The advantages (and disadvantages) of using the 211 broadcasting triode in stereo amplifiers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Steve Hoffman, May 26, 2020.

  1. SetANE

    SetANE Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney NSW
    that Kondo article was big for me. to add to it see the article by Kondo at the link. pretty amazing guy. Writings of H. Kondo

    also a lot of people have been saying there are not enough images of 211 amps so i am posting 2 custom colour jinros below

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. NapaBob

    NapaBob Forum Resident

    Location:
    Napa Valley CA USA
    happy to do pictures!
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Thread bumped by request.
     
  4. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    ??? Wouldn't just posting to it "bump" the thread?
     
  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Not if they aren't a member here.
     
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  6. Larry I

    Larry I Senior Member

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    The best 211 amp I heard is the Audio Note Gaku-On. This is a parallel single-ended amp (two output tubes run in parallel per channel). It has sufficient output for most speakers. The major downside is the crazy price--$250,000 per pair.
     
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  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Audio Note 122 valves (4242E) still going strong. No problems whatsoever.
     
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  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I've never heard a JPN Ongaku, especially not an earlier one like this. Always curious, not many of these in LA, I'm bettin'..

    I love the 211 - VT-4-C because it sounds great, shines like a 25 watt light bulb and is dangerous. What's not to like?
     
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  9. mtemur

    mtemur Forum Resident

    Six of my friends have Kondo Ongakus. Two of them special edition (only 5 were ever made) other four are regular Ongakus. I listened them hundreds of hours. They sound really good.
    One of my friends used to have top version AN UK Ongaku. I heard that many times too. It’s sound character is totally different compared to Kondo but still sounding good.

    Best 211 is United Electronics IMHO. Then RCA, GE and new production tubes. When I asked Masaki-San his preference of tubes during my visit to Kondo factory, he replied with the same order.

    Ongaku might be the best amplifier in the world but only if you can find a speaker to match. That’s not an easy task, believe me.

    BTW in the original post things are mixed when describing push pull. Push pull can be made as class A as well as AB. Push pull doesn’t have to separate plus and minus parts of the signal but it needs the same signal with an inverted phase.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2024
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  10. Otlset

    Otlset It's always something.

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    The electrical engineering genius David Berning has a solution -- eliminate the wire-wound transformers altogether in a SET amplifier.

    I am a longtime admirer of Berning and have used his amplifiers (the "Siegfried" 811-10, or 572-10 SET amp) since the late 1990s. To this day I still don't understand why he and his unique creations aren't more well-known and appreciated.

    If I were a rich man, this is the 211/845 SET amplifier I would purchase, the "SET Reference"
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Did you mean "tungsten", or indeed the Hungarian brand of lighting and tubes?
     
  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Tungsten.
     
  13. mtemur

    mtemur Forum Resident

    According to Kondo-San from the shared article:

    The most significant mistake of theoretical audio maniacs in this century is that they threw away the OPT. In many cases, transformers can adversely affect the quality of reproduced sound but I feel it is not correct to employ the OTL without conducting adequate experimentation and without particular attention to design considerations.
    Although they say that the resolution may be degraded if a signal is transmitted through the OPT, it is a well-known fact that the transformer can offer a good feeling of the music that the OTL cannot. Accordingly, we are required to solve the problem of how to enhance the resolution of sound with OPT.”
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2024
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  14. NapaBob

    NapaBob Forum Resident

    Location:
    Napa Valley CA USA
    Based on your posts, I can only imagine what kind of system you have put together for yourself. Can you share?
     
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  15. mtemur

    mtemur Forum Resident

    I have a simple setup. not a fancy one.
     
  16. Zoroastra

    Zoroastra Forum Resident

    I recently purchased an Ongaku clone from Ken of Otomon Labs in Japan, sounds ok (some 50 cycle hum when idling, not the grip of a real Kondo Ongaku) but for less than £6000. I really can’t complain. I am unable to put photos onto this site but can load a YouTube of it playing one of my Original Source records if interested?
     
  17. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Mark,
    Thanks for sharing those videos. I was considering the same amp. Have you compared the 211 to other triodes?
     
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  18. Zoroastra

    Zoroastra Forum Resident

    I can’t recall the builder’s name, Mark something, but Kedar (Bonzo75 on the What’s Best Forum) brought him by to try out his his creations on my system. He brought a pre with AC-heated filaments that hummed loudly whenever your hand got close, then a pair of GM75 SET’s and a pair of 211 SET’s. Kedar preferred the sound of the GM75’s, my friend and Phasemation dealer Hugo preferred the 211’s. Both sounded more real with better grip and tone than this Otomon amp, perhaps the best I ever heard, but the builder Mark wanted £24,000 to build me a pair and pre. If you are interested I can get you the contact details, but we are in the UK.

    just as a side, I am on the waiting list for a Decware Sarah 300B amp as well.
     
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  19. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Location:
    Washington DC
    Just curious do you know the differences between a "regular" and SE Ongaku?
     
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  20. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    I can’t afford £24K either! Was lucky enough to find a used Tron Discovery 300B (which I love) but can’t help wondering what a little more power would sound like.
     
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  21. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
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  22. Zoroastra

    Zoroastra Forum Resident

    What speakers (and sensitivity) do you have? I must say the volume knobs on this amp are barely above idle (no preamp), it seems much more powerful with 20 watts than the Ayon (30 watts) it replaced.
     
  23. Zoroastra

    Zoroastra Forum Resident

    No personal experience with the special edition Ongaku
     
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  24. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Very interesting story about tubes and some of their history. :righton:
     
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  25. mtemur

    mtemur Forum Resident

    Yes, I know the differences between regular and SE. Stepped resistor attenuator instead of TKD is one of the important improvements besides transformers. Here is a picture I took. You can see stepped attenuator and United Electronics 211 tubes.

    IMG_1351
     
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