Wednesday, 23 May 2018


Privacy Policy

We are very delighted that you have shown interest in our enterprise. Data protection is of a particularly high priority for the management of the Volker Heinze. The use of the Internet pages of the Volker Heinze is possible without any indication of personal data; however, if a data subject wants to use special enterprise services via our website, processing of personal data could become necessary. If the processing of personal data is necessary and there is no statutory basis for such processing, we generally obtain consent from the data subject.
The processing of personal data, such as the name, address, e-mail address, or telephone number of a data subject shall always be in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and in accordance with the country-specific data protection regulations applicable to the Volker Heinze. By means of this data protection declaration, our enterprise would like to inform the general public of the nature, scope, and purpose of the personal data we collect, use and process. Furthermore, data subjects are informed, by means of this data protection declaration, of the rights to which they are entitled.
As the controller, the Volker Heinze has implemented numerous technical and organizational measures to ensure the most complete protection of personal data processed through this website. However, Internet-based data transmissions may in principle have security gaps, so absolute protection may not be guaranteed. For this reason, every data subject is free to transfer personal data to us via alternative means, e.g. by telephone.

1. Definitions

The data protection declaration of the Volker Heinze is based on the terms used by the European legislator for the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Our data protection declaration should be legible and understandable for the general public, as well as our customers and business partners. To ensure this, we would like to first explain the terminology used.
In this data protection declaration, we use, inter alia, the following terms:
  • a)    Personal data

    Personal data means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (“data subject”). An identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.
  • b) Data subject

    Data subject is any identified or identifiable natural person, whose personal data is processed by the controller responsible for the processing.
  • c)    Processing

    Processing is any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.
  • d)    Restriction of processing

    Restriction of processing is the marking of stored personal data with the aim of limiting their processing in the future.
  • e)    Profiling

    Profiling means any form of automated processing of personal data consisting of the use of personal data to evaluate certain personal aspects relating to a natural person, in particular to analyse or predict aspects concerning that natural person's performance at work, economic situation, health, personal preferences, interests, reliability, behaviour, location or movements.
  • f)     Pseudonymisation

    Pseudonymisation is the processing of personal data in such a manner that the personal data can no longer be attributed to a specific data subject without the use of additional information, provided that such additional information is kept separately and is subject to technical and organisational measures to ensure that the personal data are not attributed to an identified or identifiable natural person.
  • g)    Controller or controller responsible for the processing

    Controller or controller responsible for the processing is the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data; where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by Union or Member State law, the controller or the specific criteria for its nomination may be provided for by Union or Member State law.
  • h)    Processor

    Processor is a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller.
  • i)      Recipient

    Recipient is a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or another body, to which the personal data are disclosed, whether a third party or not. However, public authorities which may receive personal data in the framework of a particular inquiry in accordance with Union or Member State law shall not be regarded as recipients; the processing of those data by those public authorities shall be in compliance with the applicable data protection rules according to the purposes of the processing.
  • j)      Third party

    Third party is a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or body other than the data subject, controller, processor and persons who, under the direct authority of the controller or processor, are authorised to process personal data.
  • k)    Consent

    Consent of the data subject is any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject's wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her.

2. Name and Address of the controller

Controller for the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), other data protection laws applicable in Member states of the European Union and other provisions related to data protection is:
Volker Heinze
Tußmannstr. 31
40477 Düsseldorf
Phone: 0211 395921
Email: mail (at) volkerheinze (dot) de

3. Collection of general data and information

The website of the Volker Heinze collects a series of general data and information when a data subject or automated system calls up the website. This general data and information are stored in the server log files. Collected may be (1) the browser types and versions used, (2) the operating system used by the accessing system, (3) the website from which an accessing system reaches our website (so-called referrers), (4) the sub-websites, (5) the date and time of access to the Internet site, (6) an Internet protocol address (IP address), (7) the Internet service provider of the accessing system, and (8) any other similar data and information that may be used in the event of attacks on our information technology systems.
When using these general data and information, the Volker Heinze does not draw any conclusions about the data subject. Rather, this information is needed to (1) deliver the content of our website correctly, (2) optimize the content of our website as well as its advertisement, (3) ensure the long-term viability of our information technology systems and website technology, and (4) provide law enforcement authorities with the information necessary for criminal prosecution in case of a cyber-attack. Therefore, the Volker Heinze analyzes anonymously collected data and information statistically, with the aim of increasing the data protection and data security of our enterprise, and to ensure an optimal level of protection for the personal data we process. The anonymous data of the server log files are stored separately from all personal data provided by a data subject.

4. Routine erasure and blocking of personal data

The data controller shall process and store the personal data of the data subject only for the period necessary to achieve the purpose of storage, or as far as this is granted by the European legislator or other legislators in laws or regulations to which the controller is subject to.
If the storage purpose is not applicable, or if a storage period prescribed by the European legislator or another competent legislator expires, the personal data are routinely blocked or erased in accordance with legal requirements.

5. Rights of the data subject

  • a) Right of confirmation

    Each data subject shall have the right granted by the European legislator to obtain from the controller the confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning him or her are being processed. If a data subject wishes to avail himself of this right of confirmation, he or she may, at any time, contact any employee of the controller.
  • b) Right of access

    Each data subject shall have the right granted by the European legislator to obtain from the controller free information about his or her personal data stored at any time and a copy of this information. Furthermore, the European directives and regulations grant the data subject access to the following information:
    • the purposes of the processing;
    • the categories of personal data concerned;
    • the recipients or categories of recipients to whom the personal data have been or will be disclosed, in particular recipients in third countries or international organisations;
    • where possible, the envisaged period for which the personal data will be stored, or, if not possible, the criteria used to determine that period;
    • the existence of the right to request from the controller rectification or erasure of personal data, or restriction of processing of personal data concerning the data subject, or to object to such processing;
    • the existence of the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority;
    • where the personal data are not collected from the data subject, any available information as to their source;
    • the existence of automated decision-making, including profiling, referred to in Article 22(1) and (4) of the GDPR and, at least in those cases, meaningful information about the logic involved, as well as the significance and envisaged consequences of such processing for the data subject.
    Furthermore, the data subject shall have a right to obtain information as to whether personal data are transferred to a third country or to an international organisation. Where this is the case, the data subject shall have the right to be informed of the appropriate safeguards relating to the transfer.
    If a data subject wishes to avail himself of this right of access, he or she may, at any time, contact any employee of the controller.
  • c) Right to rectification

    Each data subject shall have the right granted by the European legislator to obtain from the controller without undue delay the rectification of inaccurate personal data concerning him or her. Taking into account the purposes of the processing, the data subject shall have the right to have incomplete personal data completed, including by means of providing a supplementary statement.
    If a data subject wishes to exercise this right to rectification, he or she may, at any time, contact any employee of the controller.
  • d) Right to erasure (Right to be forgotten)

    Each data subject shall have the right granted by the European legislator to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without undue delay, and the controller shall have the obligation to erase personal data without undue delay where one of the following grounds applies, as long as the processing is not necessary:
    • The personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed.
    • The data subject withdraws consent to which the processing is based according to point (a) of Article 6(1) of the GDPR, or point (a) of Article 9(2) of the GDPR, and where there is no other legal ground for the processing.
    • The data subject objects to the processing pursuant to Article 21(1) of the GDPR and there are no overriding legitimate grounds for the processing, or the data subject objects to the processing pursuant to Article 21(2) of the GDPR.
    • The personal data have been unlawfully processed.
    • The personal data must be erased for compliance with a legal obligation in Union or Member State law to which the controller is subject.
    • The personal data have been collected in relation to the offer of information society services referred to in Article 8(1) of the GDPR.
    If one of the aforementioned reasons applies, and a data subject wishes to request the erasure of personal data stored by the Volker Heinze, he or she may, at any time, contact any employee of the controller. An employee of Volker Heinze shall promptly ensure that the erasure request is complied with immediately.
    Where the controller has made personal data public and is obliged pursuant to Article 17(1) to erase the personal data, the controller, taking account of available technology and the cost of implementation, shall take reasonable steps, including technical measures, to inform other controllers processing the personal data that the data subject has requested erasure by such controllers of any links to, or copy or replication of, those personal data, as far as processing is not required. An employees of the Volker Heinze will arrange the necessary measures in individual cases.
  • e) Right of restriction of processing

    Each data subject shall have the right granted by the European legislator to obtain from the controller restriction of processing where one of the following applies:
    • The accuracy of the personal data is contested by the data subject, for a period enabling the controller to verify the accuracy of the personal data.
    • The processing is unlawful and the data subject opposes the erasure of the personal data and requests instead the restriction of their use instead.
    • The controller no longer needs the personal data for the purposes of the processing, but they are required by the data subject for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
    • The data subject has objected to processing pursuant to Article 21(1) of the GDPR pending the verification whether the legitimate grounds of the controller override those of the data subject.
    If one of the aforementioned conditions is met, and a data subject wishes to request the restriction of the processing of personal data stored by the Volker Heinze, he or she may at any time contact any employee of the controller. The employee of the Volker Heinze will arrange the restriction of the processing.
  • f) Right to data portability

    Each data subject shall have the right granted by the European legislator, to receive the personal data concerning him or her, which was provided to a controller, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format. He or she shall have the right to transmit those data to another controller without hindrance from the controller to which the personal data have been provided, as long as the processing is based on consent pursuant to point (a) of Article 6(1) of the GDPR or point (a) of Article 9(2) of the GDPR, or on a contract pursuant to point (b) of Article 6(1) of the GDPR, and the processing is carried out by automated means, as long as the processing is not necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.
    Furthermore, in exercising his or her right to data portability pursuant to Article 20(1) of the GDPR, the data subject shall have the right to have personal data transmitted directly from one controller to another, where technically feasible and when doing so does not adversely affect the rights and freedoms of others.
    In order to assert the right to data portability, the data subject may at any time contact any employee of the Volker Heinze.
  • g) Right to object

    Each data subject shall have the right granted by the European legislator to object, on grounds relating to his or her particular situation, at any time, to processing of personal data concerning him or her, which is based on point (e) or (f) of Article 6(1) of the GDPR. This also applies to profiling based on these provisions.
    The Volker Heinze shall no longer process the personal data in the event of the objection, unless we can demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override the interests, rights and freedoms of the data subject, or for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
    If the Volker Heinze processes personal data for direct marketing purposes, the data subject shall have the right to object at any time to processing of personal data concerning him or her for such marketing. This applies to profiling to the extent that it is related to such direct marketing. If the data subject objects to the Volker Heinze to the processing for direct marketing purposes, the Volker Heinze will no longer process the personal data for these purposes.
    In addition, the data subject has the right, on grounds relating to his or her particular situation, to object to processing of personal data concerning him or her by the Volker Heinze for scientific or historical research purposes, or for statistical purposes pursuant to Article 89(1) of the GDPR, unless the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out for reasons of public interest.
    In order to exercise the right to object, the data subject may contact any employee of the Volker Heinze. In addition, the data subject is free in the context of the use of information society services, and notwithstanding Directive 2002/58/EC, to use his or her right to object by automated means using technical specifications.
  • h) Automated individual decision-making, including profiling

    Each data subject shall have the right granted by the European legislator not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, which produces legal effects concerning him or her, or similarly significantly affects him or her, as long as the decision (1) is not is necessary for entering into, or the performance of, a contract between the data subject and a data controller, or (2) is not authorised by Union or Member State law to which the controller is subject and which also lays down suitable measures to safeguard the data subject's rights and freedoms and legitimate interests, or (3) is not based on the data subject's explicit consent.
    If the decision (1) is necessary for entering into, or the performance of, a contract between the data subject and a data controller, or (2) it is based on the data subject's explicit consent, the Volker Heinze shall implement suitable measures to safeguard the data subject's rights and freedoms and legitimate interests, at least the right to obtain human intervention on the part of the controller, to express his or her point of view and contest the decision.
    If the data subject wishes to exercise the rights concerning automated individual decision-making, he or she may, at any time, contact any employee of the Volker Heinze.
  • i) Right to withdraw data protection consent

    Each data subject shall have the right granted by the European legislator to withdraw his or her consent to processing of his or her personal data at any time.
    If the data subject wishes to exercise the right to withdraw the consent, he or she may, at any time, contact any employee of the Volker Heinze.

6. Data protection provisions about the application and use of Google Analytics (with anonymization function)

On this website, the controller has integrated the component of Google Analytics (with the anonymizer function). Google Analytics is a web analytics service. Web analytics is the collection, gathering, and analysis of data about the behavior of visitors to websites. A web analysis service collects, inter alia, data about the website from which a person has come (the so-called referrer), which sub-pages were visited, or how often and for what duration a sub-page was viewed. Web analytics are mainly used for the optimization of a website and in order to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of Internet advertising.
The operator of the Google Analytics component is Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043-1351, United States.
For the web analytics through Google Analytics the controller uses the application "_gat. _anonymizeIp". By means of this application the IP address of the Internet connection of the data subject is abridged by Google and anonymised when accessing our websites from a Member State of the European Union or another Contracting State to the Agreement on the European Economic Area.
The purpose of the Google Analytics component is to analyze the traffic on our website. Google uses the collected data and information, inter alia, to evaluate the use of our website and to provide online reports, which show the activities on our websites, and to provide other services concerning the use of our Internet site for us.
Google Analytics places a cookie on the information technology system of the data subject. The definition of cookies is explained above. With the setting of the cookie, Google is enabled to analyze the use of our website. With each call-up to one of the individual pages of this Internet site, which is operated by the controller and into which a Google Analytics component was integrated, the Internet browser on the information technology system of the data subject will automatically submit data through the Google Analytics component for the purpose of online advertising and the settlement of commissions to Google. During the course of this technical procedure, the enterprise Google gains knowledge of personal information, such as the IP address of the data subject, which serves Google, inter alia, to understand the origin of visitors and clicks, and subsequently create commission settlements.
The cookie is used to store personal information, such as the access time, the location from which the access was made, and the frequency of visits of our website by the data subject. With each visit to our Internet site, such personal data, including the IP address of the Internet access used by the data subject, will be transmitted to Google in the United States of America. These personal data are stored by Google in the United States of America. Google may pass these personal data collected through the technical procedure to third parties.
The data subject may, as stated above, prevent the setting of cookies through our website at any time by means of a corresponding adjustment of the web browser used and thus permanently deny the setting of cookies. Such an adjustment to the Internet browser used would also prevent Google Analytics from setting a cookie on the information technology system of the data subject. In addition, cookies already in use by Google Analytics may be deleted at any time via a web browser or other software programs.
In addition, the data subject has the possibility of objecting to a collection of data that are generated by Google Analytics, which is related to the use of this website, as well as the processing of this data by Google and the chance to preclude any such. For this purpose, the data subject must download a browser add-on under the link and install it. This browser add-on tells Google Analytics through a JavaScript, that any data and information about the visits of Internet pages may not be transmitted to Google Analytics. The installation of the browser add-ons is considered an objection by Google. If the information technology system of the data subject is later deleted, formatted, or newly installed, then the data subject must reinstall the browser add-ons to disable Google Analytics. If the browser add-on was uninstalled by the data subject or any other person who is attributable to their sphere of competence, or is disabled, it is possible to execute the reinstallation or reactivation of the browser add-ons.
Further information and the applicable data protection provisions of Google may be retrieved under and under Google Analytics is further explained under the following Link

7. Data protection provisions about the application and use of Google+

On this website, the controller has integrated the Google+ button as a component. Google+ is a so-called social network. A social network is a social meeting place on the Internet, an online community, which usually allows users to communicate with each other and interact in a virtual space. A social network may serve as a platform for the exchange of opinions and experiences, or enable the Internet community to provide personal or business-related information. Google+ allows users of the social network to include the creation of private profiles, upload photos and network through friend requests.
The operating company of Google+ is Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043-1351, UNITED STATES.
With each call-up to one of the individual pages of this website, which is operated by the controller and on which a Google+ button has been integrated, the Internet browser on the information technology system of the data subject automatically downloads a display of the corresponding Google+ button of Google through the respective Google+ button component. During the course of this technical procedure, Google is made aware of what specific sub-page of our website was visited by the data subject. More detailed information about Google+ is available under
If the data subject is logged in at the same time to Google+, Google recognizes with each call-up to our website by the data subject and for the entire duration of his or her stay on our Internet site, which specific sub-pages of our Internet page were visited by the data subject. This information is collected through the Google+ button and Google matches this with the respective Google+ account associated with the data subject.
If the data subject clicks on the Google+ button integrated on our website and thus gives a Google+ 1 recommendation, then Google assigns this information to the personal Google+ user account of the data subject and stores the personal data. Google stores the Google+ 1 recommendation of the data subject, making it publicly available in accordance with the terms and conditions accepted by the data subject in this regard. Subsequently, a Google+ 1 recommendation given by the data subject on this website together with other personal data, such as the Google+ account name used by the data subject and the stored photo, is stored and processed on other Google services, such as search-engine results of the Google search engine, the Google account of the data subject or in other places, e.g. on Internet pages, or in relation to advertisements. Google is also able to link the visit to this website with other personal data stored on Google. Google further records this personal information with the purpose of improving or optimizing the various Google services.
Through the Google+ button, Google receives information that the data subject visited our website, if the data subject at the time of the call-up to our website is logged in to Google+. This occurs regardless of whether the data subject clicks or doesn’t click on the Google+ button.
If the data subject does not wish to transmit personal data to Google, he or she may prevent such transmission by logging out of his Google+ account before calling up our website.
Further information and the data protection provisions of Google may be retrieved under More references from Google about the Google+ 1 button may be obtained under

8. Legal basis for the processing

Art. 6(1) lit. a GDPR serves as the legal basis for processing operations for which we obtain consent for a specific processing purpose. If the processing of personal data is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party, as is the case, for example, when processing operations are necessary for the supply of goods or to provide any other service, the processing is based on Article 6(1) lit. b GDPR. The same applies to such processing operations which are necessary for carrying out pre-contractual measures, for example in the case of inquiries concerning our products or services. Is our company subject to a legal obligation by which processing of personal data is required, such as for the fulfillment of tax obligations, the processing is based on Art. 6(1) lit. c GDPR. In rare cases, the processing of personal data may be necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person. This would be the case, for example, if a visitor were injured in our company and his name, age, health insurance data or other vital information would have to be passed on to a doctor, hospital or other third party. Then the processing would be based on Art. 6(1) lit. d GDPR. Finally, processing operations could be based on Article 6(1) lit. f GDPR. This legal basis is used for processing operations which are not covered by any of the abovementioned legal grounds, if processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by our company or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data. Such processing operations are particularly permissible because they have been specifically mentioned by the European legislator. He considered that a legitimate interest could be assumed if the data subject is a client of the controller (Recital 47 Sentence 2 GDPR).

9. The legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party

Where the processing of personal data is based on Article 6(1) lit. f GDPR our legitimate interest is to carry out our business in favor of the well-being of all our employees and the shareholders.

10. Period for which the personal data will be stored

The criteria used to determine the period of storage of personal data is the respective statutory retention period. After expiration of that period, the corresponding data is routinely deleted, as long as it is no longer necessary for the fulfillment of the contract or the initiation of a contract.

11. Provision of personal data as statutory or contractual requirement; Requirement necessary to enter into a contract; Obligation of the data subject to provide the personal data; possible consequences of failure to provide such data

We clarify that the provision of personal data is partly required by law (e.g. tax regulations) or can also result from contractual provisions (e.g. information on the contractual partner). Sometimes it may be necessary to conclude a contract that the data subject provides us with personal data, which must subsequently be processed by us. The data subject is, for example, obliged to provide us with personal data when our company signs a contract with him or her. The non-provision of the personal data would have the consequence that the contract with the data subject could not be concluded. Before personal data is provided by the data subject, the data subject must contact any employee. The employee clarifies to the data subject whether the provision of the personal data is required by law or contract or is necessary for the conclusion of the contract, whether there is an obligation to provide the personal data and the consequences of non-provision of the personal data.

12. Existence of automated decision-making

As a responsible company, we do not use automatic decision-making or profiling.
This Privacy Policy has been generated by the Privacy Policy Generator of the DGD - Your External DPO that was developed in cooperation with German Lawyers from WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE, Cologne. 

Friday, 16 February 2018

For Lunch in Paris

Hi everybody,

when I was a teenager, we – my friends and I – did regularly after hanging out late at Friday nights, some spontanous road trips to Paris in order to have breakfast in one of the countless street bistros early in the morning. Driving through all the night is something for young people with lots of energy, when getting older such dangerous practice gets lost. But recently my friend Andreas asked me, if I would like to go for a Sunday lunch with him to Paris. This time the manual was not set for breakfast with croissants and cafe, but for a colorful lunch with the best Japanese sushi and sashimi accompanied by some British beef slowly roasted in a typical large scale American barbecue smoker, made in China. Exquisite Japanese Sans (masters) like Kanno, Shishido, Shindo were booked to form a delicate audio menue in conjunction with a Line Magnetic loudspeaker system.

The Defilè

Left: Classic SE PX4 amps with Tamura iron and vintage tubes,  right a typical Shishido SE 808 stereo amp with
Tango transformers and RCA808 triodes, transformer coupled driven by GEC KT66.

Kanno Works SE 300b with input transformer into the
paralleled ECC33 driver tube for improved impedances to couple the
interstage transformer to the grid of the 300b tube.

Nobukazu Shishido's legendary SE 811 positive grid amplifier,
typical for Shishido are the interstage transformers with reversed secondaries
and always realized with silicon rectifier diodes.

In the Premier Arrondissement, in the heart of the town, lives the gourmand Philippe F.. He is a extremely polite and cordial man with good sense and taste for several interrests in life. So it does not wonder to meet a man who has collected a good variety of top class vintage single ended amplifiers from the important period of the 1970 to 1980ties, which can be hardly found outside of Japan. He combines them in his set up with vintage classics from the 1960ties in Europe, like tonearms, pick up cartridges and record players, extended by some today impossible originally to find replica loudspeaker components of Western Electric origin to a majestic audio system. Exceptional in many terms is his Line Magnetic speaker system LM-3, which got highly upgraded with top line products to form some final improvements. The tweeter got exchanged to LM597, presumably the crossover as well to best Line Magnetic standard, and so the Tungar power supply got included to feed all three drivers with three independant lines at once. The bass driver is here now the legendary LM4181.

A pair of familiar Shindo 300b Limited amps, connected to perform. 

We started listening with a Tim de Paravicini preamp and a pair Shindo 300b Limited power amps, equipped with original WE tubes to adapt the whole system and get used to the given room attitudes. After half an hour we switched to the brought Shindo Vosne Romaneè preamp, which was Philippe's major interest to listen to. The standard Ortofon SPU/A got exchanged to the adequat Shindo derivate with a clear destination into refinement. As next step the 300b Limited got exchanged to the pair Kanno 300b amps, which showed up with a very well outbalanced souvereignity. Here now several 300b tubes and as well different rectifier tubes have been in service and showed some typical tonal fine tuning. But as everybody know, such complex systems are mainly defined by their acoustical transducer systems. The loudspeaker in a given room defines more than 60% of the soundstage in a given system. At this point it was quite difficult for me to find decisive opinions about all the changes.

Upgraded complete loudspeaker system LM-3, beside its three-way tungar
power supply for all three units

Readers of my blog learned about several presented systems with Line Magnetic LM22, extended with LM597 tweeter and several different solutions for the low frequency finalisation. I spell out no secret about the fact, that a 22a horn with its dedicated tweeter 597 is a combination, which performs a world class solution on its own. But its exceptional finesse, resolution and transmitted energy makes any adaption of the lower frequency part to a life task. All named sets which have been presented here within the last years, have in common, that all owners permanently try to improve the low frequency support of their horns. The most do incorporate a replica WE7331 dipole enclosure or a downsized derivate of such design principle as by far best type. These are driven by field coil motorized alternatively permanent magnet units of diverse makes and from variable origin and vintage cinema productions. These get powered with one or more amps of different technology (tube-, switched-, transsistor amps) or get powered active to passive, with different crossover types or even with DSP.  To match the horn around 300 hz with more or less wide transitions and different steepness, all these finalisations show how complex it is to find a natural tone. The lighter and faster wideband woofers from Klangfim, the KL405 in different connections, seem to be a passable way for some. This means the low freqeuncy unit needs to be exceptional fast, deep and extended into the middle frequencies with wide overlapping parts between horn and woofer. This problem is the achilles heel of the 22a horn. The bigger wooden horns WE12/13/15 and the metal WE16a perform a lower frequency cut off, so their response shows a different, a bit easier to realize preference for invisible completeness.

One of the best tweeters in audio history the 597 

The here shown frontloaded enclosure from Line Magnetic, which incorporates a 18-inch field coil speaker, is a exceptional solution for all such requests. Upgraded to LM4181 the enclosure can be used as fullrange unit up to 5000 hz, or equipped with different crossover designs to match all named horn types with different take-over frequecies. The LM4181 is like its original predessor from Western Electric, the wide band coned version of three different speakers, which share the same motor armature. The speaker shows elegant wide band attitudes with a unsurpassed fast, refined textured low frequency support down to the deepest levels of bass, without the otherwise dulledness, which is so typical for modern large pa-systems. The enclosure can be opened in the back to form a dipole, which transports together with the front loading horn uncomparable attitudes, which are hardly found in other design principles, like backloaded, vented or bass reflex systems. The combination of frontloading in a dipole is known to be my favorite solution. It is giving large coned systems the property of refined fastness and articulation otherwise rarely noticed. My own speaker showed me once the superiority of such design principle over other more commercially practicable principles.
Now here Philippe's installation shows simply the best connected low frequency range I have listened to in conjunction with the 22A. It is huge and it is high, it is a real piece of space determing furniture, and makes the positioning in the room difficult in both terms, acoustically and visually. This is not the type of furniture which makes life partnerships happy. It takes a good footprint and it needs some back space, as with all dipole systems, its backwarded radiated energy reflects from its backing wall. The system ideally will need some more space than Philippe will actually allow to spend, particular in corners even more, but such better position (a good meter) off the side and backing walls will tremendously increase the soundstage in his room, ideally to a almost invisible holographic soundstage. Another aspect is the door width to get it into the house and the final room.
But soundwise, in terms of a deepest, most refined and fastest organic bass response for musical completeness and integrety, this is a top notch solution of highest expectation to match the world class 22a horn with its invisible tweeter. So far simply the best solution I have listened to and it is straight available by order. No woodwork, no carpenter, no nightmares of finetuning, no lost last hair from endless frequency matching or overboarding bills of frustation killing substitude drugs, like alcohol or expensive food, – maybe only a good glass of wine, while relaxed listening to a record of Nina Simone.

Of course Philippe does not only use original WE-300b tubes from different production lines, he also
needs original Japanese makes from Takatsuki TA-300, here shown next to original WE-274b rectifier tubes,
beside legendary Jørgen Schou MC-step up transformers for the Ortofon SPU

At our way back we made stop at a typical French Hypermarché to get some food for the evening. We bought some exquisite cheese, baguette and were looking for some wine. The range in French supermarkets is phantastic and I needed some time to evaluate some of the offers, when Andreas noticed loudly from two shelves far away: "Look they have all the Shindos here, Latour, Lafon, Vosne-Romaneé, Monbrison, Lafitte, really all!" "Ok, why not staying on with a Vosne-Romaneé for the dinner."

Stay tuned,

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Faith, Hope, Salvation - The Single Ended Tube Amplifier

Hi everybody,

since a long time I didn't post any article about tube based audio with vintage components. To my understanding almost everything substantially was said within the last four years about this topic. But now here I will try to bring right in time a known Christmas fairytale with some new accents.
In particular after my series of articles about the rise and reintroduction of tube amplified audio with a synonymously way to create the Western Electric 300b tube as central element of religous passion over the last 30 years. Yes, a vintage Western Electric 300A or 300B tube is a exceptional unique sounding device with unparalleled attitudes – period. But a lot of other triodes like the 45, the 2A3, the 6BG4, the RE604, the R120, the AD1 and several other directly heated tubes from that period before the 1950ties (i.e. mass production) are as well unique sounding devices, each with a recognizable fingerprint soundwise. Not even to note the big bottles 211, 845 and GM70.

To keep the example of the WE300B, there are more than 10 different vintage original WE types known, which show all the originating imprint Western Electric, made at different production places and in periods from 1928 to 1998. Further are additional license productions, like the well known Cetron or the STC 4300B (Standard Telephone and Cables, GB) versions. Each of this different 300B tubes show a clear and comprehensible sound attitude, different to any other sample of this types. The reasons for such might be today found in aging, storage conditions and of course, even in little production differences and materials. Tubes are made to technical given standards and the most of us know, technical specifications can be evaluated through measurements, but sound cannot. This insight brings us to the question if automatically a more rare and a inevitable more expensive tube is generally the better sounding device?

Three WE300B tubes, one from Cetron

For some, who might fire their barbecue with 100 dollar notes, the permamently rising price tag for vintage WE 300B tubes might be neglible. Dripping every day 10 dollars into the money box is the value of using vintage 1950ties original 300B tubes for some hours every day. The latest Western Electric originated 300B production from the 1980ties generates price tags of 2500 $ for a NOS pair, a used single graved base tube from early production will cost a good 3K$, New Old Stock asks for a open range between 10k and 20K$ for a 70 year old pair. Yes this tubes might do sound exceptional unique, hardly to compare them to any later production line, but do they really sound that much better than later versions,  – or just different? Or does the price tag create a very special cognition, which tricks psychologically our auditive perception? (a common sign of market religion) How long will such investment work, yes 70 years ago such tubes could fulfill the WE specifications of 10000 hours minimum service, but what happened in the meanwhile with such tubes? How do they have been stored for the major past time, nobody can tell you here some reliable truth. Recently I did make a lot of tube testing with NOS tubes from the 1940 to 1950ties production period. Top NOS products from GEC, STC, Mullard/Osram and others have been on test. From every 10 piece batch two tubes failed within shortest running time without recognizable reason. I have never listened to a very early produced WE300B tube, I can remember a shoot out between 1950ties and 1980ties production lines and as a third contender a Cetron type from 1970ties production. This shoot out happened a good decade or longer ago, the oldest tube showed up with the darkest, deepest and widest spread sound attitude (or was it just almost gone?).

Today, if you want to buy a new made tube (new for safety reasons, i.e. religion again, when talking about Chinese tubes, I remember my first bought chinese 300B tube ever pulled out of a box in 1992 failed with a first switching), you can get modern replacements made from China, Russia or from the former East production. This modern tubes do sound substancially different than the most of the vintage original products,  – to say it carefully – the most of them does sound infected with cough or hoarseness, without any elegance and tonal refinement, which is so typical for vintage production tubes. To say it straight, they are absolutely useless, if you you are hunting for a three Michelin star graded audio dinner. In deregulated markets the price tag does not reflect any quality aspect, today its more going to be visa vice. In price ranges between 200$ up to 1000$ for a pair of modern 300B bulbs, you will have today a wide range of choices to get the mechanical value of a ordinary electrical light bulb. It seems to be still a good terminated business, to keep the religion running by serving such tubes to people of the 300b-faith congregation. Captured that only 300B tubes can do the trick, people spend still astonishing amounts into such wearparts, driven by the hope of audio salvation. (typical phenomenia within altered capitalism as religion?).

My long term compaignon power amps, the legendary Leak TL 12.1,
one of the finest push-pull amplifiers in history

Comming back to the essentials of this story, the rise of the 300B tubes was on par with a fresh reconception of the Single Ended Amplifier in the 1980ties. This topology can show some exceptional attitudes and advantages, comparing their merrits with other tube amplifier design principles, like the classic push-pull-designs, known from uncountable variations in the longer past, which are based on D.T. N. Williamsons article in Wireless World 1938, the so called the Williamson Amplifier. All the derivates do use pentodes, tetrodes and their kinkless relatives in order to generate a powerfull output of 12 to 100 watts, with theoretically improved distortion figures. Some of these amps, in particular the very early examples do sound exceptional good. The most of the crowd sounds like what is today known as "tube amplifier sound". Dynamic, a bit cheeky, but mostly impressive. The most readers here know my long time relationship with a better example, the early 1949 Leak TL12.1. These push-pull amplifiers are rediculously overenginered in several aspects and they do sound exceptional transparent and natural, I could not find in 30 years of evaluation something from other manufacturers, which was even close beside. I got once a really early set of Williamson Amplifiers, built in 1950ties from a british radio engineer in Bristol, realized at the best possible level of parts and manufacture. Made with Partridge and Parmeko iron as four chassis design (PSU and amp chassis in double mono), these amps are very close to the Leaks, if not on par. Once I will do a own article just about this incredible realisation as piece of important audio history. Both amps use the KT66 from GEC as power output tube, a tube which was designed around the same time of the Wireless World article. The Kinkless Tetrodes KT66 from GEC are the summit of such pentodes or tetrodes in the 25 watt class. Almost every manufacturer of this time did make a own design, RCA began with the 6L6 as base for all of them in 1936, Mullard/Osram did the EL37 in the late 1940ties, another derivate was the US-designed 807 and 5881. In these days a lot of different applications got as well designed, so that the demand for such tubes was immense. RF-amplifiers, military or civil rf-,  radar-, pa- and tv-stage-amplifiers and finally der growing audio and music business created a huge market for such tubes. In the 1950ties almost every manufacturer in in GB had a luxury power amplifier with KT66 in their portfolio, since US-american makers mostly relieed to 6L6 tubes in these days.

Original bochure from Wireless World about the Williamson Amplifier from 1951

These original tubes are mostly exceptional good sounding tubes when compared with modern reissues, mostly made in Asia. So its is understandable that a new old stock quartet of GEC KT66's today will cost almost 1000$ or even more. Everybody who has compared these tubes with any modern variants, even if they look completely identical, is willing to pay the difference of almost 850$ to get the real addictive drug for his guitar or audio amp. If you own an amp which is able to show all aspects of such refinement in sound quality, like with a magnifying glass, than you know that these tubes can do a unparalleled job for you. This is a alternativeless lessons of truth with push pull amplifiers, but it is even more important with a single ended amplifier topology, where only one single power tube is the decisive key element for its finalized sound. Beside the used iron, which is quite important, but in its role for the realism are transformers highly overated, the power tube is a key component.  If you don't believe about, just have a look to the "legendary" output transformer of the even more legendary Western Electric 91A amplifier, the WE171A transformer, which is a small and lightweight piece of iron. In its days almost any signal was limited to a frequency range of 200 to 5000 hz, in cinemas intelligibility was the major demand, speech frequencies between 500 to 4000 hz was the aim of audio designers. This range is what the "legendary" Western Electric amp shows as its best attitude, such performance is even by todays standards a exceptional result (look at the WE aficionados running wide band horn systems with this sort of amps to match their middle frequency performance).
But today the most of us prefer some high end audio quality, let us point it out, a fast, undisdorted and lean low frequency response from 40 to 100 Hz, or even deeper with powerfull liquid distributed dynamic energy output. The frequency extremes are not the foremost attidude of the legendary vintage amps/i.e. its output  transformer/ i.e. the foremost domain of the 300b tube, it was never intended to be so. The wonderful middle frequency response of such amplification with original 300b tubes, was the point which made this combinations legendary once in the early 1970ties in Japan. They got a synonym for a different realized audio response, which is hardly found in much more technically elaborated products from the second half of the 20th century, not to talk about all the contemporary products, which are just feeding only a remnant  theoretical demand of audio, or let us say it in more straight words – religous belief.        

This article aims to those who have not yet come under wheels in their individual sensual independence and are still able to differnence out on a base of personal auditive ability. Those who want a more natural and less technical sound quality, those who do not want to make some drugdealers fat, those who do not want carry on the misleading message, – for those I have some good news. All others who want to consolidate and follow some tribal paths of gone history, religous correlations or faith congretations with different color codes, from black to grey to green, can stop now reading!

Rebuilt from Cary Audio Push-Pull 300B stereo wrack. The stereo set of NOS tubes from
Cetron, STC and Rogers does cost 50 $, together, not one tube!

In 1994 I did buy a already completely slaughtered 300B push pull amp from the than emerging US-company Cary, which was in these days to my knowledge, the only American manufacturer of single ended amps in the US-market of higher faster further audio. With typical sales arguments of extreme heavyness, glossy shine and solid stainless steel cases this company marketed a range of different 300B amps in the US and as well in Europe, as the one and only salvation for the new tube age in these days. Single Ended mono blocks with one 300B or as Parallel Single Ended versions with two or like this example here, as Push Pull Stereo model. I can remember that these amps were quite expensive, all between 5000 and 15000 $US, which was good money in 1992. So I was a bit astonished to see a eviscerated example for some 50$ at a final outsale of a closing local hifi-shop. This amp was completely emptied, without any wiring or components, but with all original hardware. The shop owner told me that several people tried to convert this amp to a singing bird, but all had given up after a while. The former owners loss was going to be my win. (market religion again) I always had the inherent problems of this amp in my mind and so my idea to bring this thing back to another life, was hold back for years. Alone the investment for four Chinese 300B tubes always suffocated my energy in a glance to start some restauration. It got forgotten in my cellar for more than 20 years til I decided in 2015, maybe to do something with this wrack. First I removed the original output transformers and sold these on Ebay for 400$ back into the US. I stripped it down to the clean chassis and found under the massive casted Cary decal at its front the inscription "6L6-push pull power amplifier". So I realized Cary did manufacture with identical hardware a classic 6L6- and a 300b-push-pull amplifier without change. Now I did understand the amount of tube sockets, the layout was dedicated to a classic design with a half 6SN7 as driver stage, another 6SN7 as phase splitter and two power tubes, all served by a doubled rectifier stage with two 5U4G. With a value of  200uF for the charging capacitor (a lot helps a lot-religion) this amplifier gave me a deep insight into a practice of feeding a new and adolescent market.

In 2016 some friends and I made a final shootout with several 300B tubes (will be reported in another special article once), which showed me again that 300B tubes in audio amplifiers are something for people who don't take care about their money. Maybe the same target group which do barbecue only with the best available hand fed Kobe beef. So nothing for me, I know that the Chianina Beef from Italy is as well a good choice and available for a fraction of the pricetag from Kobe beef. I always trusted in my life into long time established cultural path lines, so I know that in Japan beef got fashionable late in the 1960ties. Before that time beef was almost unknown, because of the lack of pasture, so cows did exist in hand counted amounts mostly in the region around Kobe. (legend building as religion) In the common Japanese kitchen beef didn't play any cultural decisive role. In Tuskany the Chianina Cow has been cultivated for several hundred years with very similar excellent life circumstances for the cows. The right living conditions of the animal and the right treating of the beef is manifested as a several hundred year old tradition which can be read back in the legendary Coquinaria from Martino' Rossi printed in 1465, the first printed cooking book in history. This book was as well a present to the Savoyens, which transcripted that knowledge base for the french cooking revolution 250 years later. I rate Japanese cooking to one of the three best traditions in the world, but to be honest, I never was a friend of the Teriyaki style beef cooking (i.e. cutting beef into bite-sized pieces for the chop stick tradition). The Japenese are better with other things than beef. Have a look at the tv documentation showed once on Arte about the Dashi tradition, unbelievable, than you will know what I mean!

Back to our topic, the single ended amplifier, based on its most famous incarnation, the Western Electric 91A model, is still today a wonderful application as tube amp, but there is no real need to perfom the expensive 300B tubes. A minimalist two step amplifier can show up with a lot of advantages against any other tube amplifier design principle. With other nos tubes such derivate of amp can show all typical attidues on a identical level of audio performance as equipped with 300B's. The most of this attitudes are already common knowledge and have been part of their marketing throughout the last thirty years. Its simplicity is is major win towards refinement, but it doesn't need all the religous writebacks which have been cultivated within this time. Such common fairytales are: 1. direct heated triodes sound better than their indirect heated counterparts, 2. about the exclusive audible excellence of triodes, 3. the second-class rating of multi grid tubes in general as disharmonic element, 4. the over valuation of output transformers for the performance of amplifiers. And finally the witchery as such, 5. the global feedback loop known from conventional designs.

When Maison de L'Audiophile released in 1984 their early interpretation of the original WE 91A amp, their MdL'A300b Legend amplifier with Partridge transformers, showed this reincarnation a very good will to do the best to release a contemporary high graded product of this breed. But it came out with some real faults. Some of these faults relay to time dependend interpretations, like the oversizing of capacitors in the PSU, but some were major faults in the transcription of the original schematic, like a 10 times higher valued coupling capacitor between the two tube stages. Further the far to high valued grid resistor for the 300b tube might be handled by original WE tubes, but several modern chinese copies will be overwhelmed in a glance. About this faults and about the original template Fritz Hunold ( has made several excellent articles. If you aftermath such details and if you ever try to built such an amplifier yourself, you will not believe how important such little changes are, they shift the overall perfomance of such an amplifier together with a precisely adjusted feedback loop from mediocre bastard to world class component. Yes, global feedback! (inquisition!)

Rebuilt with James Audio 2.5/3.5/5K output transformer, Chicago Transformer Co. Choke, three General Electric 8uF/600V smoothing paper caps and two stage nos tubes,

Coming back to my Cary wrack, it showed up with a acceptable power transformer with values for the plate voltage of 350-0-350 volts and with respectable capabilty for rectifier and tube filaments and a stainless steel chassis with 8 holes for tube sockets. A good base for the transcription of the WE91A topology into a stereo (uuhh, another sin – stereo, pah) amplifier. I did reject two giant electrolytic filter caps (600uF) which gave me the space for the James output transformers. The former OPT's gave enough space for a solid nos potted smoothing choke (8H/150mA) from Chicago Transformer Co. on the right and a set of three oil caps from GE of 8uF/600V capacity on the left side. Keep the impedances of the PSU as low as possible!
First important decision for such a simple two step amp is a reliable penthode-input-/driver stage. Where once WE did set the WE310A as a working horse, thousands of copyiest had nowdays better knowledge and prefered here a better sounding triode (religion again. wow, what a mistake!). The penthode is a must to get the full possible swing to the grid of the output tube with only one tube, the 300B is very selective character at this point, but output tetrodes can be similiar. Coupling in tube amplifiers is one of the most important things, I was always convinced about the perfect coupling abilities of transformers for the same reason. So it makes sense to get rid of the phase shift tube stage in pp-amps, but here we don't have such and pentodes make transformer coupling impossible. Here a small coupling capacitor of 0.05 or 0.068 uF (original WE design is 0.047uF) is mandatory and helps the pentode to charge this capacitor easier. (I started  with a typical value of 0.22uF,  which is four times higher and the difference is the same like the sliding a boat or a hovercraft. In order to couple both tubes perfectly and to keep the amp dynamic and liquid in its physical sound structure this detail is decisive) Almost any of the competitors or the successors of the WE310A is on par with this rare and expensive tube. A natural partnering substitude from that time will be the British EF37A/36, VR56 or EF6 such show all a metallized glass envelopes, wich is important to get this tubes hum free. The direct competitors of the WE310A are the 6J7G or C6C, but these can only be run humfree in solid metall shields, or otherwise later made smaller metal tubes like RCA 5693, the complete European noval row EF40 to 89 and similar types, like the loktal C3g are possible. The typical penthode as driver is a must, period. A whole range of power output tubes can be set up without electrical change: the kinkless tetrodes from GEC in the first row, the KT66/88, their high frequency derivates TT22 and KT8c, the Mullard/Phillips competitor EL37 with its HF-derivate EL38, the Telefunken F2A11, American 807, 6BH6 and 6L6 tubes, STC 5B254M/A, Russian 5881s and several more tubes will work perfectly auto biased on point with a 3.5 k-ohm output transformer. Exactlthe same point wich is typical for 300B tubes with a different filament and a different socket. All of these named tubes here are soundwise in such topology extremely delicate sounding sources with slightly different attitudes. When connected as triodes they all do sound certain classes superior to any chinese production 300B's, – period. Each of them has a clear sound destinction, so is my long time favourite, the EL37/38 are more at the transparent side with clear destinction to better detail resolution of the higher frequencies and on opposite side are the typical 807's with a more darker tonality spectrum and attention to the bass weight. Decisions should be made to personal taste and with the speaker attidudes in mind. But prices for such nos tubes are still low, so low that it is very easy to test them out yourself with oktal adapters, which are available trough Ebay from a Taiwan seller. The most of the gang are easy available for 10$ for a nos piece, some up to 50$, only the space deers from GEC, the KT66/88's and the German F2A11s are quite expensive for different reasons (demand, superiority and rareness). It just needs a single ended gapped output transformer from solid audio production made with some reserve, let's say a silicon oriented steel lamination wound for 3.5 K, gapped for 70mA to 4/8/16 ohms secondary, with 100mA capacity designed for a output of maximum of 12 to 15 watts. Such are available from different brands like German Reinhöfer for 100 EUR/piece or as top product with c-cores from Lundahl for 250 EUR/piece. There is no need for exorbitant expensive Tango or Tamura iron.

Selection of nos driverstage tubes from Mullard and Rogers. Nos power tubes from Mullard, STC, GEC, Vostok,
with oktal adapters are they all pin compatible, as well have matching working point. (Does somebody remember the tube box?
Yes, the British license STC 4300B was packed identical.  ;-)

If you want to get further into audible perfection, you might profit completely from a diy project against a off the rack production from established brands,  than you should match your finalized amplifier with a so called Boucherot Element at the secondary of the output transformer to your paticular speaker/crossover (again You will not only get a safety element for the output transformer, when a speaker cable fails on power, you will get a superior matched combination. Such a matching is able to shift the sound abilities into a certain level of performance, since the impedance peaks of your speaker get flattenend. You will get rewarded with a extraodinary dynamic, open and naturally refined soundstage, without equal. Such an amplifier will be able to transcript the recorded air between instrumentation in a true natural scale, just like to perform a wide and deep open scaled dynamic soundstage, an aspect I always prefer beside tonality as my major criteria for aural excellence. Such an amplifier acts so sophistcated, that I couldn't imagine the result before I started this project, otherwise I argue with myself now why I would have done it some 20 years earlier, but I would't been able to do so back than. Such impedance matching makes as well complex loads possible, like a typical vintage 15 inch coned voice coil in the 12 ohm dc – 3mH section. You will be rewarded with a well matched partner with 6 watts output power, able to drive your vintage immobilias from Altec, Tannoy, EV or Klipsch.
By far the most of commercially available single ended amplifiers cannot outperform the classic push pull designs in this discipline of speaker control. Such always have been named to be short of power reserve to do that job well, which have given them a general poor reputation. The floods of copy and paste chinaware within the last one and half decades for peanut prices and glossy cases, have ruined the credibility of the single ended amplifier topology to a final stage. But it is more than worth to give it another try.

For some it might look chaotic, others know direct solldering to the tube socket is the best sounding variant, highly improved to any series production board or printed circiuts. Here the decisive coupling capacitor from nos Bosch production, some carbon composition resistor and Rosenthal non inductive ceramic wire wounds.

In Sound Practice Issue 14 Herb Reichert stated in an article about a completely transformer/choke coupled push-pull amplifier, the so called "Feral Eye": "This amp, ... has what I call a lubricated clipping characteristic. It has a sort of James Bond like poise ... The Feral Eye plays music very differently than most of us are likely to have heard before. It sounds more full, whole and complete than any traditional PP amp I have experienced. " Since I have finished my single ended amp I can state a similar experience here, a lubricated fluidibility, which I have never experienced before in such a scale. I am absolutely convinced about the fact that the reason for such attidude, just can be found in the improved coupling of only two tubes. Such a majestic attidude is hardly found in other amplifiers, this rare effect, it is prominently credited to transformer coupling. I can state that this particular bahavior for me justified within all my built preamplfiers, the employment of output transformers and plate chokes as to be higly superior for that reason to any other solution. It is a interesting fact, that now here the same advantages popped up with a precisely optimized conventional topology. 

Low impedance filter section with huge paper capacitors and and smoothing choke – a must. Solid wire as well.

But I have to regret, when I started to finish my Cary wrack after years of convinced ignorance (again religion), I didn't expect anything special.  I had no need to change my always winning team for something different. Recently my mood grow to realize it, it was laying around for so long: "You have bought some output transformers some 15 years ago, now just do it. If it fails your claims, it will be sold in the bay next year.
I never anticipated such an outstanding amplifier, which has already set my long time favourites, the Leak TL12.1 into retirement, and this happened with every respect and so well deserved.
If we weren't already a dying group of white old men with strong established attitudes and a lot too much possessions, I would go as far and try to realize in a small edition a series of amps, based on this experience with Taiwanese copied WE91A chassis/housings/cases, with tetrode tubes and Lundahl iron inside. An amplifier for those who need to find the final thing for a final chillout on an island, – but this idea looks like another Christmas fairytale in the wrong religion group.

For everybody a well shaked coming year 2018 with lots of wishes becoming true

P.S.: "Tamensi movetur!", Galileo Galilei, Pisa, 22.6.1633

Monday, 13 March 2017

Revisiting my Favourite Sounds

Hello everybody,

reading on here. Today I want to describe a revisit to my favorite audio set. In a former series of articles I did describe Mikes setup as a typical LineMagentic/Western Electric installation with 22a-horn, 555-telephone, 597 hf-unit in combination with a h-dipole enclosure (with compliments to the original WE TA-7331) incorporating Klangfilm KL-405 low frequency-speakers (Incredible close to Music I – The System Matching).

This particular shown audio installation has set the pace for years in several audible terms for me. One rarely found effect was the general ability to play any sort of program material without any inherent preference. Typically the mass of better audio sets shows mostly such preferences, i.e. like intimate small scaled classical or jazz music, or large scaled orchestra and opera music or as third option, a clear distinction into electrical amplified rock or pop music. Mikes set was frankly said immune to any sort of compensation its inherent sound destinction. It always made me speechless when he played large orchestral music and switched to a pop band like Yellow, both played with almost 100db loudness without any sort of compression or other typical widely known errors...
For years Mike tried to improve a little here and there, some minimal changes did happen, but in general he seemed to follow a deep insight, made with this combination of components after 30 years of testing and changing. This particular combination marks a solely found apex, where everything seem to match perfect in balance and maximizes in colaboration to each other in a certain degree of quality. I always reminded him saying:"Never change a winning team"! To often we all had bitterly learned the lesson, when in order to improve the things, we change only one component and had lost it all – audio mikado!
I did know since two years that he was interested to test the original design of the low frequency dipole from Western Electric made in the early 1930ties with TA-7331. He always said: "I want to know how it really does sound". The attentive reader might know that in the early 1930 years in cinemas the sound was more or less telephone quality, maybe a good 200 to 5000 hz aka voice standard, far from todays audio quality, where everybody demands a minimum utopia of 20 to 20.000 hz as a result of 60 years of commercial advertizing promize.
Mikes lf-derivate dipole is a good portion smaller than its role model, made to match the sizes and preferences of the 22a-horn asthetically and made from different woods and is with best arguments a good lot less stiffer realized. The original WE-drawings are available and give perfect insight into construction, material, sizes and dimensions of the vintage enclosure. So Mike tried to copy a perfect close sample of this product. Northem hemisphere coniferous woods are today in Europe not so easy to find, but he did. He tried to copy the original design as close as possible and with some help of his friend Norbert Gütte he matched with unbelievable acurateness the historic role model into a today made reality.

inside different cut out adapter boards can be mounted 

Both dipoles side by side, from left the derivate incorporating two Klangfilm KL-405 drivers, next the exact copy of the WE 7331 with cutout for 18'' drivers and adapter board mounted to hold a 15'' driver. The WE design is a good 20 cm deeper and almost all material strengths of wood are almost doubled.

With his long term established installation he did incorporate a pair of 14''-drivers in dipole constellation in order to find enough low frequency energy for his set, till he uses just one simple 300B-SE-amplifier to drive the whole installtion in a passive way per channel. After testing several other 15'' driver options from Altec and Isophon in the past he did finalize with two KL-405 some years ago.
His beloved one and only power amplifier Shindo SE-300b mono amplifier drives his three way installation alone. Other fellow warriors incorporate active tube or other amps dviding for the higher frequencies in order to find enough control for the low freqency part. The Shindo amp is a true WE91A derivate, so it does convince with phantastic medium frequency tone realism and a rare fluedity as a result of a quite small Triad output transformer. The other side of this medal is a less prominent bass response, not exceptional loud nor far deep, comparing these rarities to other 300B-amps. In order to compensate this effect Mike did use the two Klangfilm 8 ohms units in parallel to find the right energy level as low frequency support without compromizing the higher frequencies using autoformers. This combination gave him unparalleled service for years.

With the new, stiffer and bigger TA-7331A dipole enclosure Mike is well prepared for examination of different driver options with matching adapter boards. Since years he has held a pair of LineMagnetic BA-15 field coil 15'' drivers in storage, which now get another chance to come into service. Independend from this pair he tried first to match only one of the 14'' Klangfilm KL-405 with than 8 ohm impedance, mounted to a adapter board into the new enclosure. A vintage Jensen or a replica 18'' fc-driver with lightweight cone and 16 ohm impedance might be actualy still on his wish list. The search for other drivers is hardly limited to paper rolled surrounds and extremely thin paper cones with ultimate cone mass of 120 grams for the 18'' versions and of course even less for the smaller variants. Such determination is result of long term evaluation with low powered single ended tube amplifier devices .A well known classic in the 15'' range is the TA-4151A or its bigger 18'' TA-4181A LineMagnetic brother will be classic aproved partners of this type of enclosure.

The evaluation 

First of all it was very interesting to listen for me to only one of his classic Klangfilm drivers in the new enclosure comparing it to the older smaller enclosure with two of them. The first impression is  well known, one driver delivers generally a thinner low frequency response than two. The doubling of the cone surface adds the physical fact of doubling with three decibel the bass energy.
But not only, one driver in the new the structure sounds a good bit better defined, foremostly in the upper registers of its frequency cut. Here we are talking about a 6 dB cut off at around 300 hz. This effect is very little, but seems to support the general transparency of the whole system up to middle frequencies.
Comparing it directly to still existing other enclosure beneath, confirms the listened new result. The double driver cabinet gives more low frequency energy, but it is less colourfull and less transparent portrayed, and  sounds a bit overtoned. At this early beginning of our audition we weren't save about the reason. Is it the size of the new enclosure with its lower possible physical response, or is it's rigidness, which gives a more uncolored deeper response? Or might it even be the higher impedancy of 8 ohms, which betters the power amplifiers ability to control the chassis? The extremely low impedancy of 4 ohms is not a ideal load for the Shindos, we have seen several other amps here with a complete break in!

The mounting of the bigger LineMagnetic 15'' driver might give answers to such open questions. First of all we talk here about a field coil driver with coated paper cone, paper surrounded, but not as lightweight as the vintage German Klangfilm cone. Another aspect is the higher impedancy of 16 ohms. From all my experiences in history it was absolutely clear that a 15 ohm speaker is always a better load to any tube amplified transformer coupled device, even when there are different secondary options at the output transformers for lower loads. A slightly bigger cone surface brings in another extra for deeper frequency response.

The LineMagnetic BA-15 with its dedicated adapter board inside the TA7331

The prepared adapter board was quite fast mounted to the enclosure, cabling to match the tungar power supply were as well ready to go. The built in passive crossover with Tango stepped intuctor coil made the quick change possible, a perfectly matching value was just a new contact of its coil.
With the first tone the sound changed dramatically. We had suddenly the feeling not any longer to listen to the same audio set, we did do for so long. Something completely new happened and shifted the overall soundstage to a former unknown domain. The sound got dramatically more dynamic with a real load of better resolution and scale. The low frequency response got extremely better articulated, still a bit withdrawn in terms of energy, but exceptionally better defined. It sounded 100% better resoluted even in the middle frequencies. Here the 22A-horn was a lot better intercepted, its enormious qualities in resolution and dispersion of the micro dynamic detail seemed to be extremely improved by now. Coming from the single Klangfilm driver, it sounded double dynamic and unbelievable better defined in the most frequencies of the complete soundstage.

What made this exceptional step forward possible? Again, do we talk about size or rigidness of the enclosure? Do we talk about a better energy transport inside the enclosure structure? Or is this step mainly build on better matching impedancies of the chassis to the power amplifier? Actualy it looks of course that it is a product of all attitudes together, but I am quite safe about the fact, that it is not the deeper and bigger size of the enclosure. It seems to be mainly solved by the rigidness in combination to the improved impedancy of the chassis as driveable load. The tungar power supply and the field coil magnetic unit might be as well in count for such a difference, but this question needs further investigation. Another options of 16 ohm drivers might be be tested soon to get safe insight. As well 18'' chassis will be in evaluation soon.
After this experience we switched the set back to its long term standard low frequency support, the doubled KL-405 in its smaller enclosure. The first impression was, there must have gone something faulty, it cannot be! It is sounding completely failed, indifferent detailed with too much upper low frequency energy, which is overlaying the horn and influencing its abilty to express and resolve in finest micro detailed structures. It is unbelievable that this sound was the highly aproved state of art for some years!
Yes, it sounds unbelievable stages better defined and with extremely better resolution over the complete tonal scale. Its dynamic articulated attitudes seem to be doubled, the projected scale of information has got widen to an extreme. Everything is there a whole lot more...
Can this be? What is the secret to double your income without more work to do? Were do you get the double output of something without changing the input? Might it be a classic case of illusion?

Yes and no. We are still considering all aspects. A rigid enclosure helps to perform higher energy levels with less contributing side effects. Different than ordinary other enclosures, which need to handle middle or even high frequency drivers, the low frequency dipole works very different in terms of resonance distribution. Here the rigidness does not influence negatively the response of the higher registers, instead the rigid construction enables a deeper response of lowest tonality without resonant effects. The weak smaller enclosure brings in a lot of unwanted resonances influencing the exceptional abilites of the 22A through thinner boards and less stiff bracing. Supported by the better handling ability of the power amplifier of a higher chassis impedancy and as result a much improved sound structure, the stiffness adds up to a extremely better articulated refined sound in general. 
Mike is actually very impressed by such a differend result and will continue the evaluation process with other low frequency loudspeakers to find out more about such improvements.

But no sunshine without shadows. My personal rating is a bit more complicated. First it needs to be examined how a better postitioning of the units, which is actually not ideal to the listening place, will influence the result? Actually the sound stage is very complex and inhomogenous. Its difficult to find a smooth projected imaging of the music with naturally scaled instruments. Listening for more than two hours to music showes me several other inconsistencies. The former unbelievable attitude to play any sort ot music programe has gone. Instead the system shows up with very clear preferences to some small scale arranged music. Larger scaled classical orchestral music is played (let me say it carefull) with several problems. The sound structure is exquisitly detailed but at the same time shows tendencies to dry out and starts to get a bit cheeky. The low frequency response is extremely articulated but does not really seemless intergrate into the huge soundstage. It might be a problem coming from its physical ordered placing side by side of the other components. In former times the units were placed in optimal triangled composition in Mikes listening room, now they are far more positioned in distance to each other. The soundstage was before completely three dimensional holographic in a small centered listening position. It took not even minutes to forget about its coming into being in terms of technical realisation. I was able to forget completely its artificial sensation and accept it like a naturally released sound from an instrument. Actually in the suboptimal positioning of the new enclosures, the sound is some sort of disintegrated and dismantlet. Horn, tweeter and dipole seem to come from different origins, a problem very common with such horn installations, but again before completely unknown here, now very prominent.
To me such little defects are more or less inacceptable, till I am used to my Tannoy Dual Contentric units which are almost point sources and are able to convince with a lot bettered homogenous projection and a almost holographic sound stage.  If you get used to such a speaker you are extremely sensitive for any sorts of phasings and time incorrections. Mikes new set has lost some of his former major qualities of a holographic soundstage in exchange with much improved dynamics and far better resoluted micro detail. I hope he will readdress these lost attitudes to his new system some day again.

But as well our audition has shown several unknown new facts, which need further investigation.
My personal conclusion would be a stiffer baffle board for his smaller old dipole enclosure and I would search for some fast and expressive, hard edged light weight paper coned 15'' chassis with 16 ohm impedance; if it needs a permanent magnet or a field coil is a still open question? As well the 18'' driver needs to be evaluated some time, if it can sing, we never might know – the answer is going to be a bit expensive. The main question is for me, is it worth to give all the positive cooperative results away for just a little better resolution and dynamics? But it is like always, once heard, it is difficult to struggle back.
With such dipole enclosures the bass chassis can give very different sound directions into the whole system. It is a bit like a typical wine tasting process, there will be some extremely different tasting candidates out there. Each of them will shift the general sound stage to other illusions and its just like the wine, you need to find your personal favorite...

Some people prefer beer against some wine, the active driven solution is just a whole own story to find ways into heaven. i am sure it will take years to find a way...

Read on soon,