January 22, 2021

Raytheon 2A3H

Just because it's always nice, here are a few pictures of a recently obtained pair of Raytheon 2A3H from South Korea. From South Korea, imagine that! Normally, I've located the entire Asian area as a "black hole for tubes" for me. Historic triodes and other rare tubes, which once landed there, never come back from there to our western hemisphere, because our Asian friends of the tube freak scene usually are really hardliners in that regard... 

I just plugged the tubes in quickly, the right tube still has a bluish glow at a small spot due to some ionized gas inclusions. No, the tube fortunately does not have a leak and to my experience the getter will have caught the few gas molecules after 50 hours of operation at the latest.

January 20, 2021

Single-ended power amplifier with the tube RE604

This is a very nice, freaky project of a friend of mine. It is really worth to be presented to the public so I share it here on my blog. The (German) text that I translated to English is coming directly from the amp designer and builder: Roland Kraft. Many of you will know him as he is also a famous hi-fi editor in Germany. And by the way, one of the biggest, most highly skilled tube freaks on this planet. Here we go:

"There was no one around to talk me out of it: Tube projects from madmen for madmen. This time: the tube RE604. The KlarTon 604 is a single-ended amplifier with the tube RE604 and follows very old circuit principles. The amplifier is an experiment carrier exclusively intended for my (audio) laboratory, which should not be copied as "openly" as here, of course; the purpose of the thing was to be able to make changes quickly.

(Irony switch: on): The amplifier is, as you can easily see, completely in accordance with all electrotechnical regulations including RoHS and was manufactured according to regulations with the well-known good sounding, lead-free solder. English and German translations of the manual are also available and describe in detail the start-up, which basically consists of turning the main switch around, which was exhumed from a box of 40s electrical material at a Munich flea market. As you can easily see on the hermetically sealed case for safety reasons, the free heat dissipation of the total of ten tubes should not be a problem... (irony switch: off). 

;-)

Four wheels, 40 kilograms, one and a half watts out of the tube RE604 (Photo: R. Kraft)

January 17, 2021

Vacuum Tube Valley Issue #01 to #20 - free download

Vacuum Tube Valley (VTV) was a magazine for tube enthusiasts produced by Charlie Kittleson. There have been published 20 issues in total in the years from 1995 to 2004. Sadly he passed away on February 10, 2009. 

Without any violation of rights, all issues of this cult magazine are available as free downloads in the web nowadays. But to my experience most of the download links do not properly work. Consequently I decided to provide these as free download again - please find the download links of all issues below accordingly.

Enjoy!


January 08, 2021

Odeon Rigoletto 2020 - test online on hifistatement.net

It took a little bit longer than expected, but the test of the Odeon Rigoletto 2020 is online on hifistatement.net now. For those of you not being German native speakers, I have translated the text to English for your convenience:

Would you have so much confidence in a manufacturer that you would order a component from them without a prior listening test? A loudspeaker, for example, that doesn't even exist yet because it hasn't been fully developed and the price hasn't been determined yet? Of course not! I do: the Odeon Rigoletto 2020.

I have to make one thing clear right away: This is not a classic test, but a story. It's my personal story about how, after well over a decade, a professional loudspeaker was finally allowed to move into my home again. And permanently, at that. My liaison with the Odeon Rigoletto 2020 has been going on for over half a year now, and our relationship is getting stronger. My carpentry tools have been lying around unused for months (at least I'm not using them to make my own speaker cabinets at the moment), which is not necessarily to the displeasure of my better half... But I'll go ahead, one by one!


October 10, 2020

How to pimp your Audio Note M2 Phono

1. Personal taste: the knobs
Usually the Audio Note M2 Phono will be delivered with golden knobs. Honestly speaking I do not really like this appearance as I prefer it more unpretentious. Most of you might not be aware about it but Audio Note also offers various DIY components, indeed control knobs, too. Consequently I ordered a set of four black knobs via Germany´s official distributor. I have chosen gloss black types (not matt black) as these perfectly match with the reflecting front. Nominal diameter of the knobs is 26 mm, furthermore you need to check the positions of the screw borings in relation to the knob markings (there are two different types available: "aligned" = boring and marking at the same position and "not aligned" = boring and marking turned 180° to each other). You even can order new components with knobs in your preferred color. Later - as in my case - the knobs can also easily be changed by means of a hex wrench as they are fixed with simple grub screws only.
My Audio Note M2 Phono, now with black knobs

September 10, 2020

Sun Audio Uchida Model SV-2A3H - Special Edition by 2A3 Maniac and Analog Tube Audio

This is the preliminary (happy) end of a very long journey. As some of you might know I am a fan of the Sun Audio Uchida 2A3 amp for more than ten years. Initially an article about this amp written by Roland Kraft and published in the German Hifi Exklusiv magazine 01/1994 awoke my interest (see that article at the end of this blog post). At that time I still was infected by the tube amp virus but the symptom "single ended triode freak" was not visible at all. Anyway, my infection got worse and worse and around 2005 I finally bought my first 2A3 amp, it was a More Fidelity Musiqa No. 3. Later on I remembered the kit of Masaho Uchida again and simply for my general interest I kept in touch with Robert Graetke of Analog Tube Audio, who assembled these kits in Germany (and still does nowadays). Fortunately he was located close to my home town and finally I visited him in spring 2010. I had the opportunity to hear his own Sun Audio 2A3 in comparison to my 2A3 amp and then my decision was crystal clear: I had to order a kit at Europe´s official distributor Acoustic Dimension (Peter de Bruyn) and let it assemble by Robert. And I did - that´s how it all began. I started sharing my thoughts and experiences and 2A3 Maniac was born.
Sun Audio Uchida Model SV-2A3H in operation
Sun Audio Uchida Model SV-2A3H - Special Edition by 2A3 Maniac and Analog Tube Audio

August 28, 2020

roehrenfieber.com: Meeting opportunity in Austria for DIY lovers from 31st Oct - 01st Nov 2020

Even in difficult times of COVID-19 there are brave hearts like Josef of roehrenfieber.com. Josef is organizing a DIY exhibition in the Landwirtschaftsschule Schlierbach (Klosterstraße 11, 4553 Schlierbach, Austria) from 31st Oct - 01st Nov 2020. The place is located approx. 100 km east of Salzburg/Austria respectively approx. 200 km west of Vienna/Austria. For further information, registration etc. please have a look to Josef´s website!

August 25, 2020

Audio Note M2 Phono and Vindicator Silver - test online on Hifistatement

As previously mentioned in my former post about the Audio Note Vindicator Silver, the test is online on hifistatement.net now. It is even a combined test together with my Audio Note M2 Phono. Unfortunately it is available in German language only, hopefully you will manage to deal with the language barrier! 

© by hifistatement.net

Sorry to say but some of you might notice that the photographer placed the 6SL7 driver tube and the 5R4GY rectifier tube in the wrong positions by changing their places... Obviously he had no problems to squeeze the tubes into the wrong sockets. What a mess!

August 01, 2020

Follow-up on broken Clearaudio Charisma V2

Thanks to my dealer PhonoPhono (Berlin) as well as to Clearaudio my brand new Charisma V2 (replacement) cartridge arrived a few days ago. Clearaudio checked my damaged pickup and explained that no repair was possible (honestly speaking that was indeed my expectation). Damn! Anyway, Clearaudio´s customers usually get a significant discount when buying a replacement cartridge and I did, too. So I am trying to forget my painful misfortune and enjoy listening music again!

July 08, 2020

Clearaudio Charisma V2 broken

Some days in my life I feel like stumbling from one misadventure to another. Just like today! Can you imagine the frustration having damaged your 1.5k Euro pickup? I´m not gonna tell you what went wrong here but draw a veil of silence over that matter. Anyway, the consequence is that something is missing here as you can (not) see...