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TU-879 upgrades







I completed my TU-879 last month and I wanted to say how much I am enjoying it. I have a number of systems around the house, some with amps costing 10-15x the price of the Elekit. And I must say that the little 879 holds its head high even in that company. Its only disadvantage is the relatively low power, but that's not a problem as long as you are using high efficiency speakers. My favorites are the Zu Audio Omen, which sound fantastic, are beautifully built in the USA and not too expensive.

Constructing the TU-879 was a breeze. I would recommend it to anyone who can do basic soldering. There is nothing complicated about the project at all. All you need is a good soldering iron and some basic tools for cutting and stripping wire and turning screws. That's it! And when you're done, you will have a beautiful-sounding amplifier that you will feel proud to have built yourself.

I am thankful to Victor Kung, who has been there every step of the way, offering help and encouragement. He is always there to assist you with your project and answers very quickly. When you order one of his kits, he ships it very quickly, assuming he has it in stock. Dealing with Victor has been a really great experience.

The TU-879 sounds lovely in stock form, but I am trying to take it even further. So along the way, I have done some upgrades. Based on Victor's suggestions, I started with some simple tube rolling. I purchased the 6L6 to 807 tube adapter on eBay, along with a pair of NOS vintage RCA 807 tubes. That brought an immediate and positive change. A bit more detail in the upper end, more midrange clarity. I still like the 6L6 a lot and would not say the 807 is better, but different. I switch back and forth once in a while just for a change.

As a side note, the 807 is an interesting tube, rarely seen in hi fi applications. It was originally designed as a military tube for use in field radios. During WWII, American radiomen would actually carry these huge backpacks containing a tube based transceiver. The 807 was used in these units. I think the only other common civilian users of the 807 are vintage amateur radio enthusiasts.

The most recent upgrades, just completed last night, are the Vitamin-Q capacitors along with the TKD volume pot. The amp is working perfectly with the upgrades in place, but I will reserve judgement on the sonic improvements until after the caps have broken in. Victor can supply you with the correct caps and upgraded volume pot.

So, if you're reading this because you're researching DIY tube amp projects, don't hesitate! The Elekits are easy to build using the detailed instructions provided. Victor has done a perfect job on the translation and is there to help if you have questions. Best of all, the Elekit TU-879 just sounds beautiful. I enjoy it every bit as much as my McIntosh MC275 and that's saying a lot.



Edits: 11/26/11 11/26/11 11/26/11 11/26/11 11/26/11 11/26/11

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Topic - TU-879 upgrades - autoformer 11:44:04 11/26/11 (0)

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