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The Apex High Fi Audio Teton!

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 

HI All,

 

We are pleased to announce the latest, greatest creation from Pete Millett and Apex - the Teton.

 

 

 

 

And please come hear the Teton at RMAF Canjam! This will be everyone's first chance to put their ears to the Teton. We look forward to seeing those who can make it and once RMAF is over we will be doing a loaner program for the Teton. Look for the announcement in the TTVJAudio forum sometime in mid October.

 

We of course will also be bringing some of the finest beer in the world brewed in Montana to serve on Saturday night. What could be better - great cold beer and a listen to the Teton!

 

 

The Apex Teton

 

The Apex Teton is a single-ended output-transformer-less (OTL) vacuum tube preamplifier and headphone amp.  Its roots lie in the Wheatfield Audio HA-2 from nearly 15 years ago.  While similar, it is far superior to the original design.  Retaining the same tube compliment and amplifier topology, it has been greatly improved through the use of a better power supply and higher quality components throughout.

 

The all-tube Teton uses a single voltage amplification stage followed by a current amplification stage.   There are no transformers in the direct signal path, and only one coupling capacitor*.   To provide low noise and solid bass response, the Teton uses a vacuum-tube rectifier and a multi-stage LC filter.

 

Like other Apex tube headphone amps, the input stage uses the venerable 6SN7 tube, often regarded as the best tube ever made for audio voltage amplification.  The power stage uses a 6080 dual triode, which can optionally be replaced with a number of other power tubes like the 7236, 5998, or 6528, tailoring the sound to the owner’s headphones and musical preferences.  This combination, along with massive polypropylene output capacitors, gives the Teton a powerful sound along with the musicality that only a single-ended tube amp can give.

 

The Teton is a fully unbalanced, single-ended amplifier.  The input and output selections are made via a front panel switches, which activate relays that are strategically located to keep the signal path direct and pure.

 

Like other Apex products, the Teton is designed and hand-built in the USA, using high quality components sourced largely from the US and Japan. 

 

Specifications

 

Tube complement: Input - 6SN7.   Output - 6080 standard (optionally 6AS7, 7236, 5998, or 6528).  Rectifier - 5U4GB standard (many options possible, including GZ34/5AR4, GZ37, etc.)

 

Inputs:  Three unbalanced RCA connectors

 

Line output:  One unbalanced RCA connector

 

Volume control:  High quality TKD potentiometer

 

Headphone output: 1/4" TRS unbalanced.   Can drive loads from 16 ohms and up

 

Dimensions:  17" wide x 7" tall x 11" deep

 

Power:  120V or 240V, 50/60Hz

 

 

* Regardless of what some people may have you think, the power supply circuitry as well as any bypass capacitors are actually also in the AC signal path.  Even though they are not as critical as components like coupling capacitors, because of this, only high-quality capacitors are used in these positions in the Teton.

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post #2 of 67

OTL!!!

 

wow this seems like something i would really like to have....

 

6as7g and 5u4gs.....


Edited by Dubstep Girl - 9/25/13 at 10:17am
post #3 of 67

One mean looking amp ;)

post #4 of 67

Congrats on the new amp Todd.  One question for you - the original HA-2 had a rather high output impedance (like most OTL's) and prompted this in the manual:

 

The HA-2 is designed to drive high-quality headphones of greater than 100 ohms 
impedance. Pretty much all of the headphones made by Senheiser, AKG, and Beyer 
Dynamic fit into this category.
The HA-2 will drive headphones of lower impedance, like those from Grado, Koss, or 
Sony, but we don’t recommend it. The mismatch of impedance between the amplifier 
and such headphones introduces larger amounts of distortion. Low-impedance 
headphones are best driven from solid-state amplifiers, or conventional tube amplifiers 
that use output transformer

 

Is this figure roughly the same with the Teton?

post #5 of 67

5000 dollars :/ ... I'd rather buy a WA5LE and a GSXmk2

post #6 of 67

Nice, Todd and Pete!  I look forward to hearing it. 

post #7 of 67

Great looking amp Todd and Pete!  Hope I get the chance to hear it one day. 

post #8 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post
 

Is this figure roughly the same with the Teton?

 

Yeah, I'm definitely curious as to whether this amp is intended more for high impedance gear.

 

Either way, really cool amp. I'm always fascinated by gear with a strong lineage behind it.

post #9 of 67

Congratulations Todd & Pete!!

You guys make some sick gear.

Unfortunately I have your Pinnacle :wink_face: so wont be buying this one.

The Pinnacle drives Grados, LCD3s & HD800s with ease and finesse.

post #10 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrahman View Post
 

5000 dollars :/ ... I'd rather buy a WA5LE and a GSXmk2

 

curious how it compares to pinnacle, stratus, balancing act, WA5, gsx mk2 and even more importantly, the $5500 Allnic HPA-5000 which is also an OTL (and OCL) amp. oh and wondering if this is TTVJ's response to ALO's Studio 6?


Edited by Dubstep Girl - 9/25/13 at 10:39pm
post #11 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post
 

 

curious how it compares to pinnacle, stratus, balancing act, WA5, gsx mk2 and even more importantly, the $5500 Allnic HPA-5000 which is also an OTL (and OCL) amp. oh and wondering if this is TTVJ's response to ALO's Studio 6?

 

My little dot MK IV SE is a great OTL for $500, for $5k what does it do differently that warrants the price other than tube rectification which i don't think provides and grandiose benefit from my experience.

post #12 of 67
Thread Starter 

The Teton will handle headphones as low as 16ohms. Pete will put a more detailed answer here later today.

 

The Teton has been in the works for a while and is not a response to anyone's amps.

 

We look forward to seeing you Monkey! I have a glass and a cold one reserved for you as well as a seat in front of the Teton...

 

Shellylh you can sign up for the loaner - email me (todd@ttvjaudio.com) and I will put you first on the list to hear it after RMAF.

 

SHAHZADA 123 It is just terrible that you must "suffer" with the Pinnacle:D I thank you for being a great customer and hope the Pinnacle serves you well for a long lifetime! You really don't need a Teton...

 

I am excited to get feedback from CanJam on our new amp. I hope to see a lot of you there.

 

Todd


Edited by Todd - 9/26/13 at 8:45am
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post #13 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrahman View Post
 

5000 dollars :/ ... I'd rather buy a WA5LE and a GSXmk2

Ok, but you have not heard the Teton so why would you automatically eliminate it from your choices? And it is also an excellent preamp!

 

Maybe sometime you will get a chance to hear it and will find the value in it, or maybe not. I just hope you get a chance to try it out sometime.

 

Todd

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post #14 of 67

The Teton has a highish output impedance similar to the original HA-2.  The Zout depends on what output tube you use...if I recall correctly it's around 100 ohms using a 6080, and as low as 50 ohms using a 6528.

 

Of course, the output impedance affects the sound, depending on what headphones you use.

 

I also added an "IEM" mode that trades gain for output impedance, so you can drive 16 ohm IEMs.  This is done with a simple resistive alternator, no magic.  So the gain is dropped by ~15dB, and Zout is lowered to ~10 ohms.

 

Although many would argue this amp is only good for higher impedance headphones (over 150 ohms), personally I find many lower-impedance phones (like Grados) sound better with a higher source impedance.  It depends on your taste.

 

Pete

post #15 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by mab1376 View Post
 

 

My little dot MK IV SE is a great OTL for $500, for $5k what does it do differently that warrants the price other than tube rectification which i don't think provides and grandiose benefit from my experience.

 

My beat-up 2004 Subaru Outback drives just fine and has more space inside than my 2012 Infiniti.  The Infinity really doesn't do anything differently than the Subaru.  But I'd rather drive the Infiniti.

 

Personally, I agree that tube rectification doesn't make a huge audible difference over solid-state (assuming SS is done well, which it rarely is).  But many listeners prefer the tube.

 

Oh, did I mention the Inifinity cost about 10x what the Subaru cost? :D

 

Pete


Edited by pmillett - 9/26/13 at 10:29am
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