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 made by Min Yang of Tube Audio Lab. This is the second TAL amp I've owned and also the second type 10. 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 a little more natural maybe, and perhaps with slightly better bass than the 10, 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 very rare 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 cool old potato masher 5R4. I like this amp best with the old Cunningham globes, perhaps my favorite pair of tubes ever. The amplifier also sounds great with the more modern Sylvania 10Y tubes as well. The old graphite plate Sylvania 210 were not my favorite, although they are probably the coolest looking! Overall, Min's amp sounds a bit better than my other type 10 amp did. The build is nice and clean as well, good stuff. More of Min's work can be seen here.

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?