Consider Connectors

“God is in the detail” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (et al)

Sometimes it’s necessary to re-examine the little things, the forgotten details.  Try to dig out the last 10% improvement.

Consider amplifier and loudspeaker connectors.

We know that music signals are alternating current, AC not DC – swinging positive/negative.  We know also that “current in a conductor resides at the surface at high frequency” (Prof. Malcolm Hawksford, HFNRR Aug 1985): Continue reading

WOT tube line-stage redux

A Line-stage With Output Transformer (WOT) was built back in 1998, a single 5687 tube per channel with output transformer (OPT).

However I failed to get rid of noise (EM pick-up and attenuator switching noise).  I lacked the expertise to optimise Grounding and to shield and/or orientate the output transformers (OPTs) properly.

Now, I have been fortunate to acquire a pair of Tango NP-126 Line Output transformers. So, I must re-visit the WOT Line-stage. Continue reading

SUN AUDIO SV-2A3 amplifier

This Japanese single-ended, vacuum tube amplifier can be purchased in ‘kit’ form or fully assembled.

Power output is 3.5 watts/channel.   Supplied with Russian Sovtek tubes – 2A3 (2), 6SN7 (2), 5U4G (1).   Amplifier weight is 16 kgs.

Input Sensitivity is high (150mV), so with the in-built volume controls, this amplifier will accept Line level sources easily. Continue reading

‘Adagio’ TDA1541A non-oversampling DAC

When I first listened to DACs, I concluded quite quickly that ‘multi-bit’ DACs sounded more like music to me, than ‘bitstream’ DACs – more dynamic & ‘alive’.

The TDA1541 was originally developed by Philips (in 1985) as a high performance stereo DAC.  The ‘A’ version was manufactured between 1989-1995.  It was (is still?) regarded as one of the best sounding DACs ever made.  This chip was used in almost 100 different CD players Continue reading

2A3PP amplifier – Upgrades

This 2A3 Push-pull amplifier, built in 2009, has proven itself to be an excellent performer.  Compared with Single-Ended amps,  I am happy about the additional watts and improved bass control.

The design of an amplifier is more important than parts quality – don’t waste $$ on expensive parts in a poor design.

However, I think it is worthwhile to spend some more time and $$ on this amp. Continue reading