04 January, 2011

Second Site Visit: cnamusic Elekit TU-8230

pic: Elekit TU-8230 2A3 amp

Second Site Visit: cnamusic (Elekit TU-8230)

cna (Elekit)
Elekit official website

Just before I went back to NYC I visited cna, now distributor for Japan's Elekit. That time I bought the TU-8300 300B amp (see recent article). I also ordered a TU-875 preamp kit, which has arrived and this time I went to pick it up.

Ulterior Motive: TU-8230
Actually my visit had another reason. I read about the new limited edition TU-8230 2A3 amp, and I was curious to have a look and listen. Mr 劉 greeted me. He had just completed building the 8230 amp and is now using it with EH 2A3 (stock is Chinese; interestingly, output is higher with the EH, as written in the Elekit spec) and an older pair of Elekit speakers. The sound was very good.

I asked to see the inside of the amp. Mr Lau obliged and I saw the circuit board and innards are actually a bit complicated. Mr Lau used silver solder, had changed some of the cabling to silver wires and installed Jensen caps instead of the stock caps. So beware that what you hear is an "upgraded" version.

At over $6k for only the kit, and with much less power than the 300B amp, the TU-8230 would be a harder sell than the 300B amp. Many years ago, the Sun Audio 2A3 kit sold for about the same (but much more now). If the power is enough, I'd still urge you to investigate due to its excellent sound and good looks. This circuit is quite a bit different from that of the TU-8300 300B amp. There is only one FET used in the B+ supply. No other transistors used, nor constant current source.

Me? Being a SET fan and an Elekit fan, I could not pass this one up. I hope to get the TU-875 and TU-8230 up running over the coming Chinese New Year, but assembly would take days. At that time, I would report on a complete Elekit system (except speakers).

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