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First Look: Minute EL34 SE Headphone Amplifier from SAC Thailand - Page 4

post #46 of 63

I am in on the group buy.  Can you have a sign up sheet at the show to be sure that you get ten.  I won't be at the show though.  Just curious about the amplifiers speaker outputs, is the transformer optimized for 4 or 8 Ohm?   I am considering driving my Zu Druids with the Amp.  10 Watts should be plenty.  I have more power than I want with my Almarro 318B at 18 watts per channel and the Druids are 101db efficient.  They are about the only speakers I have listened to whose sound rivals great headphones. 

post #47 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misterrogers View Post

Hey flu_figher. Started working on it last week. I hope to have it ready to post by end of this weekend. Life's been demanding wink_face.gif

 

Hi Misterrogers,

 

Look forward to reading your review of this amp.

 

BTW, welcome to the EL34 family of tubes.

Rolling these power tubes is as fun as rolling the ECC88/6DJ8 family of preamp tubes.

 

My personal favourite in the EL34 line are the Mullard EL34 XF2s.

They have the harmonic richness (ala Mullard ECC88) and great tight and punchy bass, which is sort of an anomaly in the tube-rolling world.

At least until the EL34s were invented by Mullard. wink_face.gif

post #48 of 63

Hi All,

 

I'm new to this thread and looking for a good tube amp to drive my HE-6s.  I see a few of you have this setup already.  I have a B22 that drives the HE-6 very well with lots of head room to spare.  I was looking at the Litlle dot MKVI+ that's also said to have lots of power for the HE-6. 

 

What are the pros and cons of this amp with the HE-6?  How many watts does it put into 50 ohms.

 

Can anyone compare it to the little Dot MKVI+?  I was reading this when I came across this amp:  http://vintageaudiotubes.com/?p=1689.

 

Thanks in advance

Darryl

post #49 of 63

Are Minute amps as euphonic/lush/liquid sounding as the WA2 or Mapletree amps?

post #50 of 63
I've never heard the WA2 or Mapletree so I can't compare. Re: power output, the EL34 swings 10w per channel. I can tell you, that at 50Ohms, the HE-6 is driven with authority by the Minute. My sense is, the Minute isn't as lush as most OTL amps. It has a different topography that provides small tube 'bloom' with high power. Personally, it brings just enough of the 'n' order harmonics. Check out the SACThailand site for specifics on all this. I'll be bringing mine to the LAX meet in August, so if you're in the area you'll have a chance to listen.
Edited by Misterrogers - 7/11/12 at 1:53pm
post #51 of 63

I'm going to Bangkok in one week, and am really interested in the minute el34. Do you think it is capable of driving 89dB/W/m speakers with ease?
 

post #52 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by telecaster View Post

I'm going to Bangkok in one week, and am really interested in the minute el34. Do you think it is capable of driving 89dB/W/m speakers with ease?
 

 

You shouldn't have a problem. But being that this is about 2 months old, how did it go? 

 

At the risk of a minor hijack of the EL34, I was wondering, has anyone heard the Minute 300B? I am thinking of it because it also doubles up as a speaker amp. Thoughts anyone? 

post #53 of 63

Also, is there any update on the group buy that was supposed to happen a while back? Or did that sort of fizzle?

post #54 of 63

No, didn't fizzle; I've just been swamped at work the past couple of months, back surgery coming up, blah, blah. It'll definitely happen - and definitely before the end of the year.

post #55 of 63

Any idea how the EL34 or maybe 300b compares to the likes of the Liquid Fire, DNA Stratus and Leben CS300? 

 

I am considering putting my money down for the Minute 300b at the moment. Should take 5-6 weeks to build according to Kittipol. It'll be able to drive speakers too, which is a good point for me. But one of the things I am concerned about is that some amplifiers don't ahve headphone jacks. Anyone know if this would be the case for the Minute? From the looks of it, it looks like the headphone jack isn't some courtesy feature, it does have gain switches. Would it work well on the HD800, Grado and LCD-2? 

 

Anyone with some time on the Minute, with whichever tube, would be helpful. 

post #56 of 63

I noticed from the photos that the SAC products do not have the point to point wiring that you find in the Woo product or even the Darkvoice/LaFigaro products. I also noticed that the output seems to be coupled with a large electrolytic capacitor instead of the MKP metal film caps you find in most high end otl outputs. Typically, electrolytic caps are not known to have the same sound quality as metal film caps in that application, although they are a lot cheaper ( I apologize if I am seeing that wrong). I am not trying to bash the amps, far from it. I live in Thailand and I am interested in finding out more about them and how they stack up against the competition. I have asked at some of the local Bangkok dealers and they won't talk much about these amps. Perhaps they are only sold factory direct and that is why the shops don't want to talk about them. I can say that as recently as last month I did not see them in two of the major headphone shops in Bangkok. I haven't tried to go to SAC directly as I was waiting for more reactions that I trust before I decide to make a trip to their factory. 

post #57 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chodi View Post

I noticed from the photos that the SAC products do not have the point to point wiring that you find in the Woo product or even the Darkvoice/LaFigaro products. .......

 

Not all PCB based amps are bad. And not all point to point wired amps are automatically good or better either!

 

I suggest a serious look at this article "POINT TO POINT VERSUS PCB CONSTRUCTION BY ANDY MARSHALL OF THD ELECTRONICS  "

 

from the following link

http://www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com/Tubeprimerandselection320-2.pdf

 

BTW, the other tube primers are worth reading too

 

http://www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com/Primers.html

post #58 of 63

From the photos on some of their models, like the GM-70 and KT88, the wiring appears to be point to point. The EL34 appears to contain a pcb though. I didn't notice the pcb before and thought all of it was point to point wiring. 

 

It is possible that because the lead time is quite long, a month at least and that it's built to order, SAC only sells direct in Thailand. I contacted the UK distributor but they too only have a limited range available for demo. It's too far away though. 

 

I further suspect that you may have to go to hifi shops, not dedicated headphone shops (did you possibly go to jaben?). This appears to be a boutique company and from what I gather, they do customs. 

 

I googled around and found this:

 

http://www.witchdoctor.co.nz/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=71&start=20

 

It appears that SAC built a custom for the Kiwi company Parmenter. 

 

 

Since you're in the locality, maybe do all of us a favour and pay the factory a visit? 

post #59 of 63

The two shops I checked, Munkong Gadget and HiFi Lover are the main game in Bangkok for hi end headphone products. Munkong is the major player in the market and hosts most of the local activities. There manager simply did not want to talk about SAC and he knows me as a customer. I don't know the reason. I do know that SAC has been selling special order headphone amps for some time. Their main business seems to be transformers and tube amps mostly for export. I have no idea how successful they are as a company. There products look rather industrial to me. I can tell you that there is a large active high end headphone community here in Thailand but they are busy buying name brands from America, Europe and China. 

post #60 of 63

I don't think it's unreasonable to suspect that they have sour business ties. It happens. 

 

The bigger players are from Europe, US and China; Japanese brands are becoming prohibitively expensive with the Yen to other currencies exchange rate. Also, herd mentality plays a big role in businesses for various reasons. 

 

I am undecided whether I want to go for it. One concern is that if I decide to upgrade, it will be valueless/unsaleable at second hand level. I can't foresee this as being a be all end all amplifier. Then again, it might be so good I wouldn't want to let go of it. 

 

SAC is an unknown and could be a diamond in the rough. 

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