Wall of Sound

Recordings, Concerts and Audiophile Reviews
  1. Elekit TU8600 Amplifier Kit Review by Noam Bronstein As music pours out of Elekit’s new amp through my speakers, I’m smiling, and remembering that some things are much more than the sum of their parts. Some things just work, and those who have heard the mighty 300B tube perform its magic through full-range drivers understand this. That’s why you’re reading this review, naturally. For you guys who need to scroll down to the conclusion, I’ll save you the trouble. The Elekit TU8600 is a superb amp, and an excellent value. If you can build it, and have reasonably sensitive speakers, I can’t think of a better new amp to buy in 2017. Order it before they’re gone. Seriously. I loved this amp’s predecessor, the 8300R; and the new 8600 is an even better amp. In literally every conceivable way. It’s off the charts, for me. What is it? I won’t go into a backgrounder on Elekit, since we’ve talked about them, and already reviewed four of their amplifiers on this site. This is a kit. It comes in a big box with everything you need to build it, minus a few basic tools. Soldering iron is a must, of course. [...]
  2. (Part 1) By Steve Graham Big tube amps like the one pictured above can be a bit intimidating, even to yours truly. First a disclaimer:  I’m not an electrical engineer, but I do have several decades experience poking around in tube amps. This will be a basic introduction for beginners.  I’ll also supply links for those who wish to do more reading.  More experienced tube-o-philes will no doubt notice that I’ve glossed over some details and made some generalizations, but I think they’ll agree that I’ve adhered to the essentials. The inspiration for this article came from WoS follower Mike, who had a few questions regarding bias settings on his Onix SP-3 integrated amp.  Mike’s questions led me to believe that there is a need to expand on the brief description that I gave in my Elekit TU-8340VK review.  (scroll down to ‘Bias? I’m Not Biased’ for my brief description) I also touched on bias in my power tube shootout.  (link) There will be a little optional math involved, if you wish, but don’t worry, it’s simple math.  If you’re like me, you hate it when someone says it’s simple, gives a formula, and then leaves you to figure it [...]
  3. Two big boxes landed here on the 24th! All week, Elekit’s brand-new TU8600 has been playing (about 25 hours now) and it is sounding good – very good. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you’re even thinking of the possibility of building a 300B amp in the near future, you oughta pay attention to this one. So far the amp is everything I hoped it would be, and the value appears to be off the charts. The amp I have is fully built, so the articles will be mostly limited to subjective performance – but I will also be taking it apart for photo essays, and I’ll discuss the build complexity in the context of other kits. (we’ve previously reviewed two unassembled Elekit kits and two that came to us built, like this one) Note also, there are better photos in the other sneak peek posts. But to whet your appetite, these are some of the extended summer full of activities being planned around the newest Ellie: A full review of the stock amp, using my Lowthers, the new Coherent Model 5’s, and the Audeze LCD3 planar-magnetic headphones Another review using the custom Lundahl LL2770 output [...]
  4. Elekit’s TU8600 may not be the year’s most anticipated amp for every audio enthusiast, but if you know a few things about Elekit, DIY, and 300B SET amps, it might be yours. And mine. Well, the ‘bad’ news is that our review sample hasn’t arrived yet. The good news is that it will be here very soon – likely in the next week or two. Better still, the amp we receive will be a “rev.2″ or in other words, the same as the production version that should be available to the public by early autumn. Some minor adjustments were needed to bring the amp to Elekit’s standard of audible hum (none). As well, the trafo rack is being redesigned so that the optional Lundahl output transformers (which are heavy!) can be accommodated. The even better news is that we will also be receiving the Lundahl LL2770’s – so we”ll be reviewing this amp with both the stock Elekit trafos, as well as with the custom Lundahls. Similar to how Steve reviewed the TU8340. Remember, both of these trafos have a third winding for the headphone output. I’m not a headphone expert, but for me, no op-amp based headphone setup ever came [...]
  5. Dear WoS readers, I’m getting ready to launch another audio website. This one will be different; it’ll be based on user reviews and it’ll be focused on turntables, tonearms and cartridges. This will be a communal effort, and I’m currently looking for a few volunteers to help me build up the initial content before the site goes broadly public. If you have expertise with analog audiophile gear new or old (Garrard, Linn, Thorens, Oracle, Rega, VPI, Graham, SME, Technics, Ortofon, Koetsu, etc.), or if you just enjoy posting about audio and have some free time, please contact me. There’s lots to do. If you have a collection of photos or brochures I would also love to hear from you. Thanks in advance!   Noam Bronstein [email protected]    
  6. A Quick-shot, 3 Tube, 12AT7 Shootout by Steve Graham   A German tube, a Russian tube and an English tube walk in to a bar……     The 12AT7 is not the most commonly used preamp tube in audio.  That distinction probably falls to the 12AX7, especially when you add guitar amps to the mix.  So why do a 12AT7 (aka ECC81, CV4024) shootout?  Because the opportunity arose when I had the Elekit TU-8340VK push-pull power amp in my stereo den a while back.  (links 1, 2) The Elekit uses 12AT7’s for both voltage gain and phase splitting, two for each channel.  And I already had three quads -two NOS and one new production – of my own.  I wouldn’t have to beg, borrow and test the patience of the kind people who have loaned tubes unstintingly on previous occasions.  As these are tubes from my personal ‘inventory’, there’s no time pressure to return them or write the review. Why three quads you ask?  Spares for my DIY phono stage.  It’s not ready for prime time yet, so the Ellie amp would suffer yet more tube-change related trauma after the power tube shootout that I subjected her to.  Decent NOS 12at7’s are [...]
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