James Burgess Single Ended 2A3

James Burgess is a name that you’ve certainly heard a time or two if you’ve been interested in single ended amplification for any length of time. A Jeweler by trade, Mr. Burgess has a reputation for very clean and professional amp builds using many of the old favorite Triodes, like the 2A3 and the 45, and he is one of the few I’ve seen who has ventured out and built the 71A. I’ve been watching Burgess amps come and go for years but never at a time when I was ready to buy, until now. Eventually the Universe always provides!

Here we have a beautiful James Burgess Single Ended 2A3 amplifier. This is certainly one of the most well executed amplifiers I have owned so far. Very elegant, and while still an industrial beauty with exposed transformers and top mounted screw heads, this amp has a high-end feel that goes beyond the muted gold top plate and recessed tube sockets. This is a massively solid amplifier, and picking it up it feels like a brick of gold. The output transformers are robust, large units and the vintage General Electric choke is a nice touch. All connections are rear mounted for a clean presentation and the front panel has an on/off switch and a built in volume control. All in all this is a model of functionality in an elegantly understated package. 10 out of 10.

The fidelity of this amp is also very good, and it has all of the open warmth that I have come to expect from the 2A3; a small topping of romantic overtone spread out on a clean and clear platform. This amplifier presents a very wide but focused image, with a huge presence. It approaches the Will Vincent 801a in this regard, and feels a little more driven and turned up than the Yamamoto A-011. The 2A3 is one of the best sounding tubes of all time, and it really shines here in the Burgess amplifier. The 6SN7 inputs allow a lot of choice in tailoring the sound to individual taste, and I’ve been having a nice time with a pair of British CV1988 tubes. In the 2A3 slot I’ve found the big JJ 2A3-40 to be a good choice as well as the single plate Triad tubes, which never disappoint. Of special note, this is an exceptionally quiet amplifier at idle, with basically no noise at all unless your ear is right on the speaker cone and even then it is almost silent. Well done!

Mr. Burgess certainly deserves accolades for his amazingly well crafted amplifiers, and I'm very pleased to finally own one of his hand made creations. More of his work can be seen on his facebook page here. They don't get better than this. Highly recommended!

Nice clean lines on this supreme build. Power on and off is the left knob and the right knob is a smooth action volume control.

The recessed tube sockets are a really nice touch, and something you don't see very often. There were no corners cut on the design and build of this amp.

The rectifier used here is an unusual one, a 6AW4. I’ve not seen this one before.

Mono plate 2A3 really are the bomb!

The JJ 2A3-40 kick ass in this amp!

Single plate goodness.