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halitun 16th January 2011 08:11 PM

Tube rolling
Just finished one of these up last week and now have it hooked up to the good speakers upstairs (B&W 803s - 90db sensitivity) and it sounds great! It gets crunchy at high volumes, but it should be paired with higher efficiency speakers as well. I tried Tung Sol EL34s, Mullard EL34s, EH 6L6, and SED 6550s. Tung Sol and the 6550s were o.k. so I'll restrict my comments to the other two. The EH 6L6 had a nice even sound across the frequencies with good bass. Sound stage and detail were good. Piano sounded bright; you could hear the harmonics of other strings and the sound board.
With the Mullard EL34s, the tones were darker but much more detail and deep soundstage. We focused on a few recordings of Jazz and Beatles that we knew well. With the Mullards, we heard sounds that we'd never before heard in the recordings through our other gear (CJ, Menno, Pass, etc.). For example the snares sounded great with the other tubes, but now we could hear additional nuances that the drummer was putting in there. Ambient sounds were also now heard that we'd never heard before. It's my first SET; a whole different experience. We look forward to pairing it with other speakers and also trying some other 12AX7s. I tried 3 that I had around and only the EI was acceptable so no need to discuss the others. I've ordered some others to try out.

vkung 1st February 2011 03:32 PM

You should have a pair of RCA Red Label 6L6GC

feilipu 26th February 2011 12:46 PM

I wrote a review of the TU-879S on my blog.

Elekit TU-879S Stereo Valve Amplifier Kit Review - feilipu's posterous

It is an excellent kit. Absolutely complete. When completed, looks like a professional product.

Build time was 8 hours for the kit. Some back and forth on the potentiometer modification, added an hour on top.

bdbender 8th April 2011 03:14 AM

TU-879s build
Just bought a TU-879s from Victor - who is a true gentleman - and finished the build in something like 7 or 8 hours. I was having too much fun to track the time closely.

I used to build Heathkits as a teenager, and also a Dynaco or two. I am happy to report that this is a great kit, with quality parts, plenty of wire and hardware, and Victor's English instructions are very well done.

I think David Kan really covered both the build of this amp with his photos, as well as the sound, in his 2008 6moons review, so I don't intend to repeat anything he said. With that in mind, I took a series of pictures of the build, and will post several of them here in this thread.

I am now listening to the amp several hours per day, and it's just getting sweeter sounding as things burn in. I am rolling a few tubes and will comment on that in a while.

Tube equipment was never cheap, and that's as true today as it has always been. For the price of this kit you can buy a reasonably nice Chinese push-pull tube amp, and that is tempting, but personally I already have a pair of push-pull monoblocs and had never had experience with the single-ended tube sound. All I can say is, the price of this kit is very fair for the quality you get, and I love the SE sound.

bdbender 8th April 2011 03:37 AM

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Holding the printed circuit board.

bdbender 8th April 2011 03:42 AM

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I have seen photos of people starting kit builds with every single piece laid out separately. That way madness lies. Leave stuff in the little bags until needed!

bdbender 8th April 2011 03:46 AM

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The foam turned out to be useful for sorting small parts.

bdbender 8th April 2011 03:49 AM

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Soldering one or two parts at a time is the best way to avoid mistakes, but it is also slower.

bdbender 8th April 2011 03:53 AM

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A tight twist is good wiring practice where called for.

bdbender 8th April 2011 04:08 AM

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The only modification I made was to substitute better coupling caps. I have found this really can make a difference in several other projects. I was leaning towards Auricaps, having had good luck with them before. Victor strongly advised oil caps, but he was out of the Vitamin Q's he sells.

Based on various reviews of caps around the internet I splurged a little and chose Mundorf silver/oils. Cap tests are highly subjective, and the results vary like crazy, but the silver/oils seem to do pretty well everywhere.

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