Tube Audio Lab Single Ended Type 10

The type 10 tube is one of the greatest audio achievements of all time, in my opinion.

Here we have a single ended Type 10 amplifier originally made by Min Yang of Tube Audio Lab and massively updated by Oliver Sayes. This is the second Type 10 amplifier that I've owned so far. The 10, especially the old globes, are such amazingly good sounding tubes, and they go way back to the mid 1920s! They sure got this one right so long ago.

Making about 1.5 watts in a single ended amp, the same as the 45 and 46 tubes, the 10 is a bit unique in its sound. Having great space and imaging like the 45 and 46, the 10 delivers most of the mojo the other tubes have but with a crispness and overall sense of clarity that is really remarkable. I think the 45 and 46 sound amazing, but neither tube makes that freakishly clear sound that a 10 does. Unfortunately, unlike the 45 there are no modern production type 10 tubes, and I'd doubt they are on anyone's list to build (although perhaps Elrog offers a ray of hope for Tungsten filaments at least, and that is really promising). Even in the archaic world of single ended triodes, the 10 is an outlier. Thankfully there are plentiful supplies of the JAN 10Y, but the old globes are a rare (and fragile) find now.

This particular amplifier is a kind of tribute to the Sun Audio VT-25, and features a really clean layout with all tubes up front and iron in back. The transformers are Electraprint, the driver tubes are 6SN7 and the rectifier is a 5R4. Oliver Sayes extensively updated this amplifier for me with a Rod Coleman filament regulator, some new caps and a few other fixes. That effort has raised the performance of this amplifier by a significant margin, making it really very close to the best I've heard. Thoriated Tungsten tubes like the 10 really need a clean filament supply and the Coleman regulator makes a marked difference in this amplifier, turning the life and vibrancy up to 11. I like this amp the most with my pair of old Cunningham globes, perhaps my favorite pair of tubes ever. My 801a sound awesome too! The old graphite plate Sylvania 210 were not my favorite, although they are probably the coolest looking!

Here it is with super-cool Frankensteinien 1930's Sylvania 210 tubes.

1920's technology at its finest! These gorgeous Cunningham CX310 globe tubes have got to be some of the finest audio tubes ever made. Amazingly lifelike voices and just a total clarity that no other tube I've heard can match. Perhaps Elrog will take up the mantle of the 10 globe and its Thoriated Tungsten mojo magic?