VK Music - Elekit & Triode Japan Forum
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Built the Elekit TU-8200DX!
I have had the opportunity to complete the 8200DX that I purchased from Victor. This is the 4th Elekit I have built. This one is a college graduation gift for my daughter, and the TU-879 was a similar gift for my daughter a couple of years ago. My daughters and their friends love these tube amps. Both the sound and looks. Previously, I have also built the Elekit pre-amp 875, as well as my personal 8300. Please consider all these comments as obviously my personal opinions. I like the building of these kits, having grown up in the Heathkit days. I personally see these kits as moderately expensive, but worth it to me for many reasons, including the love of building kits as well as the finished products. I also have some McIntosh audio gear. While I don't consider my ears to be 'audiophile grade', I do know what I like.
Kit Building Summary: This kit was extremely fun to build. I was actually sad to have it be finished. It may be perhaps the most well thought out kit produced so far from Elekit. This is a premium kit. Everything about it oozes quality. From the packaging within the box, to the sealed plastic bags for the various components. The mechanics as well as electronics seem well thought out. When you assemble the finished boards together mechanically into the case in the final steps, you will smile about how well thought out the mechanical aspects of the kit assembling are. You will likely be impressed about how components are strengthened mechanically in very clever ways, such as how the volume control is mounted. Layout wise, the boards are easy to solder the components to. There are a lot of resistors that need to be installed. So take good time and patience to double check your work. Especially double check the soldering of the 40 pin connectors.
English instructions perfect. Didn't find any errors or anything of concern. Especially like the warnings to double check resistor values that have similar colors (Brown Red Black vs Brown Black Red), etc. Also, clear indications to check some components that need to be soldered on Side B versus Side A, etc.
High quality pc board, well thought out and laid out
Little well thought out details, like the cut-out on the board to help you bend the 4 LED leads to the right length are just incredible!
Good fit and finish of all mechanicals. Case comes together very well.
All silver case doesn't ooze the same quality as the components inside to me. I personally like the black/silver combination of the 879. But, to be fair, my daughter likes the look of it, and your eyes are mostly drawn to the glowing tubes anyway. The case is rounded and high quality, no sharp edges. It's just a personal thing for me about the all-silver case.
I think the hardest part of the kit construction might be the first step: separating the 1 pc board that arrives into the 8 separate pc boards. The ones that are 'square' are no problem to break apart, as long as you use the table as the instructions suggest. But a few of the boards have angles to them, and so takes a bit of patience and courage to break them apart. I found that if I scored the 'connecting' tabs with an xacto knife it was a little easier. One note I will offer is that I didn't sand down the edges of the connectors after breaking the boards apart. As I was doing the final assembly I was worried that perhaps those edges would interfere with connections or fitting into the case. They do not. So I found no need to sand them personally.
Sounds great! I am using the included kit tubes right now -- Electro-Harmonix Russian 6L6EH and Chinese 12AU7s (not sure on the brand). I am driving a pair of PSB Image B6s. My sound source right now is a Sonos ZP80. After about 10 hours or so of playing music, sounds very good to me. Nice power to drive these speakers, fills room well. Still have some other things to try -- including the headphones, as well as other sources -- cd player and turntable. Overall, personally very pleased as is my daughter. She spent about 3 hours listening to it the first time she heard it, trying different saved music onto it (the beauty of the Sonos).
I can't get into many audio descriptions about things that Audiophiles like to talk about. That's just not me. And my ears are probably just not that discerning. But I will say that we are both pleased with the sound coming out of this amp. Whether it is better than the 879, I will let others decide.
So early on, very happy with this kit. Very impressed with the quality. Very happy about my purchase. Didn't add the USB/DAC board. Will in the future.
I personally want to say that I believe dealing with Victor continues to be extremely easy. His replies to emails almost seem instantaneous! He is extremely customer service focused, and I have been pleased with my purchases from him, as well as his quick replies to any questions I have. Victor is top notch!
Anyway, hope this was helpful to anyone considering this kit. Good luck!
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Topic - TU-8200DX Feedback - vkung 15:48:44 02/25/14 (0)