Hi ELEKIT TU-882AS Owners...
I've finally acquired, built and have begun burning one of these in myself. I've been having my head swimming in the terminology of the Tube Amp world for over a year now, and did the educational thing... nabbed a Bravo Audio amp off eBay to see if I liked the general sound signature of Tube topology over Solid State, and yup it sure is for me!!!
I was swayed by Skylab's 22 amp roundup whereby the TU-882AS was in the top ten and under in the $500USD range...
Link Here: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/402585/review-summary-a-ranking-of-22-tube-and-tube-hybrid-headphone-amps where it quite nicely came in 7th. I trust Skylab's reviewing, I've been a fan of it for some time.
I've had the pleasure of positive communication with Victor Kung through the entire process, as I was Quite nervous about Building an amp (even a PCB assembled Kit) despite my years in Electronics Class back in High School... LOL. Surprisingly a painless and VERY ENJOYABLE experience.
I'll reserve some more of this post for my Audio impressions, however I'll put some in Date Coded order:
2010, April 10:
Spent the weekend having A BLAST getting to know the rough character of the TU-882AS fitted with the GE 5670W Tubes. Very nice, especially coming from the single tubed 6N11 in the Bravo Audio Amp. I found I preferred the Medium Gain setting listening with a variety of headphones and musical styles.
Primary phones used were: SONY MDR-XB700, MDR-XB500 transplanted into KANEN KM-880 Shells, KOSS PRO4AA recabled by Zombie-X of ZXAC, who also recabled my UR40 set. The reason I mention the variety of cans is that the TU-882AS handled the various impedances with aplomb, and there was only certain occasion, mainly with the 250 ohm PRO4AA set where i raised the Gain setting from Medium to Maximum.
Sound: The sound was Deep, Lush, Sweet, with nice rounded sharpnesses (non harsh treble) but like the melted glass tips on the tubes themselves, rolled. So you dont 'cut' your ears with the ugly treble harshness that happens with Solid State amps that overblow on you. IMO. Never "Harshed Out" on me.
I have a pair of the 396A Tubes on order, and i did something STUPID as a newbie to tubes, i damaged a tube while the amp was powered up, knocking that Tube out of commission. Luckily the channel survived, and Victor was quick to offer trouble shooting advice for me. I should be back up sooooooon, and this time I'll be more careful. :-D
I can't wait to season the new tubes and the amp a bit more, and post more about my experiences with it!
2010, April 13:
Well, now I have received some new tubes in the mail, I tested my reference FLAC file, Orbital's "Doctor?" on 'The Altogether' 2-Disc set, and am wowed a bit by the difference in the rendition between the already GOOD 5670W tube performance, and the 396A tubes...
I was chatting with a pal on another site and i was stopped by the sound and here's the snippet:
"they sound smoooother, quieter analog noise floor, richer, not honkier bass, and more authority to the musicality" -FLACvest
Um, i don't know what else to say for now, I just need to burn them in, and see how things go. I wish I had my object of desire: the Ultrasone PRO 900 to listen with already, but alas the SONY XB700 is doing a good job. However i get the feeling they are unable to resolve some of the upper treble information and resolution that the amp and tubes are putting out.
Edited by AnAnalogSpirit - 5/14/10 at 1:40am