THE FIRST SET WE PLAY
A few months ago I had a visit of my friends. I asked them about the opinions on the sound of my loudspeakers. One of these friends was a well regarded constructor of the audio gear. During the meeting an idea emerged – to design a tube amplifier dedicated to the Closer Acoustics loudspeakers in order to create a coherent tandem: tube amplifier – high efficiency loudspeakers. Well if we are located so close to each other why not to make something nice together?
Two months ago, I had an info from him, that somewhere in November he should have an iteration zero comma zero, which means a wooden board with a selection of audio parts, to which mains cable can be connected on one side and the loudspeakers output cables on the other side.
This way we arrived to the point where we met yesterday evening in my sound cave. Well his announcement of a board with parts was only a bit distant from reality. I helped my friend to unpack the car carrying for the moment the “prototype”.
Before we switched it on, we were listening for a while to small floorstanders I have brought from France few days before powered by my Marantz amplifier – but this is another story.
So we switched on the tube amplifier and waited a while to let it warm up. Then curious we played first sounds and… we smiled both.
The evening passed by on talking and listening to the music. There was Patricia Barber, J.S.Bach came fore while with his organ works, Holst visited us with Planets. Also Anna Maria Jopek dropped by with Makoto Ozone, Claude Debussy was there too, to mention just a few.
We were switching also the loudspeakers there were Evas playing, then Adams and the small ones too, but this is another story as mentioned earlier.
At the end we came to a conclusion that what we are hearing we like a lot. My friend assured me that this is a starting point quality and at this moment he explained me his philosophy of work while designing a new construction. By the stage of drawing a recipe the principal ingredients have to fit each other leaving fine tuning for next stages. If by the stage zero or let’s say foundations the starting point quality is ok, there is a time for next step, if not it is back to drawing desk. I will not write here about technical details of applied solutions, because it is not the point. There is a lot of tube amplifiers around but those sounding remarkably good, without hum not so much. A lot of know how and experience is required to design a good tube amplifier. And I am lucky having around friends who design and manufacture really remarkable amplifiers.
The next morning, when I opened my eyes I decided that I will write about it here and show in consecutive episodes how an amplifier dedicated to my loudspeakers is created. I called my friend promptly and asked if he doesn’t object to this idea.
And here I am presenting the amplifiers in the stage that is normally is kept behind the closed doors.
It is a classic Single Ended Triode construction, without electrolytic capacitors in power supply, using 300B tubes generating output power of around 8 Watts.
We will see how next incarnations will look like until the final stage and how the sound will be changing – well the last one we will not see but certainly it will be possible to listen to it.
To be continued..