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Review of Elekit TU882R: Tube headphone amp - Page 2

post #16 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
... We still haven't learned from you which impedance setting you made at the amp when listening to each of your cited headsets...
I have tried all the settings and all the outputs with no noise w/ the cans I have (120 ohms being the highest I have). Yes I could borrow a Senn HD580/600/650 but honestly why? IMO the Senn sound is horrible (to my ears) and yes I have owned the HD580, and twice the HD600.

Instead I will try to borrow a Beyer DT880 or similar in either 250 ohms or 600 ohms. Anyone care to send me a pair?

Rob, the Elekit does work very nice w/ low impedance cans (currently listening to a Denon AH-D5000 w/ MarkL mods and Bubinga Cups). Another amp which IMO sounds great w/ Grado is the Mapletree Ear + Purist HD or the PinkFloyd Modded Musical Fidelity X-Can V2 or V3.
post #17 of 88
Thread Starter 
I have spent the last two days listening to the Elekit while using either a Monarchy Audio NM24 DAC or a Meridian 506.20 as a source. The music has been jazz by Stan Getz, Stanley Clark, and Spyro Gyra. I did swap the stock tubes and I am using the WE396A which do provide a noticeable improvement.

I have used mostly a MarkL Modded Denon AH-D5000 w/ Bubinga Wood Cups or an AKG K701 w/ APureSound V3 re-cable. All my previous statements of the performance have been validated with a more enjoyable experience since I am using better sources and better tubes.

To say I am very impressed with the sound out of this small and inexpensive unit is an understatement to say the least. I certainly hope others have an opportunity to hear it since they should be impressed with its sound. I can see it will be hard to pack and return this little unit.

Once again I would like to thank Victor for the opportunity to listen to the TU882R and also to the builder Steve.
post #18 of 88

Speculation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Miguel, nice review. What is interesting here is that we seem to have a tube amp that if anything works better with LOW impedance headphones rather than high. We have LOTS of headphone amps that work well with high-impedance headphones, so having one that works well with medium-to-low impedance cans is very nice indeed.
I trust that pointing out one minor shortcoming of the TU-882 would not lead the reader to assume the amp is limited compared to other tube designs. This amp is as good as any I’ve heard with the high impedance Senn HD 650, and quieter. The Triad Audio valved prototype, the Wright Sound WPA-22, and the Darkvoice 336 all have more self-noise. I hope that the designer of the Elekit will modify the circuitry to lower gain, permitting the volume control to be advanced to somewhere between the 10 and 2 o’clock positions where pots generally yield superior sound. This may have the additional beneficial effect of lowering the apparent self-noise of the amp. That could vault this amp into the superlative.
Bloom, the sense of powerful leap to the voices, the startle effect, is here in spades. This amp starts and stops instantaneously. There is no overhang. This allows you to hear an uncanny rendering of the recorded venue. It lends stunning clarity to each instrumental line in the mix. Each voice and instrument occupies a distinct space, making the musical presentation much easier to interpret. This intelligibility is its hallmark. Check out Jackson Browne, Running on Empty, opening moments in the concert venue. Then flick to Cocaine for examples of the bloom I mentioned.
The nearly ideal coupling for cans of varying impedance produces profound and articulate bass among many other benefits. Try it yourself. Switch the impedance at the back of the amp to an inappropriate setting and compare that sound with the appropriate setting for your cans. The midrange sounds more realistic as well.
The highest tones are lifelike, airy, unforced, easy.
post #19 of 88

Tube rolling

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post
I have spent the last two days listening to the Elekit while using either a Monarchy Audio NM24 DAC or a Meridian 506.20 as a source. The music has been jazz by Stan Getz, Stanley Clark, and Spyro Gyra. I did swap the stock tubes and I am using the WE396A which do provide a noticeable improvement.

I have used mostly a MarkL Modded Denon AH-D5000 w/ Bubinga Wood Cups or an AKG K701 w/ APureSound V3 re-cable. All my previous statements of the performance have been validated with a more enjoyable experience since I am using better sources and better tubes.

To say I am very impressed with the sound out of this small and inexpensive unit is an understatement to say the least. I certainly hope others have an opportunity to hear it since they should be impressed with its sound. I can see it will be hard to pack and return this little unit.

Once again I would like to thank Victor for the opportunity to listen to the TU882R and also to the builder Steve.
How did the character of the sound change? What was lacking in the prior valve set that was supplied by the WE 396A?
post #20 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by curbfeeler View Post
Poppycock. Until you’ve heard the combination you ought not speculate about strengths or limitations.
I trust that pointing out one minor shortcoming of the TU-882 would not lead the reader to assume the amp is limited compared to other tube designs. This amp is as good as any I’ve heard with the high impedance Senn HD 650, and quieter. .
There is no excuse for your rudeness. I was merely commenting on Miguel's review. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you were just being a fanboy, rather than a troll, but either way, you need to relax, and your posts here railing on Miguel and me are WAY out of line.

In any case, I will be getting this amp to review, and I have lost of high, medium, and low impedance headphones, as well as 9 other tube amps to compare it to, and so I will then be able to make definitive statements on this topic.
post #21 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
There is no excuse for your rudeness. I was merely commenting on Miguel's review. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you were just being a fanboy, rather than a troll, but either way, you need to relax, and your posts here railing on me and Miguel are WAY out of line.
agreed x2 - emphasis on the WAY out of line
post #22 of 88

Looking forward to your review as well

Skylab - If/when you get this elekit - I'd be interested in your views of this amp compared to the AudioTailor Jade on Senn 650/600.

Thanks,
post #23 of 88
I will definitely compare to the Jade when I get the review unit. I don't have the Senn HD600/650, though. I do have 3 pairs of 600 ohm Beyers, though, so I will be able to test the amp's performance with both high and low impedance headphones.
post #24 of 88
Here is the comment from TU-882 designer Mr.Fujita :


permitting the volume control to be advanced to somewhere between the 10 and 12 o'clock positions where pots generally yield superior sound which may have the additional beneficial effect of lowering the apparent self-noise of the amp. This really does not make sense.

In his opinion, the gain of TU-882R/AS is designed perfect.

Matching the impedance is important only to convey the power of the amplifier to the headset in most effective manner.

However, having the best sound quality is another story.

Matching the impedance could cause distortion and low damping. You need to see the balance of the impedance matching and good sound quality.

As the said headphone, Senn HD650, seems to convey the power very effectively, it no longer has to be connected to high impedance. Connect it to low impedance and get the best sound out of it. Low distortion and high damping.

As you know, the vacuum tube amplifier has very low damping, 5 or 10 at most, compared to a semiconductor amplifier having 100-200 damping. Connecting it to low impedance could lead to high damping and low distortion, a better sound quality, which must be something that all users want to achieve.

Also, TU-882R/AS is designed to best match commonly used headsets, and focusing only on those high-impedance headsets is not a good idea.

Could this explanation help the situation? I hope so...

Cheer!!
post #25 of 88

Mr Fujita - Advice on adding IEC plug

Vkung would you mind asking Mr. Fujita regarding the IEC plgu and grounding the unit? With other tube amps I've tried, using a different power cord does make a difference. But since he is the chief designer of this we may be able to get a simple answer instead of tinkering with it and finding out it was a waste of time.


-THanks,
post #26 of 88
Thread Starter 
We are all here to enjoy ourselves and hopefully learn of a new product that could bring additional joy to our busy lives. I certainly hope that rudeness is not part of this or other thread by me or others, all it does is alienate ourselves.

Having said so I certainly like the more rounded presentation of the WE396A. It is not a night/day difference but I hear smoother highs w/ a deeper bass. Although the sound is more open w/ the WE396A there is a sense of intimacy with the music not present with the GE 5670 tubes. I do not know how much the WE396A sell for, but I can pick up NOS GE 5670 at HAM Radio Shows for 50 cents so I do not believe I would be willing to pay more than $35 for a pair of the WE396A since to me the difference in sound is not justifiable over the 50 cents I have paid for NOS GE 5670 tubes. Of course we all think and hear differently so if others are willing to pay more the go for it.

Rob and Victor I hate to say there is a problem and it is a big one. I am not sure I want to part w/ this amp! It sounds so good that IMO makes me wonder why pay more for other amps. Yes I continued to be impressed by it, currently listening to a pair of AKG K501 w/ APureSound V3 re-cable and the sound is spectacular! Did I mention how cheap this amp sells for?

Rob, I hope you enjoy this little jewel as much as I have. I think you like a bit darker presentation than I do but boy this amp has plenty of punch, detail, clarity, soundstage, and extension.
post #27 of 88
Nice! Looking forward to trying it - sorry to make you part with it Maybe you will need to build yourself one!
post #28 of 88
Victor is a great guy and I wanted to get in on the loan program but he explained how challenging it is too do so in Canada...etc!

How well does it work with the low impedance cans, specifically the K701? I have recently purchased the 702 and am looking to amp it, the semi-DIY aspect really intrigues me as well

thanks for the great initial and ongoing review.
post #29 of 88

The Designer of TU-882

Mr. Fujita was born in Osaka in 1956 and raised in Fukuoka. He became interested in electronics in his higher elementary school grades and began to construct germanium radios and transistor radios. His first love with classical music was The Blue Danube sung by the Vienna Boys' Choir he heard in his junior high days. He eventually fell under the spell of music and audio. Soon he found himself gathering vacuum tubes from abandoned TVs and with humble parts permitted by his limited pocket money, he began building simple amplifiers or transceivers on aluminum lunch boxes or steel cookie cans. At the same time, he indulged in railroad models and made HO gauge trains of his own. It was during these junior high school days also that he obtained his HAM operator's amateur radio license.


In 1980 when a university student, he bought the first-gen Sony Walkman, then a revolutionary product. From then onwards, he became interested in portable audio in general. The car audio in his first set of wheels was this Walkman plus a DIY IC amplifier. Busy schedules filled up with lectures and studies prevented him from building his home hifi amps and he settled for Marantz and a pair of Diatone DS-25B 2-way monitor, with the speakers still in use today. Then he discovered Dixieland jazz at a club and it became one of his favorite music genres.


After graduating from Tokai University with a communication engineering degree, Mr. Fujita landed a job designing electronic systems for an automobile manufacturer before joining Elekit. In his present position, Mr. Fujita's life-long passion for audio electronics, model making and electro-mechanical engineering have finally found perfect solace and satisfaction. The solid DIY term of his youth helps him conceptualize, design and develop the TU series of amplifiers and CD player among many other Elekit products.

Cheer
Happy Canada Day!!
post #30 of 88
Great review Miguel. I am looking forward to more! I am in the process of putting together a new setup for home listening and have ordered this amp. I will be pairing it with the Grado HF-2 and hope to be able to put this rig together and not have to upgrade for a long time.
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