of all: Buy the 6C19pi tubes from
Russia. Much cheaper. I paid some 60 US $ for 20
tubes and it's nice to have a few spare tubes,
although I only spent very little time swapping
tubes to get the rid of DC off-set.
amp is a very neutral sounding performer.
Different from my Audio Mirror PSE mono-blocks and the 300B SE amp. By no means sterile. It
is not. Allow some 20-40 hours of burn-in before
making your final verdict because it gets
smoother over time and I'm not even sure my amp
is fully broken in yet. I haven't recorded how
many hours I've used it, but my guess is some 30
Initially it didn't have the spacious
presentation of my other amps, but this certainly
changed after trying the TRAM
line stage. So, it appears the Transcendent
line stage is not the final word in line
all low-wattage valve amps it's picky on
the speakers attached. Don't go for something
less than 93-95 dB/2.8 volts and 6 ohms minimum
unless you never play very loud. I know you can
find examples of people using this amp with
something far less efficient, but it's not my
recommendation. For some reason it does very well
with my current DTQWT experiments. Supravox
has been tried with good results too.
T16OTL is an output-transformerless,
push-pull design using negative feedback. Now,
the Audio Mirror amps use negative feedback as
well, where the 300B doesn't. But this may only
be a small part of the explanation for these amps
sounding different. Where both AM and 300B amps
use the best coupling caps I can find, I have
"only" tried the Solen FC caps
(supplied) and the current Hovland caps. I think
there are more to come from e.g. Mundorf
Silver/Gold caps. According to Bruce Rosenblit,
0.1 uF is absolute minimum where bass will
slightly suffer, so 0.22 uF is probably minimum.
I'd go for 0.47 uF, ~200 US $ extra.