For the May 2019 "Glass Audio" special edition, audioXpress asked Erik Owen to share with us his experience with the new Nu:Tekt HA-K1 “Tube” headphone amplifier using the novel Korg Nutube 6P1 device - a miniature, low-power dual directly-heated triode that uses a one-pixel vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) device, emulating the properties of a driver tube (read about it here).
This interesting headphone amplifier is sold as a kit for $199, it's relatively easy to assemble, and - more interestingly - makes for a practical way to actually induce some of the magic of tubes in a relatively portable configuration. As Owen puts it “a small piece of innovation that I purchased on a whim: a miniaturized vacuum tube amplifier.” In this article he shares everything he learned about this new approach on tubes and how it delivers.
This article was originally published in audioXpress, May 2019
"On the last day of the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2018 in Denver, CO, I bought a Nu:Tekt HA-K1 headphone amplifier for $199 directly from the Korg Electronics/NuTube representative. It was not until I buckled into my seat on the flight back to Seattle that I realized the headphone amp was in the form of a kit: bags of capacitors, resistors, and soldering instructions (see Photo 1). So instead, I drank a noise-cancelling gin and tonic with my Bose QC35s plugged directly into my phone.
"I have never really looked forward to listening to music through headphones, rather it just helps power through a flight. One of my goals in going to RMAF this year had been to finally find a pair of headphones I enjoyed enough to sell at Gig Harbor Audio (my own store in Washington, serving the local hi-fi community). I wanted something cool looking that produces warm detail like my dad’s Kenwood headphones from 1979."
Read the full article now available here.