CUSTOMER FEEDBACK ON OUR MODDED HEATHKIT AMPS
Thank you for telling me about your tube amps. After purchasing one I was truly amazed by the sound. The best thing is I didn't even know you made them until I asked you myself about tube amps.
I have listened to many high end consumer level and professional level amps and have heard none better. I have heard louder but none better. I have heard some costing over 20 times the price and some were on par but none better! I have to say all the years of engineering and listening you have done has filtered directly into your products. All of your testing simply make sense. If it sounds good you use it. If it sounds bad you don't!
I don't even have any other modifications done to the amp. It is stock as it comes from you.
If people are wondering about that "tube" sound all I can say is this. The bass is tight, quick and powerful. The mids are clear and sharp and every sound wave in the air can be heard. The highs are precise and can have the speed and transient response like a live performance in your living room! I have been caught off gaurd by the transient response and volume of this so called little 15 watt amp! Listening to the same music I have listened to for years. It just sounds like new music with this amp. The amp plays just as loud as my 120 watt per channel solid state. It has far better sound.
You should sell these amps for at least $2500. This is all my own personal opinion. I am truly a believer in your products. Everything I have purchased from you has performed like it should. Thank You! - Clinton N.
For those who want to get right to the nitty-gritty: if you want to build a terrific-sounding stereo system but do not want to spend your entire life savings on it, I cannot think of a better way to drive it than one of these amps.... it sounds magnificent. I am using it to drive a pair of Paradigm Reference Studio 60 loudspeakers which are moderately-efficient, floor-standing 3-way speakers. Depending on the source material, that little Heathkit can drive them to too-loud levels with the volume control at less than 50% and no noticeable distortion (though note that I am listening in a small room with the speakers well out from the walls and maybe 6 feet from my ears).
Bass response if full and much tighter than I would have expected from such a modest tube amp. The very lowest of the low bass tends to be lacking, but that could be as much a limitation of the speakers, which do not have a huge woofer. Midrange and highs are clear and very well imaged. I detect no false "sweetness" that many tube detractors often complain of.
I listen to many types of music, from Keith Jarret solo piano to Pink Floyd to Beethoven symphonies, and all sound better now than with the amp I replaced (the well-respected $1500 Creek 5350SE). My only real complaint with my current system now is the very small "sweet spot" for good listening results. I think this is largely due to the size and geometry of my current listening room, so I will be interested to see how things improve once I finish remodeling my basement.
Amp: Mapleshade modified Heathkit tube amp
Speakers: Paradigm Reference Studio 60
Digital source: Marantz DV6400 universal disc player
Analog source: Sumiko Project Perspective turntable with Sumiko Blue Point Special cartridge
Analog preamp: Monolithic Sound PS-1 phono pre-amp and HC-1 power supply
Cabling: Audioquest interconnects and Tributaries speaker wire - Charles Reace