Full Text Searchable PDF User Manual
Integrated Vacuum Tube Amplifier
pristine soundscapes: hear better, listen more!
WELCOME & THANK YOU
Welcome and thank you for choosing the
integrated compact stereo tube amplifier.
The vacuum tube amplifier you have acquired is designed to give you many
years of enjoyment. Whether you use your new amplifier with a portable MP3
device such as an iPod or Zune, your home computer, or as the heart of a more
traditional audio components system, you will likely appreciate the incredible
sound of this compact wonder amp.
This versatile component can be enjoyed a number of ways:
* With input from CD, DVD, radio tuner, tape or other component;
* Connected directly to your computer
or digital media via a USB port;
* As a high-resolution amplifier for iPod, Zune or other portable MP3 players.
Please read this OWNER'S MANUAL before operating your new tec•
Model “55” amplifier. Observe the safety directions to avoid electrical
shocks or equipment failure due to improper installation!
Our goal is to make available to music lovers and audiophiles the superior sound
of a well designed, single ended tube amplifier for playing analog, digital, MP3
and computer based music sources. The
Model “55” multimedia
music to life
Specially conceived and fined-tuned to meet our specifications and our very own
demanding sonic performances, the
is a high
quality product, engineered and built with choice components. This unique,
amplifier is equipped with a USB compatible D/A interface to allow
the connection of your computer, or digital media, via a standard USB port. The
digital circuit uses the Burr-Brown PCM 2702 chip, a Multi-level Enhanced delta-
sigma modulator accepting 16-bit 44.1/48 kHz two-channel DAC with an integral
8x-oversampling filter. It is fully Plug & Play operation and can be used as a high
quality substitute to your computer on-board sound card. It is compatible with
Windows 98, 2000, XP, and Apple Mac OS X or later.
amplifier operates in class “A” topology, using two
EL84 output tubes, famous for their sonic qualities. A distinctive 5755 tube based
driver and no global negative feedback deliver a
smooth, fluid, incredibly wide and layered soundstage that will amaze you with
great detail and depth. The unusual, well- balanced 5755 input tube delivers
stable imaging and focus. As is known to audiophiles, the
sonic performance may improve after a “burn-in” period [see
Computers typically utilize poor quality sound cards for audio processing, but with the
cable provided, your tec•
allows you to bypass your
computer's sound card so you can hear music from your computer
with much higher
resolution than previously possible.
integrated compact amplifier will perform best
with sensitive speakers [at least 89 db/W/m]. There are many kinds of speakers
available on the market. The
amplifier accepts loudspeakers rated
, allowing you a wide range of choice to suit your taste.
We know you will enjoy your new amplifier.
Hear better, and listen more!
Tube electronics use high voltages that can cause injury or death.
Dangerous voltages may be stored in capacitors many hours after the
unit has been tuned “OFF”.
USE CAUTION! FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!
* OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS *
Before unpacking, check if there is any damage to the carton. Place on a flat
surface with the arrow upward. Carefully remove your new amplifier and all
accessories from its packing carton, and examine it closely for signs of shipping
damage. Insure that the tubes are correctly inserted in their sockets. Make sure
that your amplifier came packed with the following items:
- Power supply cord
- USB cable
- User’s manual with warranty card
Your amplifier is preset to work on your local mains supply voltage. Check that
your local mains supply voltage agrees with the setting indicated on the back
panel of the amplifier. [Some
products are equipped with dual
voltage transformers (which is indicated on the back panel).]
DO NOT POWER THE AMPLIFIER "ON" UNTIL ALL CONNECTIONS HAVE
BEEN PROPERLY MADE PER THE INSTRUCTIONS.
1. Select the suitable input socket on the rear panel for your sound source [CD
or USB, see Note below]. Connect the amplifier to the sound source with the
If you plan to use the amplifier with your computer, connect the USB cable
supplied with the unit from your computer to the USB input on the back of the
NOTE: The USB input has priority. When using the auxiliary input source
connected with RCA cables [for CD, LP, etc…], you must unplug the USB
connector, otherwise there will be no sound coming from the speakers.
2. Connect the amplifier to the speakers with good quality speaker cables. Be
sure to connect only positive (+) wires to positive (red) terminals, and negative
(-) wires to negative (black) terminals. Reversing the phase of a speaker cable
will result in the signals being out of phase and will degrade the sound quality.
Secure speaker connections are extremely important! As with most
vacuum tube amplifiers, powering the amplifier “ON” with one or both
speakers disconnected will generate a very high voltage pulse inside the
output stage. This high voltage pulse could possibly damage the circuitry!
Units damaged by this type of misuse will not be covered by the
MAKE SURE THE SPEAKERS ARE CONNECTED SECURELY!
Connect both Speakers before turning Power “ON”
Never allow (+) and (-) speakers cable to touch during operation! This
can cause a short circuit resulting in damage to your amplifier.
3. Connect the power cord: first be sure to set the "VOLUME" control to the
lowest position and the power switch in the “OFF” position. Then connect the
power cord into the power socket on the rear panel of the amplifier. Next,
connect the other end of the power cord into the outlet. The power outlet, which
the amplifier power cord is connected to, must be the 3-pin grounding type.
Check again to make sure both speakers are properly connected and the voltage
selector switch (located on the bottom of the amplifier if installed on the unit) is
properly set before turning power “ON”.
(III) POWER ON
Your new amplifier is ready for operation after the speakers, power cord, signal
or USB cables have been properly installed. When you are sure the connections
are correct, adjust the “VOLUME" to the minimum and flip the power switch
located on the left of the chassis to the “ON” position. Observe that the LED and
all 3 vacuum tubes are lit. The amp will be ready to play in about 30 seconds.
NOTICE: The sound quality will be affected by all the elements of the audio chain:
recording, recorded medium, source, amplifier, speakers and room. We
therefore recommend that you select quality inputs and quality speakers to
perform with the
While the amplifier should sound fine straight out of the box, you may notice that
your amplifier needs a period of “burn-in" before it sounds optimal. Your unit
should be considered adequately burned-in after the first 50 hours of use.
(V) TUBE BIASING
is self-biasing; there is no need to adjust the bias of the tubes.
The tubes supplied with this unit have been tested prior to shipping and are
rugged and long lasting. Some tube aficionados enjoy trying different brands of
tubes to hear the subtle differences that various tubes can impart. You can
substitute the tubes that came with this amplifier with other tubes of the same
type. For instance, the EL84 power tubes are available from a number of
different manufacturers, most notably Russian, Chinese, and Eastern European.
Tubes are plentiful and are available from
, or are easily found on
the web, or even at music stores that sell guitar amplifiers. NEVER REMOVE THE
TUBES WHILE THE UNIT IS IN OPERATION.
(VII)COMPUTER AUDIO: USE OF THE MODEL “55” WITH USB PORT
WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEMS
When your computer is “ON”, you
will find a new USB device in the “Device
Manager” (Windows XP): USB Speakers. The amplifier is designed for “Plug &
Play" set up and in most cases the audio signal from your computer should play
through the amplifier without requiring any additional adjustment. If the audio
from your computer cannot be heard through the amplifier and you are using
Windows XP, first click on the "speaker" icon at the bottom right corner of your
screen and adjust the sound output to the maximum position. If you still cannot
hear your computer: go to the Windows “Control Panel” and select "Sounds and
Audio Devices" (XP) or "Multimedia" (98SE,
ME, 200). Under the "Audio" tab,
choose USB SPEAKERS for "Sound
Playback”. Your PC sound will now play
compact tube amplifier.
The sound level can be adjusted from the “speaker bar” on your computer.
MAC OPERATING SYSTEMS
Plug the USB cable into the
port of your Mac computer. Select “Sound”
System Preferences. Under the “Output” tab, select “
Speaker”. Your Mac's
sound will now play through the
compact tube amplifier.
Windows, Zune are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Apple Mac OS, iPod are trademarks of
Apple Computers, Inc.
* SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS *
All the safety and operating instructions should be read before the unit is
Keep the safety and operating instructions for future reference.
All warnings on the unit and in the operating instructions should be adhered to.
Warning: Do not expose this appliance to rain or moisture due to the
high risk of fire or electric shock. Do not open the cabinet. Dangerous
high voltages are present inside the enclosure. Only qualified service
personnel should attempt repairs.
1.There are no user serviceable parts inside. Refer servicing of internal parts to
qualified service personnel.
2. Never remove the cover of this product, even when turned “OFF” and even if
unplugged! As with many audio amplifiers, a charge remains in the energy
storage capacitors for some time after the unit has been switched “OFF”.
Touching high voltage parts inside the cabinet can result in electric shock and/or
damage to the unit. This unit stores sufficient levels of voltage and current to
cause serious injury or death.
Each unit has been thoroughly tested before leaving the manufacturer. If the
new amplifier produces smoke, a strange smell, or strange sounds upon turning
the product “ON”, the unit may have been damaged in shipment. If this happens,
immediately switch the power “OFF”, unplug the power cord and contact
for information on the nearest authorized service center.
Avoid exposing this product to direct sunlight, excessive dust, and extreme
heat or moisture. Do not place near flammable objects.
VENTILATION: The unit should be placed so that its location or position does
not interfere with proper ventilation. It should not be set on a bed, sofa, rug or
similar surface that may block the ventilation openings, or placed in a built-in
installation such as bookcase or cabinet that may impede the flow of air through
the vents. Obstructing these air vents may result in malfunction or, in some
cases, fire. Keep this product, 10 cm [5 inches] or more away from walls. Select
a safe location away from children and pets;
tubes are very hot
NON-USE PERIODS: The power cord of the amplifier should be unplugged
from the outlet when left unused for a long period of time.
POWER SOURCES: The amplifier should be connected to a power supply only
of the type and voltage described in the operating instructions or as marked on
POWER CORD HANDLING: Power supply cords should be routed so that they
are not likely to be walked on or pinched by items placed upon or against them,
paying particular attention to cords at plugs and sockets.
Using a damaged power cord, or one with the bare wires exposed, could cause
fire or result in electric shock. When unplugging from the AC mains, never pull
the cord and always grip the plug when unplugging the power cord.
This unit is equipped with a THREE WIRE GROUNDING TYPE AC PLUG. Make sure
the amplifier is grounded by proper use of a three prong grounded receptacle.
OBJECTS AND LIQUID ENTRY: Care should be taken so that objects do not fall
and liquids are not spilled into the enclosure through the openings.
The amplifier should not be used near water, for example, near a bathtub,
washbowl or kitchen sink, in a wet basement or near a swimming pool. Never
place drinks on or near the amplifier.
If liquid should enter the cabinet it can cause malfunctions, electrical shock or
fire: unplug the power cord from the AC mains and contact the nearest
Keep the product away from strongly magnetic objects.
PLEASE FOLLOW THE SAFETY DIRECTIONS IN THIS MANUAL TO AVOID
POSSIBLE ELECTRICAL SHOCK OR EQUIPMENT FAILURE DUE TO
* SERVICING & TROUBLESHOOTING *
The user should not attempt to service this product beyond that described in the
operating instructions. All other servicing should be referred to qualified service
DAMAGE REQUIRING SERVICE
This product should be serviced by qualified service personnel when:
- objects have fallen, or liquid has been spilled into the unit;
- the component has been exposed to rain or moisture;
- the amplifier does not appear to operate normally or exhibits a marked change
- the amplifier has been dropped, or the enclosure damaged;
- the unit will not turn “ON” or will not produce sound in one
or both channels
- there is distortion in the sound reproduction.
Reliable performance will be obtained from the
compact tube amplifier when used according to this user’s manual.
Should a problem occurs, the following troubleshooting table might help you
determine how to deal with it.
What to do
power supply not
check the power
supply cable and
change the fuse
the volume is set at the
turn up volume to the
input signal cable not
check input cables
signal wires are too close
to power supply cable, or
arrange input wires
apart from other
speakers connected out of
cables according to
The vacuum tubes used on the
amplifier should provide many years
of performance. Replacement tubes can be purchased from the tec•
amplifier uses two (2) EL84 inserted in the sockets
close to the transformer cage, and one (1) 5755 inserted in front. The tubes
need to be fully inserted in their respective sockets to operate properly. Carefully
align the pins while paying attention to the pins alignment. When all pins have
been aligned, push firmly straight down to insure that the tube is tightly seated
and connected in its socket. Keep the tubes clean.
Do not attempt to turn the amp “ON” before all tubes are fully
inserted and the input source and the speakers are connected.
The fuse used on the
amplifier is the 5 x 20 mm SLOW
BLOW [SLO BLO] type.
If a fuse needs replacement, unplug the amplifier power cord from the wall
outlet. Open the fuse compartment located under the female power plug opening
on the back of the amplifier. Use the exact same fuse type and rating. The
warranty will not cover damages resulting from use of overrated fuses.
Specifications are subject to modifications without notice or obligation
Speakers: approx. 5Wpc at 1KHz
USB SOUND DECODER
44.1/48 kHz 16Bit
[D/A converter], USB compliant
115V/220/230V AC, 50~60Hz
AC voltage is factory set
DIMENSIONS (L x W x H)
246 mm x 190 mm x 200 mm
approx. 10’ x 7 ½’ x 8’
LINE IN TERMINAL
RCA stereo Connectors x 1
Binding posts x 2
Power cord x 1
USB cable x 1
Net Weight: 8.5KG [approx. 19 lbs]
Shipping Weight: 10KG [approx. 22 lbs]
* Q & A *
Why is the sound so detailed and full
? The use of simple, elegant and
efficient circuitry design with no global negative feedback: we have eliminated
unnecessary components to minimize the amount of circuitry impacting the
signal. The result is a pure, realistic sound in a
detail, resolution and dynamics for which good tube amplifiers are famous.
Why doesn't the Model “55” have equalizers or tone controls?
integrated amplifiers only have circuitry to amplify the signal equally along the
entire frequency range necessary for clear, unadulterated acoustics. The sound
quality of the recording is reproduced with fidelity without equalizers or tone
controls. These controls can be found in pre-amps if necessary.
How about surround sound?
It is our belief that stereophonic sound is still the
best way to create a natural sounding center stage effect for recreating a musical
performance, simply because it does not need complex sound decoding circuitry
that more often than not only might muddle the sound.
How can a low power amplifier like the Model “55” sound as loud as
transistor amplifiers that have 100 or more Watts per channel?
power ratings are NOT a reliable way to determine how an amplifier will perform.
The tests are conducted with a stable, non-musical signal, usually from a white
noise generator with a constant 8
load. So they can boast high power, many
companies design their amplifiers to perform well on the bench tests. Unlike a
constant white noise signal, music provides a much more complex signal for an
amplifier to recreate. In short, the wattage ratings of the typical amplifier tell
you little about how the amplifier really sounds when it plays music.
Does the Model “55” have enough power for my needs?
Single ended tube
amplifiers are famous for providing breathtaking detail and a full, rich sound
moderate volume levels, so that many users find it unnecessary to play
music at high sound levels. The
is not designed for, nor will it
produce, extremely high sound levels. However, when matched with efficient
speakers, this amplifier’s sound will fill a small to medium sized listening
environment with surprisingly full, extremely detailed and realistic high-fidelity
recommend using speakers with a sensitivity rating of at least
89dB/w/m SPL ("sound pressure level") or higher. This means the amplifier
works best with efficient speakers. With speakers of 89dB/W/m, a reproduction
level in the 90dB or more SPL is easily achieved in monitor listening position.
How long can I expect a tube amplifier to last?
compact in size, is built to last. It is engineered to provide a long
life, and is
simple to set up and to operate.
How often will I need to replace the tubes, and where do I get them?
tubes provided with
the Model “55”
are quite rugged and will typically last
many years. The tubes can be ordered from
from any of a number of web based tube suppliers. You can even find these
tubes in music stores that sell guitar amplifiers.
Serial No: ___________________________
Date of Purchase: _______________________
This portion of the Warranty Card MUST BE retained by the Customer. It
must be produced when requesting after-sales service from an authorized
Our products are individually tested at the factory and meet our specifications before being packed and sent to
Products sold by
or its authorized dealers are covered by a limited ninety (90) day labor and parts
warranty [excluding vacuum tubes] counted from the shipping date protecting you against defects in materials and
Fill and keep the warranty card attached to this warranty statement, along with a copy of the original sales receipt
as proof of the original date of purchase. Only one card is issued with each unit and with its serial number.
Under the terms of this warranty, defective parts will be repaired or replaced without charge [except vacuum tubes]
at our location, or at a location determined by us at the time of repair. Return merchandise via prepaid, insured
freight, method and carrier to be determined by
. All returns to us must be made in the original
packing, accompanied by
Return Authorization Number (RAN)
the warranty card, proof of purchase,
and a written description of the defect, and must be shipped to us via insured freight at the customer’s own
expense. Charges for unauthorized services and transportation costs are not reimbursable under this warranty.
You will be responsible for all round trip shipping charges and insurance.
This warranty does not apply to losses or damages occurring during shipping. This warranty does not cover
cosmetic damage or any damage that results from normal use [wear and tear], negligence, misuse, abuse,
tampering, installation error, connection to an improper voltage, accident, improper maintenance, alterations,
modifications, lightning, power surges, or acts of God. Use of any parts other than
may void this
warranty. Any physical or cosmetic damage to the unit other than what is deemed by
& tear will void the warranty.
This warranty does not cover the cost of parts and labor, which would otherwise be provided without charge by
under our standard warranty.
This warranty applies only to consumer use of this product. This warranty applies only to the original purchaser of
this product from
or one of its authorized dealers. Valid only in the USA.
We assume no liability for property damage or any incidental or consequential damage whatsoever which may
result from failure of this product.
SELLER MAKES NO OTHER WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, AND SELLER DISCLAIMS ANY
WARRRANTY OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY
PARTICULAR PURPOSE, EXCEPT IN JURISDICTIONS THAT PROHIBIT SUCH DISCLAIMERS OF IMPLIED
YOU MAY HAVE OTHER RIGHTS THAT VARY FROM STATE TO STATE.
audio, Model “55”, pristine soundscapes: hear better, listen more ! are trademarks of tec•on audio
pristine soundscapes: hear better, listen more!