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Michele Surdi
Source: Nagra CDC, iPod shuffle
Amplification: Nagra PLP, Nagra 300p, Firstwatt F5, Trends TA10.2Pse, Tektron TK6m7E
Speakers: Tannoy Canterbury SE
Cables: Van den Hul Inspiration biwire, The First se, The Second XLR, Integration se, Audioquest Evergreen RCA/3.5mm
Power: Cablerie d’Eupen Volga, Black Noise Slim 3 distributor
Review component retail in Italy: €600

The times they are now. And they ain’t what they used to be. When the bug bit, I reluctantly relinquished dreams of a Srajan-inspired SIT-2 to complement my genuine Nelson-made F5 even though Mark Sammut at FirstWatt made me the best terms he could. Still following Srajan’s lead, I mailed Job Electronics to see if their stated price of €1236.14 for the Job225 was for real (back in the day I used to spend this kind of money on pretty coloured bits of wire).

I was very pleasantly surprised to receive an immediate and courteous answer assuring me that the stated price included shipping and that an order would result in a three-day delivery to my Rome address. The Job225 was singularly tempting since I run my newish Tannoy Canterburys on low-power amps only: the Nagra 300p; the aforementioned F5; and the valiant Trends TA10.2Pse (more on this later). I wanted to try out a high-power amp on the Canteburys’ high sensitivity and quirky impedance curves.

Example of Tektron chassis

I was already pondering my credit status when I began to have doubts about the Job’s very high gain. Was it a design goal or the inevitable byproduct of the 225’s extra-wide bandwidth? Would it interact ideally with my vintage Nagra PLP which has both internal and external variable output controls but is really best suited to medium or low-gain amps, the F5 being a case in point? Morosely surfing the hifi web for an alternative fix, I unearthed an old 6moons reference to Tektron tube amps which turn out to be Sicilian based. Now apart from the fact that I am a fool for glow, I was decadently piqued by the contrast between the high-power high-tech and high Helvetic byblow of gilt-edged Goldmund; and the retrograde PIIGS pedigree of the smallest of Tektron’s offerings. That's a diminutive 4.5wpc SET integrated complete with NOS 6EM7 dual triodes and 6X5WGT rectification. Price on application. A curious email was swiftly answered by a staggering request for €600 including shipping and VAT.

Pushing my luck, I asked for a custom power-only version since I already have lots of pots on my Nagra CDC CD/pre and the aforementioned PLP. Attilio Caccamo, the man behind the brand, replied that each item was made to order and could be altered to taste at no extra cost. Doubling down, I specified that I wanted dedicated 8Ω output trannies on a Walnut base and a gold-tone brushed metal top plate to match my Tannoys; and that I also needed to have the small oval Tektron name plate shifted to the left. Attilio countered by telling me he would send photos of the Walnut base before mounting the name plate so I could decide which position suited best. Delivery was tentatively forecast at one month with a 50% advance duly sent by Paypal.