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Elekit TU-8200 DX Headphone/Speaker Amp Review
jamespineapple replied to this thread on July 17, 11:26 am
Hello fellow TU-8200 owners!
I wanted to chime in at Victor's recommendation with my experience building this amplifier.
As I live in Vancouver, Victor suggested I visit his home to check out the kit before I purchased it. He was so helpful in explaining the process and even gave me a few additional upgrade components! We spent plenty of time at his place rolling through some different tubes as well - I got to listen to some Tung-Sol 5881s, PSVane KT88s, and even the holy grail RCA 6L6GCs. The RCAs blew me away with bass extension and treble clarity - they sounded perfectly flat, very smooth, very responsive. I felt a bit like I had gone back in time. It was an incredible experience.
I was originally planning to use a set of Winged C 6L6GCs in my build, but after the comparison at Victors place I knew I had to go another way.
The kit came together quite easily - Instructions were easy to follow and I had the whole thing assembled after about 8 hours of work. I've spent the past 3 weeks burning it in and it sounds better every day!
The tubes I ended up settling on in my amp are a pair of PhilipsEGC 6L6GCs and a pair of RCA cleartop 12AU7s. I find the Philips a little thicker sounding than Victor's RCAs, but very similar in terms of bass extension, midrange detail, and responsiveness. The brightness of the cleartops seems to balance them out and adds a little bit of clarity and tightness to the equation. I tried some Sylvania 12AU7As as well as the Shuguangs that come with, and found that both sets tended to double up the low-mids from the power tubes. With the Winged Cs, which reminded me of Victor's Tung-Sol 5881s in their mid-forward response, the Sylvania preamp tubes were a fair compliment but overall I liked the Philips/RCA combination better.
The only downside is that I had to pull my Philips tubes from my guitar amp, a vintage Magnatone 460, which sounds nice with the Winged Cs but some of that magic warmth is gone.
I've been using my TU-8200 in pentode operation, primarily with my Technics 1300 through a Boozhound Labs Phono pre that I also built. Speakers are yet to come for me, as I'm in a tiny Vancouver apartment! I have a set of AKG K702s that make me happy - as someone with a background in audio engineering I prefer a more clinical sound, and as someone who is more into jazz I also appreciate the mellow bass response so many people dislike about these cans.
I have to commend and thank Victor again for all his help! I was blown away by his hospitality and his suggestions really helped me with the build.
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Topic - Headfi TU-8200DX Review - vkung 15:15:38 07/17/15 (0)