Audio Note Kit One Amplifiers

5/5 (2 Reviews)


Product Description

300B SET stereo amplifier


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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Klaus Otahal a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 22, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I own a Kit One for about 15 years, and I think it deserves a view words...

It was about 1996, when I built this amp, the first version, coming from AN-UK, which was just establishing as "hard-line" tube audio company. I had to get into the 300b-single ended hype, wanted to save some money, and appreciated the AN-concept to offer parts and kits beside their growing range of finished products of various levels. In these days, the AN-products really won every comparison test we made with different equipment, so I was hoping to get this sonic quality as DIY-bargain. The price still was reasonable for a kit, but with regards of sound quality, I never was disappointed.
Part quality, instructions and so on was simply a pleasure to work with, so no problem for anyone with some handcraft skills. My amp still has the "military green" chassis, not the brightest one ever seen, but I like it. Nowadays, AN-Kits are supported from USA, and looking at their web side, the overall appearance improved.
The sound quality of this amp can be described best with "involving". It seems the Kit 1 supports the strengths of the music played by creating just the right and suitable atmosphere. E.g. acoustic pieces with voices and/or low instrumentation are transferred with a big piece of emotion. There is an exceptionally clear midrange, airy and with tonal beauty. This amp does not want to impress with bombing bass or fizzy treble, except the music demands it.
Modern recordings come with all their 3D-effects, in micro or macro scale, you can easily get the idea of the musicians and sound engineers. In case of "average" recordings, you will certainly notify that, but the Kit One does its best not to point out weaknesses, it still allows a coherent musical event. So, even older rock-records with limited dynamics are a pleasure to listen to, you just accept and enjoy the recording as it is.
I tried other amps (transistor and also a Chinese 211-SET) some times, but always returned to the Kit One, due to its sense for a complete and seamless presentation, even if the more powerful amps made some short-term-impression here and there.

Of course, like any good amp, the Kit One likes good speakers, cables and sources. Sources with limited clarity in midrange can be a problem. My AN-J speakers of same age are surely a perfect match, but also my former focal-aria 5 speakers sounded fine driven only from the kit's 2x8 Watt. I recently bought some silver cables (unfortunately could not afford AN-cables), and wow, the Amp is still not at its limits. Resolution, air, speed, all increased. Perhaps also, because I soldered in some cerafine caps and a Noble-pot, as recommended from AN as a tweak.

In 15 years of intensive operation, the amp had only a few valve-changes, and one solid state rectifier broke down 5 years ago. Really, no big problem at all, exchange was found easily, and no other part suffered from this defect. More important: The Kit One never had any kind of hum or other nasty effects, one could be afraid of with DIY-gear. It just worked reliably and without troubles.

Therefore, I fully can recommend this Kit to anyone who wants to build a bullet-proof 300b-SET amp with best sonic results, but hasn't the time or skills to select circuits, parts and so on like DIY-professionals.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1996



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Edd Hillman a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 14, 2000

Bottom Line:   
The Kit took two 2-hour stints to build. I was used to soldering, people who are not may care to bribe a friend that can, or at least get shown how to make a proper soldered joint. The finish of the kit is very good, if you do not count the transformers on the top. Constructors with nagging wives/girlfriends may consider the chrome covered transformers a worthwhile investment. A buffered volume control is included, so single-source listeners need not buy a preamp.
The sound ? Excellent. This device has halted my relentless series of upgrades in its tracks, and I would not trade it for anything.
One caveat - The limited power output may not suit all speakers, but most should be OK.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998




Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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