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Valve Amplifier

Reviews of KT88 Valve Amplifier by customers

Arranged in alphabetical order of amplifiers.
Audio Research , Chord , Michell Engineering , Musical Fidelity , Naim , etc.
Our £1,000 or £1,450 "KT88 Triode Connection" are new models,
so we only have a few testimonial forms.
There are a lot of testimonial forms for the EL34 valve amplifier,
which is an older and more established model.
What  do  customers  think  of  our  KT88 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. 
Our £1,000 "KT88 Triode Connection - Lim Signature" and £1,450 "KT88 Triode Connection - High End" are new models,
so we only have a few testimonial forms.
Our amplifiers have been FINELY TUNED IN ENGLAND with
        6 silver capacitors ,
        American Military GEC 5670 valves ,
        VERY WELL MATCHED QUADS of Svetlana KT88 ,
        Ferrite ring filter on the mains cable ,
        Filter to reduce ultrasonic noise from CD players,
        Modifications to improve the "push pull" balance of the driver stage,
        which reduces distortion, without resorting to excessive use of feedback.
Then, we measure the distortion and square wave performance of EVERY SINGLE AMPLIFIER that we sell. Our distortion measurements (and other measurement) proved that 2 English suppliers of "matched" valves did not match valves properly, and we had to reject 33% of their "matched" valves !
Poor "matching" of valves is probably one of the reasons
why some expensive valve amplifiers have such abysmal distortion.
We are one of the few companies who can make valve amplifier with
reasonably low distortion, without excessive use of negative feedback,
which spoils the sound.
This is why human voices on our amplifier sound "crystal clear",
without any transistor harshness, and greatly reduced and well controlled
sibilance on female voices (where words like "his" sound like "Hissssssk").
Excessive "valve type" distortion on human voices will make it sound "warmer".
But if you listen to it carefully, excessive "valve type" distortion on human voices
will make it sound "blurred".
If you want "blurred" sounding human voices, buy a Single Ended valve amplifier !
Then, we "burn in" EVERY SINGLE AMPLIFIER overnight.
All of these QUALITY CONTROL PROCEDURES are very expensive,
when DONE IN ENGLAND !
Is all this work worth it ?  Read what our customers say about our amplifiers, and make up your own mind.


  Customer's previous amplifier was Audio Research SP9 preamplifier

Please look under "M" for Michell Alecto monoblocks


 
 

  Turntable used was Orbe - Act 2 arm Transfigulation Spirit cartridge  
Comment from Affordable Valve Company
The Orbe is like an "upgraded" Michell GyroDec.
The Mark III version of the cartridge cost £950.
  Loudspeakers used was Veritas 45s
Comment from Affordable Valve Company
These amplifiers cost about £8,000
  Customer's previous amplifier was  Chord 3200 preamplifier  + 1200C power amplifier
+ Kimber powerblock + Power Kords

  How did the sound quality of our model "KT88 Triode Connection - High End" compare with your previous amplifier?
         For detail and slam the Chord has it all. But the KT88"
         to me made voices, especially female sound more real."
         Low level notes decayed longer. The treble is sweeter,"
         and at £1,350 it's a steal. I am keeping it"

  Other comments (optional)
          Thank you for stopping me trying to keep up
          with the Joneses.  Its been a pleasure downgrading.
          I look forward to reviewing your speakers
          very soon.

                                   Mr J H        January 2003
 Customer's previous amplifier was  Michell Alecto monoblocks
including Audio Research SP9 preamplifier
costing approximately £3,750 new
  Mr T B bought our "KT88 Triode Connection - Lim Signature"
email from Mr T B -
AVC, my KT88 arrived today and after 4 hours of listening they had blown away my Michell Alecto monoblocks including my Audio Research sp9 pre amp costing approx. £3750 new.  This £900 amp is a real bargain.  The midrange is more clear, the top end sweeter, and bass was more tuneful and defined and a shade deeper.  I highly recommend this amp to anybody into music and not keeping up with the jones
email from us to Mr T B  -
Thank you for your kind remarks.  Please could we use your email in our sales literature.  It will help us to sell more of our amplifiers.  We will simply call you Mr T B of West Midlands, so you will not be disturbed by anybody.
email from Mr T B -
I have no problem with you using my views on this excellent amp, it reminded very much of a graaf power amp I listened to, but smoother midrange from your kt88.  The Graaf amp was £3000 and then you needed to buy a preamp.
email from us to Mr T B -
Thank you.
  Mr T B of West Midland    November 2002

 
 

 

  Turntable used was Rega Planar 25

  CD player used was Audio Note CDT transport with Musical Fidelity X-24K DAC

  Loudspeakers used was JBL 4312 Mk II Control Monitors 

Comment from Affordable Valve Company
Control Monitors are the big expensive monitors used in studios.
Modern "nearfield" monitors are small cheap toys, compared to Control Monitors.
  Customer's previous amplifier was 
Musical Fidelity A300 Dual Mono Integrated

  How did the sound quality of our model "KT88 Triode Connection - High End" compare with your previous amplifier?
          More fluid and detailed.  Retrieves dying echoes of notes.
          Voices have a real solidity, but are sweeter, purer with
          less sibilance.  It can be surprising when someone in the 
          recording dropped something in the room !!  Bass is clean, detailed
          and not 'boomy' and goes as low as my speakers allow
                                 (which with 12" drivers is pretty low !).

  Other comments (optional)
          Out of the box I was impressed with build quality. Stainless
          steel body is a nice touch.  I was impressed by the amp when I
          first plugged in, but something was lacking.  Then it occurred
          to me that using the 8 ohm tap may not be best for my speakers 
          So I switched to 4 ohms and what a surprise ! It made
          a huge difference !  The sound lost some bass
          weight but gained hugely in soundstage.  The sound
          'hung in the air' between, and around the speakers.
          Clarity and detail was increased greatly.  I'd
          recommend experimenting with changing the 
          speaker connection to anyone !
          Needless to say you can't have it back !
          PS - The size and shape of the KT88 valves adds
          to the visual appeal.  They look the way you
          expect valves should look !  


                                   Mr M C of Kent      July 2002

 

  Turntable used was ClearAudio Champion Level II
                                + Shure V15 cartridge
Comment from Affordable Valve Company
The ordinary Champion cost about £700.  This is
2 levels up and it cost US$ 2,200 (about £1,500)
You are not seeing double !  There are 2 plinths,
to add mass and might reduce resonance.

  CD player used was Naim CDX II.

  Loudspeakers used was Chameleon Queen

  Customer's previous amplifier was 

  Naim NAC 102 + NAP 180 + Hi Cap power supply.

  How did the sound quality of our model "KT88 Triode Connection - High End" compare with
  your previous amplifier?
          Incredible.  Like no other amp I have heard.

  Other comments (optional)
          Heartily recommended

Mr I.B. tried out our "KT88 Triode Connection - High End" and our "EL34 Silver".
Mr I.B. kept the KT88.
The testimonial above is our "KT88 Triode Connection - High End" compared with the Naims.
The testimonial below is our "EL34 Silver" compared with his Naim amplifiers.

  CD player used was Burmester 206

Comment from Affordable Valve Company
Mr I.B. was in the process of upgrading his equipment.
 The Naim CDX II CD player was replaced by £4,000 Burmester 206 CD player.
Mr I.B. said that the Burmester sound better than the £1,650 Shanling CD player.

  Customer's previous amplifier was Naim NAC 102 + NAP 180 + Hi Cap power supply

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

   Very good & Terrific value for money.
   Technically, and excellent amp.
   Well beats amps up to 3k+
Comment from Affordable Valve Company
This testimonial is about our "EL34 Silver" amplifier.
See above for Mr I.B. testimonial about
our "KT88 Triode Connection - High End" amplifier
  Other comments (optional)
          Your KT88 is, however, the Best !!
 
                                   Mr I.B. of London      March & April 2003

 
Some people taking a quick glance at Mr W.H. testimonial might get the wrong impression.
Please read the line that says
"It has taken about 2 months to fully appreciate this amplifier.
I'm not planing a change for a very long time."
  CD player used was Meridian 602 + 606

  Loudspeakers used was Shahinian Arc

  Customer's previous amplifier was Naim 72 + 180

  How did the sound quality of our model "KT88 Triode Connection - Lim Signature" compare with
  your previous amplifier?
          The KT88 isn't necessarily better the Naim amplifiers, just very
          different.  It doesn't drive music along like the Naims, but it does
          provide instruments and vocals with more space.  The way it reproduces
          vocal was the reason for keeping it - it does it beautifully, which
          makes listening to most CD a pleasure again.  It has taken
          about 2 months to fully appreciate this amplifier.  I'm not planing
          a change for a very long time.

  Other comments (optional)
          For the first week or so, I used the 8 ohms plugs for speaker connection
          and was disappointed.  The difference when switching to 4 ohm was
          remarkable ( plodding bass disappeared and the soundstage widen )
          I must also mention that I have rarely dealt with a company that is
          more helpful, prompt and generous with its time

                                  Mr W.H.      May 2003
Comment from Affordable Valve Company
Shahinian Arc speakers are different to the "typical" speakers.
The drive units seem to be pointing upwards.
The soundstage will be very different to the "typical" speaker..
It uses 38 mm titanium ?upper? midrange + 1 inch titanium tweeter
+ 8 inch polypropylene cone + a rear mounted passive radiator.
The "air in the port" of a bass reflex speaker is replaced by a
passive radiator, which is a speaker without magnets, without voice coil !
In the 70's Kef used 8 inch Bextrene cones +
passive radiator called ABR (for Auxiliary Bass Radiator)
in their Kef Cadenza and Kef 104
(which is totally different to the newer Kef 104/2)
The bass from passive radiators are
very different to the "typical" modern speaker.
Some people taking a quick glance at Mr W.H. testimonial might get the wrong impression.
Please read the line that says
"It has taken about 2 months to fully appreciate this amplifier.
I'm not planing a change for a very long time."

 
  Turntable used was Project

  CD player used was Marantz CD-63 via DAC in-the-box

  Loudspeakers used was TDL RTL3

  Customer's previous amplifier was Pioneer 400X

  How did the sound quality of our model "KT88 Triode Connection - Lim Signature" compare with your previous amplifier?
          Much improved.  Better bass + more depth.
          Vocals are more "intense" and live
          recordings are a joy .... like listening to a 
          live concert.  I am a convert to valves !!

  Other comments (optional)
          A very good buy at a very good price.
 

                                   Dr M E S of Oxford      September 2002

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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