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The story of our best (biggest, heaviest, priciest) amplifier.

The story of our best (biggest, heaviest, priciest) amplifier.

One day, upon the order of a kind client, I imported a Line Magnetic amp. One with 805 power tubes (2x48W in SE configuration!) driven by 300B’s. It only spent a short time with me but it got me thinking that I should try to source a “big triode” amplifier, something at an even better price point, even better value, more in line with OzAudio’s philosophy.
I ended up ordering an amp from the tube manufactuer Shuguang. 211 tubes driven by 2a3’s, both renowned and loved for their smoothness and transparency.
It arrived and this amp which – going by its specifications, build, parts used – should have been excellent, was unlistenably thin and lacking in bass. 35 kg and yet the output transformers are under-sized? That indeed turned out to be the case.
So then came the sourcing and installation of transformers that were guaranteed to do the 211’s justice (plus a minor intervention to isolate the 2a3’s – badly microphonic as driver tubes – from the chassis).

Finally the amp was back in the system and I’ve been shaking my head in dismay ever since. One the one hand I just love it. On the other I cannot believe that a manufacturer would take an otherwise well designed and built amp and make it unlistenable by saving some cost, when for relatively minor extra outlay they could have made an outstanding one. Because that’s what it is now. And still very high value for money, in spite of all the extra cost that had to go into it.

It is yet to be decided if it can in this shape and form become a product. Of course, if a customer falls in love with it like I have, the upgrades can be reproduced.

So what would the price be?
Difficult to make any promises in such turbulent times, but at the moment the base version (with cheaper tubes) would be exactly 1 million HUF, and with Shuguang Treasure Series tubes (like the specimen in question) add another 150k.

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