Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The Twinings Tea Box preamp is very much retro-thermionic. Always the mix of timber, metal and valves presents, not only a strong retro feel and unique images but very much a desire to get back to listening to good music the way it was meant to be. Controlled resonance qualities in natural materials can add a certain earthiness or natural tone often amiss in modern, commercial audio equipment. One of retro-thermionic's goals is to construct audio components in a novel and organic way, most often using timber, Bakelite or metal in audio component construction.
The inexpensive Twinings Tea Box provides a natural looking enclosure in which to construct a preamplifier using high-end and carefully chosen components. To further add to the lofty concept of the build a remote, valve rectified, power supply was added. In the image you can see not only was valve rectification and enclosed choke filtering used but a rare Australian made 5Y3 rectifier valve was also employed.
The chassis, on which the remote power supply is constructed, is die-cast Al. Hammond enclosed power transformer and 10H choke sits atop. Other electronics are housed beneath the solid chassis, which, like the preamp itself, reside on solid brass cones. Connection between preamp and associated power supply is via a high voltaqge short cord and XLR plug.
The Jensen copper, paper and oil capacitors and associated components (including the enclosures) make this a unique sounding andlooking preamplifier. Either coupled with a solid state power amplifier or a valve power amplifier this original almost conceptional preamplifier offers an exceptionally unique insight into electronics and audio reproduction equipment not seen in commercial units. And for the engineers amounsgt us the distortion figures fall below 0.05%. The musical rating figures: 99+. Listen and be convinced.