I've been getting a lot of requests for higher powered amplifiers since I recently posted a couple of smaller units. This is a thirty watts a side push pull 6L6/5881 stereo amplifier
that should work well for most people that don't have a disco ball in the living room.
There's something of a sweet spot at about thirty watts a side for 6L6 amplifiers.
Sure, you can push for higher power with more voltage. Most do that because
power sells. That comes at a cost though. Higher voltages get a hardness
creeping into the sound. It's like a false level of detail that wears you out.
I prefer a little more softness that pulls you in.
Music should have the power to relax you. You should be able to lean back with
a good single malt at the end of a day and take your ease. At least I do.
This unit has four 5881 (Industrial 6L6) in push pull configuration. They are driven
by a pair of 6SN7. Starting the chain is a single 6CG7. The 6CG7 is electrically
identical to a 6SN7 only it's in a 9 pin envelope instead of an octal. Because I like
to run everything softly instead of harshly, the tubes can easily last you twenty years.
Yes, that is a 10 mfd oil capacitor at the end of the chassis. It's fed by the nice
Collins filter reactor with the red plate on top. Those supply the plate voltage
to only the 6CG7. The 6CG7 is the first tube in the chain. Any guitar player
can tell you that the first tube in the chain is the most important. Everything else
down the line follows where the first tube leads. I doubt that I'll ever see another
Collins choke like this one so this piece will be unique.
The chassis is from a 1940 Webster Electric 2A3 unit. I took off all the old
transformers, all the original circuitry, all the old sockets, and started anew.
The sockets are now octal. The power transformer is now a big Baldwin that can
supply much more voltage than the unit needs. The rectifier is now a 5U4 for those
that must have tube rectification.
This is a solid unit with considerable heft. I haven't put it on a scale but it feels
like a healthy forty pounder. Brace yourself before you lift. This will be no
pleasure to pack and ship. All the tubes are included and those will ship separately
in a smaller box.
I hear often from people who have bought my units how they surpass
other pieces. I've heard tales of Decware, MFA, Bel Canto,Leblen,
BAT, VAC, Korneff, what have you falling by the wayside from buyers that
simply preferred my equipment. While I've only heard a few of those
fine Marques in my own living room, rest assured that I do not build to
compete with any of them. That has never been something that I endeavored
I build amplifiers to sound right. That's all. It has to sound right in my living room or it
doesn't see the light of day. Every once in a while I get some exotic unit over
here from a well heeled friend. It always amazes me how often that
after the first blush of looking at a fancy faceplate wears off and I
listen to the unit, it just doesn't sound as it should.
We've all experienced that. That's why so many units go up for sale on this site
after all. You get the pretty picture, get the unit home, plug it in,
and wonder at yourself that you've again bought another lovely looking
unit that leaves you back on the internet, looking again.
That's something of the soul of this hobby. The dissatisfaction factor is high
among audiophiles. Some are just restless and would not be happy with
anything. There's nothing that can be done for those types. For the rest
of us though, I like to think that an undercurrent of sanity does run
beneath the surface.
I don't build for Audiophiles. I build for myself. I build because it's fun. I do end up with too many units as a result though and that's why this listing is up. There are no circuit
boards in the unit. I never use them. It's all hard wired by hand. My hands. I don't pay anyone to build these for me. I do it all myself. There's nothing mass produced about it at all.
That's why there will never be a lot of them around. After I get a unit up and running,
then it needs to be tuned. I tune them by hand, first getting the voltages where I want
them, then by ear. Every amp is different. Different transformers, different chassis,
different everything. Only one thing is the same, me. You can tell when it's tuned right
too. It just falls into a zone. It's obvious.
To me, an amplifier has to be able to stop you dead in your tracks from time to
time. It has to be able to get your guests to look around and ask if
they really heard what they think they heard. It has to be able to do
that at moderate to low volume. If it can't grab your attention away
from what you're doing or from what's going on in the room it's not one
of my amplifiers. It's got to rivet you. It has to or I don't need it.
It's really fun to get that wow reaction.
This amplifier is dead quiet.Graveyard at Midnight type of
quiet. That's not such a big deal if you're driving inefficient
speakers but it's a very big deal if your speakers are 95dbw or
higher.With efficient speakers you need lots of quiet.
This is a 6L6 push pull unit. Let's say 30 watts a side. It's a basic amplifier.
You need a preamp to use it unless you're a minimalist and run an iPod directly
into it. You can do that you know. Some do. I've had reports from customers
that are very happy with that sort of arrangement. Some Audiophiles feel
that they need components all over, lots and lots of components with
expensive cables and gizmos that do this and that. You know the type. You may even be one of them.
I prefer what to me is a more rational approach.
It's all in the circuit. There are things you really don't need though. That
bias adjust in the early Marantz always seemed to lead to nervous
fiddling. I'd rather listen to music than worry constantly about
checking the bias which always seemed to be off a little this way or
that. That's one of the reasons I use cathode bias. No adjustments any
time. You don't need that silliness with matched output tubes either.
Four 6L6, a pair of 6SN7 and a 6CG7. That's all that's required. Those are
included incidentally but if you're a tube roller, plug in what you
like. No worrying about adjustments because that's taken care of for
you. All my amps are like that. The biggest difference you'll find
is by trying other 6CG7. First tube in the chain and all that.
For that matter, there's the auto-balance phase inverter. It keeps the
feed to the output tubes equal which assures pinpoint imaging and
solid bass. It does that even as the tubes age and change over time.
All my amplifiers do that as well.
That's only part of the reason that you rarely see my amps on the used market.
The sound is the reason people keep them. Used, they don't go cheap and
that's if you're lucky enough to find one. This is brand new.
The rest is up to you.
The best buy in HiFi.
Get it or regret it.
P.S. The quoted shipping is for domestic shipping only. Other countries please do not bid. I really do not want to send this overseas.