Everyone loves pictures of lovely valve kit and there was loads of it at this year’s High End Munich. Here’s a pick of some of the stuff we spotted and that caught our eye!
Tektron are a small company based in Italy and aren’t their amps ever so photogenic!
Absolare are based in New Hampshire (US) and make some of the most beautiful looking amps out there. They sound pretty wonderful too.
We don’t know very much about Acoustic Plan other than they are a German company and this integrated is called Aruna.
AirTight are based in Osaka Japan and make wonderful looking valve amplification which again sounds really fabulous. Here is the ATM-1S power amplifier and the ATM-300 power amp.
Arte Forma was formed out of a group of audio enthusiasts in Taiwan. This is a top view of their Due Volt, a 35W Class A monster of an amp. A pair of them are sitting powering the speakers at this very moment awaiting review.
The KT150 is a relatively new tube and from what i’ve heard of it it is very musical indeed and so no wonder that American granddaddies of valve amplification Audio Research are using them.
Steam Punk meets Flash Gordon in the shape of the Auris Audio Titan 300B amp. Eight Watts and using a single 300B amp plus 2X6SN7s.
Austrian manufacturer Ayon Audio make some very fine looking amps and this is their Crossfire using their own AA20B driver tubes.
American brand Balanced Audio Technology had a good few items on display and their Rex ii certainly seemed to be working its 80 watts a side really well. Valve complement is 4x6H30, 6x6SN7, 2x6V6, 4x6C33C-B.
Based in North Carolina Cary Audio have been a long time favourite with Hifi PIg. Their SLP-05 preamplifier is a two box design using 8x 6SN7 octal tubes for the balanced, headphone and gain stages plus 1 5AR4 Rectifier Tube in Power Supply. The CAD 805 is a 50 watts per channel, Pure Class A Single Ended Triode monobloc with dual 6SN7 input stage, 300B driver stage tube which includes both 845 and 211 output tubes.
Opera Consonance are a Chines company that make some very well respected amplifiers and lots of other kit besides. This is their 880i amplifier – an Integrated stereo power amplifier with KT88EHs in push-pull in parallel giving out 100W.
Icon Audio are based in Leicestershire in the UK and this is their MB81 monobloc. These beasts will give you 200W into 8Ohms using the Russian GU81 tube and will drive just about anything you care to put on the end of it. We currently have some of their smaller amps here for review.
Kondo (AudioNote Japan) needs no introduction to folk in the know. This is their M77 stereo preamplifier spotted in the Living Voice room. It uses 6072 x8, 6X4 x1 tubes.
We love KR Audio here at Hifi Pig and Eunice Kron who owns the Czech company is a delight to chat with (sorry we didn’t have longer this year, Eunice). They make their own tubes and make extraordinary looking amplifiers.
We first came across Greek company Lab 12 a couple of years ago at High end Munich when they were on the Newcomers stand. Since then they have expanded their range considerably and appear to be doing very well indeed. Pictured are the new Integre integrated amplifier which can use any of these tubes (EL34, 6550, KT88, KT120), the DAC 1 that is non-oversampling and with a tube output stage, the Mighty power amp and True passive attenuator/input selector and Suono power amplifier, another amp using the KT150 tube but this time it gives 25 Watts of Class A power.
MasterSound are an Italian manufacturer of amplifiers. Here we have their Eco 300B which is 300B tubes in PSE configuration, the compact 845 which gives 30W a side of Class A power and the Dueundici which gives 11W of Class A power using 2 El34 tubes.
German company Octave are headed up by Andreas Hofman and here we have the V40 integrated and the MRE 220 power amp using the KT120 tube to deliver 220Watts into 4 Ohms.
Hand made in Italy, this is the Inpol Remix pure class A integrated amplifier from Pathos. It has digital inputs (USB and S/PDIF) and gives out 10W of Class A power.
This is the Thomas Mayer 10Y pre amplifier and their phonostage…nice!
Unison Research SH Single Ended Headphone amplifier is a new headphone amplifier from this Italian manufacturer. The amplifier below this is their Absolute 845 dual mono integrated which uses 4 x 845, 6 x ECC82, 2 x ECC83 and gives out 40 Watts into 8Ohms…it weighs 200lbs!!!!
Tsakiridis are Greek and make some very well priced tube amps!!! This is their Elektra model.
Rounding off the Valve extravaganza from Munich High End is the Voxativ Room.