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Tag Archives: amplifiers

There’s A Tube Amp That Costs $10,000 And It’s For Your Headphones

By David Ponce

Well, it’s not for your headphones only but it apparently has a dedicated headphone mode, with a particular type of tube amp (the 300B apparently) that’s preferred with head mounted gear as opposed to a full set of speakers. Now, we’re big fans of audiophile gear mostly because we know so little about it and it always kind of shocks us that people are willing to part with these sums of cash. In the case of the WA-234 MONO, it’s $10,000. Now for that price, you get a sales pitch in the language of audiophilespeak:

Discrete mono-block, Single-ended, Class-A
Output transformer coupled, EI96 Permalloy core
All triode drive, no semi-conductors.
2A3/300B/45 power tube via Tube Switching Key
Headphone/speaker out via Output Switching Key
Cathode / plate output alternation for headphone
High and low impedance headphone outputs
6SN7 driver, 5U4G rectifier tube
2 RCA and 1 XLR input
3-pin XLR mono output for headphone
Power on plate output 8 [email protected], 4 [email protected], 2 [email protected]
Frequency response: 5Hz–62 KHz, -2dB on cathode output
Seiden 46-position stepped attenuator, M-TubeCap, V-Cap

We don’t doubt for a second that the sound they create is princely. But this is 1%er material and we just can’t relate.

[ WA-234 MONO ] VIA [ Bornrich ]

The Neuhaus T-2 Amplifier Uses Vacuum Tubes To Better Separate You From Your Money


By David Ponce

The Neuhaus T-2 amplifier is designed to work with a variety of inputs, most notably your PC. It features USB as well as optical SPDIF inputs and the spiel on the product page makes a point of pitting the T-2 against regular PC speakers that “simply won’t sound good, because computers are not meant to deliver superior sound quality. The sound cards on most computers are terrible.” Right, so the T-2 entirely bypasses your sound card by connecting through USB and processing the data itself. Here’s where things get screwy for me. From the page:

The T-2 Amplifier has a built in Digital to Analog Converter (DAC). A digital-to-analog converter, or DAC, converts digital information — 0’s and 1’s — into analog music signals.

In other words, it does exactly what a sound card does, except that it does it with vacuum tubes…

No offense here, but I find that audiophiles are an odd bunch. Perhaps because I’ve never felt the eargasms they clearly experience daily, I can’t grasp why anyone would spend the obscene sums this little clique feels justified in dropping on a regular basis. In this particular case, Neuhaus wants you to part with $800 for what is essentially a 20W amplifier with tubes that performs part time sound card duty.

Heck, maybe it’s worth it. Any audiophiles out there who can convince us muffle-eared mortals?

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]