"Sangaku” is one of many words that means “Mountain” in Japanese. It is also the name of a national park in Japan that encompasses part of the “Japan Alps”, a beautiful mountainous area in central Honshu.
The Sangaku headphone amplifier is a tube hybrid headphone amplifier (meaning that it uses both vacuum tube and solid-state technology). It employs the “NuTube” device from Korg Incorporated in Japan, which is a newly developed dual triode vacuum tube. The NuTube device provides true directly-heated triode characteristics in a small package. It requires very little power, at lower voltages, than other tubes. This enables the Sangaku to provide true DHT sound at an unprecedented small size and low cost.
For more information about the NuTube, please visit Korg at www.korgnutube.com.
In the Sanguku circuitry, the NuTube device is used in a single-ended configuration to provide the needed voltage gain. Solid state buffers provide both unbalanced and balanced outputs with a very low output impedance to drive the headphones. The Sangaku can drive any headphones, from 16 ohms to 600 ohms, and has enough gain for even inefficient headphones.
To keep the footprint small and the audio path direct, all audio switching and routing is done using relays, and control is done with simple buttons on the front panel.
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