Cypher Labs Prautes Headphone Amplifier

General Information

Define; PRAUTES: Live Together, strength and gentleness are perfectly combined

(Coffman) Cypher Labs Prautes Headphone Amplifier​

Legacy Product (only 50 units were made)

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Cypher Labs Prautes Headphone Amplifier
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  • The PRAUTES is primarily a headphone amplifier, although it can also power small speakers and provides a line-out stage.
  • A very subtle bass boost feature is included.
  • The PRAUTES uses a 2- 12AU7 tube gain stage to drive a 2 pairs of 50L6 (50L6GT) or 25L6 tubes in push-pull mode
  • Five separate output impedance settings are provided to match listening equipment.
  • Each of the four inputs are independent.
  • * High end vintage capacitors: cold war era 2 microfarad polystyrene
    * High quality design and hand made attention to detail: Made in USA
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Designed by Damon Coffman of Coffman Labs​

Product description​


The PRAUTES is primarily a headphone amplifier, although it can also power small speakers and provides a line-out stage. The controls are optimized for headphone output and the result is an unbelievable clarity, presence and expansive soundstage. The PRAUTES drives a wide range of headphone types and provides for impedance matching. A very subtle bass boost feature is included. PRAUTES defined: understood to be a reference to proper understanding and accurate action. PRAUTES AS DEFINED BY THE ANCIENT GREEKS expresses a character in which strength and gentleness are perfectly combined. The PRAUTES amplifier seeks to do just that-present music in a manner that delivers subtlety, image, detail, and excitement, all in an accurate manner that duplicates the live experience. The Prautes amplifier combines vintage tubes, military technology, and hand made USA components to create the 'PRAUTES' experience. The result is a legacy piece-one that is timeless and enduring. The PRAUTES uses a 12AU7 tube gain stage to drive a pair of 50L6 or 25L6 tubes (note in product serial number) in push-pull mode. This provides for more power than needed for almost all headphones-and can drive high efficiency speakers with about 2 watts. Five separate output impedance settings are provided to match listening equipment, including 8 ohm speakers, standard headphones, high impedance headphones and In-Ear-Monitors.

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Controls​


Volume: This heritage quality finely manufactured potentiometer controls the headphone, speaker and and line output

Input Switch: Selects one of four line inputs

Input impedance on each input is 100K Ω
Tip: Use the ‘Mute’ position when changing input cables

Impedance (Ω) Switch: Headphone and speaker settings

300 Ω: High impedance headphones
100 Ω: Standard for many Studio headphones
32 Ω: Standard consumer headphones
8 Ω: Speakers or very low impedance headphones.
IEM: In-Ear-Headphones


Bass Boost Switch: Provides approximately +3dB boost with a variable roll-off point
The bass boost circuit gives a subtle increase in bass response. This control eliminates the high phase shift that occurs with typical tone controls. The boost amount is the same for all settings, but the frequency point of the boost ranges from 47Hz to 31Hz. This allows for very fine tuning of the bass response. Match this setting in coordination with the Impedance Switch to match the selected headphone, type of music chosen and your preferences.

Output Switch: Selects output type
SPK: Output to rear speaker jacks—use 8 Ω impedance
XLR: Output to balanced XLR jacks
Mute: No speaker output — use for independent line output mode
1/4″: Output to 1/4″ (6mm) Headphone jack
1/8″: Output to 1/8″ (3.5mm) Headphone jack

Specifications​

Available Colors: Black or Silver
Gain: Line Stage: approximately 16dB
Headphone power: > 1 Watt, depending on load
Bass Boost: 31, 36, 41, or 47Hz boost of approximately 3dB (6dBm)
There are no extra active circuit elements are engaged!
Ground Lift Switch: Use only if there is ground loop hum in your AC supply wiring.
Tube Complement:
Four 50L6 tubes are supplied for the output stage
Two 12AU7 tubes are supplied for the input/line stage
Annodized tube shields are provided to cover the tubes. The use of the tube shields is optional.
Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20KHz +.2dB to -.75dB into matched resistive load
Note: Can vary slightly based on tubes installed
Dimensions: 12 ½” D x 9 ½” W x 7 ¾” H / 32.5cm D x 23.5cm W x 19.6cm H
Weight: 16 pounds / 7.3 kilograms (not including AC power cable)
AC Power: Depending on destination country the PRAUTES amplifier voltage setting is preset at the factory for 120v or 240v operation.

Latest reviews

John Massaria

Member of the Trade: JM Audio Editions/Headphone Modifications
Cypher Labs Prautes: Could Be The Final Goal of Every Headphone Owner (Ultimate Nirvana In One Box)
Pros: Out of head realism unachievable from most totl solid state amps, accurate and detailed, loads of clean quiet crisp articulate power for any ohm load from In Ear Monitors 8Ω to 300Ω+, nearly as quiet as solid state, built like a brick - most likely will outlast any human for a many many generations, touching it gives you goose bumps, looks that rival the finest aluminum art, knobs all solid with great premium feel, unobtainium sound I know of at this time, transparent preamp similar to my Ray Samuels in quality, comes with a thick power cord thats been cryo treated, comes with a carry case that's handy for storing headphones in or other amps that you will retire after hearing this, convenient 1/8", 3/4" and two 4pin stereo XLR so two headphones using XLR's can be run at same time!, can drive small Stereo Speakers w/ premium Terminals, dampening factor here is executed very organically; and allows the amp to be compatible with impedance loads of nearly any size -the dampening factor also is very well controlled because it is PP design done right- bass is spot on and tight and probably the reason this amp sounds so good, transients are top (cymbals and piano always sound best on amps that do this with harmonic overtones), this amp is not overly warm or slow - an exceptionally well balanced act that combines the best of tubes and solid state, incredible dynamics and separation of macro and micro details, an addictive experience, has ground lift to isolate possible ground issues, point to point wiring making it easier for future service if ever needed AND eliminating current density because 16ga or 18ga wire is better than any circuit board
Cons: no xlr inputs, large, when tapping on top while headphones are in you can hear tap of finger like so many other tube designs in the world (all of them likely), at max volume and no music playing you can hear some breath of noise as you slide volume from 4:00 to 6:00 (max volume is 6:00), a somewhat useless bass boost for certain frequencies (I played with it - maybe better with other tubes - we will see) for now I leave the knob for bass boost off, no remote control, you may find yourself without a job or a wife or girlfriend since all you want to do 24-7 is stay connected to this and keep on listening, price is not a con AT all since it's worth $4K (probably worth much more in todays money for similar performance - I’m thinking a good chance it’s as good as some amps that cost in $6k-$10k range) amps these days if any could even touch it for over all sq performance) and as far as what Eddie Current owner Craig Uthus said ah it probably sounds flawed- 'its a push pull design' - I would say you should never ever ever judge a circuit until you hear it- he and others who judge a push pull done 100% correctly like this and specifically designed for headphones never heard this- but some snobs may likely snoot their nose at PP - and I would laugh as I turn my volume up and consider them limited in their experience with THIS amp - I have owned triode, ultra-linear, SE, and OTL - I never thought I would say what I am saying about PP until now, this is a legacy piece -only 50 units were ever made and no more, hard to read engraved lettering on silver case
Cypher Labs Prautes

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Legacy. What is this term? In some circles it means "No longer made." Sometimes that's a good thing. When software gets retired its called legacy. It may be perfectly working and very favored by so many - but none the less- the software is no longer produced or supported in some cases. That could be a terrible thing too- forcing someone to upgrade because the software could have compatibility issues integrating with new software plug ins or just angering the user since he likes that software and now it no longer works. Many games on line that used "flash" I used to play are poof gone! And believe me, I miss those days and games.
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This could be similar and confused with the term "no longer made" but never was intended to be anything but a convenience product- something similar to the 8 track tape for example. A useless invention of the time that had horrible sound quality and had no chance in a dignified stereo system ever- a system flawed from the very first and very last tape player ever made. The 8-track tape offering no way to improve on it's fidelity or collectability. NO ONE will ever say - "my goodness what a wonderful 8 track tape player you have there." It will never be highly desirable. Laser Disc was another and Betamax. These are not legacy pieces - these are just discontinued and outdated technology. DO NOT confuse the term with legacy. Legacy should mean more than retired or no longer made when it comes to stereo equipment. It should mean leaving something special behind: A LEGACY. Something which stands the test of time and is nearly irreplaceable and desirable due to the fact that the owner or designer was absolutely obsessed when it came to parts and construction or design- too expensive for the time or place to be properly appreciated in many instances...
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I can think of countless artists that were poor and starving because their work was ahead of their time but now are priceless pieces of art that only can be seen in billionaires homes or museums. For me - The Prautes was either misunderstood, too expensive or didn't have the right marketing behind it- but it is certainly now a valuable Legacy Product... something no longer made but will be sought after for years and years to come since it is not available or manufactured anymore. I am also thinking of the extremely rare genuine vacuum NOS (New Old Stock) tubes that have soared sky high in price from such makers as Telefunken, Seimens, Mullard, Tung Sol, GE, RCA or Tesla - highly desirable and never to be made again- some tubes can now fetch thousands for just ONE tube! And I expect some will pay $5K-$10K in the future for some tubes as collectors who want the best of the old world. Similarly I can equate equipment from Ray Samuels, Eddie Current, Cypher Labs in the same company- highly desirable but now no longer manufactured... that's all there is, no one will be making it ever again... Someone could try to copy the magic or try to improve on the designs but likely that will not happen.

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The Prautes was designed from the on set purposefully with the word legacy in it's DNA- engineered from the onset to be a statement piece. With audio equipment- there are designers who will go down in history for breaking the mold, perfecting the mold, breaking new ground and just plain creating state of the art designs that will be challenged but not bettered. Few things in audio are long lasting and highly desirable years after release- I can count a few. Think: Nakamichi Dragon/CR-7A/ZX-7 Series by Niro Nakamichi, PASS Amplifiers designed by Nelson Pass, Mark Levinson designed by Mark Levinson himself, Krell amps by Dan D'Agostino. Of course some may consider Riviera Labs absolutely in this group as well. The remarkable crafted Kennerton headphones by Valentin Kazanzhi and of course ZMF founders Zack and Bevin Mehrbach. The stratospheric creations like Audio Note Japan Ongaku series by Hiroyasu Kondo, or Lloyd Walker who went to the ends of the earth for perfecting the turntable. These designers and products we get to have grace our homes for the exchange of some cash is quiet incredible. If you are lucky enough to afford such designs - you actually have a useful functioning piece of audio memorabilia that exemplifies the state of the art for a period that transcends time. The Dragon/CR-7/ZX-9 Cassette deck is and will always be one of the best performing decks ever- no mater the time or place in the future. Same thing with Walker turntables- there will be few if any future designs to challenge his designs and flawless performance. Thus the term state of the art. Iconic for generations and highly desirable for anyone who truly knows what they are looking at or listening to. I wrote the same thing about my Ray Samules Apache when I reviewed it and here I am repeating the same of the Cypher Prautes. This is an iconic legacy piece of gear I consider nearly unobtainable or replaceable. Its simply is that good. It can be serviced and will never be useless - an amp like this will always be in demand for generations to come.

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A FEW WORDS THAT COME TO MIND WITH THE CYPHER PRAUTES:
SPACIOUS
NATURAL
(Just The Right Amount of) WET
ORGANIC
DEEP
IMMERSIVE
AIRY
DETAILED
ARTICULATE

RHYTHM
RESOLVING

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The Prautes was priced at $3,900 in 2018 and in 2022 dollars -it’s value is up there easily with $6K-$10K for similar sound quality -if I could name an amp that compares I would...
The Praues features four independent inputs, as well as speaker output terminals for low powered highly efficient speakers, two separate balanced XLRs to drive two separate headphones at the same time, a 1/4″ and 1/8″ headphone outputs. The impedance is adjustable to five different settings: 300 ohm, 100 ohm, 32 ohm, 8 ohm, or an In-Ear Monitor setting. There is also a bass boost switch, to supply a +3dB boost with a variable roll-off point. In combination with the Impedance switch, this offers quite a bit of opportunity for fine-tuning. I opted not to use the bass tuning and had it turned to zero.

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Yes this sounds better overall than many other amps I have tried that cost more... for instance- The Manley Headphone amp- no matter if one were to select the push-pull or single-ended mode (from Manley) - my Prautes sounds much more musical and has better definition of details and more accurate. Yes the Manley has more features but the only feature that matters for me is sound in the end and I am sure most people would put that about above all else. The Prautes has the better tonality if you will..the best rendition of music on all headphones -where the Manley sounded really off more times than not- a hit or miss experience with many headphones I had tried- totally not what I expected from such an iconic company like Manley. I have not heard the more expensive Auris amps in a long time so I can not comment really... but my memory of their amps didn’t leave enough of an impression. The only real competitor to this amp may be the giant Riviera AFC-10- and that is yet to be seen (heard) by doing a head to head comparison and I am not sure when I will hear a Rivera anytime soon. Ok what else? I haven't heard the Viva Audio Agoista 2a3 ($7,800) or 845 ($11,800) but acording to one of the people (Valentino) who helped develop the Aventador 845 S.E. (you can read his comment at the very end of this review) said the Prautes is at the same level in performance for a lot less. Seriously - a guy who has / owns a $12,000 amp said the Prautes is his favorite valve amp and compares with the most expesive amp he helped design such as the Aventador or his Viva! The Prautes always leaves me wanting to listen more and more unlike ...say the DNA Stratus or other DNA amps I have heard... granted I need to do a head to head with their premium editions but I can say - every single time I put a track on the Pratues I have never got so addicted- so enveloped so captivated - so many endorphins firing; so many tingles along my neck and the absolute feeling of total nirvana - a dopamine trip that may cause you to loose track of time. You may become an addict to headphones and music all over every day- I know I am hooked like a kid who just discovered MUSIC played on a high end system for the first time. For me I challenge any company to go head to head with this amp... I just can not think of one head amp that moves me in this way...

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What is the bottom line here? Should I compare it to the last 25+ years of going to trade shows or all the memories of going from store to store all over Long Island NYC and NJ and finally coming home and saying to myself... 'maybe I can live with this amp for ever...' is that a good representation of the sound and impressions I get from listening each and every time? To hear this particular amp is to instantly get it. To recall the other times I listened and reviewed amps in the past -
I had this amp and that amp here at my home and well ... this is where searching for gear really could end... could be I said.... I'm still obsessed with the search but I am not totally crazy and the real hunt is always going on in the back of my mind- but it will be the tallest of orders to beat this amp. I could care less if I am being over excited! It is well deserved when you hear it you get it... and I finally got it with the Prautes.


I ONLY review gear that moves me- and writing does not come easy for me. My time to write an article and take the breath from my mind to paper or pixel so to speak - never moves me unless I am moved one way or the other. Sometimes I write a review because the gear upset me so much to the point of disgust by it's lack of performance (like I was compelled to express my complete disappointment in the Wyred4Sound Intimo Review I did a while back). I write reviews for me... and I want to remember the emotion of certain equipment. How it presented the same familiar songs over and over - does it pull me in or does it tire me out? I want a record... for myself... is it worthy to take the time or just move on?

Until someone comes along with a challenging piece of gear I can rightfully say with no alcohol or drugs in my system and with my complete lucid mind say this is where it could all end blissfully and happily ever after... yes its that good. THE HIGHEST recommendation- if you see one grab it. - JM (3/8/22)





TUBE ROLLING
AS AN UPDATE AS OF 4-5-22
I just purchased a few tubes to roll- and to ensure a good supply of spare tubes for the future- some include:

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1950s GE / UNITED ELECTRON 5814A -ECC82 12AU7- Black Plates, 3 Mica
- An excellent silent tube with full body sound nothing really rounded off if anything its a little polite on higher end- the bass is tight and with a nice spread out sound stage and very nice bloom, right mix of wetness excellent- but but a tiny bit darker than the 5814A 1973 Long Plate- worthy of asking $ but not top tear when comparing it to 1970's 5814A by Siemens Germany - need more time with these

Value: ★★★★
3D image/stage: ★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★
Detail: ★★★★
Bass: ★★★★

Noise: ★★★★★
Overall Performance ★★★★


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5814A Siemens Germany "long plates and triple mica" copper grid 1973 (74/75) one of my favorites so far for the Prautes worth every single gash darn penny- I weep at how organic and real this sounds- an addictive 3d image and stage and separation- articulate so far the winner of bunch. Considered one of the best tubes in the world ever made...
Value: ★★★★ (expensive for triple mica pre '75)
3D image/stage: ★★★★★ (wide)
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★★+(of course)
Detail: ★★★★★+ (yes just the right amount)
Bass: ★★★★★+
Noise: ★★★★★+
Overall Performance ★★★★★+



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BRIMAR England 1960 CV4003 12AU7WA 6189 ECC82

A legendary tube possessing all the holographic magic of the Mullards CV4003 with a bit more detail. A full bodied sound. Excellent with lean headphones like HD600 or HD650 with a high ohms (150ohm or more) headphones and speakers. For me and my headphones like the GH50MK2 or my IEM Electrostaic Kinera Nanna this tube adds a bit too much mid bass weight to them- this tube at least for me is a stellar performer with HD600 or HD650 or similar LCD-5 which may need a boost in bass weight and heft (as I mentioned). Expect stellar depth image and a 3d holographic wide stage with air, a whisper quiet experience. I can see how people call this their end game tube.
Value: ★★★★★
3D image/stage: ★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★★ (yes)
Detail: ★★★★+ (could be gr8 match for bright systems)
Bass: ★★★★★+ (perfect for lean systems to bring authority)
Noise: ★★★★★
Overall Performance ★★★★★+



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RFT (Haltron Labeled) 12AU7/ECC82 E. Germany, labeled for Haltron/England
-
insanely quiet and non micophonic - ONE of the quietest of any tube I tested in the 12au7 range - black silky backgrounds and instantly fast - vocals are spot on tempo is fast- these certainly need to open up more I think with less than 1 hour on these NOS rated triode matches 2600/2600 and 2650/2700- these are truly NIB NOS and maybe need more time to open up - flattish front to back depth compared to some of the top 3 tubes but close - width sound stage seems incredible and instrument placement is spot on - dang! these are whisper quiet between notes... they may need to break in more since some female singers reach dog hearing frequencies (remind me of the detail monsters like clear RCA?) - "Free Me" by Jess Stone really is lively- on top a bit much with this tube... very fast with panning left right songs like Ping Pong Party by WATEVA - this tube beats 75% of the tubes here for transient speed. "China" by Tori Amos sounds nice and just the right amount of wet but the details on the high end of her voice remind me of the details of the Sparkos S3601x4 discrete OPAs- this tube is a reference revealing the recording truth warts and all- much more break in needed I would think. Could be a very good thing for those looking for that level of detail.. wow impressive.​
Value: ★★★★★+
3D image/stage: ★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★
Detail: ★★★★★++
Bass: ★★★★★
Noise: ★★★★★+
Overall Performance ★★★★★+



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Tungsol 12AU7A 1950’s NIB made in U.S.A -Long Plates and "O" Getter
:
a wonderfully accurate tight bass tube with nice air yet fast... with TRS outs- when using my Kennerton GH50Mk2 and my electrostatic IEMs like my Kinera Nanna 2.0 -I prefer this tube combo on nearly every song more so than the RSA APACHE TRS- giving more body and weight to the depth of vocals through the bass line.. a surprisingly top notch tube... wow this amp really does make music with so many tube combos... this tube is not going from my collection anytime soon I think. In my top 5 list of desirable tubes... no wonder its sold out all over in this NOS condition... did I say this could end anyones search for a perfect blend of music and detail a tube lovers dream for $$$
Value: ★★★★★
3D image/stage: ★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★ (yes)
Detail: ★★★★★ (just the right amount)
Bass: ★★★★★
Noise: ★★★★★
Overall Performance ★★★★★+


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RT (La RadioTechnique) 1960 MIL SPEC 12AU7 France, short plates O-getter

Tube glow both even upon start up with a beautiful glow from power on and slowly fades as tubes boot up- beautiful! A quiet tube with an even handed bass and mid range presentation, holographic soundstage and open, airy top end. May be one of the more dynamic 12AU7's - nothing accentuated here except maybe the details one will hear- this is a very textured define sound in mid up region- reported to be better than long plates which tend to be more muffled and less detailed- Upscale has a video I feature here but his tubes are not stamped MIL Sepc with special stamps these are the hardest to get RT tubes to get they have the highest quality and spec ratio higher than the regular non stamped RT tubes! I can also say as upscale has mentioned in 2014 and just now in 2022 selling a single tube for $106 each and those are not MIL sepc. These La RadioTechniquehave more texture and definition up on top than the so called lazier sounding Mullards or Philips of same era with long plates... a winner for price and value hands down a piece of gear no longer available in NIB NOS like these... with just a few hours I can tell these are a very special made that sets records and benchmark for price that just so happens to be made in the romantic country of France.
"they sound delicious in comparison with other 12AU7" "ONE GUY WROTE ON NON MILATARY SPEC TUBES : "Initially the Radiotechnique was too intense in the very high highs, causing it to be fatiguing. After three days of continuous pink noise, it's not fatiguing any more. I'm glad, because I love so many of its qualities and didn't want to end up with a fatigue problem. It has great imaging (yes, headphone guys talk about imaging), it's warm and not bright despite being so extended on top, and it has more life than the other brands I tried. OH, the other brands I tried were - RCA Clear tops - the German-made RFT "
Value: ★★★★+
3D image/stage: ★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★
Detail: ★★★★★+(could use some more warmth- but sample is NIB)
Bass: ★★★★
Noise: ★★★★★+
Overall Performance ★★★★
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Telefunken G73-R (RED)
Value: ★★★★★ (if rolling is an expensive habit stop/just buy these)
3D image/stage: ★★★★★+++(transients detail/space like no other tube I can describe w/ Tesla Plaid Speed while still retaining insane front to back layering - precisely as recorded placements - this is reference in my set up for sure)
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★★+
Bass: ★★★★★+++ (tight nearly emotionally perfect)
Noise: ★★★★★+++ (how low can you go- this LOW!)
Overall Performance: ★★★★★++++


SO HIGHLY RATED THE STARS COVER THE PAGE!!!
Telefunken G73-R - "Surpassing the quality control requirements of the famous Telefunken ECC802S, these are extremely rare, limited production, black shield coated, avionics/aircraft grade, factory selected Telefunken G73R. Manufactured solely for Agilent Technology and Hewlett-Packard, the proprietary G73R part number and RFI/EMI black coat shielding indicate the highest quality grading on the planet. This illustrates exhaustive aftermarket testing for low noise, uniform output, low microphonics, freedom from physical defects, long heater life and an even, uniform cathode emission.

The finest West German manufactured Telefunken tubes, with smooth plates and diamond marked, these have G73R hand written on the outside black shield coating. Records indicate they were only available as spare parts for Agilent or H-P equipment. Critical use in hospital and aerospace equipment demanded tubes with extremely low noise and tightly controlled output. The ultimate tube for Hi-Fi, tube mics and mic preamps, these tubes are very fine, highly rare and in great demand. Authentic, the real deal, the bottom of the glass is diamond marked. Matched pairs and quads are available with tightly controlled transconductance from section to section and from tube to tube. Astonishingly accurate, the sound image blooms out of a dead quiet background. "
UNICORN RAINBOWS AND ALL THE OTHER MYTHS MAY JUST BE TRUE ABOUT THIS MYSTERIOUSLY RARE TUBE!
"ETHEREAL CONDUIT TO A HIGHER REALM" ..On the other sonic-side lies the realms of musical-ideals, dream worlds, and the sonic-heavens and havens of different tube-religions. The G73-R can be the conduit to outer sonic planes or sonic-astral realm"
SIMILAR WORDS SAID BY OTHERS: "While listing to Miles Davis SKETCHES OF SPAIN with Gil Evans I can hear, see, and feel Miles sitting on a stool in a section in my listening room, a trio of trumpet, trombone and flute behind him. As if the members of the band are right in the room with you! The dense textural details and markings for dynamics are performed precisely as recorded and reproduced so that all the interweaving parts emerge clearly. The depth of musical emotion is distinctly audible with every detail of the pure orchestral fabric as I'm not hearing my preamp, amp, or speakers anymore, just pure music, the conduit to a higher musical realm, as if there is no hardware at all! "Miles above" and Simply beautiful and well worth the price for the ECC802S 'klingarm' factory tubes!...worlds better than the newer commercial series by "miles"...
"Their performance was off-the-charts in two separate listenings for this report. The bass is paradoxically liquid-tight sumptuously textured with all the low nuances the Double bass can give in a live-performance, yet full-bodied, and powerful. The midrange displays first, secondary, and third octave nuances, the tube has enormous layers of harmonic tonal depth, like a well weaved tapestry of sonic colors with pure gold strands woven into it's complex sonic-fabric, as well as a pouring out of liquid sonic lower, mid-midrange and upper-mid texture. The highs are liquid sweet like milk and honey, and pure as the crystalline morning snow and true to everything life has to through at it. THE VOCAL TIMBRE was compellingly superb, hauntingly realistic, like the singers were in the room with us, breathing every word. Very compelling tube providing absolutely no ear fatigue, or preamp adjustments, providing your speakers are placed correctly in your listening environment, and you have the audiophile-gear to appreciate it's capabilities."… " LIQUID SONIC TEXTURE ELIXIER
". You may just loose you job and girl firend/wife/both all because all you may do is stay connected to your amp 24/7 and never want to stop lsitening to music. The highets praise worth every single bloody dollar- you may think people who own 4 or 5 pairs of these are insane- until you hear your first set- you will be hooked like a muscial head tripp you will never forget... the only thing you can do is listen and wonder how it is so musical and precise at the same time.

SECOND SET with Black G73-R reported to be an earlier version of the G73-R than that of the Red Lettering. The black was designed for Aircraft Radar and Scientific Equipment reportedly and the red label for Medical Use. One is a tad more forgiving and smooth (black) and the other a bit more revealing.

G73-R (BLACK TEXT) may be smoother sounding than the RED label. The BLACK may be a bit less open and dynamic. It could be a great solution to have as an option- two top of the line tube options? Maybe...

'Vocals may be more magnificent and the liquidity of the treble may be something unheard of in your system. It may seem to some owners to combine the best traits of the much beloved Mullards with the transparency and speed so much enjoyed from the "red text" G73-R. I have been told that this is the most ancient version, intended for military radar equipment while the red label was for medical usage. ' We will see and hear back and update as these tube with the black label will be here any day.


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Pinnacle 13D5A Industrial Grade ECC82 12AU7 Toshiba Source RED TIP
- (red tip usually denotes extreme reliability and low noise intended and sorted for "scientific or medical grade") Another person wrote: "Separation and blackness in between the notes is second to none. Very sweet tone on strings and piano. Like this better than the Brimar 13d5 as it had a wooden tone." For me- I am feeling music from stings and piano very very organic and natural sounding - vocals from Madeleine Peyroux La Vie En Rose- and Don't Wait too Long and J'ai Deux Amours- the sound is glorious - a wonderfully musical addicting sound- hairs on the back of my neck stand up! All the tingles and pleasing feeling one gets when something this good is playing... wonderful ! I wound up getting one pair and well I fell head over heels and bought more... I need to see a tube dr... and the only medicine is more tube goodness like this! as I said these are the cats meow! MEOW! ( and I don't even like cats) so for all those dog lovers like myself WOOF! WOOF! this is the dogs bone of tubes!
Value:★★★★★+
3D image/stage ★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★
Detail: ★★★★★
Bass: ★★★★
Noise: ★★★★★++
Overall Performance ★★★★+

I SHOULD NOTE- I BOUGHT 5 Pairs of these and the closer they are matched the better they sounded- with higher triode μMhos/cm and close triode matching in each tube being the obvious choice- the cream of the pick-so yes the amp DOES in fact sound better with highest rated matched tubes like so many have claimed one way or the other- Its a fact for me as I proved it trying these all and the conclusion is something buyers of all tubes should face as fact- FOR headphone AMPS the matched tube triodes make best sound BUT for preamps in a speaker system their may be less of notable difference if the tubes are not tight matches-
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VALVO ECC82 Hamburg 1960, short plates, 45 degree-declined O-getter
- quiet tube- The sound is transparent, a bit romantic and it's so rare to have such perfect sparkle up on top at the same time! this is a magic tube! a beautiful mix and blend. The version I have is extremely NIB and needs time to break in- but one person wrote this report after its broken in- Produced in the late 50s (this specific tube is from 1960) to the early 60s. Sound, although is not as musical as long plates (which sell for $500-800 for this kind of pair at the time of this review in 2022) it’s still a pleasure to listen to it. One of the truly great 12au7 tubes. The sound is transparent, romantic with a good mixture of warmth and top register sparkle. Airy and detailed – you may just want to keep listening to it - track after track. What strikes the most about this tube is how it can be smooth and how good treble sounds. Amperex is a great example of what I’m talking about, but this tube has outdone Amperex in the treble department. And the bass is so accurate and ever so slightly boosted - again very tastefully done! Words like tube magic come to mind here! VERY RARE AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED but this pair is so new i'm
sure it only gets better from here... the long plate commands twice the price and adds only a bit more 3d air- these at half the going rate are insane and for me top 3 of all the tubes tested here. These are a perfect blend of tube and accurate reproduction- CRAZY and blessed to have this ultra rare tube here to review...
Value: ★★★★★+
3D image/stage: ★★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★
Detail: ★★★★★++ (could use some more warmth- but sample is NIB)
Bass: ★★★★★
Noise: ★★★★★
Overall Performance: ★★★★★


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Tesla ECC802S long plate Czechoslovakia yellow print 32 XD (1966)
-
a remarkable tube and reported to be one of the finest 12AU7's made for the money - yes it is very quiet and all kinds of musical, wonderful details - good examples like this set could be close to top Siemens, or maybe as close to a pure <> ECC802 fortune 500 life styles of the rich and famous "Telefunken" at a lower price- The right pair like this matched year tube set will impress you but once you start to listen for details -I think this tube could fool you and make you forget all about shopping for anything else- piano and string are done so organically here! stop rolling and find a great matched pair like this and your search could be over... opens up after burn in - reported to have very long life of over 10K+ Hr life a finer tube than the Haltron label for RFT or RCA anything (gray or black etc) I think - The Tesla is known for low microphonics and low noise- and super transient dynamic package while being so musical... a winner for less $$$
Value:★★★★★
3D image/stage ★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★
Detail: ★★★★★ (could use some more warmth- but sample is NIB)
Bass: ★★★★★
Noise: ★★★★★
Overall Performance ★★★★★+

A possible truth that needs to be verified: RCA cleartops tend to have high trans-conductance compared to most 12au7. This is something that is not stated often. As a result, the cleartop gives you more drive which would suit circuits where 12au7 is used in the output stage. Another 12au7 types with high trans-conductance is the Telefunken ecc802s. (In general transconductance can be either positive or negative depending on the circuit or this case when comparing it in a head- amp)

RCA 12AU7A Clear Top original "Hickok Elect. Instr. Co"-

"Here are the words you might have heard about this tube : Vivid, vibrant with high resolution, rich-full sound throughout the frequency range - all true" - One of the best in my bunch of tubes- best overall balanced musical experience. If I only had one tube to choose on a budget or not this could be it if I was listening to darker headphones a sure bet as well... a must own tube set... perfect synergy with my Kennerton GH50Mk2- quick and the most out of head experience and superb details with out one ounce of fatigue. Musical and accurate... breathes more life in the music and nearly equal detail to the Ray Samuels Apache XLR vs XLR. No harshness just music- this is in the top 4 of all tubes no matter the price and matches very well with my headphones and amp. My favorite tube if all other tubes stopped being made I would be ok with a few prime examples of these if stranded on a desert island (if that island had 120V that is)
Value: ★★★★★+
3D image/stage ★★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★★
Detail: ★★★★★+ (just the right amount of detail vs warmth)
Bass: ★★★★★ (accurate)
Noise: ★★★★★+
Overall Performance ★★★★+





1950's RCA Blackplate 12AU7 (LABELED CONN)
Incredible detail and micro dynamics, musical but a bit analytical nearly clinical- tempo and speed very tight. Bass seems neutral and mids and highs seems more detailed than any other tube I can recall here. An articulate experience - but honestly the Clear Top RCA I received sounds more musical and less fatiguing which should be the opposite here- a testament to each tube set will sound slightly different.
Value: ★★★★★+
3D image/stage ★★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★
Detail: ★★★★★+ (this sample too detailed more than the RCA clear /not as musical as I would like for tube)
Bass: ★★★★★ (accurate)
Noise: ★★★★★
Overall Performance ★★★★


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Tungsram ecc82 red
serial# printed on tube gray plate o getter 1960s-1976 Industrial Grade tubes were subject to rigorous test and burn in process. Faster and more Holographic than Tesla ECC802S. Amazing spread out width and 3 d landscape - very beautiful sound- neutral/natural sounding, it has a extended top end and tight bass - vocals on both female and male sound so delightful, no harshness yet still defined details. So lush yet refined. Very good bass. Mid range is dreamy. Highs are spot on. This is a heavy weight tube and deserves the reputation it has as being jaw dropping good. (some weep to their knees I have read)... worthy of all the hype! I consider this top of the litter in many ways. Definitely in top 4 of this group so far.​
Quiet and reliable with top notch sound quality. This version is very neutral/natural sounding, it has a extended top end and tight bass compared with the dual bar getter below which is unicorn in 2022 in NIB condition but the dual bar getter support is a tiny bit more euphoric and slightly more romantic and more tube sounding while still holding on to the details.
Value: ★★★★★+
3D image/stage ★★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★★
Detail: ★★★★★+ (just the right amount of detail vs warmth)
Bass: ★★★★★ (accurate)
Noise: ★★★★★
Overall Performance ★★★★★+


56 Numbers One Two And Three On A Victory Podium Stock Photos, Pictures &  Royalty-Free Images - iStock35516A08-E30F-40DE-8BCD-33DCE5482020.jpeg

TOP 3 NIB NOS Tube in this shoot out shown above:
so far for my set up! The Tungsram ECC82 MIL Red serial DOUBLE BAR GETTER! VERY RARE
!​

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Tungsram CC82/12AU7 RED SERIAL NIB NOS- DOUBLE BAR GETTER

AWESOME GETTER GLOW SPARK AND very even upon start up! But that doesn't make or explain the music you get from this crazy rare tube... Everything enhanced over the single bar getter above!!! performance is similar BUT extremely rare tube came all the way from Italy and took 4 weeks to arrive. Worth the wait- this is a tube that will make you stop searching - it gives you everything you could want- depth, clarity and detail with the perfect amount of warmth of tubes with air and wetnness no solid state can produce so well that I know of... the is a maestro maker... musical and magical. Listening to this tube with the Mk1 JM Edition of the Kennerton Vali Neoteric Dynamic - it is a musical experience that rivals any planar I have ever auditioned with amazing height and clarity. I would be cautious as to recommend this tube to those who like very bright headphones such as Utopia or Ultrasone Edition 10 - however this tube may be perfect for the AudezeLCD5 since this tube is so full and satisfying- you may weep at how good vocals and emotion comes through.... now I know why I bought a second set... remarkable The single bar getter above is very neutral/natural sounding, it has a extended top end and tight bass where the double has more warmth and tube greatness while still being accurate and holds the details of the single bar. Incredible combination here! !
ONE GUY WROTE: "I'm using it in a very expensive VAC sigma preamp I shouldn't say this but one of the best 12AU7s I found was the same tube but with the double support bar getter tube looks the same but the double bar getter one sounded much better. So watch what your buying Best for Classical or jazz I would say"- he missed all music this tube is in the top 2!!!!
THIS IS THE TUBE TALK ABOUT JAW DROPPINGLY GOOD PERFORMANCE AND WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO ROLLING TUBES!!!!
Value: ★★★★★+VERY RARE AND RARE/ EXPENSIVE!
3D image/stage ★★★★★++
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★★++
Detail: ★★★★★++ (just the right amount of detail vs warmth)
Bass: ★★★★★++ (accurate)
Noise: ★★★★★++
Overall Performance ★★★★★++

I CAN"T AFFORD TO KEEP THE DOUBLE BAR GETTER SO THIS WILL BE SOLD IF THE G73R BEATS IT- HARD TO TELL!



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Amperex ECC82/12AU7 Holland, Orange Globe late 1960s and early 1970s, NOS

When booting up the Amprex they glow evenly together and its a slow getter glow for a few seconds- very nice! listening to the Amprex ORANGE Globe and notes dance in the air with Jancintha singing Light My Fire - very sweet voicing here- the flute sounds nice - its not as clearly defined as the both RFT's or Pinnacle I mentioned in this review. Similar to a Bugle Boy- this has a nice warmish mid-range with balanced highs and lows and ample while not over doing it. It's a lusher sound - more relaxed and not as fast. The Amprex is a bit more romantic and warm- mid bass ever so slightly more prominent. The Amprex can have a more 3d stage than the RFT but - Killer by Eminem sounded faster on RFT and left to right pans seem faster on RFT. This is a romantic tube. Lots of air and beauty. There is no harshness here at all- this is a lush (not lazy though) sound that is very very pleasant- I can imagine this is not really recommended for amps that are warm already or headphones that are warm or dark- unless you want to really pour on the lushness. For me and my headphones like the GH50JM Mk2 this tube is a bit too much of a good thing. I can imagine this being great with any FOCAL or Ultrasone or would be IDEAL for LCD 5. You could listen to this tube all day and NEVER get fatigued. It could put you to sleep with some songs... THIS WAS WRITTEN ON THE ORANGE GLOBE- and I 100% agree: Later versions of this tube were produced under the 'Orange Globe' logo. Many times you can find Herleen, Holland Amperex with a 'Hammond' logo. These are very nice low noise tubes that were highly screened for use in organs. They are the same as any Bugle Boy or Amperex ECC83, except screened for higher quality. Hammond Amperexes are one of my favorite tubes... I buy them whenever I can. I have found certain Hammond Amperexes to be exceptionally sweet, as good or better than any 'Bugle Boy' labeled tube.
Value: ★★★★★+
3D image/stage ★★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★★+
Detail: ★★★★ (more warmth than detail)
Bass: ★★★★★ (accurate)
Noise: ★★★★★ (quiet!)
Overall Performance ★★★★★+



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RFT ECC82 E.Germany 1966, O-getter with dual thick support rods, labeled and boxed for RSD/Germany

Beautiful even dual tube glow when you first turn on amp! Glorious! Incredible sound! Silent black textured backdrop! silky smooth and musically engaging. FAST! great for all genre of music since it's so even handed... These are a cold war gem from E Germany. Vocals on both male and female are heavenly strings and brass instruments are spot on. Separation is spot on. 3D Stage and width could be less than the top tubes costing three times more but for this price these beat so many others for double! Plus these are NIB so I expect them to open up a bit more- Man this is a great set! Matched triodes with tight tolerances!
Value: ★★★★★+
3D image/stage ★★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★★
Detail: ★★★★★+ (just the right amount of detail vs warmth)
Bass: ★★★★★ (accurate)
Noise: ★★★★★+
Overall Performance ★★★★★+




_______________________________________________________________________________

TUNG-SOL 12AU7 Clear Glass Long Gray Plates O-Getter early 1960
Worth the $200 for the pair! You could spend more but not get more... this is a end the search tube money or not these could do it all. Very musical and fast. Tempo and rhythm excellent. What else you want?
Value: ★★★★★+
3D image/stage ★★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★★
Detail: ★★★★★+ (just the right amount of detail vs warmth)
Bass: ★★★★★ (accurate)
Noise: ★★★★★+
Overall Performance ★★★★★+



_________________________________________________________________________________________________

TUNG-SOL 12AU7 Clear Glass Long Gray Plates D-Getter early 1950's Hickok Co.Inc
Quiet and accurate. A keeper that any amp owner will love- nothing too overly done. Perfect balance between details and warmth. A winner set here! warm sounding tubes with precise resolution - similar to the RCA D getter believe it or not... didn't spend too much time with this as I think they resemble the RCA D getter - this pair is extremely NIB with excellent - μMhos/cm ratings so I didn't want to use it too much just yet as I just checked for noise and microphonics and it has none - also played a few songs and went right over to RCA D getter and its similar (so I moved on)
Value: ★★★★★+
3D image/stage ★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★ (since new there is hug potential to score high in all categories)
Detail: ★★★★★
Bass: ★★★★
Noise: ★★★★★++
Overall Performance ★★★★+



4108938

4108936
RCA 12AU7 Mid-Late 1950s, Long Gray Plates with D-getter - very lush yet detailed tubes- a treasure with a rating of μMhos/cm 2600/2400 and 2475/2700 these are like the day they were minted ! holographic and musical- not my favorite for my set up I like the Tung Sol D Getter a bit more but these are still young baby's and need time to open up is my guess. These are a treasure of a tube and will not be broken in by me- they are whisper quiet and beautiful in every way but for me the match up for my headphones and amp are not ideal. This is for a slightly laid back (the warmer of all the RCA's I have- which for some people is WHY these are so desirable and expensive! I have seen these as high as $99 each in 2022 NIB from reputable dealers BUT they don't score as high in life μMhos/cm as my pair - I never seen a tube this old score so high!) BUT for me I don't like my RCAs so warm sounding - I like it a bit more forward. These are more AUDIOphile sound tubes and should please those looking to get lost in the music more than evaluate as my analytical mind is. hats why I know they will open up more as someone owns them.
Value: ★★★★★+
3D image/stage ★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★ (since new there is hug potential to score high in all categories)
Detail: ★★★★★
Bass: ★★★★
Noise: ★★★★★++
Overall Performance ★★★★+




4108939
RCA 12AU7A Early 1960s, Long Gray Plates O-Getter 1960s near perfect/ideal stock match- Tektronix checked and precision matched pair with the same Tektronix code labels- these come in NIB 2600/2575 μMhos/cm and 2575/2450μMhos/cm - insane numbers for such an old tube! All the great qualities for the RCA long plates from the 1960's one could expect.
Value: ★★★★★+
3D image/stage ★★★★
Musical/Warmth: ★★★★ (since new there is hug potential to score high in all categories)
Detail: ★★★★★
Bass: ★★★★
Noise: ★★★★★++
Overall Performance ★★★★+









AND
Halls of Shame, Part 10 - Youth Journalism International
GE ECC82/ 12AU7 GRAY SHORT PLATE O GETTER - bad sample from BANGYBANG TUBES EBAY - IN DISPUTE FOR RETURN-MANY COMPLAINTS ON LINE HERE IN HEAD-FI!
BUYER BE WARE!A gross stained box that smelt like mold when it arrived- all their inventory is questionable- I will post images of the tube Ma ratings and boxes so you don't think I am exaggerating- they weren't even a matched pair and Ma looked poor for a NOS- these are at best NEARLY new rating butt ugly box and tube etchings!
(returning to banybang tubes - INDIA
SHADY AS HECK!
I WOULD NOT EVER BUY FROM THESE PEOPLE AGAIN SORRY:
AKA: nosaudiotubes dot com
AKA: bangybang dot com/collections/all
AKA: activepowertechnology @ gmail.com
AKA: www dot nosaudiotubes dot com/about-us/




____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Telefunken G73-R the ultimate tube for my Prautes hands down winner bar none...
Music sounds so tangible that it seems as though you can touch it.
I hear ever so slight accents and lisps from singers I never heard before on some vocalists...​

I am also testing different Quad (4) matched sets of 50L6GTs:

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NIB 1950 GE 50L6GT CLEAR

NIB 1950 RCA 50L6GT Black Coat

NOS 1960 Sylvania MATCHED 50L6GT 'Silver' Plated

ANOS 50L6GT Philco 'Silver' Plated

National Elctronics Universe NIB 50L6GT 'black coat'

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"Smoked glass", i.e. a uniform grey or black coating inside the glass, usually seen on tubes from roughly the 1930s to the mid 1970s. Some report the coating is designed to reduced secondary emission from electrons striking the (non-conductive) glass-
When a tube is operating, excess electrons escape the plate structure and land on the glass, where they can build up a significant negative charge. This electrostatic field can then, in turn, affect the operation of the tube. The grey or black coating is made of graphite and equalizes the charge on the inside of the glass, reducing this effect.





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What I got was exceptional tonal detail, clarity, depth stage and definition in all frequencies-
a tight (not bloated) bass unlike any I heard before. What else am I looking for than this?

EXCERPT from Single Ended vs. Push Pull: The Fight of the Century by Eddie Vaughn


ADVANTAGES OF SE OPERATION
  • Less signal deterioration because of fewer signal path components
  • Better detail and coherency, especially at low volumes
  • More open and airy sound
DISADVANTAGES OF SE OPERATION
  • Poor efficiency, with low power and high heat production
  • Almost no rejection of power supply hum and noise,
  • which necessitates more power supply filtering
  • No cancellation of second order harmonic distortion (some do not consider this a disadvantage)
  • (Usually) shorter power tube life
  • Has speaker compatibility issues, is less tolerant of
  • wide impedance curves and complex crossover networks
    Poor damping factors

    ADVANTAGES OF PP OPERATION
  • More power
  • (Usually) more authoritative and powerful sounding
  • Better bass performance
  • Fewer load compatibility issues
  • Lower distortion

DISADVANTAGES OF PP OPERATION
  • Homogenized, uninteresting sound- NOT with the PRAUTES AT ALL
  • More signal deterioration due to greater signal path complexity - NOT AT ALL - ON THE CONTRARY
  • More power supply inter-modulations between amplifier stages, and other power supply anomalies - NOT THAT I CAN DEDUCE
  • Poor low level detail and dynamics (NOT AT ALL APPLICABLE HERE- THIS AMP RIVALS and beats MY RAY SAMUEL APACHE with 4 SS2590 discrete circuit amp's a completely mono dual balanced design from end to end with separate power supply)

    "Triodes and single ended operation. Triodes sound less bright, thin, and harsh when not using NFB (Negative Feedback), and have lower output impedance and lower distortion. A SE amplifier with a single, highly linear driver stage and a low plate resistance triode power tube can usually get by without NFB, which means the average SET amp is usually more open, airy, and purer sounding than an otherwise identical SEP (single ended pentode) amplifier using NFB to correct it's problems of high distortion and output impedance. In Summary We've seen that single ended and push pull amplifiers both have advantages and disadvantages. It's difficult to make blanket statements about each, as there are many variations of circuitry and quality in each broad category, so keep in mind these statements are generalizations. There are exceptions to the rule.​

Again, do note that these are generalizations. There are some horrible sounding SE amplifiers out there, and some very open and musical sounding PP amplifiers. It all depends on the design. If we apply SET design concepts to PP, using engineering practices aimed at achieving the best sound rather than the best specs on paper, the results can be astonishingly good. A PP amplifier using low Rp triode power tubes such as the 2A3 or 300B can get by with little or no NFB.
For one, the triodes are an advantage in themselves, in both linearity and output impedance. Two, the front end voltage amplifier and phase inverter stages can be designed with much lower gain, if no NFB is present to reduce the available gain. Lower gain means lower distortion and lower output Z, so NFB is not necessary to attain these desirable properties. You end up with a much more linear amplifier, that has a simpler circuit with lower parts count and therefore less signal deterioration, and more air, breath, and vibrancy. See how much better everything gets when you set out to design it right from the beginning, instead of trying to fix it with NFB?

You're probably thinking, "There must be a catch." Well, there is. The power from such an amplifier is very low compared to high feedback PP amps using big pentodes.
<THIS IS WHY THE PRAUTES IS A HEADPHONE AMP - and why the designer chose PP and designed it from ground up-the right way>


But, which would you rather have? 15 watts that sound scary good and leave you wanting more of the same, or 70 watts that bore you to death and leave you fatigued?
<HA HA !! I DO NOT NEED HUGE POWER WHEN IT COMES TO A HEADPHONE AMP SO I GET MY CAKE AND EAT IT TOO WITH THIS SINCE 4 WATTS IS PLENTY FOR HEADPHONES!>

Furthermore, in light of the huge number of highly efficient, great sounding speakers on the market today, amplifier wattage is a moot point. The pitfall to be avoided is not so much SE or PP as it is high power. By using very efficient speakers with minimalist or no crossovers, we can sidestep the whole power issue, and end up with much better sound, usually at lower cost as well. High efficiency and low power is the way to go in this author's opinion. I grew up in a house full of vintage tube gear, and have owned both high and low powered tube and solid state gear. I've heard a lot of gear in my lifetime, and quite frankly, most of it isn't worth remembering. Most of what is put out well less than 10 watts. Nothing I've ever heard can compare to a good low powered tube amplifier with highly efficient speakers.<!!!! MY POINT HERE!!!!>

SE or PP? Name your poison. Both have their place, and both can be fabulous if correctly designed and implemented. We can sum it all up in these words of wisdom, from one of the greatest tube amp transformer designers the world has ever known, Dutch electrical engineer Menno van der Veen: "In reality, measurements are fine and can help you. But we have the finest measurement devices available on the two sides of our head: our EARS, and are not they fantastic? Well, use them and rely on them." Eddie Vaughn

If you managed to read what is in that above box then you understand what I now get so clearly after I started listening and wrote what I wrote for the review: THIS is why Damon Coffman of Coffman Labs and David Maudlin of Cypher Labs designed the Prautes as a PP simply because it is best suited for headphones- all the advantages of PP and SET combined. "Prautes delivers an incredibly detailed sonic image with all the warmth that old-school audiophiles crave," is what he said and I am a firm believer he is and was and still is on to something I never ever heard in a headphone amp... not now not ever so far... this is one of the finest sounding pieces of audio gear I know...


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SOME PLAYLISTS I USE ON AMAZON HD and SPOTIFY AND CD collection or DSD SAMPLED HERE:


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CARRY CASE INCLUDED




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Cypher Labs AT THE TRADE SHOW BACK IN 2018



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THE CYPHER LABS POWER CORD INCLUDED IS CRYO TREATED









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THE BACK OF THE CYPHER PRAUTES

3/8/22: UPDATE
The TRS 3/4" sounds nearly better on Prautes than the RSA Apache TRS 3/4" (the RSA runs a tiny bit less on micro details and oomph when it comes to raw power for bass and mids) The XLR out of the RSA APACHE sounds better than the XLR of the Prautes most of the time with average tubes installed.... The Apache is more full and dynamic and slightly quicker with detail retrieval- clear winner RSA w/XLR- more dynamics and power more full sound and slightly more detail) - but when using the Tungsram ecc82
red serial#or 5814A Siemens Germany "long plates and triple mica" the gap narrows and the Prautes is a more pleasurable enveloping 3D organic experience while still preserving the slightest of details and the Tesla and RCA are similar in this regard. When using certain tubes the Cypher Prautes and RSA Apache are now neck and neck when using XLR - amazing!




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THE TOP PLATE PROUDLY SHOWS THE PRIDE OF CRAFTSMANSHIP- THE SIGNATURE ENGRAVED OF DESIGNER DAMON COFFMAN


THANK YOU FOR READING. ENJOY THE MUSIC ALWAYS!

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-John M
music lover, professional video and audio producer, IT Support



SIDE NOTE: So you know, I have 3 systems at my home- my speakers are Vandersteen 3a Signatures, Magnepan 3.6r and my desk top system which uses SEAS drivers in custom D'Appolito configuration. I edit videos and film on location for professionals- I mix sound for a living occasionally after I film them in person- sometimes I am handed tracks that are terrible masters but am asked to make videos from them without re-mastering the sound. My IMDB page is https://www.imdb.com/name/nm8127846/ I also do IT support for Hospitals all around the NY Area. I am not a flake or hard of hearing at all-I get sound tested by my doctor each year or two. I grew up with sound engineers in the studio who were mixing albums at The Mix Palace and Platinum Sound Recording and The Power Station, Electric Lady Studios Studios in NY to name a few. When I like something I will review it such as the Kennerton headphones I reviewed on head-fi before. If I take the time to review something it has to be meaningful- it must have moved me and compelled me to do so- I do not get paid for any reviews. I do this because I care to set the record straight on what I hear and how I felt about a particular piece of equipment.

Headphone user, music lover and professional video and audio producer
I wasn't paid by anyone to write this - so honesty for me is the best policy!
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm8127846/


Here is another take on the Cypher Prautes written by head-fi member: best56
Here are my considerations on the Chypher Labs Prautes, in my possession:
Connected to the Accuphase Duo CDP (Mecc./Conv.) and put on a CD by Peo Alfonsi, Works for Lute Vol.1 by J.S.Bach, from the first two notes, I knew I was facing "the Immense". A sound made of sweetness but at the same time of firmness, with a lot of air and an amazing depth, with a resolution, a transparency and an impressive transient response, each sound is perfectly separated from the rest, and the focus is sculpted. The colour of the sound, in my opinion, is perfect, without ever going to affect the transparency and balance between the various frequencies ... Fear!!!... Never heard a live effect like that, and / or perhaps only the great Triodes 845, VIVA and AVENTADOR, can express themselves at these levels. Too bad for the Price, but the quality is really there, and it is an object that is made to last in time, and without time. Finally, the gem of this one is its S/N, in fact it is "Special", and Mr. David Maudlin, Sales Mgr. of Cypher Labs, had this to say about my new purchase
"The Serial # 001 is also special. We usually reserve this for ourselves, but our importer in France is a good friend"

The thing that surprised me the most in listening to this Driver, is that the Music opened up in my head, from the auditory apparatus went straight as a "Frecciarossa" to the brain, without this having to activate any "Cerebral Synapses", to elaborate the signal coming from the auditory receptors, as much as it was "Natural", and my body, through the muscles, automatically went into a sort of pre "REM" state, made of deep tranquillity and quiet. A sensation, believe me very strange and never experienced before, and it is perhaps the first time that the "Sound" according to the concept of the "Accuphase Philosophy", which translated means "Fluidity and Flowability" of the sound message, has fully materialized in my head.

crap, this Damond Coffman, is a "Genius", and thanks to the exclusive use of Military Components, recovered in the years, during his long period in force, at the USA Navy, he has brought his devices, first with his well known G1-A Preamplifier and then with this Damond Coffman Signature Edition, for Headphones, to realize his "Perfect Sound", with a level of realism, just like a live listening. All the switches, inside this Driver, have been taken from Military Aircrafts, and in operating them, they have given me the same sensations, of when I used to operate them for work, to make tests, inside the Cockpit of our Aircrafts...What can I say, it is one of my best purchases ever. And then we want to talk about the CRYO-156° Power Cable! It's simply extraordinary, for its appearance, and the two Plug Blocks, made of solid AL, have on one side, a large milling, in the shape of an arrow, which identifies the direction of the phase...spectacular.

Yesterday evening, I ordered from Cyphen Labs, co-producer, together with Coffman Labs, thanks to the good relationship with David Maudlin, a 50L6 Black NOS Valve Quartet, together with its Aluminium Case, for its possible Transport.

I enclose a couple of photos of its interior, when it was under development and a few pages of reading and videos from the Web to describe the product and understand the Philosophy of the manufacturer, Damon Coffman.

Meanwhile, after a few days, the listening sessions confirm the amazing sonic beauty of this US driver, in combination with both the Grado PS1000 S.E. and the HD800 and Abyss 1266, the latter directly connected to the Prautes Speaker Outputs via Tail by Invictus Cable.

Note: The PS1000 is even more pleasant to listen to, full-bodied and with more punch, by setting the Impedance Selector on the front panel to 8 Ohm, instead of 32 Ohm.

After clearing up some mess, as it often happens to mere mortals, I had time to mount the new 50L6 Black Nos Power Valves, arrived from Cyphen Labs, Oregon, and warmly recommended to me by David Maudlin. The tubes are NIB, (New in Box), so they need at least 100 hours of warm up, but at their first listening, something has been noticed, that is a slightly softer and warmer sound, without losing that wonderful detailed and airy sound of the 1970's Full Set RCA NOS. Now, since as preamplifiers, this Prautes always mounts 12AU7 RCA NOS valves, I would like to try a pair of 12AU7 Radiotechnique valves, made in France, at the end of the 50's/60's. According to Sal, who has mounted them on his new Riviera, he has found them excellent compared to other NOS valves of those years.
From my little experience with Valvular Drivers, I've heard that the best benefits, with the change of valves, are to be found more with the Driver and Rectifier ones, than with the Power ones. As a matter of fact, on my Trafomatic TR-2+ Ampli, beautiful Serbian Driver, dedicated to the Piezoelectric Taket H2, the benefit was not so much in the change of its Tung-Sol EL 34, with the Mullard EL-34 XF2 Double Getter, paid a lot, as in the substitution of the ECC88 Driver, with a NOS Siemens Gold Pin, where listening to female Voices or the sound of Guitars is a blast.

Waiting to receive the two new 12AU7 NOS Valves by Radiotechnique of 1958, today I have received the second Cypher Labs Cable, in CRYO 156° version, purchased after I have visually realized, with the arrival of the Prautes Driver and its Wiring, their goodness, in terms of Construction and Materials used, as well as the excellent Audio performance.

This Power Cable, with Rhodium-plated Aluminium Connectors, with Cryogenic internal Cable at -156°, will be mounted on the Prautes Driver, while the previous one will power the Weiss DAC-202.
We all know by now, that the musical performance with all Digital Machines, increases significantly, using a good Power Cable.

Meanwhile, after the installation of the new Black Nos power valves, Tung-Sol 50L6, the listening sessions with the HD800, to which I gave the new Airtech "AIR" Cable, and the Audeze LCD-X with the Aftermarket Cables, Invictus Cable, Silver Litz 26 AWG and Portento Audio "INCANTO" have become even more involving and fantastic. This last Headphone reaches very high listening values, with the S.S. Dual Mono, Single End, Full Balance Class A and Separate Power Supply, SXT-2 Limited Edition, 10W+10W, at 32 Ohm, and that for a 20 Ohm impedance, like the one of the LCD-X, pulls out more than 6 W per channel, confirming that the best synergies for Orthodynamic Headphones, are the S.S. Drivers.

Finally, the 12AU7 NOS 1958 Driver Valves from Radiotechique have arrived, so I have mounted them together with the AC Cable, Cryo by C.L., and after the necessary warm-up of the Driver, I am now enjoying one of the most beautiful Drivers I have ever heard. With a marvellous and holographic stage presence, so much so that you could hear it in a Live of Fay Classon, in Amsterdam, there in the middle of the audience, applauding the performance of this excellent Singer.

I would love to try it against the RIVIERA, and I don't think the final result would be so obvious!!!...Let's see later on, if it will be possible to meet Salvatore and get rid of this whim. I say that for me, with these changes I have reached the right amalgam and the coupling with Senn HD800+AIR; PS1000 by Spirit Labs and LCD-X+Silver Litz, is almost perfect and synergic.

After a few days of listening with the new set of Black NOS 50L6 Tung-Sol Power Valves and the NOS 12AU7 Preamplifiers from Radiotecniche 1958, mounted on the Cypher Lab Prautes, I must say that these are giving back a Sound made of impact but at the same time silky, creamy and full-bodied at the right point, giving back a really beautiful and true "Live" image. Like sipping a good glass of Wisky Cream.
Right now I'm enjoying the Live performance of Mary Stallings in "Live at the village vanguard" of 2001, what can I say, really exciting, wonderful Track 4, Sunday Kind Of Love, it's goose bumps!!!.. Listened with the LCD-X...Highly recommended for an hour of pure and satisfying listening!!!
Damon Coffman worked his way through college as a concert violinist and obtained an advanced degree in physics through the Naval Postgraduate School. He then specialized as an engineer in the Navy and later on in medical technology firms. While working as a VP of Engineering and CTO for pioneering medical companies, Damon rediscovered his love of music and began exploring the designs of the classic amplifiers from the golden age of analog audio. Realizing that he could rely on his physics and engineering expertise to create clean, custom circuits that made his favorite recordings sing, he began to enlist local artists and artisans in crafting a one-of-a-kind chassis that articulated the purity of the amplifier design contained within.

In optimizing specialized parts for the amplifier and using locally made custom parts for our chassis, Coffman Labs is keeping our commitment to supporting green manufacturing, local business, and high-craft artisanship. By keeping our products as limited-edition runs, we can ensure the authenticity and heirloom quality of each item that we create. We're proud of our unique approach to audio and design, and we believe that our amplifiers will be enjoyed and cherished for many years to come.​
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John Massaria
John Massaria
They are gone
John Massaria
John Massaria
they are releasing the new Lore amp in early 2025 - bypasses this PRautes with separate power supply
The Piper
The Piper
Might be a good comparison to the new V8 Level II OTL amp.

Comments

Ufanco

500+ Head-Fier
Awesome review I just got the Xduoo ta20 so found the tube reviews really interesting. I Probably never afford to put any of them in my Xduoo but one can always dream.
 

John Massaria

Member of the Trade: JM Audio Editions/Headphone Modifications
49718-eb586ed1bb85084ef6a39bf9bbbf10d5.jpg

Coffman may be making a comeback in the works? if there is demand or interest there is also a "Juliete" amp- wow that would be something special ! I hope they do and I know so many others I' m sure !
 
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Ufanco

500+ Head-Fier
49718-eb586ed1bb85084ef6a39bf9bbbf10d5.jpg

Coffman may be making a comeback in the works? if their is demand or interest there is also a "Juliete" amp- wow that would be something special ! I hope they do and I know so many others I' m sure !
Wow it looks awesome, just picked up a Wells Dragon so content for now. Maybe down the road if i‘m still around it might be something to consider.
 
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