amp. Very rare. It's in great shape and fully functional, all for the bargain basement price of $150!! Much like my EICO, I don't think the seller is in tune with the market.

    To give an example of it's value, upon joining the Yahoo Bozak Group, I was made 3 offers via PM. 250, 275 and 350. All without so much as seeing a photo. Of course, much of it's value comes from the fact that it's a fidelity monster. It was considered a giant killer back in it's time. They still sound every bit as great today as they did then. I have gathered that they are comparable to an ARC SP9. Not in how they perform, but rather in the cultish dedication audiophiles have for it.

    Perhaps some of you aren't aware of Bozak. They were primarily a speaker company owned by Chief Engineer Rudy Bozak. They made top notch speakers during the golden age of audio. Some models like the Concert Grand are arguably some of the best ever made. I haven't heard any myself.

    Just down the road from the Bozak shop, was a small upstart by the name of CM Labs. CML had a line of amps and mixers that they had designed and needed a place to build them. Bozak took the work and built the first line of CM Labs mixers.

    Anyhow, some of those units, like the CMA-10-2DL, still fetch up to $1000 in good shape! They were made with DJs in mind.

    After making those initial CMLabs products, Rudy Bozak decided he wanted to design his own line. They put the home listener in mind for these. With legendary engineer Bob Betts, they introduced the 900 series. It included the 909 (rotary) and 919 (slider) pre amps, and the 929 and 939 power amps. They were an immediate and huge success. As I indicated earlier, they were priced under $1000 but were slaying the higher end competition.

    Anyhow, I would be interested in any knowledge any of you guys may have regarding the 919 pre amp. After hooking up my Basic C1 and getting great results, I am hoping the Bozak will be the means to an end. "The Final Preamp"?? We'll see...

  2. #2
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    Few times I have heard this brand but never had a chance to hear or see one. I am really curious to hear from you if it will be better than the C1 you have.

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    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Congrats poppaC...where are the pictures??? You know I like pitures!
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    I pick it up tommorrow frenchie!!

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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    OK just got it home. I'll post some better pics later. Plus, I have to open it up, we can check that out too. The phono capability looks great!!
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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Congrats!
    I will be very interested in how you think it compares to the C1.
    Make sure you clean those sliders well if they are similar to other pieces that I have had that sliders they can be dust magnets. Are there a few slider knobs missing?

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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Yes kid, 2 are missing which sucks. They will be hard to find originals for. I will probably find a replacement and replace several, symetrically.

    I don't think the C1 has a chance after seeing the inside.

    Here's why this pre is so well regarded. Each board is independent, and removable. They simply plug in and out. Awesome!!
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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    I see its SS. I thought it was tubes. What sound characteristics does it have? Sound stage? Warm or lively?
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  15. #15
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Very clean inside that is a very good sign.
    Do you have a "test" amp to try it out on just in case before hooking it up to your main system?

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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    It was being used with a Phase Linear 400. That's 200 wpc. It works just fine. I can't get over how direct and clean all the circuitry is. Betts and Bozak really were top of the heap.

    I have to go out, when I get home I'll give it a whirl. I'm hoping I've found "the one". Alot of old school audiophiles say that this unit and the 909 were better than Mac units of the time.

  17. #17
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Hey guys. Let me start by saying how excited I am! I have made a deal for a Bozak 919 pre amp. Very rare. It's in great shape and fully functional, all for the bargain basement price of $150!! ...Anyhow, I would be interested in any knowledge any of you guys may have regarding the 919 pre amp. After hooking up my Basic C1 and getting great results, I am hoping the Bozak will be the means to an end. "The Final Preamp"?? We'll see...
    Cool purchase. I confess that I know little of that unit. The modular input-by-card concept has only been used by a few preamps that I know of such as the Levinson LNP-2, Dayton-Wright SPA, Quad something, and the Burmester 808. Let us know how she sounds!

    rw

  18. #18
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Wow. It sounds awesome. I would have to say that it's indeed coloured. It's on the warm side. However, I can't get over at how full everything sounds. It's definitely a step up from anything I've had. The soundstage is big and very realistic. Lots of space around each player, it creates a very nice depth effect.

    The phono stage sounds great, but I would have to think that my Creek may sound better into the hi level inputs. Too soon to say. Of course the circuit is fully adjustable, so I may look into a mod.

    I have spoken with Bob Betts through several emails. He says aside from audiophiles, alot of disco DJs were using these in the clubs.

    He can't recall all of the details, and doesn't have the original schematics. There is however a rotary pot on the top of the chassis. It's wired into the main output. He thinks it might be a bias for distortion. I thought it might be some kind of master volume control. Has anyone seen this type of adjustment? I would need a spectral analyzer, which I don't have or know how to use anyhow.

    In regards to the C1, I could not say that it's "better". It's certainly different. If you like big time imaging and a big full sound, then the C1 has nothing on this pre. The C1 is far more neutral and realistic.

    I'm not sure that this will be "the one". We'll see. There's a long list of people at the Bozak Group who want to buy it from me, with an easy and instant profit for myself.

    OK, I'm going back to listen. I have James Brown Hell on the table and it sounds REALLY funky.

  19. #19
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update.
    You might want to mix it up with other gear as well just to see if something you have gives you the complete sound you are looking for. It is tempting though to flip it depending what is on your wish list.

    I am going to be picking up a Adcom 545 II tomorrow to finish off my Adcom set up so stay tuned.......

  20. #20
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    It was being used with a Phase Linear 400. That's ...
    Maybe that explains why it was sold. The PL 400 is a horrible sounding amp that can make all associated equipment sound bad. I know this too well sadly having owned one for years.

  21. #21
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    OK, big improvement. Although I had all tone controls at "0", I didn't have the "EQ Defeat" on. This has bypassed the tone controls entirely. It has also taken alot of warmth out. In it's place is a much more neutral sound.

    The more I listen, the more I realise just how much detail I am getting. Quite simply, I am having fun listening.

    I have heard the old C series Mac pres, this thing can run with those no problem.

  22. #22
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Wow!! OK, the whole game just changed.

    The rotary pot inside the amp is indeed a master volume. I was only at half!! Hahahahahahhaaa!!!!!

  23. #23
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Wow!! OK, the whole game just changed.

    The rotary pot inside the amp is indeed a master volume. I was only at half!! Hahahahahahhaaa!!!!!
    Caution Ahead; Mad scientist at work......

    Glad to see you are getting the most out of it.

  24. #24
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    I've done it!!! Top notch fidelity on a peasant's dime. All the research and searching has culminated into audio nirvana.

    I don't fault anyone who spends a heap of cash on audio gear. Spend it if you've got it. My message is for everyone who craves that upper tier, but simply can't afford it. It's out there. The real loophole is not cash, it's synergy.

    I will now convert the Eico HF-85 into a phono stage. This should push the fidelity beyond the Bozak, and certainly beyond my Creek. I will have it professionaly modded by a pro in town. I would imagine I'll be competitive up to $1000 in the phono area.

    Now I only need to sit back, and listen. My last goal is a proper turntable.

    Right now, Jim Hall and Ron Carter are performing in my listening room...


  25. #25
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    I can sense your joy in your posts-congrats again!
    You are going to have to up date the pic in your signature and get rid of the milk crates......

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