A-08 Limited Edition SET 45 balloon-style stereo amplifier
The A-08 LE 45 uses the 245 RCA/ 345 Cunningham balloon-style 45 triodes from the 1930s. Mechanically and electrically the same as an ST 45, the only difference between the 'balloon' and the ST is the shape of the glass enclosure, which 45 aficionados say results in different tonal qualities. The A-08 LE 45 circuit and parts are optimized for the balloon tubes and available only as a finished amplifier. Mr. Yamamoto keeps a large NOS replacement tube inventory should you need them. Custom order - check with Brian for availability and current prices.

CA-04 line level preamplifier - $2150
The CA-04 line level preamplifier is based on the same circuit as the CA-03L full-function preamplifier with phono stage (described below) but contains slightly different component parts choices to hot-rod performance while the chassis sports a Japanese Cherry fascia with African Ebony knobs. Brian adds that "in terms of sonics, the CA-04 sounds almost identical to the CA-03L, although it may be a tad more neutral. You'd really have to do lots of back-and-forth comparisons to hear the difference." The CA-04 uses hand-selected Telefunken 6AK5W (5654) pentodes chosen for their superior tone when used in this preamplifier's zero NFB circuit. Note this detail: The capacitors are mounted in African Ebony cases filled with a special Yamamoto epoxy blend claimed to give improved tone over conventionally mounted capacitors. Gain is 16dB and the frequency response ± 0.5dB from 10Hz - 150 KHz.

A special high-mass brass sub-chassis isolates the 6AK5Ws from vibration. Stainless steel fittings connect the sub-chassis to the main chassis that's constructed of finished aluminum and Cherry-composite to match the A-08 and A-09 amplifiers. The design of the CA-04 is said to be optimized to deliver the maximum tone from the A-08 and A-09 amplifiers. Teflon/chromium copper inputs are Yamamoto's own as are the vibration-isolated tube sockets. It's obvious that every part inside Yamamoto products is a labor of love and a work of art. The power cable is the same as used with the amplifiers. Tube complement is two Telefunken 6AK5W (5654).

CA-03L line level preamplifier with EQB-01 phono stage - $4150
Like the above line stage, the CA-03L eschews the usual preamplification-stage triodes to employ pentodes instead, which Mr. Yamamoto stresses is a very important part of the zero NFB design and provides high clarity and fast response while maintaining tonal quality, musicality and low noise.
Yamamoto-San states that the "tone quality is natural and hardness nonexistent". He stresses that the combination of no feedback and pentodes gives both a high signal-to-noise ratio and natural timbres. The CA-03L uses a total of six Telefunken 6AK5Ws (1 for line, 2 for phono preamplification per channel) for an output of 8V. Frequency response is 10Hz - 150 kHz (-0.5db).

The phono stage features selectable cartridge loading of 47k/1k/100-ohm and an output impedance of 1.6kohm. The line amplifier gain is 14dB (about 5 times the source signal) and the chassis size measures 420mm W x 290mm D x 94mm H and weighs 6.3 kg. As on the CA-04, the control knobs are African Ebony.

EQB 01 phono preamplifier - $3150
The stand-alone EQB 01 tube phono equalizer and preamplifier uses 4 x 6AK5W Telefunkens for an output of 25V. The frequency response is 30Hz - 150kHz (+-0.5db) with selectable cartridge loading of 47k/1k/100 ohms. Output impedance is 4.8 kohm with an amplification factor of 54dB/1kHz. The chassis measures 420mm W x 290mm D x 94mm H and weighs 6.3 kg. A high output moving coil cartridge can be coupled directly to the EQB 01 while a low output MC requires the insertion of a Yamamoto SUT-1 step-up transformer ($1300).

TT-2 'Power Tap' power strip - $975
The chassis for the Power Tap is sculpted from African Ebony and supported by four rounded mica pads. It contains four cryogenically-treated hospital-grade outlets for connecting duties and uses a power cord made of ultra-pure solid-core Japanese copper conductors encased in Teflon insulation. I'm intrigued by this product. I've never used power conditioning in my system because I have good AC supply compared to a lot of areas and never heard an active power conditioner that didn't degrade the sound and dynamics of my 103dB-sensitive Avantgarde Duos. But I like the idea of using African Ebony for its beauty and resonant properties, just like in a fine Santa Cruz or Collings guitar. The claimed benefits for the TT-2 are a blacker background, richer tonality and a more precise soundstage.

Analog Accessories
HS-1 African Ebony head shell ($85) and HS-2 Asada Cherry head shell ($80)
Most head shells are made of metal but the HS-1 and HS-2 are hand-crafted from African Ebony and Asada Cherry respectively. Why a wooden head shell? "They're more detailed and have better tone," says Mr. Yamamoto. In case you didn't know, African ebony is the wood of choice for oboes and clarinets, not to mention guitar fret boards. The two woods provide different tonal characteristics that can help tailor the tone to one's system and tastes.

RS-1 record clamp/weight - $110
The clamp is made of bronze, plated with "smoked silver" (a plating favored by many gun manufacturers) and really a weight rather than clamp. It does not screw down onto the spindle but is designed to give a "richer yet more precise presentation." Given that the true definition of precision is the "reproducibility of a result", I suspect that our friends at Yamamoto feel that the RS-1 gives a more accurate presentation of the actual sound of instruments. A record weight for audio sportsmen said to provide 'explosive' response on transients? Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

Audio Bases
PB-9 ( $40/set of four) and PB-10 ($35/set of 4)

The PB-9 & 10 are beautifully crafted African Ebony tone/isolation pucks with male points (PB-9) and female indentations that are designed to couple together under your gear and utilize the superior tonal qualities of African Ebony to maintain that exquisite tone you paid for when you bought your Yamamoto gear. When it comes to tone, materials matter a lot: ask any guitarist if what kind of wood is used matters in an acoustic guitar. Be prepared to sit for a while.

The PB-12 ($75 for set of 4) utilizes a PB-9 ebony-cone tone/isolation puck that rests inside a large Japanese Cherry base. The PB-12 is meant to be used under big and heavy equipment - loudspeakers or speaker stands and amplifiers. The PB-18 ($65/4) is a solid ebony audio base intended as a receptacle for any standard spikes (particularly the kind that comes with loudspeakers). Each PB-18 has three round mica pads on the bottom and this audio base is thus best suited for use on a hard surface ("No carpeting, please!" sez Brian). Installing PB-18s under a pair of loudspeakers reportedly results in "a richer yet more precise presentation."

Equipment Stands
Yamamoto Sound Craft has received awards for the functionality and beauty of these racks in Japan. Each rack features massive Japanese Cherry shelves and stainless steel columns tipped with heavy duty spikes in order to provide isolation and vibration dampening, while having the added benefit of making them more beautiful for the home environment. Each rack comes with a set of Yamamoto PB-10 ebony cups, which can be placed under the spikes to protect floors from scratches and indentations and which reportedly "impart a more precise yet tonally richer sound to the system".

OK-50 compact 3-shelf stand ($900), OK-75 3-shelf stand ($1000), OK-90 4-shelf stand ($1250)
With an overall height of 20", the OK-50 Audio Rack is the smallest of the three Yamamoto racks. There are three 23.5" x 17.5" shelves, with the middle shelf being adjustable. The OK-75 Audio Rack is the medium rack of the group and stands 30" tall. The OK-90 Audio Rack is the 'big daddy' of the line and clocks in at 35.5" height with four 23.5" x 17.5" shelves of which the middle two are adjustable.