After a 14 hour shift in the lab testing and packing tubes and typing invoices for all of you, its time for me to have some fun with music and hifi! One project I have been wanting to get to for 30 years or so is a matched pair of 60 lbs. audio output trannys that I spent a hot afternoon carefully removing from an ancient matched pair of GIANT power amps that came from Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH. These amps were so big instead of a chassis they had a fence around them! Yes a chain link fence. They were 6 feet square and 6 feet tall! They had 833 push-pull output tubes for an output of around 1600 watts. It was at the Reese Cary research lab and I had very limited time to work and even though I had no idea if I could even get them to work, I spent several hours removing them from the amps in the hope I could some day build a Frankenstein amp around them! Well that was about 1988 or so. This spring I finally had time to try them on my John Eckland 2A3 push pull amp. (This is the actual amp featured in the Vacuum Tube Valley ((Issue # 13 winter 2000)) article "classic 2A3 amplifier"). Amazingly and luckily the primary's matched common triodes like the 2A3 and 845 and the Secondary's/outputs were 4 and 8 ohms! I hooked them up and WOW pure music magic! For example on Carlo Santana's song "moonflower" the tall conga drums were felt in my body as much as heard! The elusive live-ness of real music in the room is truly amazing, the clarity and thickness/richness of the sound must be heard to be believed. This is what Ultra-Fidelity is all about.
Yes Virginia these output transformers literally have balls of brass! This is a spark gap to protect the primary coil from excess input voltage. These are 60 pounds each and made by New York Transformer Company. The lack of distortion, musical transparency and soundstaging are cosmic in proportions!
WHAT TUBE AUDIO MEANS TO ME
De Forests invention of the vacuum tube is a towering achievement of inspired creativity.
Tubes communicate knowledge, participate in recording history, save lives, win wars, and form the basis to experience overwhelming aural fulfillment.
Vacuum tubes provide sounds unobtainable in any other electronic way by uniquely presenting and indelibly imprinting the highest level of acoustical, visceral and emotional experiences.
Within the tiny glass their electrons generate communion with one of man's greatest artistic expressions; MUSIC, which lifts the human psyche toward the essential nature of the pure . . . And
.... in those moments, when they touch you with sonic nirvana, MUSIC becomes the harmony against the noise of life.
written by Bernie F.