A-10 Thunderbolt ll, Fully Balanced Electrostatic Amp/Pre-Amp
Mar 29, 2009 at 8:13 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 119

Ray Samuels

Member of the Trade: Ray Samuels Audio
Mar 2, 2003
Krmathis, this one is for you....

The A-10, Electrostatic Amp/Pre-amp has a fully balanced input to output circuitry, with two balanced inputs, XLRs, and three SE, RCAs
The input/gain stage incorporates two 12AX7 tubes that handle a balanced input signals via four section balanced DAC attenuator.
In the Pre-amp mode, the signal is passed to two 6SN7 tubes, via relays, which are used as pre-amp output stage ONLY.
If electrostatic phones has been selected, the input of the two 6SN7 is grounded to minimize noise and the signal is routed to four 5687 tubes,
via relays, which are used as drivers for the phones.
When single ended signal is used, it is routed, via relays, to a single 12AX7, center tube. This tube is used as phase splitter with a gain of two for both channels.
Then the signal is routed to the balanced attenuator which passes it to the two 12AX7 in the gain stage.
Because of this design the pre-amp XLR output, will always be in balanced even though the SE input source has been used.
Also the SE outputs will be available at all time.
The A-10 has a balanced and a SE tape loop. The selected source input will be present at these outputs with out pre-amplifications to the signals.

The four 5687 tubes are configured in a SRPP topology, each tube drives one phase of the signal. When the Pre-amp is selected the inputs of all four 5687 tubes are shorted to ground to minimize noise.
All resistors used are of the highest quality 1% 3 watts film resistors by Vishay. The A-10 also incorporate caps made by Hoovland, the Musicap are the best sounding polypropylene caps in the audiophile world, they are use where needed with a great result.
The A-10 uses the mil specs brds that are meant to last a life time, these brds don’t come cheap, with these brds, a mil specs solder is used. All parts are hand selected, matched and soldered.
There are no cut corners when it comes to the method of implementing the parts. We match them 100% value wise in all four sections of this amp.

All signal paths and power lanes are separated from each others. They are laid the proper way to insure that the signal travels clean with out any noise added to the output.
Parts that are not used during the pre-amplification their inputs are shorted to ground the same is true when electrostatic phones are used, all pre-amplification input that are not used are shorted to ground thus the amp becomes a dedicated amp to the mode you select.

The A-10 is designed to work with HE90, HE60, SR007 and the Jade. It is capable of driving all these headphones with utmost authority and control to levels beyond what the human ear can handle with out any hesitation, clipping or distortion. You can run two phones at the same time with out any problem of loss in quality of sound reproduction.

There are four different voltages in the power supply of the A-10. The bias voltages are fully regulated, no changes as the AC line fluctuate.
The A-10 power supply hosts many stages of rectifications & voltage regulation to insure that the A-10 is always ready to deliver the right voltage & current when needed.
There is no compromise when it comes to the heart of the power supply, as we implemented a custom built, to our specs, Toroidal transformer from Plitron.
All the resisters used in the power supply are of the highest quality with Mil specs and 1% tolerance. We also used the high temperature Panasonic electrolytic caps as filters.

Both chassis’s are made from a solid aluminum. They cost a lot. Every part is made to our specs with ultimate accuracy and 100% precision.

We are proud to present to you the A10, Thunderbolt II, Electrostatic amp/Pre-amp.
As to the Price of the A-10, the regular price is $6,500.00. We always give an introductory price to the members of the head-fi community.
The first 10 units of the A-10 will be offered for $5,500.00 only. We have only six available for that price for now as four units have been spoken for.

As to the delivery time, I would say about 3 months from now as they are working on the chassis. All PC brds have been manufactured & populated already.
Ray Samuels Audio.















more info will be posted with internal pictures of both the amp & the power supply....
Ray Samuels Audio.
Mar 30, 2009 at 3:26 AM Post #6 of 119
Wow amazing look.
Mar 30, 2009 at 4:07 AM Post #8 of 119
Absolutely Stunning! Another Beautiful Creation. Congratulations Ray.

Mar 30, 2009 at 5:07 AM Post #11 of 119
Muy macho looking as always. I look forward to reading some reviews.
Mar 30, 2009 at 11:14 AM Post #14 of 119

Looking forward to spec and pricing. The warthog is quite something. They saved my butt a few times during the gulf war.
You do realise that this will probably get the same nickname

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