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Valve Amplifier

Reviews of Valve Amplifier by customers

Arrange in alphabetical order of amplifiers.
Arcam , Audiolab , Musical Fidelity , Linn , Naim , etc.

What  do  customers  think  of  our  valve  amplifier ?
A number of customers were kind enough to fill in our testimonial forms.
The originals of these testimonial forms are available for inspection at our offices. 
We always believe that our valve amplifiers could beat integrated transistor amplifiers.
We were pleasantly surprised when customers were filling in testimonial forms, stating that
they preferred our affordable valve amplifiers to
very expensive transistor preamplifiers and power amplifiers !
We have 2 testimonials forms to prove that our affordable valve amplifier can match
other valve amplifiers that cost a few thousand pounds !
We are pleased that our tuning of our amplifiers with
        6 silver capacitors ,
        American Military 5670 valves ,
        Svetlana EL34 ,
        Ferrite ring filter on the mains cable ,
        Filter to reduce ultrasonic noise from CD players ,
worked much better than we expected !

Money  Back  Guarantee
that you will prefer our valve amplifiers to any transistor amplifier.
( even expensive transistor preamplifiers and power amplifier ! )
Money refunded, less £30 for return carriage, within 1 month of purchase.
£100 for return carriage from other countries.
90% of our customers prefers our affordable valve amplifier to
expensive transistor preamplifiers and power amplifiers
and transistor integrated amplifier.
Money refunded to the 10% who prefers transistor amplifiers.

Telephone comments from a selection of customers were

" I set up the Model EL34 by 11 a.m., listen to it until 5 a.m. the next morning,
took the dog for a walk, and went to work at 8 a.m. " 

" The Model EL34 has arrived, everything was spot on, how do you sell it for that price ? " 

   " Blows away the Musical Fidelity X-A1

   " Better than my Albarry power amplifiers "
" Much better than 10 year old 2nd hand 
VTL 50 Watts valve amplifier,
that I was going to buy. "
" My friend who owns
old Quicksilver valve monoblocks
heard your amplifier
and is thinking of buying your amplifier." 
( The Quicksilver valve monoblocks were a bit OLD )
  Customer's previous amplifiers were a lot of transistor amplifiers

  Dear Sir

     I am sorry it has taken so long for me to write and tell you
  How pleased I am with the Affordable Class A. EL34 valve
  I am so impressed with the clear pure sound the vocal's are so
  life like the amp has brought my home built R50 loudspeaker's
  To life, I have owned lot抯 of transistor amps and not one has
  ever given the life like sound and speed, I dread switching on
  late evening as I will be up till the dawn again,
  Please accept my apologies for calling at eleven forty five P.M.
  I really did expect to get the usual answer phone I was so
  surprised to speak to a human being,
  Once again thanks for bringing my Hi Fi to life.

                                                            Yours faithfully
                                                          Mr A L of Norwich        June 2000

Customer's previous amplifier was Arcam Alpha & Musical Fidelity Dr Thomas
Please look under 'M' for Musical Fidelity


  Turntable used was Linn LP12 turntable

  CD player used was Arcam CD72 CD player

  Loudspeakers used was Acoustic Energy AE1

  Customer's previous amplifier was Arcam 110 preamplifier & Arcam 120 power amplifier

  How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier?
          More open.  Less top end glare.

  Other comments (optional)
          I have always wanted a valve amp but could never afford one.
          This is the lot of amplifier for the money.  Thank you.  

                                   Mr J E of Bristol        August 2001

  Turntable / CD player used was Arcam Alpha 7 + Alpha 9

  Loudspeakers used was Castle Harlech

  Customer's previous amplifier was Arcam Alpha 10
                         A good amp but simply outclassed by yours !

  How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier ?
           1st impression straight out of the box :-
        1) Stupendous bass
        2) Smooth undistorted treble
        3) Everything your sales literature had led me to expect !
           I knew within 10 minutes this amplifier was not going back ! !

  Other comments (optional)
          See attached sheet

Mr J T wrote us a lovely letter
Dear Lim,
Here are a few comments and observations about the EL34 valve amplifier that I have received from you:-
Firstly, without the offer of a free one-month home trial I would have never ordered this amplifier.
For an audio supplier to be brave enough to offer that sort of unconditional trial it immediately sends a
signal to the prospective purchaser that, if he is serious about acquiring a valve amplifier, he has nothing to
Valve amplification does not receive much coverage in the mainstream hi-fi magazines (probably due to
the fact that they do not receive a great deal of advertising revenue from Companies such as yourself and
most magazines seem to be advertiser driven).  Consequently, for anyone who is not an audiophile and is
searching for the "Holy Grail" of pleasant and natural sound reproduction, it can be a daunting business.
No one wants to spend big money only to find that their expectations are not met by the performance of
their purchase.
Hence the powerful message of your advert - if you don't think it's worth it I'll give you your money back!
Having set your amplifier up on Saturday, within ten minutes I knew that all your claims with regards to
this amplifier's performance were accurate.
No harsh treble!
Deep, deep bass!
Warmth without wallowness!
My existing equipment consisted of Arcam Alpha 10 amp (£800.00), Arcam CD player and tuner and
Castle Harlech Speakers.  I had to add a paradigm sub woofer to this set up to "round off' the sound as it
was most definitely bass light.
The EL 34 amp has done away with the need for a subwoofer and the overall sound is one of
"completeness" which I can listen to for hours on end.
Fantastic piece of kit - doubting Thomas's need only listen - can't say enough about the improvement in
(The Arcam amp and Paradigm sub are now up for sale!)
Sincerely yours,
                                  Mr J T of Blackpool        February 2000 and April 2000

Turntable used was Linn

CD player used was Marantz CD-17 KI Signature

Loudspeakers used was Celestion A1

Customer's previous amplifier was Arcam A85 Diva

  + Audiolab 8000S/SX
( could be preamp/power amp? )

How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier ?
        A sound that I have been waiting for, but thought might
        be too expensive.  No more harsh Dylan harmonica, screeching
        violin or other hard transistor sounds, even smooth outs
        female vocal. I have a "new" record collection.
                                       Many thanks.

                                  Mr G D of Cheshire        January 2002

  CD player used was Marantz CD-63 Mk II Signature

  Loudspeakers used was AR 925 

  Customer's previous amplifier was Audiolab 8000A

  How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier ?
        Much better - Felt like the musicians were
        in the room with you, great bass (natural)
        superb clarity.  Have never listened to
        music as much since I bought the amplifier. 

                                                            Mr N P of Derby        September 2000 

  Turntable used was Garrard 301 / Slate

  CD player used was Copland

  Loudspeakers used was Tannoy 12 inches / Lowther Horn

  Customer's previous amplifier was Audiolab 8000

  How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier ?
          BLEW  IT  AWAY !!! 

  Other comments (optional)
          Makes you want to go on listening

                                  Mr R C of Hertfordshire        June 2000

Review of Affordable Valve Company Model EL34
by Mr A R of North London , England 
Thank you. I had originally gone to the shop to listen to and purchase the 
Audio Analogue Puccini SE Integrated Amp. 
All was going according to plan during the demo session when salesman suggested that I give a listen to this rather odd looking valve amplifier from Kent. Sceptically I did and was completely blown away by the clarity, speed and precision of the sound.

    I am not an audiophile, but even to my amateur ears the difference was clear. Rarely have I heard a 600GBP amp that could reproduce the female voice, especially the highs, with such precision and do so with such warmth and balance. As you say, no hhhssssstttt cut-off here! The range of reproduction was beyond anything I had heard to date and the soundstage was superb, with each instrument coming across clearly and precisely. There is something evocative about being able to listen to each brush of the finger against a string. And it is fast, offering none of the sluggishness in sound I often associate with poorer quality valve amps. 

After about 20 minutes I found myself simply playing with various music pieces just to listen to how the amp reproduces them. It was a demo that was actually fun and surprisingly pleasurable. Beautiful! Beautiful! For 600 GBP I find myself looking at a system that I had not even thought I could get. Great fun. I cannot wait to get my hands on it when your shipment arrives. 

Comments by Affordable Valve Company
We would like to thank Mr A R for his generous reviews. 

We are in total agreement with Mr A R that our £600 Model EL34 sounds much better than £600 transistors amplifiers like the £600 Audio Analogue Puccini SE. 

We have also had a comment that
our £600 Model EL34 "blow away"
the £480 Musical Fidelity X-A1

MOST transistor amplifiers sound horrible because of the LARGE amounts of "crossover distortion" at LOW level, when you are trying to hear the dying echo in a concert hall.

Turntable used was Revolver

CD player used was Pioneer PD-5703

Loudspeakers used was Castle Severn

Customer's previous amplifier was Aura VA-100

How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier ?
        Fuller, deeper, louder, much-improved bass.  A richer, more realistic, and more satisfying sound.

Other comments (optional)
        1. No though of return.  I threw away the packaging after the first hearing.
        2. Headphone socket or tape outlet ??  

Comment from Affordable Valve Company
We sell a small £20 metal box for connecting headphones.
When recording, you can connect phono stages, tuners, etc directly to the tape recorder.
This is inconvenient, but it gives better quality.
      Mr J C of Yorkshire        June 2000

Turntable used was Nottingham Analog
Comment from Affordable Valve Company
This is so expensive, that most shops do not stock it !

 CD player used was Quad 67

Loudspeakers used was Celestion 25

Customer's previous amplifier was Gamma Rhythm 

Comment from Affordable Valve Company
This VALVE amplifier is so expensive, that most shops do not stock it !

  How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier ?
        More open, clearer

Mr D M of Cambria        April 2001

Customer's amplifiers are Linn Kolektor preamplifier and Rotel RB971 power amplifier
Please look under 'R' for Rotel RB971 power amplifier

  Turntable used was Project 6 turntable

  CD player used was Roksan Attessa CDP II P II

  Loudspeakers used was Castle Severn II

  Customer's previous amplifier was Linn LK1 preamplifier & Linn LK2 power amplifier

  How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier ?
          See attached letter

Mr D A P wrote us a lovely letter
  Dear all,

          I feel that I have to inform you that under no circumstances are you having the amplifier back (sorry, my amplifier).  I would like to say that I am
  way more than happy with your excellent product.  I now that an entirely new record and CD collection.

          Having read everything on your website about a thousand times I must admit to be pleasantly surprised on opening the well packaged item in
  question.  Andrew Everard, in its review, had given me reason to expect a machine that would be fairly rustic in its appearance - I would say "Simply

        Your literature talks of an hour to warm up etc. But, believe me, straight from the box it put my previous Linn pre-power setup (admittedly old) to
  shame with far better bass and greater detail overall.  Certainly, after several hours the system really began to shine and is getting better with every playing.

        I play mainly rock music and than happy to say that exchanging the absolute slam of the Linns for MUSIC is something I should have done long time
  ago.  Indeed as a very long time Bruce Springsteen nut I never knew, until very recently, just how good an album "Born in the USA" is.

        A friend recently questioned why I would want to change an already good system. It took one track with my new valves to convince him.

        Finally may I congratulate you on a fine piece of equipment which has surpassed my expectations and live up to the claims that you made for it. Please
  feel free to quote me to future customers.

Mr D A P of Pontypridd        November 2001

  CD player used was Marantz CD 63 SE

  Loudspeakers used was Chartwell / Rogers LS 7

  Customer's previous amplifier was Musical Fidelity Dr Thomas & Arcam Alpha

 We received lovely typed letter from Mr E E B. 
 Mr E E B have many years of valuable experience,
 developing loudspeakers for large companies,
 so we value his comments greatly. 

        I received the EL34 Valve Amplifier on Wednesday, 4th April extremely well packed and in perfect condition.

        I have connected it to my Marantz CD63SE to my Chartwell / Rogers LS 7 loudspeakers and now had time, using a variety of material, too enjoy the
  very lovely, natural musical sound stage this amplifier presents. A very great musical improvement on my musical fidelity (Dr Thomas) and Arcam Alpha
  amplifiers I have been using up till now.

        The build quality of the amplifier seems to be too good standard, the general appearance and weight giving one confidence that it has been built to
  last.  Considering the modest cost, I think this amplifier represents extremely good value for money.

         I would heartily recommend this amplifier to any person who has an appreciation of good music; they would find that they were listening to their CD
  collection with a musical perspective they never had before !

        The one weak point is a lack of line inputs.  But this, of course, can be easily overcome.

        Thank you very much for the excellent service.  It has been a pleasure to deal with your company.

                                                                          Mr E E B of Hertfordshire        April 2001

  Turntable used was Dual 606 with Ortofon 510 cartridge

  Loudspeakers used was TDL RTL3

  Customer's previous amplifier was Nad

  How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier ?
        Much punchier performance.  Detail & stereo images are far more defined.
        High notes are very well balanced.  Bass is ample and well controlled

  Other comments (optional)
        See other sheets.
        Sorry this took so long to send. 

Mr D M sent us a lovely letter with photographs of his audio equipment.
       I've always had NAD amps Right back to age 18 when I first could afford
  decent HI Fl equipment.  They are certainly not exotic but a lot of snobbery (not to
  mention bull shit) pertains too the very high end of the hi fi world with very little
  benefit in actual sound reproduction.  I've always listened to the sound quality not the
  nonsense written in certain magazines who would like us to think your sound system
  would sound so much better with 300 pound a metre speaker cable for example.  Well
  may be on an oscilloscope but as long as the cable could delivery any high surge
  current without volt drop then no detriment to the signal would occur and no loss or
  benefit would be heard.  If any hi fi components can not be have its advanced feature
  or technological advance explained scientifically its probably just tosh.
        Anyway that's why I don't have mega bucks components in my setup, just
  good quality sensible priced items that every one knows and loves.  My theory is the
  amplifier and speakers have the biggest effect and the end sound, and don't let the
  wife have her say on position and setup. (they should stick to what order the white
  goods fit into the kitchen). I've always wanted a valve amp since I first heard my
  good friend Dave's Leak stereo 20 back in the mid eighties, the valve sound always
  sounded to me quite magical in its delivery of pure sound.
        I have now set up and am using my own affordable valve company amplifier
  and I am more than happy with the results, you said it wasn't very loud and lacked
  ultimate bass.  I say its perfect with loads of bass punch and volumes enough too have
  me worried about blowing my speakers, when I was testing the output power. (There
  is no point to louder than natural volume levels as they do not reproduce a true
  sound.) Its worth noting that at only 30 watts a channel it as much more real power
  than my tranny 50 watt Nad. Well that's valves for you MAJIC.  So why do they sound
  better.  The Stereo imaging and treble extension are worth their weight in gold.  I paid
  a little extra and got a full set of Phono leads from the affordable valve company as
  they are excellent quality and cost a great deal more from my local HIFI store.
         A Quick science lesson may give us some clues.  Well for one thing 
  transistors do not give linear amplification and have to be biased to overcome this fact
  and in addition "open' at a threshold voltage level in effect jumping from nothing to a
  first voltage level as a step, giving rise too a switch effect on and off.  Now if we look
  at the conventional loudspeaker this is very basically an inductor when a voltage is
  applied a lag occurs as the magnetic field is built up in the core and the current is said
  to lag (rise in simplify but at a time very slightly behind that of the voltage rise.) this

                                                                                  (continued on the next page)

  occurs many times as the signal voltage rises to a crescent and falls away again.  Well
  so what I hear you say, well have a look at the rear of the chassis of any valve amp
  and there you well see two very large transformers (used too step down the 500 volts
  output of the valves down to speaker line voltage) these are also inductive devices and
  work in simplify with the speakers and provide the current in step with the speaker
  requirements as they are the same technology!  No step in voltage start up and high
  current as and when required in simplify with the input signal.  Over simplified well
  yes but the general theory is correct and easy too understand.

        And another advantage of my valve amp is I don't need to put the heating on.!!!!!!
        Heres a couple of pictures for you too.
    Denon TU2601 MK2 Tuner                                                              TDL RTL 3   Floor-standing speakers
    Dual 606 turntable with Ortofon 510 cartridge
    Technics SL PG 590 CD player
    IKEA Reading Lamp
                                  Mr D M of Derby        February 2002


  Turntable used was Rega Planar 3 with Ortofon MC10 moving coil cartridge

  CD player used was Naim CDi

  Loudspeakers used was Linn Ninka with graphite composite plinths

  Customer's previous amplifier was Naim NAC 72, Hicap & NAP 180 costing £2,600

  How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier?

The EL34 unlike many amplifiers does not immediately grab your attention by over emphasising on a particular part of the audible spectrum or by having a hard upfront sound.
It has a very smooth, dynamic, atmospheric sound.
If you prefer that to the above; invests in one.

  Other comments (optional)

The EL34 represents everything that we as hi-fi lovers strive to achieve.
It puts the enjoyment back into the listening of music!
(Rather than the longing for the next bit of kit that might just make all the difference.)

Mr P G of Kent        June 2001

  Turntable used was Dual 1219 with Shure M95 HE

  CD player used was Philips CDR-785

  Loudspeakers used was Philips 3 way with 10 inch woofer (kit)

  Customer's previous amplifier / tuner was Pioneer SX-780 (US model; 1978)

  How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier?

- Better / deeper bass
- Better vocals
- Very pleasant overall
- Wonderful (nostalgic) looks

  Other comments (optional)

Wouldn't mind a bass control; some record
and CD's just have too much of it.

Mr P C of Genolier, Switzerland        June 2001

  Turntable used was Thorens, SME  pick-up arm, Shure cartridge  
Comments from Affordable Valve Company
This is the classic combination of turntable, pick-up arm and cartridge
for serious audio enthusiast, in the good olde days.
The Linn LP12 looks similar to a Thorens turntable !
  CD player was Acram Alpha 9

  Loudspeaker used was Rogers Studio 7 

  Customer's previous amplifier was Quad 34 preamplifier
                                and the famous Quad 405 power amplifier 

  How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier?
        Quad is good - EL34 is better 
        - Imaging is superb 
        - Female voice outstanding
        - Warmth is very appealing 
        - Orchestral strings superbly realistic. 

  Other comments (optional)
        - General agreement with gramophone review 
        - My record collection ( Classical / Jazz ) has a new lease of life 
        - Soundstage is so well presented - the speakers seem to disappear (never heard better) 
        - The music says it all 
        - A delight
        - A joy 

        I will be pleased to demonstrate to prospective customers.  

                     Mr J M of Coventry       July 2000

  CD player used was Linn Genki

  Loudspeakers used was Tannoy M3

  Customer's previous amplifier was Rotel RB971 power amplifier
  Customer's current preamplifier is Linn Kolektor preamplifier

  How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier ?
        Much better !  both when used as a power amplifier and with a direct feed from CD.
         I find it very good at low listening levels in the evening ( when the children are asleep ! )

  Other comments (optional)
        Having tried both options, I find the 8 ohm speaker taps to give a better sound.
        Because I have a lot of input devices, I use the EL34 as a power amp (volume set to full) with my Linn Kolektor pre-amp.
        I also have a direct connection between my CD player and the EL34 which definitely sound better.

                                 Dr A K of Nottingham        November 2001

  Turntable used was Project  £110

  CD player used was S.A.E.  £800

  Loudspeakers used was Acoustic Energy AE2 Series II Reference  £1500

  Customer's previous amplifier was Spendor D40

  How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compare with your previous amplifier ?
        The Spendor was good, but not this good.
         I have had a lot of amps over the years, but this one is to stay.
        Sweet treble, no distortion, good power,
        (this is a lovely amp)
        and I cannot turn it off.

  Other comments (optional)
        My job is in T.V. // making T.V. .programmes as a Camera Man // and Soundman.
        So I have worked in sound rooms with good kit.
        So I know good from bad.
        And this is good.

        P.S. you will not get this amp back

        P.P.S. This is a giveaway

                                  Mr C H of Yorkshire        April 2001

  CD player used was Tube Technology

  Loudspeakers used was Electrovoice Rubicon  

Comment from Affordable Valve Company
Rubicons are serious expensive high-end loudspeakers,
using massive 15 inch woofers !
Electrovoice is an old well established, highly respected American 'monitor' company 
who makes massive expensive serious studio monitors.
You seldom see Electrovoice loudspeakers in Hi-Fi systems, 
because 99% of Hi-Fi enthusiasts could not afford the price ! 
  Customer's previous amplifier was Tube Technology Unisis 
Comment from Affordable Valve Company
Tube Technology are expensive, well respected VALVE / TUBE amplifiers
Originally, Dr M S wanted our modestly priced valve amp,
to replace his Audiolab 8000A for his BEDROOM ! 
Dr M S is SERIOUS about Hi-Fi ! 
  How did the sound quality of our model EL34 compere with your previous amplifier ?
        Once warmed up, EL34 swings into a well controlled and extremely enjoyable sound.
        Like Unisis, EL34 is a 5 gold star amplifier.

  Other comments (optional)
        Interconnects - Eccose Reference
        Speakers cables - Van den Hul
        Well done for producing an excellent amplifier at the very reasonable price.
        And no background hum - FANTASTIC

                                                   Dr M S of Buckinghamshire        October 2001

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