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Reviewer: Stephæn
Financial Interests: click here
Analogue Sources: Nottingham Analogue Studio Space Deck driven by Walker Audio Precision Motor Controller. The String Theory™ Woody™ Tonearm from Pete Riggle Engineering and Audio. Dynavector 17D2MKII, Dynavector 20xl, Denon 103, Audio Technica OC9 cartridges.
Digital Sources: Wavelength Audio Cosecant USB DAC v3 (Transcendental 16/44.1 DAC module) fed by MacBook with dual 500GB LaCie Firewire drives; Tube Research Labs fully modified Sony SCD-2000ES (for SACD playback). Secondary: TRL-modified Alesis ML-9600 high-resolution master disk recorder.
Preamps: deHavilland UltraVerve and Tutay-modified/upgraded Eastern Electric Minimax (larger power supply, 12FQ7 ready, gain cut to 9dB) preamps; Allnic H-1200, self-modified Jolida JD-9A and Herron Audio VTPH-1MC phono stages.
Amplifiers: Wright Sound Company WPA 3.5 monos and Melody I2A3. Secondary: AudioSector AMP-1 integrated amp, Sophia Electric S.E.T.™ Music Baby integrated amp, MiniWatt integrated amp and Outlaw Audio RetroReceiver.
Speakers: Three-way Po' Lil' Things—a furniture-grade variant of the venerable Po' Boys—built around B&C 8PE21-8 (for throat horn), RCA model 9584A (permanent magnet midrange compression driver) with 1" throat and 1.34" opening to conical horn, and BMS 4540ND tweeter compression driver mated to tractrix horn. Crossover incorporates XTC-grade oil-filled capacitors and other tweaks. Coax Altec 604 drivers mounted in 9.1 cubic foot enclosures strongly influenced by Jay Fisher's MLTL design (plus our Dial-a-Vent and Dial-a-Height features). Crossovers incorporate XTC-grade oil-filled capacitors and other tweaks. Secondary: Zu Audio Druid Mk.4; Sound Dynamics RTS-3; Customized REL Strata III utilizing a properly-designed outboard amp (SA1000) that's not compromised by the obviously under-spec'd resistors chosen by REL.
Cables: Cardas, DIY WM-XTC, Audience, and Zu Audio Libtec cables; Cardas Golden Cross, Audience Au24, Audience Maestro [on loan] and Bob Crump custom copper interconnects. Secondary: Analysis Plus cables and interconnects.
Stands: Two three-tier Grand Prix Audio Monaco units on GPA Apex footers
Secondary: Lovan Affinity Pro6 Series rack, Acoustic Dreams Dead Ball Isolators; Neuance platform
Power line conditioning: BPT 3.5 Signature; cryo'd Pass & Seymour wall outlets; Audience, T.G. Audio Lab SLVR, Analysis Plus Power Oval, and Zu Audio Birth and Bok power cords [both on loan]. Secondary: Brick Wall PW8R15AUD
Sundry accessories: HAL-O® Vacuum Tube Dampers, Herbie's Way Excellent Turntable Mat, VPI 16.5 record cleaner, Shun Mook Valve Resonators, Auric Illuminator, and Walker Audio Vivid CD & DVD Enhancer
Music makers: Epiphone Dot (Gibson ES-335 knock-off) and Chet Atkins CE (nylon-strung classical) electric guitars; Fender Blues Jr. amp; Privia PX-555 keyboard and 1906 Ellington upright piano.
Office system: Soundquest R601 Tube Hi-Fi FM/AM Classic Radio and a Gibson J-100 acoustic guitar
Room size & treatments: 26' x 19' x 9' (a fractured 'L', nominally 16' x 19' with 12' feet of the 19-foot dimension opening to the 20-foot section of the 20' x 12' kitchen/eat-in area); concrete slab, sheet rock walls. ASC Tube Traps and Sound Planks, Echo Busters absorbers, Shakti Hallograph Soundfield Optimizers and Acoustic Revive RR-77 Ultra Low-Frequency Pulse Generator.
Review Component Retail: $5.499

The grand daddy of them all - the audion invented by Lee de Forest in 1906 and developed by engineering staffs
[Image ID: 99555 from]

What was the best thing before sliced bread?
* According to the Wiki, "... arguments still continue about whether De Forest really invented the triode vacuum tube. What is apparent is that he—and everybody else at the time—greatly underestimated the potential of his original device …."


* Sliced bread was first sold in 1928.

Rohwedder's 1928 (filed) patent for the bread-slicing machine at left.

"De Forest was granted a patent for his early two-electrode version of the audion on November 13, 1906 (U.S. Patent 841,386) but the "triode" (three electrode) version was patented in 1908 (U.S. Patent 879,532).

"... De Forest continued to claim that he developed the audion independently from John Ambrose Fleming's earlier research on the thermionic valve—for which he received Great Britain patent 24850 and the American Fleming valve patent U.S. Patent 803.684—and became embroiled in many radio-related patent disputes."
Apparently for De Forest the trouble with being first was that there was nobody to appreciate it. To add insult to what is looking more and more like self-inflicted injury, "De Forest was famous for saying that he ‘didn't know why it worked, it just did.’ He always referred to the vacuum triodes developed by other researchers as oscillaudions although there is no evidence that he had any significant input to their development…

"... In 1914 Edwin Armstrong published an explanation of the audion and when the two later faced each other in a dispute over the regeneration patent, Armstrong was able to demonstrate conclusively that De Forest still had no idea how it worked."

Audion Silver Night Anniversary 300B 682 in the raw