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40  watts

Class  A

EL34  valve

£500 and upwards

Extra  £40  for  a  moving  magnet  (MM)  preamplifier  for  record  players.
Extra  £40  for  a  moving  coil  (MC)  preamplifier  for  record  players.
Telephone  01634 373410  for  1  month  home trial
( Refundable  deposit  required )
Why  should  you  buy  a  valve  amplifier  ?
The  simple  answer  is
Valve  amplifiers  sound  different  to  transistor  amplifiers.
You could pick up almost any hi-fi magazine and you will read about :-
          i) transistor amplifiers that claim to sound like valve amplifiers
         ii) transistor amplifiers that sound sweet, almost like valve amplifiers
        iii) sweet treble, almost like a valve amplifier
Valve amplifiers will reduce the harsh sound in most hi-fi systems,
without losing the treble and musical details.
Many transistor amplifiers sound harsh and emphasise the harsh sound of CD players.
Many transistor amplifiers tend to over-emphasise the sibilance of female singers
                                            ( where words like "his" will sound like "hissssttt").
Class A valve amplifiers do NOT  have crossover distortion at low levels.
Class A valve amplifiers allow you to hear the "silence" between the notes.
Class A valve amplifiers allow you to hear a note ,
   followed by silence (or the dying echo of the note in the concert hall),
      followed by another note ,
         followed by silence (or the dying echo of the note in the concert hall).
Class A valve amplifiers have an amazing "silence" between the notes and instruments,
which creates an amazing stereo image on good loudspeakers.
If you adjust the volume control, so that the vocals are as loud as an actual singer (no louder nor softer),
and close your eyes , your ears could be tricked into believing that someone else is in the room !
It is an eerie sensation !
99% of transistor amplifiers have a lot of "crossover" distortion at low levels.
The  transistorised "crossover" distortion drowns out the ambience/reverberations/echoes of a recording.
You will hear a note, followed by a faint noise (i.e. crossover distortion)
followed by another note, followed by a faint noise (i.e. crossover distortion)
You will never hear the "silence" between the notes on 99% of transistor amplifiers.
"Hidden"  distortion  of
transistorised  amplifiers  and  loudspeakers
Have you ever wondered
why manufacturers never quote distortion figures of transistor amplifiers at low levels ?
It is because the distortion levels of transistor amplifiers at low levels are a disgrace !
  ( Low levels mean the dying echo of a musical note in a concert hall.)
It is pointless  to claim that the amplifier has 0.1% distortion at 30 watts,
because most loudspeakers will have about 5% to 20% of distortion for 30 watts of a bass note !
The distortion of loudspeakers is so bad that
most manufacturers do not quote distortion figures for loudspeakers !
Even big and expensive speakers like the £6,000 B&W Nautilus 802
have 1% distortion for 1 watt bass note !
This is a very good result.  Most other speakers have much higher distortion !
How much distortion do you think that your smaller and cheaper speakers have ?
Why don't you ask your speaker manufacturer why they do not publish distortion figures ?
 If  valve  amplifiers  are  so  good ,
why  aren't  valve  amplifiers  more  popular ?
The  simple  answer  is  price  and  output  power.
For example,  an established and well respected company produces a beautifully made
and good sounding £2,500 amplifier , which uses EL34 valves to produce 45 Watts.
                                Our £600 amplifier also uses EL34 valves to produce 40 Watts.
( We concede that the more expensive amplifier has 5 watts more power and a more famous name ! )
For example, another established and well respected company produces a nice looking
£850 preamplifier and matching power amplifier which produces 8 Watts.
Our £600 amplifier uses big expensive EL34 valves to produce 40 Watts.
How  much  power  do  you  need ?
18 watts to 30 watts will be sufficient for 99% of people and their neighbours !
Large efficient loudspeakers do not need a lot of power.
Small inefficient loudspeakers cannot cope with 18 Watts
 (regardless of the absurd nonsensical claims made by the marketing department of loudspeaker companies.)
Cheaper  valve  amplifiers ?  ( Part 1 )
If you investigate the claims of companies that claim to sell cheaper "valve" amplifiers,
you will find that
some "valve" amplifiers use a lot of transistors and integrated circuits with 1 or 2 valves !
Most of these "hybrid" valve/transistor amplifiers
are simply a modified version of "Class B" transistor amplifiers,
with all the problems of "Class B" "crossover distortion".
Putting 1 or 2 small valves in a "Class B" transistor amplifier
will not cured this audible problem.
Maybe reviewers are so used to audible "Class B" "crossover distortion" that they do not notice it !
But "Class B" "crossover distortion" makes everything sound bright, with added sibilance and
the "silence between the notes" is replaced by random noise (crossover distortion),
which "masks" the soft echoes or other soft noises in the background.
There are usually soft noise in the background like fingers accidentally brushing against the guitar string !
We recommend that you audition these "hybrid" valve / transistor amplifier
against a "proper" valve amplifier, and let your ears decide !
Cheaper  valve  amplifiers ?  ( Part 2 )
There is a limit to how cheap you can make a valve amplifier,
without making huge compromises.
We believe that our prices are realistic (without making huge compromises),
and you will find that our big transformers and big valves are as big (or bigger)
as £3,000 American valve amplifiers.
We will even give you back your money (less £30 return carriage, within 30 days)
if you do not think that our £700 amplifier sounds as good (or slightly better)
as £3,000 American valve amplifiers.
There are cheaper valve amplifiers,
but most of these cheaper valve amplifiers
uses small valves like ECL86 or EL84 and small transformers.
Small transformer will make human voices sound "blur",
when there is a human voice and bass drum at the same time.
If you put a loud bass drum and human voice at the same time, into a small transformer,
the small transformer will "saturate" and produce a lot of distortion.
This distortion is not as bad as it sounds,
but it makes the human voices sound "blur"
if you are using high quality "3 way" speakers.
To solve this problem, we have to use larger transformer and larger EL34 or KT88 valves.
Most "high end" valve amplifiers use EL34, 6550, KT88 or 300B valves.
KT88 valves are bigger and more expensive than 6550 valve.
Our KT88 "push pull" will produce much better bass and clearer, more realistic human voices, 
than 300B Single Ended valve amplifiers, if you are using high quality "3 way" speakers
There isn't a "High End" amplifier that uses
four pieces of EL84 valves
or four pieces of ECL86 valves !
There are "High End" amplifiers using 8 pieces of EL84 valves,
to double the minuscule power of the small EL84 valve.
But I do not see the point of this exercise.  There could be problems using valves in "parallel",
and the traditional way to cure this problem is to use inductors or resistors as "anode stoppers".
Why didn't the amplifier designer use the bigger EL34, 6550 , KT88 valves instead ?
ECL86 valves and small transformersare used in budget equipment.
EL84 valves and smallish transformersare used in "mid" market equipment.
KT66 valvesused in the Quad II is the "upper middle class". 
The transformers of the Quad II are comparatively small,
compared to "High End" amplifiers.
EL34 , 6550 , KT88 , 300B valves and big transformers
are used in "High End" equipment.
You will probably think that this is "salesman talk",
but we suggest that you try out smaller cheaper amplifiers
like Quad II or Leak Stereo 20 or any amplifier using four pieces of EL84 valves
or four pieces of ECL86 valves
against our EL34 or KT88 amplifiers
and let your ears decide, if we are lying or telling the truth.
We will not offer our money back guarantee (less £30 return carriage, within 30 days)
unless we are 99% confident about this !
Valve  amplifiers  kits ?
We are concerned about inexperienced audio enthusiasts building valve amplifiers that use 500 volts.
What happens when you pay hundreds of pounds for a kit,
and you spend weeks building the kit,
and finally, you switch it on and :-
   1. It does not work, because you made a mistake.
       There are about 100 parts in a kit, so it is very easy to make a mistake ! 
       You telephone the "help line",
       but you cannot explain why it does not work,
       because you do not know which 1 out of the 100 parts is causing the problem !
       One customer bought our valve amplifier,
       because he could not get his kit amplifier to work.
       I could not print his graphic description of the "help" line !
   2. The kit amplifier hums.
       One customer bought our amplifier, because his kit amplifier hums !
   3. You do not like the sound of the kit amplifier,
       and the seller refuses to refund your money.
       Why would you believe a Hi Fi reviewer, who is closely linked to the kit amplifier ?
       If the kit is so good, why isn't the kit reviewed in an independent non-biased Hi Fi magazine ?
You do not get any guarantees with kit amplifiers.
Our amplifiers have proven to be so reliable 
that we have increased our guarantee period from 1 year to 2 years.
Most kits do not have a CE safety cage to cover the hot valves,
and are a safety hazard to young children
or anybody who slips and falls near the amplifier.
These DIY kits uses hundreds of volts,
but do not have proper English / European CE safety markings.

Any questions ?
 Telephone 01634 268662 for the answers
Telephone & Fax  01634 373410

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