I bought a pair of Super Alnico High Output Omegas a couple of months ago from another AC member. At the time I was using a 301A tube preamp and a First Watt SIT2 amp. I was pretty happy with the sound but given that I suffer from Audiophilia I became restless and started wondering what the next level up might be. I had always heard good things about David Berning's designs, especially his MicroZOTL preamp/headamp. I soon learned that a new company had formed a couple of miles from my home in Washington, DC. They are called Linear Tube Audio and they have licensed several of David's circuits. They are made right in DC and the factory is behind a new store front which sells their products which are also sold online. I gave them a call and soon had an offer by the owner Mark Schneider to bring over a MicroZOTL preamp and a ZOTL 10 amp to listen to in my own home. I placed an order soon after that!
These are output transformer-less tube designs. Both the preamp and the amp run push-pull for the output. The preamp uses a 12AT7 on the input and a 6SN7/12SN7(switchable heater voltage) on the output. The MicroZOTL is actually also an amp that puts out 1 watt with a 2ohm output impedance. The ZOTL 10 uses a 12AT7, a 12AU7 and a pair of EL84's per channel. It puts out 10 very strong watts, plenty for my Omegas.
The amps can come with either new production Gold Lion tubes or a selection of NOS tubes. I pulled out the Gold Lion tubes pretty quickly and started tube rolling. I now use Amperex 7062(12AT7) and Kenrad VT-231s in the MicroZOTL. I use Amperex 7062, Telefunken 12AU7, and Amperex Holland EL84's in the ZOTL 10.
The sound from this setup completely eclipses my previous setup. These big Omegas are capable of a convincing soundstage which does not break up with big orchestral music. Small ensembles play in your room. Voice is the best I have heard. Tone is natural and dynamics are great. Did I mention remarkable clarity?
I find that I am now starting to think about which music to buy instead of which component to buy next. This is the highest praise that I can imagine.
I think that their slogan should be "Visual Audio" or "Audio Made Visual". It is that good...