Janine Elliot charts the rise and fall and rise again of the Thermionic Tube/valve in this fascinating and informative article. More »
The Lab12 pre 1 just arrived at Hifi Pig Towers and here it is being unboxed. We’ll be reviewing this valve preamplifier and you can WIN this very unit worth £1200 by visiting Hifi Pig’s stand at The Indulgence Show that takes place the 14th to 16th October at the Novotel London West in Hammersmith, London. All you need to do is pick up a postcard from our stand, or ask for one if you see us and follow the instructions to be in with a chance of winning! More »
Now in its 81st year, Quad has been making valve amplifiers for home use since the late 1940s. The company’s latest model, the VA-One, brings the concept bang up to date; a compact integrated amplifier that fuses Quad’s traditional valve-based audio expertise with modern digital audio streaming.
With a footprint measuring just 18x33cm, the VA-One is very compact for a stereo valve amp – sufficiently small to sit comfortably on a desk.
Three digital audio inputs – optical, coaxial and asynchronous USB – support data up to 24-bit/192kHz, and an RCA-phono input gives the option to connect an analogue source like a CD player or a turntable (when used with a suitable phono stage). In addition, those who enjoy the freedom of wireless connectivity can pair smartphones, tablets and computers via Bluetooth, with support for the sonically superior aptX codec.
The preamp section incorporates an ECC83 high-impedance triode, feeding an ECC82 twin triode driver and phase splitter stage. The output stage uses two EL84 pentodes per channel in push-pull configuration, delivering 2x15W.
External styling is classically Quad, finished in traditional ‘Lancaster Grey’. The amp’s front panel sports a smooth-acting volume control incorporating a motorised potentiometer, allowing adjustment via the supplied remote control, together with a headphone output and controls for input selection and Bluetooth pairing.
The Quad VA-One integrated valve amplifier is available from mid-August, priced at £1299.95 (RRP). It joins the similarly styled PA-One headphone amp in Quad’s expanding ‘One’ range of valve-based amplifiers with integrated DAC circuitry.
At £885 the Minute EL-34 valve certainly looks to offer good value for money with its separate power supply. Add another £150 and you get a full compliment of cryo’d valves. Ian Ringstead takes a listen. More »
The MQ-300 is a new generation of vacuum tube stereo amplifiers from LUXMAN that “uses the most thoroughly selected parts and circuits to maximise the performance and tonal quality of the latest direct heated triode – the TA-300B”. Following in the design footsteps of the MB-300 released 31 years ago, the MQ-300 combines traditional design with cutting edge technology.
Since the foundation of the company 90 years ago, and the subsequent release of the MB-300, LUXMAN has pursued certain core principles for sound generation. These principles are embodied in the MQ-300 as ‘honest and natural sound quality, feeling the sound field without exaggeration’, ‘feeling the unity of sound with sufficient data for the whole audio band’ and to achieve ‘fatigue free listening enjoyment’. Expressing the original sound whilst bringing the spirit of each disk to life are qualities intrinsic to the MQ-300 and those principles.
The MQ-300 is based on the cosmetic design and circuit configuration of the MB-300, the renowned vacuum tube monaural power amplifier released by LUXMAN in 1984. The elements of traditional design and elegant tonal quality that is unique to the performance of the TA-300B, a direct heated triode, have been maximised in the MQ-300.
- Rated Power Output: 8W + 8W (4Ω, 8Ω, 16Ω)
- Input Sensitivity: 490mV (8W) 240kΩ
- THD: 1% (1kHz / 8Ω / 1W)
- S/N Ratio (IHF-A): 105dB
- Input: 1 x Direct, 1 x Variable
- Output: Large speaker terminal x 1 set (4,8,16Ω independent)
- Power Consumption: 160W
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 460 × 273 × 340 (mm)
- Net Weight: 29.0kg
The MQ-300 is arriving in the UK later this month, with an RRP of ￡15,000.
Introducing Billie, the stereo amplifier that combines the precision of digital with the warmth of analogue sound in a Nordic minimalist aesthetic. An objet d’art designed with attention to detail inside and out, Billie brings back the transcendent ritual of listening, say the company launching it on Kickstarter.
“Our goal is to go beyond soundbars and bluetooth speakers, back to how music was meant to be experienced.” says Itai Azerad, Heaven 11 cofounder and designer. “We believe that the stereo system is still the best way to experience that ‘live in the room’ feeling. We’re not about ‘multi-room’, we’re about ‘in the room’.”
“We designed something for the pragmatic audiophile because we couldn’t find it out there. We built an affordable high-caliber amp that plays all of your music collection – be it vinyl, Hi-Res digital, line or wireless.”
Combining the detailed soundstaging of digital to the round, analogue smoothness of tubes, Billie features ICEpower amplification by Bang & Olufsen (120W/4Ω), 32bit/384Kh DAC, AptX Bluetooth, RCA, vinyl and Toslink inputs. It comes with a custom-built tube preamp and a powerful headphone amp. The amp is to be manufactured in Montreal, Canada.
Moving away from the current trend of generic design and disposable materials, Billie’s shell is made of thick, machined aluminium. The cool minimalist casing details are balanced by warm, crafted hardwood knobs.
“Design is not just aesthetics, it’s how we use an object, what the object communicates to us and about us. I believe a stereo’s design ought to be closer to an electric guitar than a cable box -what most stereos look like these days. An electric guitar is quite a functional tool, -not too many useless knobs on there- but it’s also such an intimate object, there’s a mystery about it, you gotta feel a connection, you gotta want to touch it.”
Billie is to be launched on Kickstarter mid-July at the special price of $595 US. After the campaign, the price will be $895/$995 US.
Audio Hungary are a relatively new name to Hifi Pig and we first met them at this year’s High End show in Munich where they had their wares on display. This, the Qualiton A20i, is their entry level integrated amplifier. It is very compact, runs 2 x 20 Watts of Class A power and is based on classic push-pull topology.
It arrived, with little help from DPD, in a sturdy double (and surprisingly heavy) boxing, with the amp inside being very well packed indeed. The first thing out the box was the remote…wow, that’s heavy and really rather beautiful! Off with the valve cover to expose the tubes and the gleaming chrome body-work and that’s it all unboxed. More »
Eunice Kron heads up KR Audio Electronics located in Prauge, Czech Republic, a manufacturer of hand-crafted, high quality tubes (all glass is hand blown) and audio equipment. Hifi Pig goes Behind The Brands with her. More »
Tubes/valves hold a real fascination for audiophiles with many many using them and swearing by them. Here’s a selection of tubes we found at this year’s High End in Munich. Of course there were lots of rooms using tubes and most of the pictures you see here were taken on stands where we weren’t able to listen to them. Includes: Angstrom, LAB 12, Unison Research, Audion, Triode Labs, Tsakiridis Devices, Jadis, Acoustic Plan, Fezz Audio, Mastersound, Dared, Cayin, AudioValve, Rumee Audio, Remton
Aries Cerat have announced the completion of the Diana Series of amplification with the introduction of two new models, the Diana Forte amplifier and the Diana Mezzo, Class A pre-amplifier.
Diana Forte Stereo Power Amplifier
The Diana Forte’s circuits are based on the Diana Integrated amplifier output and driver stages. The Output stage is scaled up to deliver over twice the power, achieving 60W (70W peak) per channel. The parallel SET output stage is built around the 813 DHT big bottle tube. This in turn drives an oversized core OPT constructed using special winding techniques to deliver wide bandwidth at full power.
The amplifier driver stage is the 814 DHT tube, loaded with a double-C core bifilar wound inter-stage transformer. The Diana Forte’s amplifier is connected to its accompanying Diana Mezzo pre-amplifier via Aries Cerat proprietary AC link. As with the Diana Integrated and the Concero amplifiers, all stages are coupled with the company’s AC link method of coupling.
The output stage PSU is a dual, completely separate set of choke-filtered capacitor banks using yhe company’s own Super-capacitors. The SuperCaps come from a selection of special purpose film capacitors with ESL and ESR parameters 100 times lower than any film or electrolytic capacitor.
The driver stage also uses choke filtered capacitor banks, with their own separate power transformer to avoid PSU cross-talk.
All tubes can be biased and monitored on the fly and can be matched using the Diana Forte as a stripped-down tube tester.
Max Power: 60W SE Class A (70W peak)
Max Power bandwidth: 15Hz- 110Khz
Noise floor: 100db
Combined gain: X 20 (26db)
Dimensions: 570mmW X 590mmD X 350mmH
Weight: 110Kg unpacked
Tubes: 2X814, 4 X 813
Diana Mezzo Pre-Amplifier
The Diana Mezzo is an improved version of the Diana Integrated’s pre amplifier stage. At its heart, the Diana Mezzo is a Single Ended Triode amplifier boasting an 814 Direct Heated tungsten DHT.
Signal attenuation is performed by a relay-switched array of resistors, in a shunt/ladder hybrid mode.
A pair of Xenon gas rectifiers are used as rectifiers of the High Voltage PSU.
These rectifiers were developed as drop in replacements for some well known mercury rectifiers when mercury was labeled unsafe. So while they present the technical characteristics of a mercury rectifier, they are safe to operate. The high speed capacitor banks are double choke filtered.
Filament PSUs are quadruple filtered using a cascade of choke/resistor-cap pi filters providing very low noise floor for the sensitive filaments of the DHTs.
Gain: X7 (16db)
Attenuation level: 61 X 1db steps
Maximum signal input overload: 25V
Signal bandwidth @ 20Vrms: 10Hz-120Khz (-3db)
Dimensions: 500mmW X 350mmD X 340mmH
Tubes: 2 X 814, 2X 3b28
The new KR VA 200 monoblocks with the KR 842vhd tube application from KR Audio will be presented at the Melia Hotel in Milan for the Milano Hi-End show, Saturday and Sunday, April 2-3, 2016 in the Turchese room by Mr. Luigi Bocca of LAB Audio Technology Amministrazione as a world debut before the official presentation at the Munich Hi-End show next month, May 5-8, 2016 Halle 4, U08.
The VA200 is a circlotron with a Lundahl C-core output transformer. The driver stage is equipped with a depletion mode MOSFET transistors. The circuit is fully symmetrical with a differential input stage. The output tubes 8 x KR 842vhd per chassis) are fully auto-biased so no further adjustment is needed after replacement.
The new VA 200 monoblocks uses not only the KR hybrid circuit with the solid state first stage and the 8 x KR 842vhd tube application per chassis in the second stage, but is innovative for the design concept of the circlotron circuit or floating circuit giving the listener 200 watts.
Technical Data ( one channel )
Power Tubes: 8 x KR842
Output Stage: Circlotron, class A
Output Power: 200 WRMS (THD=1%)
Output Impedance: 4, 8 W
Frequency Response: 20Hz ¸40KHz (-3dB)
Global Feedback: zero
Input Sensitivity: 1VRMS / 100kW @ 200W
Power requirements: 230/115VAC , 50/60 Hz
Power consumption: 1kVA
Operating temperature: 5C° to 40C°
Weight: Approx. 40Kg
Dimensions including projecting parts and controls (w/h/d): Approx. 38.5 x 28 x 55 cm
The Silver Luna integrated valve amplifier from Polish company Fezz Audio uses EL34 tubes and costs £725 in Poland (and 1700,00 Eur for PRESTIGE export version) , which is something of a budget price for tube amp. Dominic Marsh takes a listen. More »
The PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium HP Integrated Amplifier at £2,998 is billed as a fit an forget valve amplifier that avoids many of the headaches traditionally associated with valve amp ownership. Ian Ringstead takes one for a spin. More »
Graeme Holland heads up Audion, a high-end valve amplifier manufacturer based in South West France, having traditional values and service, yet at the forefront of tube technologies. Now celebrating 25 years of supplying and creating high-end audio products, Audion goes from strength to strength. More »
Glow Audio say the amp has a “classic sound, has the punch of a good push/pull amp, without the graininess that is so characteristic of many push/pull amps in its price range. It has the sweet high end of the EL84, a tight, impressive bass output, and a natural sounding mid range. It sounds wonderful on a wide range of music.”
The retail price of the GLOW Amp Two is $1508 and will be available in February in either high gloss black or white.
Hi-Fi distributor Sound Fowndations has announced the addition of the CANOR TP134 valve amplifier to its portfolio of high quality audio components.
The CANOR TP134 is a high quality stereo integrated amplifier that uses EL34 output valves to generate 35 watts per channel operating in pure class A up to 10 watts per channel. The circuit boards feature patented CMT ™ (Canor Milling Technology) which means that areas of the circuit board are precisely removed to give the circuit similar electrical characteristics to one direct wired with air dielectric cables.
The TP134 features a high quality relay attenuator volume control which the company say provides a “more direct signal path with fewer contacts than typical volume controls leading to precise control and higher sonic performance”.
All control electronics, such as input switching and volume adjustment, are fed from a separate section of the power transformer and the control circuitry is only active when being used which Canor says avoids degradation of the sound quality of the amplifier.
Further the Canor TP134 boasts double copper foil shielding between the mains transformer to prevent mains noise from affecting the performance, a high capacitance anode power supply filtration providing “tight and accurate bass performance”, audiophile quality polypropylene capacitors in audio signal paths, custom designed bifilar wound output transformers “providing maximum power evenly across the entire bandwidth.
For the terminally lazy the TP134 is supplied with a remote control – Hifi Pig REALLY wants a remote control!
Price is £2495
Cary Audio of North Carolina have announced the new Constellation tube preamplifier from Audio Electronics by Cary Audio. The Constellation uses the 6SN7 tube running in Class-A triode mode which is coupled to a fully-regulated power and heater supply. The transformer is a custom R-core power device designed to Cary’s own specifications. The preamplifier was built with as a simple signal path with sonic purity in mind.
The Constellation preamplifier is currently available for purchase through Audio Electronics by Cary Audio’s online store or through your local Cary Audio dealer.
Weight: 22 lbs.
Dimensions: 13” L x 14.25” W x 7.5” H
Retail price: $1,495
Since the introduction of the Van de Leur Audio 002 tube preamplifier and their Audio 402 Class-D dual mono amplifier the company has received high praise and their high end audio products have been well received in the Dutch media.
Only the two products are in the range at the moment but we are assured a new product is very close to announcement.
Hifi Pig will hopefully have the amp and matching pre for review very soon.
Offering both Moving Magnet and Moving Coil stages The Violin allows for fine tuning of gain, eq, polarity and operates in Class A with no feedback.
The front-end MC gain uses low-noise matched JFETs to boost up to MM levels, where the vacuum tubes take over providing all gain, equalization and output buffering.
– Gain: 44dB (MM) / 54dB, 60dB, 63dB, 65dB (MC)
– Input Impedance: 50k (MM) / 955, 305, 170, 122, 84, 70, 59, 52 (MC)
– Output Impedance: 600 ohms
– RIAA Response: +/-0.5dB from 20Hz to 20kHz
– Bandwidth: 6Hz to 500kHz
– Distortion: <0.5% @1kHz
– Noise: 82dBA (MM) / 74dBA (MC)
– Size: 17″ x 8″ x 6.5″
– Weight: 12 lbs.
– Power: 120Vac/240Vac 35W
– Tube Compliment: 12AX7 x 2, 12AU7 x 2, 5AR4 x 1
Huw Brandt, out man from Uppsala takes a visit to Prague and the old TESLA factory in which KR Audio, the manufacturers of the Kronzilla amplifier and tubes now find themselves housed.
On the outskirts of Prague lay the remains of the giant electronic producer TESLA. Enormous old factory buildings that once housed the production of tubes in all shapes and forms. Today KR AUDIO is housed partly in these facilities and since then been producing high quality audio tubes. More »
The 50 Watt RMS, 50TNT monoblock amplifier is Ohio based Audio Power Lab’s latest product and was officially launched at the Capital Audiofest earlier in the summer. The company say the amplifier is the “ultimate marriage of astounding audio transparency and sophisticated physical design” and is hand-built by the company in Ohio .
The amplifier has taken over three years of work by a team of engineers and designers and the 50TNT is the newest addition to the company’s family of push-pull amplifiers utilizing directly heated triode output tubes, transformer coupling, zero negative feedback and pure Class A operation.
The amplifier features a tube complement of 2x572B, 2×5881, 2x12BH7 running in push pull configuration and weighs in at an impressive 27Kg.
Lampizator, the famed Polish manufacturer owned by the maverick genius Lucasz Fikus, has announced that they are to introduce a new monobloc tube amplifier for the European market only. The company are aiming the GM70s at people who would normally buy a stereo 300B amp, but with 30 WPC instead of 8 supplied by the impressive looking GM 70 triode valve.
The amplifiers are single ended from input to output and operate in pure class A mode with zero feedback. There are no solid state parts in audio circuits and the power supplies are unregulated and over-specified for the task. The GM70s boast a separate transformer for each task with a total of three per side. Signal paths have been kept to an absolute minimum with just 2 inches of silver wire from RCA to pot, 2 inches of silver wire from pot to first tube, one inch to second tube and a hop across one capacitor to main tube without additional wiring.
Dimensions WHD : 450 x 140 (250) x 600 mm
Weight: net 30 kg per each mono
Power: 30 WPC single ended class A
Power Tube: GM70 triode graphite version
Driver: doubled 6N6P
Input tube 6N1P
Input impedance: 47 K
Output impedance (speakers recommended) 8 Ohm
Volume: Stepped input potentiometer ALPS
Power transformers total capacity: 700 VA
Rectification: two separate tube rectifiers for HV
Inputs: One single ended RCA
Price 4000€ per pair plus 23% VAT with a special edition available for 5500€ plus 23% VAT
After having a long lasting and unhealthy lusting for Decware amplifiers, news that the American company was to produce a flagship pair of KT88 mono amps caused a flutter of excitement at Hifi Pig headquarters.
The Zen Torii monoblocs are designed to be your final amplifier purchase and are made to order by the company, so expect a substantial waiting time, but they do come with a lifetime warranty.
- 60 watt class-A monoblocks.
- 2 Transformer Balanced XLR Inputs – selectable.
- 1 Single-ended RCA input.
- Input level control.
- Ultra cool bias adjustment – no tools required and can be done on-the-fly.
- Large Simpson Meters – let you maintain perfect tube matching without effort.
- Exotic parts – cost no object design.
- KT88 Ultra-linear output stage.
Price is around $5500
Not everyone needs an integrated amplifier and not everyone has the room for monoblocks. The ST60P from Icon Audio is the company’s first stereo power amplifier and has no selector, no volume control and the input socket is directly connected to the grid of the first valve.
It has a big power supply, big output transformers, and uses the new KT120 valve.
The new KT120 has 50% more power than the KT88 tube.
The Ultra Linear/Triode switch on the amp allows switching from 80 watts to 40 watts of triode sound.
A built in bias meter simplifies keeping biasing.
Specifications and Features
Built in “Easy Bias” Meter
Hand wired point to point
Class A, Triode front end
Output circuit Ultralinear or Triode switchable
2x 6SL7 first stage valves
2x 6SN7 output driver valves
Valve Voltage regulator
Valve warm up, protection circuit
80w RMS* per ch Ultralinear 8Ω KT120
65w RMS* per ch Ultralinear 8Ω KT88
35w RMS* per ch Triode mode 8Ω KT120
Typical gain 70 (High) 20 (Low sensitivity)
Signal to noise level better than -97db
One line level inputs
Tape monitor circuit
44W, 40D, 23H, 35kg
Bob Carver have launched the VTA20S and will ship in July at a cost of $2100. The new stereo amplifier is rated at 20 WRMS in 2 channel stereo mode or 40 WRMS when used in single channel mono mode. The amplifier features auto biasing and low idle current greatly increasing EL84M output tube life.
Bob Carver hand-build their amplifiers in the US using point to point wiring and with no circuit board traces, no surface mount components and no depluggable connecters.
“The VTA20S represents Bob’s latest and greatest thinking on vacuum tube amplifier designs. ” says Bob Farinelli. A screen voltage regulator and DC restoration circuit minimizes crossover distortion and output tube power dissipation. “The 1.5 ohm output impedance coupled with current and voltage feedback loops also allows the amplifier to listen to the room via acoustic feedback from the speakers”. “The room to speaker to amplifier interaction delivers a huge acoustic space and allows us to believe the performance could have existed in another time and in another place. It sounds so beautiful!” Says Bob Carver.
- Input Impedance: 20K ohms in stereo, 125K ohms in mono
- Nominal Voltage Gain: 26dB (into 8 ohms)
- Input Tubes: 12AX7B
- Output Tubes: 1 complementary pair of EL84Ms per channel
- Rated Power (Stereo): 20 Watts
- Rated Power (Mono): 40 Watts
- Speaker Impedance: 4 to 16 ohms
- Noise: Better than 96dB A weighted ref. into 20 watts
- Frequency Response: 8 Hz to 40 kHz (-3dB)
- Full Power Bandwidth: 26Hz to 43 kHz without filters
- Distortion: Less than 0.5%
- Hum: -100dB
- Generator Source Impedance: 1.5 Ohms
- Weight: 17 pounds
Solaja Audio is a Serbian Hifi manufacturer of valve based amplifiers and preamplifiers and owned by designer Dragan Solaja.
The Sedra One is a single ended headphone amplifier with one input and a passive volume control. A 6N2P feeds a single EL84 per channel and delivers 0.5W per channel in triode mode without negative feedback. It’s available in 115 and 230v versions on request and will cost.
The Sedra Two is an integrated amplifier with three RCA inputs and a 62NP double triode valve feeding a single EL84 per channel and delivering 1.5W per channel. With its tiny output the Sedra Two will be of interest to flea power aficionados.
Finally the Sedra Three (Pictured) is the line preamplifier in the series and offers 3 inputs and 2 outputs. Input is a 6N6P and the rectifier is an EZ81.
Each unit is 300€ plus shipping and we have contacted Soloja with regards review items.
The Coffman Labs G1-A is a limited production amplifier that has taken three years to come to fruition, indeed it is the only product in the company’s arsenal. Featuring rare and custom parts the G1-A been designed in Portland, Oregon as something that will last for decades with proper care. It is a line stage, phono preamplifier and a headphone amplifier.
In part the G1-A has been inspired by an RCA amplifier around a century old. As with the RCA amplifier the G1-A is said to contain “nothing that could degrade easily over time”. All internal wiring is point-to-point and is hand done, though apart from the input and output wire runs are non-existent due to the 3D topology of the layout. All of the components are claimed to be “over-sized for voltage” and all switches are “military aircraft quality and rated for millions of operations.”
The Coffman Labs preamplifier is available in 120 or 24 volt versions, has a separate power supply and has a tube compliment of 2 x 12AX7 for RIAA, 2 x 12AU7 for phono boost, 2 x 5687 in the line output and a single 5ARE.
The Coffman Labs G1-A is being sold in the US exclusively through Echo Audio from June 2012 at a cost of 5500$
Zesto introduced their first product, the Andros PS1 phonostage, back in 2011 and it received a good deal of attention and glowing reviews.
The Leto claims the same “bloodline” as the Andros and promises to be “warm, musical and very quiet”. The basic philosophy of George has been to focus on only the important components of the Leto and to add nothing that could compromise the signal path. To this end the only active components in the Leto preamplifier are the valves themselves (Valves used are 2 gold pin 12AX7 and 2 gold pin 12AU7).
Using true floating transformer balanced inputs and outputs the Leto promises a lower overall noise and isolation from other equipment in the set up. The Leto has 3 sets of single ended inputs and 2 sets of true balanced transformer inputs, 2 sets of balanced outputs and 2 single ended outputs.
The Leto is hand-built in the US and has a retail price of $7500.
Purity Audio Design have announced the release of the Basis mk2 vacuum tube linestage. The Basis mk2 utilizes a Class ‘A’, zero feedback circuit based around a single 6SN7 dual triode per channel with a lower output impedance to allow better integration with a larger variety of amplifiers.
The Basis mk2 is said to “bring to the table a better sense of refinement over the original design with better resolution, transparency and detail retrieval. The larger power supply means dynamic impact remains intact during even the most demanding passages.”
Purity Audio Design also offers additional upgrade options for the Basis mk2 including a choke filtered, polypropylene power supply, signal capacitor upgrade and remote volume.
The Basis mk2 has a starting price of $2,500 US. A limited time introductory price is also being offered.
Unison Research has launched its latest integrated amplifier – Simply Italy – to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification as a nation.
Unison have created a newly redesigned version of the Simply Two that shares many of its characteristics and sonic attributes with the famous original, but with a more modern appearance. Simply Italy offers the same 12 watts per channel, but now features a 6-Ohm output impedance, increasing the amp’s flexibility for use with 4 and 8-Ohm loudspeakers.
Amplifying stages are all strictly valve-based and operate in pure Class-A mode.
The output stage for Simply Italy consists of just one EL34 in single-ended ultra-linear configuration and this mode of operation is made possible by a particular development of the output transformers, which in practice, allow the pentode EL34s to operate almost as if they were triodes. The preamp and driver stage of the power output is entrusted to ECC82 twin triodes.
Unison Research’s design department has created an interestingly designed amplifier that harks back to the original Simply Two, yet incorporates “significant aesthetic improvements”.
The wood parts of the Simply Italy are said to be important for the aesthetic design but also play an important role in damping chassis resonance and “assist the delicate electronic parts, valves etc, to perform at their best.”
The Simply Italy boasts an ALPS motorized pot, infra-red remote handset and gold-plated speaker terminals. It is available in black and stainless steel with cherry detail inserts, or cherry with black inserts.
Cost is a pound short of £1500.
Red Wine Audio, manufacturer of battery-powered purist hi-fi products, has announced their first battery-powered high output amplifier which has been designed to drive even the most demanding speakers with ease.
Red Wine have received past accolades from reviewers and customers alike for their battery powered and somewhat minimalist designs but the praise often comes with a caveat – the moderate output of their amplifiers has not been ideal in driving inefficient loudspeakers or driving conventional loudspeakers to high volumes in large rooms.
Output from the Liliana is rated at 115wpc RMS into 8-ohms (230wpc RMS into 4-ohms)
“My goal in designing Liliana was to take full advantage of our premium LiFePO4 battery technology,” says Vinnie Rossi, President of Red Wine Audio. Adding, “With 8 FETs implemented in the Class AB output stage, Liliana allows for some serious “dc-direct” current delivery.” More »
Western Electric and the Western Electric WE300B valve has long been the holy grail for aficionados of that particular flavour of tube, but rarity has made them all but impossible to buy and prices are astronomical.
All that searching and saving could now be at an end…sort of as Chinese tube manufacturer Psvane Audio has stepped up to make a 1:1 replica of the original WE300B.
According to Psvane Audio, “the Psvane WE300B Replica is: “100% 1:1 replica of WE300B, including materials, structure, internal and external size – up to the detail of a tiny screw used”.
The Western Electric 300B replicas will be sold in pairs, are delivered in a beautiful presentation box and likely to be expensive – 1000$ a pair in the US.
UK based Radford Revival have announced the limited edition reissue of Radfords classic series 3 hifi amplifiers. The father and son team of Steve and William Moores hand-build these beautiful amplifiers to order and make them from the original, and hand drafted 1964 blueprints and the original hand-written transformer winding specifications.
Steve has a long history with Radford and has perhaps the largest collection of Radford amplifiers and transformers in the world.
The new transformers on the reissued amplifiers are superior to the originals in several respects. They are machine wound to modern safety and insulation standards. Superior termination is provided by tags embedded in the plastic bobbin, which are much stronger than the original tags, which were glued to the outer insulation of the winding and had a tendency to fall off.
Metal components and casework in the amplifiers are also reproduced from original blueprints (meticulously scanned and converted into metric) and the company used happens to be the very same company contracted by Radford in the 80s to product the metalwork for the Mk4 STA25.
I’m sure you will agree with HiFi Pig that these valve hi fi amplifiers are truly things of beauty and we wish the company every success for the future. We hope to have a review of the amplifiers in the very near future.
The STA15 is £2750 and the STA25 is £2800 which Hifi Pig thinks is a very reasonable sum for such a well crafted piece of engineering.