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Old 19th February 2019, 10:20 PM   #1
vkung is offline vkung  Canada
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Default ELEKIT TU-8150 6AQ5/6V6

Here is the review from Doctor John

Review: Elekit TU-8150(DX), Part I
Doctorjohn Cheaptubeaudio: Audio Reviews and More: Elekit TU-8150 6V6 6AQ5

Comments Let me cut to the chase: this little amp is now my favorite Elekit amp!

Operation Ultra steady. I have it on all day and it barely gets warm.
Sonics It is always hard to describe the sonics of something. For this amp, I would choose Fluent. Many tube amps are easy listening, sometimes referred to as "liquid", but that is not at all the equivalence of fluency, which mandates a good sense of rhythm and superior transparency. Nothing about the TU-8150 grates on you, and everything contributes to keep your interest. Playing disc after disc attests to the superb musicality of this little amplifier with a big heart, neigh, soul!

As Amplifier As with most flea powered amps, particularly if you play vinyl, personally I'd use this with a Preamp to maximize the gain and delivery of the first watt. However, it will sound pretty good as an integrated amp (my System III's Schiit is essentially passive volume). Volume Knob Setting when used as Amp The TU-8150 employs an IC in its preamp section, so it is not just a passive volume knob on an amp. That said, I found not much degradation when the volume knob is maxed out - no overloading or undue hardness. Dialing back may bring a tad more refinement, but the optimal setting is likely dependent on the rest of the system. I have it anywhere between 12:30 and 3:00 Power My YL horns are 104 db, so I have no problems, even with big pieces, as you can read above. I'd think it will work well with loudspeakers over 90 db in sensitivity. Just for the hell of it, I did briefly hooked it up to the LS3/5A, but even with volume knob of both amp and preamp maxed out, there was only moderate volume; however, even then the music sounded nice and lively, not seriously compromised nor muffled, which to me means loudspeaker matching will not be too difficult in general.

As Headphone Amp I think this shall make a very nice headphone amp. But make sure the loudspeakers are connected if you even want to pull out the headphones.

Hybrid? The presence of an op amp in the preamp stage will turn off some tube purists. But I ask myself, do I actually heard sand? Honestly I cannot say I do. The sound is rich and creamy when it is supposedly to. I have heard many all-tube amps that sound a lot more transistory (like German Octave, not to my taste). Elekit has had a long history of using IC/op amp in their products and the designer's skill is apparent.

6AQ5 vs 6V6 In my listening, the 6V6 is unquestionably better. I am staying with 6V6 just because I have a large stash. Although electrically similar, the bigger envelope of the 6V6 likely confers an advantage (just as 6SN7 has it over 6CG7). However, I am equally sure the performance of the 6AQ5 can be much enhanced by rolling in older and better tubes. The suppled GE's are coded 82-52, which is from the very end of 1982, just before tube productions ceased altogether. Older 6AQ5's are plentiful and cheap and one can have fun rolling tubes.

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Last edited by vkung; 19th February 2019 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 25th February 2019, 08:09 PM   #2
vkung is offline vkung  Canada
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Part 2
Doctorjohn Cheaptubeaudio: Audio Reviews and More: Elekit TU-8150, 6V6 Pentode Triode

Last edited by vkung; 25th February 2019 at 08:17 PM.
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