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Regular readers know that valve amps and I parted ways a few years ago when various Nelson Pass FirstWatt solid-state amps introduced me to alternatives which I began to find more compelling. I eventually acquired the SIT1 monos. Those are single-stage single-ended affairs with custom vertical Jfet or so-called static induction transistors operated with bona fide triode curves. These amps behave technically very much like a SET, albeit without output transformers or a driver stage. In their wake I'd divested myself of remaining valve amps including a Yamamoto 300B SET, high-power p/p Octave 6550 monos and Trafomatic Audio's EL84 Kaivalya monos. Considering myself the now wrong guy for the job, I'd not pursued reviews of tube amps since.

So why accept this assignment? Because I own the same pair of Boenicke W5se which had played the Auris Audio exhibit in Munich so well. I felt confident in being able to replicate that sound. Hence it made sense to sign up for the very same 6550-based monos whose class A push/pull quartet of power bottles are driven by two 6SN7 for a claimed bandwidth of 14Hz-50kHz ±0.1dB with an SNR of <91dB and THD of 0.08% at 1 watt. With 1.1V single-ended inputs and 47KΩ input impedance, these 295 x 475 x 296mm monaural amplifiers connect to your speakers via the usual 8/4Ω terminals on top-class WBT posts.

With their from a dealer perspective magic number of 100 watts, they'd be sufficiently potent also for my 85dB Albedo Audio Aptica reference speakers. I could test valve sound not only on higher-efficiency widebanders like my Swiss soundkaos Wave 40 but also 'normal' boxes of the sort transistor users tend to favour.


Newcomers Auris Audio are embedded in the very established HCP company which Milomir Trosic founded in 2005. HCP design, build and market cash registers, quad-band modems, GPS-based vehicle locators, 3G terminals, point-of sale devices, PC applications and provide ongoing ODM/OEM services to two very large industrial clients in Germany. HCP run a staff of 50 including 10 hardware/software engineers, production, procuring and marketing. On-site equipment includes Swiss Essemtec PCB machinery, CNC routers, 3D-print prototyping, transformer winding, woodworking and more. By tapping into this sizeable infrastructure, Auris Audio in certain ways didn't start from zero even though the brand is new as is the hifi biz for most of its current team. Involvement with sound however is a rerun of sorts.

That's because HCP was preceded by the MSE Mobile Sound Electronic company which Trosic operated from 1998 until 2005. HCP bill themselves as the world's first company to have developed and produced cash registers with integrated GPRS for a direct uplink to the tax administration server. They call themselves also the M2M (machine-to-machine communications) market leader in central Eastern Europe. They're further the authorized distributor for Gemalto wireless modules. This gives them solid manufacturing and sales experience plus established contacts in the P.R.C. for certain outsourced parts at high quality. As Auris Audio, they thus differ from the type of start-up garage hifi company that's run by an engineer with zero real-world business experience but wild-eyed dreams. Whether Miki's dreams will come to full fruition in our notoriously overcrowded hifi sector remains to be seen.

Marketing manager Tijana in the company's rest room/listening lounge.

Here is the HCP/Auris factory followed by receptionist Gordana and Tijana again...

... then four engineers in R&D, chief engineer 'Slobo', then Pvedag and Ivica in the SMT room.