Tag Archives: Vacuum Tube Amp

Custom Console Stereo

For those of you wanting to hear just how good a custom built vacuum tube amp or console stereo will sound, here’s a video from Steve at Custom Tube Art which shows the workmanship of his projects and the quality of the sound.

Steve had this to say about his latest project:

Here is a 1960’s style custom console stereo I built displaying the vacuum tube amplifier right next to the Garrard type A turntable. The 807 tube amplifier has a conservative output of 30 watts per channel and uses 6SN7 and 12AU7 pre amp tubes. The speakers are a pair of Jensen 15″ drivers and a pair of DeForest 3″ tweeters in each cabinet. The entire project took two months to build.

You can see more of Steve’s custom work on his Vacuum Tube Amp web site.

The Titan – Newest (and biggest) Vacuum Tube Amp from Steve

Just in from our friend Steve W. in Canada (who constructs the most amazing vacuum tube amplifiers)…

The best way to describe this next amplifier is it’s a Titan. It has to be the biggest, baddest, heaviest and most powerful amplifier I’ve made to date! Weighing in at just under 60 lbs. this push-pull-parallel EL-34 / 6L6 is conservatively rated at 110 watts per channel using EL-34 tubes. Capable of driving 4 or 8 ohm speakers via a switch on the back panel, this amp is a tube roller’s dream.

Simply by plugging in which rectifier tubes you want to use, be it a pair of 5Y3’s, 5R4’s, 5U4’s or even 5AR4’s you can match the correct plate voltage with what ever power tubes you choose, be it a set of 6V6’s, 6L6’s, 5881’s Kt-66’s, Kt-77’s, EL-34’s, or even 7591’s.

You also have the choice of running the amp in push-pull instead of push-pull-parallel simply by not installing the front four power tubes and switching off one of the two rectifier tubes via a switch located on the right hand side of the chassis. The signal and phase-inverter pre amp tubes used are my favourite large dual triodes 6SN7’s.

Now, about the transformers, seeing that this amplifier has to drive thirteen tubes, I thought it only made sense to use a separate filament power transformer. The transformer right next to the larger power transformer is the 20 amp filament transformer. By doing this, I’ve removed the heater load off of the main power transformer which now only has to supply the high voltages the amp needs.

Along with a hefty octet of 470 mfd 400 volt capacitors bought from West Florida Components, there is more than enough capacitance to keep this amp in the black during those high current moments when the music demands it.

By sharing the load this way, the main power transformer will not be taxed nearly as much. The output transformers are massive Hammonds that can easily handle the wattage this amp delivers.

You will notice a volume control knob located right smack in the middle of the mirror in front of the amp that’s surrounded in pure copper foil, and that is because this is a fully integrated power amp with a line stage pre amplifier built into it. That means you do not need to buy a separate pre amplifier. You only need to plug in your CD player, satellite, MP3, I-pod, or what ever type of line stage device you like to use, directly into the amplifier.

There are two benefits to an integrated amp, one, you don’t have to go out and spend money on a separate pre amp, and two, you are amplifying completely with tubes throughout the whole amplifying process from pre amp to power amp, and that makes it sound better, way better!

Once again – amazing job, Steve! Thanks for sharing this with our readers.

A Console Stereo: Steve’s Legacy Project

We continue to be amazed at the work that our friend and customer from Canada, Steve White, does.

Luckily for us, Steve graciously shares his talents by allowing us to post pictures of his recent projects.

Here’s what Steve said about his console stereo:

If I were to ever to have a legacy, this project would have to be it! Ever since I was 5 years old I’ve wanted a console stereo. 38 years later and I finally have one.

I took 2 old Magnavox cabinets that were originally the same size (both same as the large one) and added to the larger one to accommodate the turntable, and shrunk the other to be a satellite speaker to allow you place it where ever you wanted to in your room to give you the true stereo separation.

I then painted the cabinets Jet black with ice-pearl sparkles. I wanted the tube amplifier to be displayed unlike in older consoles, right next to the turntable, because to me the amp is art! I then completely restored this 1962 Garrard turntable that was reclaimed from an old console, and put the whole thing together.

Here is the result…. Sounds really nice too!

Job well done, Steve!

A New Vacuum Tube Amp – Flash Quattro!

Steve from Canada has just sent us some pictures of his latest creation. This one is fantastic!

Here’s what Steve had to say about it….

Hello everyone, meet Flash-Quattro.  That means “four flashes”.  I
chose the name because the 807 tube is very art deco and it made me
think of the 1930’s series ‘Flash Gordon’,   and there are four of them
hence the name,- simple!

This is the latest version of the ‘Book-shelf’ amp series, like the
Caterpillar and Firecracker amps, this one is long and lean.

Now about the amp, it’s a push-pull 807 putting out 40 watts per channel or so,  in tetrode.  Rectification is with a 5R4, but you can choose to use 5U4
or 5Y3.  All supply the amp with more or less voltage and will change
the personality of the sound a bit.  I like the 5R4 so that’s why it’s
there.  Input tubes are a trio set of 6SN7GTB’s.

The output transformers are those nice Seeburg units that have Ultra-linear taps, but as I mentioned, I connected them in tetrode because I prefer the
sound of tetrode.  These outputs have impedance taps for 1,4,8,16 ohms.  A selector switch on the back of the amp allows you to switch
impedances ‘on-the-fly’ so you can choose and compare the taps you like
for what ever speakers you’re using at that time.  There is no problem
using the 4 ohm tap on an 8 ohm speaker, it how it sounds to you.

The power transformer is a Lowrey unit and a plate voltage of 373 vdc.
Classic green jewel light and side toggle On/Off switch.  Painted by my
good friend Joel Luttrell, and having his signature touch, a flawless
mirage of firecracker red (yes the same red as used in the
‘Fire-Cracker’ amp) and ice-pearl sparkles.  Apparently a fly decided
to do the back-stoke in the final coat of clear, so Joel had to pluck
out the fly, buff, and add more coats of clear.  Knowing Joel, there’s
probably 10 or more coats of clear here!
Take a look…..

vacuum tube amp

vacuum tube amp

vacuum tube amp

As always – thanks for sharing, Steve. We are amazed!

He’s at it again! New Vacuum Tube Amplifier from Steve

Wow! Congratulations to our customer, Steve White, on his recent interview with the The Peterborough Examiner where Steve talked about his made-from-scratch vacuum tube amplifiers.

Steve sent some pictures of his latest project. He says it’s the biggest and most powerful amp that he’s made to date.

Here a new one. This is the biggest and most powerful amp I’ve made
yet! It’s a Push-Pull-Parallel 6L6 putting out a conservative 80 watts
per channel. I think I’ll keep this one for a while….
It has 8 of your 470 uf 400 volt electrolytic capacitors in it and one
of those small mylar coupling caps also.

Take a look for yourself…..

As always, great work, Steve.