Single Ended Type 10 amplifier

The Type 10 is an elusive tube. Dating to the mid-1920’s there are a variety of shapes and designations to this tube type, including the very early (and fragile!) globes like the Cunningham cx310 pictured here. RCA made the ux210 globe, and DeForest had a ux410 globe. The later ST types include 10, 10y, VT-25. VT-62 and 801a (although the 801a is much higher output version of the 10Y). Thomas Mayer has a very good article on the ins and outs of the type 10 tube on his excellent website, Vinyl Savior.

I’ve been on the lookout for a Type 10 experience for a long time, but those for sale are quite few and far between, and when found are usually not a bargain. The amp featured here is an exception to those factors, and has proven to be one of the most detailed and refined sounding amplifiers I’ve yet heard. Set in a modified chassis of some kind, I have no idea about the maker of this amplifier. The sound is big, open and effortlessly clear, yet it still has a good bit of the 300B type triode sound that I would characterize as warm and lush, with an bit of pop on the vocal. But the great clarity here doesn’t feel artificial or tight; it’s very natural.

The type 10 tube here is driven by a pair of 12SL7 tubes, a great choice in my opinion as prices for the highest quality NOS tubes (in this case Tung Sol round plates from 1953) are still very reasonable compared to the more popular tubes like the 6SN7. The rectifier is a 5Y3, although I have used a pin adapter to place a 1920’s blue Arcturus 180 globe tube, which in this amplifier makes a noticable difference in opening up the soundstage even further. I think this amplifier is likely approaching the best of the DHT sound.

The blue Arcturus tubes are sure appealing!

This amp has great industrial character.

The Type 10 really glows brightly. It almost looks more like a small lightbulb than a vacuum tube.