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  1. #1
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    point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    who are your favorite manufacturers of point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps?

    these hand-built amps that do not use PCBs (printed circuit boards) are getting rarer than unicorns, so i though i would poll the community here to see if there were any makers that i have overlooked.

    a few extant brands that i have followed over the years are:

    yamamoto soundcraft
    kondo - AN japan
    air tight
    audio tekne
    thoress
    thomas mayer
    bandwidth audio
    viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | air tight atc-5 + atm-300r | clearaudio concept + virtuoso v2 MM | t+a dac8 dsd + kanjiroba diy transport + roon rock
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  2. #2

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Ahem... PrimaLuna. Kicks the sonic butt for the price. Seriously. My Dialogue Premium HP EL34 integrated brings me more listening joy than ARC REF250SE monos with the 40th anni REF preamp did back in the day. Imagine that.

  3. #3

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Sorry, I forgot that on this forum, if it doesn't cost as much as a luxury automobile, it isn't relevant...

  4. #4
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    I like my Yamamoto. That being said, it isn’t as quiet as I would like.


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  5. #5
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Ahem... PrimaLuna. Kicks the sonic butt for the price. Seriously. My Dialogue Premium HP EL34 integrated brings me more listening joy than ARC REF250SE monos with the 40th anni REF preamp did back in the day. Imagine that.
    I know of several others that would agree...........
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  6. #6
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Audio Mirror SET amplifiers using the "Mig" tubes were pretty outstanding!
    McIntosh C49, MC152, MR85, R778 | T+A DAC 8 DSD | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM750ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQPlayer) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | Schiit Jotunheim 2 | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105

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  7. #7
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    absolutely cannot believe i forgot shindo laboratory ...pretty much the progenitor and poster child for this category
    viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | air tight atc-5 + atm-300r | clearaudio concept + virtuoso v2 MM | t+a dac8 dsd + kanjiroba diy transport + roon rock
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  8. #8
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Some VAC equipment is P2P. Viva is all P2P.

    Triode corp of Japan is another.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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  9. #9
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Ahem... PrimaLuna. Kicks the sonic butt for the price. Seriously. My Dialogue Premium HP EL34 integrated brings me more listening joy than ARC REF250SE monos with the 40th anni REF preamp did back in the day. Imagine that.
    great gear for sure! ...but, they make significant use of PCBs in addition to point-to-point wiring. so, only from from a purist's point of view i am going to keep them off my list.

    viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | air tight atc-5 + atm-300r | clearaudio concept + virtuoso v2 MM | t+a dac8 dsd + kanjiroba diy transport + roon rock
    alp-tone audio analog cables | core audio designs plyKraft 3L | hifi racks ltd podium t5-iii

  10. #10

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    great gear for sure! ...but, they make significant use of PCBs in addition to point-to-point wiring. so, only from from a purist's point of view i am going to keep them off my list.

    It is minimal. For things like let's not make the user learn how to use a Fluke multimeter and stick screwdrivers into pots for biasing of tubes... Or when a tube goes bad, it will light up an LED saying I am busted... Instead of taking out half the amp circuitry with a spark show like can happen with others?

    By the way, I have also enjoyed Shindo. A Cortese SET F2a and Monbrison combo with Tannoy Canterbury SE's. As much as I liked Shindo, the PrimaLuna is less limiting and sounds awfully close to all that Shindo magic. With the PrimaLuna one can use anything from EL34 to KT150 with a flick of a switch, so it is truly a swiss army knife of an amp. 30w of SET to over 100w of tube power.


    Do AudioNote/Kondo amps sound significantly better over a PrimaLuna? I sure hope they do but I really don't care LOL... and I doubt a blind listening test would reveal anything even remotely resembling over $100k worth of a difference. But we all know that.








  11. #11
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I like my Yamamoto. That being said, it isn’t as quiet as I would like.
    somewhat goes with the territory i suppose -- certainly, higher levels of measured noise than with similar quality SS amplification. question is whether or not it is audible? perhaps more so with ultra sensitive speakers, 105+ dB sensitivity?

    also, i have heard you mention the same with respect to air tight -- although others have reported them being dead quiet ...so, maybe its a system thing?
    viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | air tight atc-5 + atm-300r | clearaudio concept + virtuoso v2 MM | t+a dac8 dsd + kanjiroba diy transport + roon rock
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  12. #12
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Cary Audio

    Jadis...

    [IMG][/IMG]

  13. #13
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Now that is some nice looking clean wiring!
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  14. #14

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Jadis is good stuff but comes at a price.



    Conrad Johnson, as far as I can remember had an interesting approach of using as big of a PCB as possible for all the parts layout.



  15. #15
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quicksilver Audio all P2P
    A lot of Bob Latino's amps are P2P
    Leben P2P
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  16. #16
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    With current tech I really don't see an issue with PCB's being used. They perform the same functions as hand running wires, but there is a case to be made that these in many ways can be more reliable. Less chances of a cold solder (I have seen the part pucker machines in action). I do not think there is a man or woman alive who are as accurate, precise and can make a more solid connection. Even the software used in designing and feeding the part pickers are more accurate.

    This is one area where I do believe that an argument can be made that the new technologies and methods might actually be better.
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  17. #17

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Should add MacTone

    Bruce
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  18. #18
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    With current tech I really don't see an issue with PCB's being used. They perform the same functions as hand running wires, but there is a case to be made that these in many ways can be more reliable. Less chances of a cold solder (I have seen the part pucker machines in action). I do not think there is a man or woman alive who are as accurate, precise and can make a more solid connection. Even the software used in designing and feeding the part pickers are more accurate.

    This is one area where I do believe that an argument can be made that the new technologies and methods might actually be better.
    certainly a 100% valid point -- and i don't see an issue either.

    however, the counter argument that has been made is that P2P amps can be maintained / repaired as for long as there are qualified technicians on the planet ...and individual component parts such as caps, resistors, etc. are readily available. on the other hand, try getting anyone to repair a PCB anything without replacing a complete board whose future availability from the original manufacturer is questionable at best -- which at some future point leaves dumpster diving as the only viable source of replacement boards.

    that being said, my purpose here is to simply compile a list of P2P amp manufacturers for anyone interested in this artisanal niche of the market.

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  19. #19

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    certainly a 100% valid point -- and i don't see an issue either.

    however, the counter argument that has been made is that P2P amps can be maintained / repaired as for long as there are qualified technicians on the planet ...and individual component parts such as caps, resistors, etc. are readily available. on the other hand, try getting anyone to repair a PCB anything without replacing a complete board whose future availability from the original manufacturer is questionable at best -- which at some future point leaves dumpster diving as the only viable source of replacement boards.

    that being said, my purpose here is to simply compile a list of P2P amp manufacturers for anyone interested in this artisanal niche of the market.

    The trace conductors, if they go bad, can be fixed. I used to do just that back in my electronic tech days. Solder a jumper after scraping the trace. Other components are obviously removable from the PCB. Now, some of SMT (surface mount technology) chips, resistors, etc can be a real pain and so the whole board may need swapping out. In any case, obviously the old school, P2P wiring is simpler to repair but there is a limit to what can be achieved in terms of features and functions with such. Tube sockets should never reside on the PCB but some manufacturers do exactly that.... heat is not kind on that scheme over time.

  20. #20

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    certainly a 100% valid point -- and i don't see an issue either.

    however, the counter argument that has been made is that P2P amps can be maintained / repaired as for long as there are qualified technicians on the planet ...and individual component parts such as caps, resistors, etc. are readily available. on the other hand, try getting anyone to repair a PCB anything without replacing a complete board whose future availability from the original manufacturer is questionable at best -- which at some future point leaves dumpster diving as the only viable source of replacement boards.
    Some valid comments here--I bet I'm not the only one posting who has not run into situations as mentioned --

    Potted line and phono stages/Potted Power supply filter blocks--Mfg no longer in business and no way of replacing nor gaining access to the components.

    Take look inside any early Levinson PreAmps and see the butchers jobs some cowboys have resorted to get the things going after the Modules failed.

    Wilson Xovers are/were potted but not such a priority.

    Case in point I bought an Infinity DSP Amp from Arnie Nudell when they first came out--12 months later it died --or rather big Black potted box inside did and they no longer had any nor made anymore.

    I contributed to Landfill.

    Bruce

  21. #21

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Jadis is p t p


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  22. #22
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Another argument is that P2P is more susceptible to wiring issues. Far more chance of a bad solder, wire crossing, etc., etc. With few exceptions the chances of a PCB going bad is far less liking than something that was hand wired. Please do not think that I am against P2P, I am just pointing out the other side of the issue. I think both sides have valid points but reliability definitely falls on the PCB side.
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  23. #23
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Sorry, I forgot that on this forum, if it doesn't cost as much as a luxury automobile, it isn't relevant...
    I will take that personally, and it really is an uncalled for comment
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  24. #24

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowfax View Post
    I will take that personally, and it really is an uncalled for comment
    Relax Brian. It wasn't directed at anyone specific but let's not pretend this forum has that "budget audio" feel to it... It is what it is...

  25. #25
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Serge, cool your jets please. My inbox is full of complaints.


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  26. #26

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Interesting... I never complained once about anyone. Very trendy but I'll pass...

  27. #27
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Miyajima is all ptp wired.

  28. #28
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by vortrex View Post
    Miyajima is all ptp wired.
    thanks! i was certainly aware of their cartridges but had NO idea they made amps and pre-amps
    viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | air tight atc-5 + atm-300r | clearaudio concept + virtuoso v2 MM | t+a dac8 dsd + kanjiroba diy transport + roon rock
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  29. #29
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    I have owned Croft Acoustics integrated/amp/preamps before they got popular with the Stereophile crowd. I find them to be very good, certainly very spartan, and won’t appeal to many. And measurements be damned, I love them. Even paying a bit of extra for imported goods, they just sound right to me. And of course, not chock full of any “audiophile approved” parts, and point to point wiring, only circuit board is for the timer circuit. Good enough for me.


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  30. #30

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Ahem... PrimaLuna. Kicks the sonic butt for the price. Seriously. My Dialogue Premium HP EL34 integrated brings me more listening joy than ARC REF250SE monos with the 40th anni REF preamp did back in the day. Imagine that.
    My buddy does not care for Audio Research and Conrad Johnson but he really likes Prima Luna. He says it is one of the best sounding amps he has heard.

  31. #31

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by stereogeek View Post
    My buddy does not care for Audio Research and Conrad Johnson but he really likes Prima Luna. He says it is one of the best sounding amps he has heard.
    It is all personal preference, system synergy and even how we hear. I guess my inner music lover preferred the EL34 tubes and the PrimaLuna design more. Price wise, there is a significant difference but the inner music lover is blind to shiny boxes and cares not what the price tag is... (but that can go either way... )

  32. #32

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Ahem... PrimaLuna. Kicks the sonic butt for the price. Seriously. My Dialogue Premium HP EL34 integrated brings me more listening joy than ARC REF250SE monos with the 40th anni REF preamp did back in the day. Imagine that.
    Another PrimaLuna fan here. Amazing sound quality, musicality, reliability and value, and loads of fun with tube rolling. Have used EL34's, KT120's and KT150's with my amps, but my favorite is the 7581a.
    Kevin

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    Bar: EAT C-sharp/Hana MH, and exaSound s82 > Luxman L-595SE amp. GolderEar One.R speakers. Shunyata power, Audioquest cables.

  33. #33
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by CPP View Post
    Quicksilver Audio all P2P
    A lot of Bob Latino's amps are P2P
    Leben P2P
    I have known Mike Sanders (Quicksilver Audio) since I replaced him as National Sales Manager at Magnepan.

    He wanted to start up his company way back then, and he did.

    I have two pairs of his monoblock amps.

    Are they the best tube amps that I have heard?

    No, but from a musical involvement standpoint, they are extraordinary values when compared to amps that cost more than 10 times as much...

    Oh, and they are super reliable...
    DPT4ME - Dynamics, Presence & Tone for Musical Engagement; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; Shunyata Omega & Sigma USBs; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Aqua La Scala II Optologic DAC; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex dac - updated; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amp; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamp, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Quicksilver Mid Mono amps w/Gold Lion KT77s; Fyne Audio 703s; Symposium Svelte Plus & Ultra Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata Denali 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

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  34. #34
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    I had a pair of Quicksilver KT150 mono blocks a few years ago and sold them to Randy. One of my audio regrets was parting with them.

  35. #35
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    We've been doing point to point wiring on all of our amps since the early 1990s.

    Click on the play button to see one of our amps wired
    Atma-Sphere Music Systems

  36. #36
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by atmasphere View Post
    We've been doing point to point wiring on all of our amps since the early 1990s.

    Click on the play button to see one of our amps wired
    Atma-Sphere Music Systems
    fantastic video -- just love the stop-motion filming -- brilliant!

    btw: as a fan of the 6c33c tube, glad to see the novacron is back
    viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | air tight atc-5 + atm-300r | clearaudio concept + virtuoso v2 MM | t+a dac8 dsd + kanjiroba diy transport + roon rock
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  37. #37

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    Another argument is that P2P is more susceptible to wiring issues. Far more chance of a bad solder, wire crossing, etc., etc. With few exceptions the chances of a PCB going bad is far less liking than something that was hand wired. Please do not think that I am against P2P, I am just pointing out the other side of the issue. I think both sides have valid points but reliability definitely falls on the PCB side.
    But on the flip side, if a PCB takes any significant damage, the repair can be a more costly and difficult - and that PCB may not be available anymore at some point.

  38. #38

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Tube sockets should never reside on the PCB but some manufacturers do exactly that.... heat is not kind on that scheme over time.
    That's a pretty broad, and incorrect statement. Done right, there is no reason tube sockets can't be board mounted. In my experience (over 25 years in this business) I can think of 2 maybe 3 manufacturers that have issues with board mounted sockets. Most problems stem from parts around them or circuit design.

    But on the flip side, if a PCB takes any significant damage, the repair can be a more costly and difficult - and that PCB may not be available anymore at some point.
    I run into this far more with solid state amps than with tube amps. In 25 years and thousands of repair jobs, I've only ever had to replace a tube amp circuit board twice, and both were relatively recent. In both cases the manufacturer wanted way too much money for replacement boards, so they were reverse engineered and I made them myself.
    I've had quite a few more P2P amps that had broken solder, burnt wiring, and even wiring mistakes.
    Dan Santoni

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  39. #39
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    It's not an amp but a pre-amp First Sound Paramount Plus SE and it's paired with 2 power supplies, one for each side.........Truly amazing piece.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  40. #40

    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by atmasphere View Post
    We've been doing point to point wiring on all of our amps since the early 1990s.

    Click on the play button to see one of our amps wired
    Atma-Sphere Music Systems
    I love that video. The first minute of the video probably represents 20 hours of actual work.

  41. #41
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    I’m a fan of P2P designs. My Quicksilver Mid Monos are super reliable. I’ve had them since 15, bought them used at about a year and a half old. I love them. They will soon be replaced by a Toolshed Amps 300b amp which is also P2P and I expect it to also be reliable.

  42. #42
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Oddiofyl View Post
    I’m a fan of P2P designs. My Quicksilver Mid Monos are super reliable. I’ve had them since 15, bought them used at about a year and a half old. I love them. They will soon be replaced by a Toolshed Amps 300b amp which is also P2P and I expect it to also be reliable.
    Update ... the Toolshed 300b is done. Will post pics and impressions soon.

  43. #43
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    You can also add McGary Audio and DeHavilland amps to the list.

  44. #44
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Add Toolshed Amps to the list. I have had their 300b amp for a few weeks and it is awesome. So good in fact I am having Matt of Toolshed build me a preamp based on the 101d tube .

  45. #45
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Ampsandsound use P2P for their loudspeaker amp line. Not sure about all of their headphone amps. Some are, some aren’t.

  46. #46
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    94d52de9-813d-4eaf-b16a-220fac6ec397.jpg
    this is point by point amp.Not finished during assembly.

  47. #47
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    very nice HOOMAN, keep us posted on your progress !
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  48. #48
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
    very nice HOOMAN, keep us posted on your progress !
    thanks....ok ..

    1701718764546.jpg

  49. #49
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps


  50. #50
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    Re: point-to-point, hand-wired tube amps


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