Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!

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avahifi

Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« on: 26 Sep 2009, 09:12 pm »
I finished building our first finished production Ultravalve vacuum tube amplifier today.  It is up and running in my test system and sounding out of this world musical.

Its a pretty little thing with polished stainless steel chassis and a clear anodized faceplate with black graphics and test.

The front has a lighted power switch.

The back has premium input jacks, 5-way binding post output jacks on 3/4" centers for 4 ohm, 8 ohm, and 16 ohm taps, and a line fuse and captive 16 gauge polarized AC line cord.

The chassis top has small pin jacks for bias adjusting and the bias adjust pot controls.

It uses a 5AR4 rectifier tube, two 6U8A or 6GH8A small signal tubes, and four output tubes.  We supply it with EH 6CA7 tubes but EL34 or KT77 tubes can be used too.

Power is 30 watts per channel, but you can use it where you would normally use a 100 watt solid state amplifier.  It does a great job of driving my 85 dB efficient Salk HT3 speakers full range.

The audio circuits are internal to protect the user from exposed high voltages and to keep the circuits from being exposed to the output tube's heat.

We will be able to ship within six weeks now and are ready to take orders.  The introductory price is $1699.

We will have photos as soon as we get the finished faceplates from our supplier, which probably with be in 3-4 weeks.

Is there a better tube amp out there?  We have not heard one yet.  We will be running it (actually a pair most of the time) at our display room #2002 at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest next weekend, sharing a room with Salk Sound.

Come and listen please.

Best regards,

Frank Van Alstine




MaxCast

Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #1 on: 26 Sep 2009, 09:27 pm »
Hi Frank,
Will an optional remote option fit in there some where?
Looking forward to the pics !!

oneinthepipe

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Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #2 on: 26 Sep 2009, 09:33 pm »
Congratulations, Frank.

I bet that the amp will look great.

How will the UltraValve compare sonically to the Ultimate 70?

Hope I can make it to RMAF.

Art_Chicago

Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #3 on: 27 Sep 2009, 01:52 am »
I finished building our first finished production Ultravalve vacuum tube amplifier today.  It is up and running in my test system and sounding out of this world musical.

Its a pretty little thing with polished stainless steel chassis and a clear anodized faceplate with black graphics and test.

The front has a lighted power switch.

The back has premium input jacks, 5-way binding post output jacks on 3/4" centers for 4 ohm, 8 ohm, and 16 ohm taps, and a line fuse and captive 16 gauge polarized AC line cord.

The chassis top has small pin jacks for bias adjusting and the bias adjust pot controls.

It uses a 5AR4 rectifier tube, two 6U8A or 6GH8A small signal tubes, and four output tubes.  We supply it with EH 6CA7 tubes but EL34 or KT77 tubes can be used too.

Power is 30 watts per channel, but you can use it where you would normally use a 100 watt solid state amplifier.  It does a great job of driving my 85 dB efficient Salk HT3 speakers full range.

The audio circuits are internal to protect the user from exposed high voltages and to keep the circuits from being exposed to the output tube's heat.

We will be able to ship within six weeks now and are ready to take orders.  The introductory price is $1699.

We will have photos as soon as we get the finished faceplates from our supplier, which probably with be in 3-4 weeks.

Is there a better tube amp out there?  We have not heard one yet.  We will be running it (actually a pair most of the time) at our display room #2002 at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest next weekend, sharing a room with Salk Sound.

Come and listen please.

Best regards,

Frank Van Alstine





Frank, if I remember correctly the power rating was expected to be 40 W rather than 30 W. Also, now the amp is cheaper than the expected price  :thumb:. Just curious what changes were made. Thanks a lot and good luck with Ultravalve!

sberaha

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Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #4 on: 27 Sep 2009, 09:25 am »
Great news -- any pictures?  More importantly, is there any chance of a monoblock version, so a phase inverter would not be necessary to use two Ultravalves as mono amps?

ArthurDent

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Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #5 on: 27 Sep 2009, 09:48 am »
Well done Frank & Co. Am looking forward to the pics. Hope you Jim & all have a great time at RMAF.   :thumb:

avahifi

Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #6 on: 27 Sep 2009, 08:54 pm »
Monoblocks with the same power as standard Ultravalve amps bridged would cost much more than two UV amps and the Insight bridge, and you would need a fork lift truck to move them around.  Cost and weight of vacuum tube amps scales up drastically with efforts to increase power.

Regarding the power rating, it all depends upon the power transformer we use. 
Right now we are getting excellent new iron from Dynakitparts.  Remember that power is a voltage squared function.  The output voltage with the Dynakitparts power transformer gives us about 21.5V peak, with the Triode power transformer about 24V peak. That 3.5V difference is not significant in using the amp in your system, but because of the V squared function, it makes nearly a 10 watt advertised power difference.

Note that in the case of the Ultravalve amp, it works great in applications where you think you would need a 100 watt per channel amp.  It drives my 85dB efficient SalkHT3 speakers just fine from top to bottom at rational listening levels and is more than enough for 87dB efficient speakers and up.

Regards,

Frank Van Alstine

mca

Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #7 on: 27 Sep 2009, 09:51 pm »
Sounds like a cool amp, can't wait to see a picture.

Hoosierdaddy

Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #8 on: 6 Oct 2009, 12:38 am »
There is a pic on The Absolute Sound website-HP said it was the best deal at the show...

http://www.avguide.com/blog/the-greatest-bargain-the-rocky-mountain-audio-fest

Regards,
Hoosierdaddy

chadh

Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #9 on: 6 Oct 2009, 01:51 am »

I'm not usually into the whole "shootout" thing, but there just seem so many similarities for me not to be curious how the Ultravalve amp stacks up against Roger Modjeski's RM10.  Both are designed and built by manufacturers renowned for their engineering excellence; both amps' designers are extremely enthusiastic about their amplifier's abilities; both deliver around 30w/channel; both seem capable of hitting well above their weight class (Roger uses a pair of his RM10s to drive his electrostats, and Frank used a pair of his to drive the "beasts" at RMAF).  I think they even have similar price tags.  I'm sure they're two fantastic amplifiers.

Chad

mchuckp

Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #10 on: 25 Nov 2009, 03:01 pm »
I'm currently using an Insight 240 amp driving my Salk Songtowers (RT version).  I've been wanting to try tubes for some time now and from what I hear described, I think I'd like it.  Would the Ultravalve be a good match for my STs over my Insight 240?  (supplemental gear can be seen in my sig).

Thanks,
Mike

avahifi

Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #11 on: 25 Nov 2009, 03:14 pm »
The Ultravalve amp will work great with your Songtowers.  This is the combination that the editor in chief of The Absolute Sound rated as the best value at the recent RMAF show.

However, what you will hear will be very dependent upon the musicality of your preamplifier too.  I am not familiar with the one you now use.

Regards,

Frank Van Alstine

mchuckp

Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #12 on: 25 Nov 2009, 04:07 pm »
thanks Frank. A new preamp is a little further down the line. With the Ultravalve, do you recommend your solid state or tube preamps?

The Ultravalve amp will work great with your Songtowers.  This is the combination that the editor in chief of The Absolute Sound rated as the best value at the recent RMAF show.

However, what you will hear will be very dependent upon the musicality of your preamplifier too.  I am not familiar with the one you now use.

Regards,

Frank Van Alstine

martyo

Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #13 on: 25 Nov 2009, 04:19 pm »
All 3 of his preamps are very good but ss pre-->tube amp is pretty hot.  aa

Oneinthepipe can probably share his experience with you too, having the HT2's and Wayne has one of all of Franks products.  :lol: Come to think of it, OITP just about does too. :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

oneinthepipe

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Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #14 on: 25 Nov 2009, 04:32 pm »
I have been using the T8 DAC->Insight SL preamp-> U70 for the past two days.   Tube DAC, solid state preamp, tube amp.  I also like the Insight DAC->T8 preamp->Insight 440.  Solid state DAC, tube preamp, solid state amp.  The Insight DAC->T8 preamp->U70 is also very good.  I like those combinations better than the two combinations with the T8DAC->T8preamp->either amp.  This is with the 6CG7 tubes, however, where there seems to be more low end energy and less high end energy, in my room with my system, and others experiences or preferences might be different.

jtwrace

Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #15 on: 19 Dec 2009, 02:14 am »
How will the UltraValve compare sonically to the Ultimate 70?

Can anyone answer this?

Tone Depth

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Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #16 on: 19 Dec 2009, 02:55 am »
Frank seems to have answered the UV/U70 comparison question, just not in a verbose manner: 

Is there a better tube amp out there?  We have not heard one yet. 

dangerbird

Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #17 on: 19 Dec 2009, 01:42 pm »
This has been a very good read,, I am quite taken with the philisophy,,in my own words,,keep it simple,with that said,does anyone know what source/dac and pre was used in this system? Thanks in advance---and hey--Both of these gentlemen will talk with you on the phone---that tells me something right there.Frank and Jim,, a big "tip" of the hat to you,,Sirs.  :thumb:

Wayner

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Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #18 on: 19 Dec 2009, 02:11 pm »
If the U70 has not been upgraded, the Ultravalve will kick it's butt. More bass, more space, transients seem faster too. I drive my proto-type with my Insight+ EC pre and the combination is magical.

Wayner  :D

jtwrace

Re: Our Ultravalve Tube Amp is Ready!
« Reply #19 on: 19 Dec 2009, 06:05 pm »
Who's waiting on an Ultravalve amp?  I'll be curious to know what you think...