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First Look: Minute EL34 SE Headphone Amplifier from SAC Thailand - Page 2

post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferbose View Post

None of these new exciting gadgets are mentioned on the SAC Thailand English website.

Is there a Thai website that describes all this? (not that I can understand and Google translator is horrible in this case)



These are very new Products and just launched internally in Thai Audiophile Forum but already proven a big hits here! will try to post some photo and explanation for you soon,

Cheers,

Tadj

post #17 of 63

Quote:

Originally Posted by kiertijai View Post

After the 300B Minute  amplifier, the SAC Thailand led by Kanit will do the 2A3 amplifier and the electrostatic amplifier.

Chinsettawong is trying to build the DIY T2, DIY elctrostatic headphone.

 


 

Wow, looking forward to more information about the electrostatic amplifier...  And thanks for all the nice pictures everyone is sharing.  Your bedroom setup is pretty slick MezzoBello, thanks for the link.


Edited by gooky - 5/17/11 at 9:51pm
post #18 of 63

thanks gooky. BTW, that was the past lol. Currently, I just end up with a simple rig (Westone ES5 + iPhone 4 or Macbook Air w/ Amarra) biggrin.gif

 

ES5_iPhone4.jpg

post #19 of 63
Thread Starter 

It's great to know the person who conceptualized the Minute EL34 headamp, Kanit. It is a brilliant idea, and the transformer for electrostatic headphones as well.

w clean it sounds while driving the speaker.

 

Today I received new speakers today, ERA D4. I had to upgrade because my previous speakers were not good enough to match the performance of the Minute. There are so many good reviews about this speaker, and I saw a special deal on Audiogon for a new pair in a discontinued color. Even without breaking in, I know all the positive reviews are true. This is a great little performer with phenomenal imaging and bass. Importantly, it is 6 ohms and only 84 dB sensitive. On paper, the Minute EL34 should have a hard time driving it. But in reality, the Minute could make it sound too loud in my small room, which supports the manufacturer's claim that this amp maintains a flat frequency response and pretty low distortions even near full output power. Most amps sound quite strained way before it reaches its power rating, but not this one.

 

Today I have confirmed once again the excellence of this amp. First I received Genelax reissue KT66 tubes. It's so quiet that that I have a hard time hearing self-noise even with my very sensitive HD595. And the sound is very smooth, as charismatic as Tung-Sol 6L6G reissue even without burn-in. What I am describing is kind of insane, because I am using a 104 dB/mW = 134 dB/W headphone to listen to an amp that can drive 84 dB/W speakers, and hardly hearing any self-noise. Now just imagine how clean the speaker sound is (that's what I call inner resolution!).

 

I am curious to know how Minute EL34 compares to the Minute 300B. My guess is that EL34 will sound more neutral and cleaner, and 300B a lot warmer and tubey. Some people really love the fat and tubey sound, while I am always a fan of the clean tube sound, just like Ray Samuel's Raptor amp.

 

It's just my guess, but I think what makes the Minute EL34 sound so great has to be the cathode feedback. I remember there was a audio forum in Indonesia that posted some people doing a shoot-out of the older Minute EL34 (2006 model, discontinued) against five 300B amps that cost much more. And the Minute was the clear winner. Now the second-generation Minute EL34 is probably even more remarkable. Once I borrowed for several weeks an Almarro A205 amp using EL84 in pentode mode. It had a great output transformer and sounds really pristine in its first 1-2 watts (max ~5 watts, ~$900), with great reviews everywhere. But for the same price, Minute EL34 has better tone, lower noise, louder output, and drives all kinds of headphones in the most convincing manner. Again, no comparison. 

 

I think Thai audiophiles are really lucky to have a company like SAC Thailand that is dedicated to developing unique hi-end products, not just copying foreign designs. SAC manufactures its own transformers, which I think is the key to its success in tube audio. Congratulations to Kanit and Kittipol, this amp has real potentials to become an audio classic. 

post #20 of 63
Thread Starter 

There are so many modern 6L6 family tubes available: 6L6/6L6GC (many variations), 5881, KT66, Russian 6P3S and Chinese 350B.

I wonder what users in Thailand think about these different choices.

 

So far I think 6L6 family sounds (tried three) much darker than EL34 family (tried three). 6N1P is a lot brighter than 6CG7. A lot can be done to modify the tone.

My favorite right now is Tung-Sol 6L6G, but my search is far from over.

post #21 of 63
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post #22 of 63

Hi Ferbose

 

I just want to keep you updated, the Minute EL34 push pull version is ready to order and will be available soon here in Thailand.

Hopefully I should have a chance to compare it side by side b/w 300B and EL34 PP with the beyerdynamic T1.

 

 

post #23 of 63
Thread Starter 

Minute EL34 PP version, that's interesting.

If I did not read it wrong on the internet, Quad II amplifier was the pioneering product that used KT66 push-pull (class A) with cathode feedback.

Class A push-pull to my ears is a lot better than class AB push-pull in terms of tonal purity, at the cost of having 50% the power. But class A PP is rare these days.

 

I guess the Minute amplifier must be getting rave reviews in Thailand these days, with so many new models rolling out.

But why would a 300B amp be considered "minute"?  biggrin.gif


Edited by Ferbose - 5/23/11 at 6:15pm
post #24 of 63

I used to post here in some threads,that there is a product called Boy-BEE (kind of Stax energizer and analog passing to normal  headphones) ,which functions like the woo-wee but can also use with both Dynamic (Otho) and Staxs at the same time,that is a great product. Actually IMHO the Boy-Bee is better than Woo-Wee ,but like everything in life one has to try ,before he can judge anything.

 

I myself use the Minute EL34 with my LCD2 and HD800 .The amp is great for both headphones,which are so different in character. Like everybody knows ,you have to tuberoll the amp and you will get a very good results for both headphones.(I use telefunken with LCD2 and Marconi KT66 grey glass  with the HD800)

 

The most impressive amp from SAC in my opinion is the 300B version,it sound so nice especially when paired with HD800 and O2( via Boy-Bee staxenergizer).I and my friend used to compared it with cary 300SEI and Leben CS300 (which is not a 300B,but sounds so good) the three have good tubes on them.  I wasn't disappionted with the result.

 

 

The heart of these amps are the parts inside and the output transformer(which's very great and produced by SAC themself. Actaully SAC is a company in the output transformer field,but the owner of this company builds the amps tailor made for the customer,that is his passion). That's the reason why they can keep the reasonable price.

 

It seems like an advertisement lol ,but I do really  love the product from SAC ,my next amp would be the minute 300B version.

 

 

 

 

p.s 300B with good tube combinations can somehow sound like the EL34 with better mid and soundstage ,but still EL34 has better speed and dynamic.My LCD2 are really rock,but with HD800 like I mentioned before I love the 300B much much more (actually I use the HD800 for some audiphile cds and some acoutics,the tubey sound of 300B can help the thin sound character of HD800)

 

 

 


Edited by coolcat - 7/11/11 at 7:27am
post #25 of 63

First off I have to apologize for digging up an older thread, but I'm quite intrigued by this amplifier. When I went to the SACThailand website, I found the EL34 SE, minus the HP jack in their pictures. Could you tell me if this is a custom order option?


I have a EL34 based integrated amp (modded Jolida 302b running KT77s) and truly love the sounds of these tubes. I would really be interested in a SE headphone amp using this family. And for that price, it appears to be a very good deal.

post #26 of 63
Thread Starter 

The headphone amp is a readily available model only sold in Thailand. I would email info@sacthailand.com to have it shipped to the US. Mine has been operating just fine. It's a great amp.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by danska View Post

First off I have to apologize for digging up an older thread, but I'm quite intrigued by this amplifier. When I went to the SACThailand website, I found the EL34 SE, minus the HP jack in their pictures. Could you tell me if this is a custom order option?


I have a EL34 based integrated amp (modded Jolida 302b running KT77s) and truly love the sounds of these tubes. I would really be interested in a SE headphone amp using this family. And for that price, it appears to be a very good deal.



 

post #27 of 63

Thanks for the response. I got an email back from them yesterday. I was told it would be $850 plus $110 shipping, with an expected wait time of about 10 weeks. I'm highly considering it still.

 

However, I did listen to the Bottlehead S.E.X. amp on Saturday at our local head-fi meet, and really liked it. Granted its not a EL34 with 10 watts of power, but its $539 and might suit my needs pretty well. I have to do some thinking on it all.

 

post #28 of 63

Another alternative is the Almarro 205A MKII.  Same retail price range, about 5 watts, single ended and readily available in the U.S.  Only problem with using it as a headphone amp is that the stock models use a mini jack on the back, which may be awkward in some installations and requires the use of an 1/4" to 1/8" adaptor.  Mine was customized at the factory with a 1/4" jack on the front and drives everything in my headphone collection with ease, including my AKG K1000s.

 

Check the Almarro website for dealers - I believe there is one in Washington state. 

 

 

post #29 of 63
Thread Starter 

I have tried the Almarro 205A. Nice amp with high quality output transformers. To reach 5W per channel, the EL84 operates in pentode mode. For headphones it is not as good as other EL84 amps in triode mode. But 5W will drive a real-world speaker, and EL84 in triode will not. The SAC Minute will drive a real speaker and a headphone, definitely as sweet as any triode EL84 amp I have heard.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NU62 View Post

Another alternative is the Almarro 205A MKII.  Same retail price range, about 5 watts, single ended and readily available in the U.S.  Only problem with using it as a headphone amp is that the stock models use a mini jack on the back, which may be awkward in some installations and requires the use of an 1/4" to 1/8" adaptor.  Mine was customized at the factory with a 1/4" jack on the front and drives everything in my headphone collection with ease, including my AKG K1000s.

 

Check the Almarro website for dealers - I believe there is one in Washington state. 

 

 



 

post #30 of 63

I'm seriously considering the Minute EL34 SE to drive my HE-6's. I'm currently using a Lyr (does a decent job) and have tried an X-A1 (50w per, lacked resolution) but I believe there's much more to be experienced with the HE-6. I've been contemplating the Liquid Fire, Dark Star and the Minute EL34 SE. Does anyone have any experiences with these amps and the HE-6? On paper, it looks like the EL34 would drive the HE-6 very, very well.


Edited by Misterrogers - 3/25/12 at 9:10am
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