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dquarless10 16th April 2019 08:13 PM

Recommended Loudspeakers and DAC for TU-8600
I learned about ELEKIT at AXPONA 2019. I'm really interested in the TU-8600 and the TU-8500 preamp but I've never built anything. I've spent the last few days reading about them and watching youtube install videos.

I had a few questions...
1. I don't have loudspeakers or a nice DAC. Could you recommend anything to start with? Are there good DIY speakers or DACs to make like the elekit amp?
2. If I plan on mainly using a digital signal, would I need the pre-amp too?

The reviews of the 8600 are phenomenal. Looks great!

Wansmith 17th April 2019 02:57 AM

Hi there & welcome! You can get ridiculously good results with not a lot of money, and you have come to the right place for that journey.

In answer to your question 2. :
If you mainly use digital signal, then you will not need the pre-amp. The TU8600 has one input and volume control, so you can connect a dac to that one input, and control the volume too via the TU8600 itself, and without the need for a separate pre-amp. I would start with just the TU8600. You can always get the pre-amp later if you later realise you have a need for it.

I personally have a use for, and do use, the TU8500 preamp with my TU8600 because I use both digital and vinyl.

In answer to your question 1.:
Regarding DACs: I would recommend the Grace sDAC from Massdrop ($79USD, but looks like its currently out of stock), or equivalent (oDAC or OL DAC). These are inexpensive and have high measured performance, and are therefore the perfect first dac (and potentially all you'll ever need) to buy. This is not DIY, it is pre-made & off the shelf.

Regarding loudspeakers: This is a much harder thing to provide recommendations for. There are thousands of options, both DIY and pre-built, and people will have differing opinions and personal preferences. Will also be very budget dependent. As with everything there are a lot of exceptions to this advice that will follow. The TU8600 is a low power amp with 8W per channel. For such amps, the three things you should generally look out for when selecting a loudspeaker are (1) relatively high sensitivity/efficiency eg >91dB/W/m; (2) relatively high nominal impedance eg >8 ohm; and (3) relatively high minimum impedance eg >5ohm.

If it is within your price range, I would investigate the custom speaker based on the AER BD series full range drivers, that Victor has posted about in this forum recently. This option hits all three of the above listed requirements out of the park, and gets a great review paired with the TU8600 from Victor as well as Herb R from stereophile in one of his show reports.

dquarless10 17th April 2019 04:57 AM

Thanks Wansmith for the incredibly detailed reply - I'll have to do some read into the loudspeaker specs you mentioned and learn more.

I'll probably have to build up to the AER BD speaker range as their pretty pricy! I'll be on the lookout for a more introductory brand of speakers to use. Also, it's good to know that an odac is pretty much all that I need.

Thank you

Wansmith 17th April 2019 06:06 AM

My pleasure. Also check out page 2 of Herb R's review of the TU8600 here: Gramophone Dreams #27: EleKit TU-8600R amplifier kit Page 2 |

The Klipsch RP-600M speaker he recommends there ($549/pair) could be a great option.

Cifte12AU7 17th April 2019 09:13 PM

@OP, where do you live? I'm outside of Chicago. I was at AXPONA too. I have the 8600, two different DACs and a big listening room. You're welcome to come by and hear my 8600. I can show you about the build. Happy to share the passion!

Viktor is the man.

Cifte12AU7 17th April 2019 09:14 PM


How big is your listening room? Do you listen loud, moderate or soft?

roncagg 14th May 2019 06:07 PM

@Cifte12AU7 - have you tried your namesake tubes in the 8600? I have them in there now, very nice!

Cifte12AU7 14th May 2019 07:15 PM

Yes Roncagg! I like them there too. I don't use them as much in other amps, but in the 8600 they sound great.

NotRick 20th August 2019 08:58 AM

I've got the same question.

I know my Sonus Faber Concerto speakers won't work (84db) My Sonus Faber Amati Homage would be really pushing things if it worked at all - (92db / 4 ohms) - I'm not holding my breath.
I'm hoping to listen to a pair of DeVore Orangutans have to call my closest dealer and find out which (if any) they have - but I think, despite the reviews, it's too much money for 2way.

I'm wondering if something like the Troels Gravesen - Poor Man's Strat (a Sonus Faber Stradivarius look-alike) or the DTQWT-MKIII flat face, the DTQWT-212 or the smaller Quaddro MKII might be good choices.

VPI Super Scout Master w/ Shelter 501
ModWright - Oppo 105 (DAC/SACD/Blueray)
Parasound P-7 Preamp
Theta Digital Dreadnaught Amp.

66deg 30th August 2019 02:45 PM

I have a pair of Troels Gravsen DTQWT III and I am delighted with them, you can run the MT section of a valve amp and use a SS for the separate bass section. personally I think this is a great combination. One thing to be aware of is that Elekit does not publish gain figures for their amps which makes things a little difficult when trying to gain match the two.
I have asked Victor for the figures and he replies that his amps should not be bi-amped
which leaves the choice of something without the bass driver or fiddle around with inline attenuators until you are happy with how it sounds.

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