Quicksilver Audio Headphone class A triode Transformer Coupled Single Ended

General Information

Quicksilver Audio Headphone class A Triode
Transformer Coupled Single Ended


Quicksilver Headphone Amp will drive any headphone to very loud levels and uses no circuit boards or transistors. It is completely point to point handwired and the only components in each channel signal path are 2 tubes, an Alps volume control, 1 capacitor and 1 output transformer.
Output typetransformer coupled single ended class A triode
Input impedance100 kohms
Output impedance2.2 ohms
Gain24 db
Power Consumption38 watts
Tube Complement2-12AX7 input
2-6BQ5 output
Maximum output7 volts rms into 30 ohms or higher load
PolarityNon inverting
Distortionless than .01% at 1khz into 30 ohms or higher load
Recommended headphone impedanceWill drive any headphone from 20 to 600 ohms impedance

Dimensions 12″ deep x 7″ wide x 5.5″ high
Weight 16 pounds

Price $1198.00


7475 Murray Drive, Suite 17
Stockton, CA 95210
Phone:(209) 957-6640
Fax:(209) 957-6641
Email: quicksilver.audio@gmail.com


Latest reviews

John Massaria

Member of the Trade: JM Audio Editions/Headphone Modifications
Quicksilver Audio Headphone class A Triode Transformer Coupled Single Ended
Pros: very well made rugged no nonsense style, depth of sound stage and balance, tight bass, good definition and rendering of any recording, bests anything under $2,000 I know of or heard at shows; could end a search for users seeking the finest for under $2,500, musical and organic with atributes of solid state definition, not designed for "critical" listening but rather for pure enjoyment
Cons: no pass through for line pre amp, not balanced, uninspired looks, not designed for "critical" listening but rather for pure enjoyment
Quicksilver Audio Headphone Amp
Class A Triode Transformer Coupled Single Ended



Quicksilver manufactures these amps in Stockton, CA and have been in business since 1981. Mike Sanders, the owner and founder, personally tests each product to ensure it is performing optimally before it leaves the factory. Quicksilver Audio’s transformers are custom built to his specifications. The amps come with a 3 year parts and labor warranty.
Mike Sanders spent almost two years refining this design, testing a multitude of different headphones to insure the unit would drive even the most difficult headphones available. I can say without reservation this amp has gone above and beyond in regards to the goal - with a sound so good it should cost much more...
The Quicksilver Headphone Amp is a transformer coupled single ended class A triode using (2) 12AX7 and (2)6BQ5 tubes. I typically have the volume pot between 10-12 if it was a clock.

When this amp first came out it was a bargain at $998 and now in 2022 it's price at $1198.00... it is still one of great values of our time. Why? It's construction and sound compete with amps in the $2500+ range easily. Yes it is true there is more I would like to see- I would have liked to have balanced in's or maybe a balanced topography - certainly it would be nice but may affect the price value so I will leave that alone. The sound is so good with RCA and well that's all one could ask for really. One thing I think at this price it should absolutely have is outputs so the amp could be used as a pass through or preamp. I had a little xDuoo MT-602 that cost $99 with tubes and it had a line out. But again that is forgivable as well since this amp performs so well.

What does it do well? Stage, width and depth and a velvet quiet background deep and dark (no noise) - something of a rarity in a high powered tube amp such as this. Is it the most powerful tube amp I ever heard - no. Did it drive headphones better than my Bottlehead Crack with Speedball upgrades? Yes. Did the crack sound a bit more lush and wet? Yes, but the Crack lacked the refinement to the Quicksilver in details and over all accuracy. Does it have that good tube sound or is it more clinical - no its not clinical at all and not dry. Yes this is a modern day extremely well engineered tube amp. It's balanced in its tone- not overly syrupy with tube mush, the bass on the QS is tight! The Mids glorious and the treble very detailed and layered perfectly with from what I can hear no holes or dips in the entire frequency range. Its what Laozi would teach- the blend between yin and yang or harmony

If you are in search for an amp that gives you the tube sound most people crave with the best that solid state has and blend those two ideas together... you have the Quicksilver. Is it as detailed as my SS Ray Samuels Apache? Close, not really but my Ray Samuels would cost nearly 4 times as much as the Quicksilver and it doesn't have that tube air you get that so many want. Does it sound better than the Bottlehead Crack w/ Speedball yes- its a better designed amp with better details and tighter bass. Is it better than a Felks anything under $1900 (Elise and Echo) - I would say yes. Its more accurate. Much more refined and quiet. Is it going to make me want to sell my Ray Samuels - no. Or my Cypher Labs Prautes - no and if you read the review on the Cypher you would understand why. Some might say it's incisive in its attacks vs. the slightly rounded attacks of the DNA amps.

The Quicksilver could be a destination for parking a budget of $2500 or less happily. And you really shouldn't have buyers remorse here- you wouldn't really question the purchase or worry, did I buy something worth every penny of my hard earned cash and get that back in returns- 100% yes. So my high recommendation here for the Quicksilver.

Coffman Cypher Labs Prautes Headphone Amplifier
Ray Samuels Apache Limited Revision 4 (UPDATED 1/10/21)
HD600, HD650, Kennerton Gallahorn GH50 JM Edition Horn Graphine Closed Back, and the GH50Mk2, Kennerton Rognir Closed Back Plannar Magnetic Headphones, Kennerton Gjallarhorn GH-40 Caliber 40mm, Gold Planar GL2000 Open Back, ETYMOTIC ER4SR, Kinera Mount Nanna 2.0





-John M
Headphone user, music lover & professional video/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!

A tube that may need to be tested and listened to by every music lover-
The Telefunken G73-R 12AU7



tele G73R.jpg










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