Elekit TU-8200 DX Headphone/Speaker Amp Review
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Dimu

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I discovered today that EL12 spez excites in UL mode (likely capacitances in the tube with inductance of the portion of the output transformer) and oscillates at 400 kHz with fairly significant amplitudes. This phenomenon is volume-dependent, it does not happen at low volume but occurs sharply past certain threshold. So if anybody wants to run those tubes make sure to flip to triode mode. This eliminates inductance from the second grid.
 
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Dimu

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DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME

well, you decide if you want to try this, but you've been warned :)
seriously, this is not endorsed by Elekit in any way, they recommend against doing this.

I wanted to try to drive a big 8 Ohm speaker and TU8200 did not sound too good. So I converted it into a monoblock. Paralleled inputs, paralleled outputs, switched to 8Ohm load mode (this is important for several reasons, including the fact that this provides global feedback encompassing both channels of the amp at the same time via that blue cable in the picture below). Used oscilloscope to monitor amp output and so far so good. It is not about louder output, it is about improving damping and headroom. Tested with GEC TT21 driven by E80CC it sounds AWESOME even on a single speaker. UL mode seems to sound better than triode mode in this setup. I think I am building the second amp to have cute monoblocks with amazing sound, and still be able to flip into headphone mode at any time! Except now I need twice as many tubes :)

I keep getting amazed by this little gem of an amp!

parallel.jpg
 
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dawktah2

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I am trying to find the source of noise in my unit. I have a PS Audio Dectect power conditioner and with nothing connected, input device(s) or cables I can hear our HVAC units when they kick on. Are valves more susceptible to this type of noise? Its a buzzing that coincides with the quick dimming of the lights. The Dectect is plugged into a UPS. I am planning on calling PS Audio tomorrow with as much information as I can. Synology 416play NAS is also plugged in and is the music source. I am going to listen with only the Elekit plugged into Dectect but I don't think it will matter along with bypassing UPS.

Any ideas?
 
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Dimu

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This is not about valves and not about power source. It is electromagnetic interference that is picked up by your system and amplified by the amp. You can reduce energy levels (e.g. increase distance to the source of interference) or improve shielding (this is not an easy task). Could also be some kind of defect in your amp that makes it more susceptible to interference.

I am trying to find the source of noise in my unit. I have a PS Audio Dectect power conditioner and with nothing connected, input device(s) or cables I can hear our HVAC units when they kick on. Are valves more susceptible to this type of noise? Its a buzzing that coincides with the quick dimming of the lights. The Dectect is plugged into a UPS. I am planning on calling PS Audio tomorrow with as much information as I can. Synology 416play NAS is also plugged in and is the music source. I am going to listen with only the Elekit plugged into Dectect but I don't think it will matter along with bypassing UPS.

Any ideas?
 
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dawktah2

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This is not about valves and not about power source. It is electromagnetic interference that is picked up by your system and amplified by the amp. You can reduce energy levels (e.g. increase distance to the source of interference) or improve shielding (this is not an easy task). Could also be some kind of defect in your amp that makes it more susceptible to interference.
Mmm, I think I'll build a mini pseudo Faraday cage (two cables would be sticking out) and see if this works.
 
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jerick70

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I'm really interested in the TU-8200. I love building my own gear. How does this amp compare to Woo gear? How does it compare to other tube gear?

I've owned the WA22 and WA5. The WA5 was awesome and the WA22 was just so so.
 
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Lasollor

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I'm really interested in the TU-8200. I love building my own gear. How does this amp compare to Woo gear? How does it compare to other tube gear?

I've owned the WA22 and WA5. The WA5 was awesome and the WA22 was just so so.
I haven’t heard the WA5 or WA22, but I’ve picked up a WA6-SE a few months ago with a WE422A rectifier and Westinghouse 6FD7 tubes in it. It is a very good amp, but directly comparing it to my modded TU-8200 (with Valvo E80CC and Hitachi 807 tubes), it looses in almost every aspect. The Elekit has better clarity, bigger soundstage, tighter bass and the sub bass goes lower. The WA6-SE is a little bit muddy (only in comparison), but it has a softer and sweeter sound to it. The Elekit sounds very different with different tubes, which can be a blessing and a curse and mine is now tuned to my preferences with the HD650. With the same tubes, the HD800 is easier to listen with the WA6-SE, but if I swap the tubes to RCA807, or Cossor 807 then again I prefer the TU-8200. I also have a LFF Paradox planar headphone, and I don’t like these at all with the Woo, TU-8200 is a better match. In the end I’m planning to sell the Woo amp soon, but I’m happy that I could compare the two.
 
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jerick70

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Now to decide between the TU-8200 and the TU-8600. The only thing holding me back from the 8600 is the cost of 300b tubes. This is why I sold my WA5, I can't see spending 4x - 5x the cost of the amp on tubes that will end up failing.....
 
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vkung

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Both are good amps. It is DIY.. The most important is your budget and what you want...

EH gold pin is not expensive . It is DIY you can upgrade later to Psavne WE300B or Elrog 300B...
 
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sunneebear

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I think it would go well with my Zu Omen IIs.
My brother has the Omen and tried my TU 8200 with it. I only had the stock tubes then and he didn't care for the paring. Too mellow and tubey.
 
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jerick70

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My brother has the Omen and tried my TU 8200 with it. I only had the stock tubes then and he didn't care for the paring. Too mellow and tubey.
That's too bad. I guess the TU-8200 is out then.

Does anyone know how the TU-8600 fairs with the Zu Audio Omen IIs?
 
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sunneebear

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That's too bad. I guess the TU-8200 is out then.

Does anyone know how the TU-8600 fairs with the Zu Audio Omen IIs?
That's just one person's taste with the stock tubes. If you have read through this thread then you know that this amp is a virtual chameleon with tube rolling.
 
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Effusion

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Yeah, I wouldn't rule out the 8200, at least not right away. Different tubes can make a huge difference as well as output modes. It might have sounded too tubey and mellow to sunneebear because it may have been in Triode mode and thus Ultra-Linear mode may be a better match, as it tends to be with most speakers. Sunneebear, do you remember what mode it was in at that time? Even if it was in Ultra-Linear mode, the source and other things may have been attributing to this as well. Either way, the 8200 gives you a ton of options to tweak the sound to your liking. If there is one comment I hear most from those that hear my 8200, especially from my buddy who has heard it many times, is that it isn't a crazy tubey sounding amp. Nothing like the Bottlehead Crack and the like, which while really seductive/smooth, tends to be too bloomy and way too slow for my tastes in general. My 8200 is just right for my ears and has the attack that other tube amps tend to lack. Of course, this too is just my opinion and I do have upgrades in it, so it isn't stock.

Regardless, they are both really great amps, although I unfortunately haven't been able to spend as much time with the newer 8600, especially compared to the time I've had with the 8200, since I have never owned a 8600 and have only heard it at RMAF twice. I will say, that after many years now, I still have no desire to go with any other amps, and I've tried a ton of different ones, including very expensive ones, since owning my 8200. That is one thing that is great about these amps, as well as other offerings from Elekit, for the price they simply cannot be beat in my experience.

My best recommendation, of course without having much experience with the 8600, would be the 8200, since it is cheaper, smaller, and doesn't require expensive 300Bs, etc. Actually, one of the big positives in my opinion of the 8200 is the vast amounts of different types of tubes you can use in it, and even though some are very hard to find and expensive, new production are available as well; just lots of options in the end. With all this said, if you plan to primarily use the amp to drive speakers, the 8600 would probably give you more of what you are wanting ultimately, but if like me, you will primarily use it with headphones and just occasionally or secondarily with speakers, than 8200 may make more sense or if just to get your feet wet within the world of Elekit initially.

Either way they are both great amps in my experience, but continue to let us know if you have questions! :dt880smile:
 
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