All rights of photos and text reserved. Usage of photos or text from my blog on other websites or for any other purpose only with prior permission. If you want to use any material from my blog please contact me by email.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Silver 10Y Line Stage


Yet another silver vs copper comparison. I finished two line stages which are supposed to work with the previously shown all DHT phono stages. One implemented with silver output transformers and silver autoformer volume controls, the other implemented in copper.

Both of them sound great and proove again the superiority of the 10Y/801A family of tubes for linestage use IMHO. Those thoriated tungsten filamentry triodes are capable of an incredible resolution and reproduction of all nuances of tone colours.

But yet again the silver version has an edge over the copper line stage. Especially in the goose bump section. For example Elvis' voice on the song 'fever' seems to come even more alive. The tone colors in the bass are more defined and show more nuances especially in very low notes.

So far my experiences with silver transformers have been quite consistent. They can improve an already very good sounding design. Albeit subtle the differences are easily audible. The next step will be a power amp with all silver transformers.

This comparison again showed why the 10Y/801A type linestages are my favourite. No matter if built with silver or copper transformers. The silver gives a slight advantage and is worthwhile to pursue if the budget allows it. However silver should only be considered if the entire amplification chain is already on a very high level.

Best regards



  1. Hi Thomas,

    the version with the white covers seems to have no volume attenuator? This is a quite puristic version with only two steps.

    Best regards,

  2. Hi Bernd,

    well observed! This linestage is used with an external attenuator. The same intact audio unit just in a separate box with remote control. The switch selects between two step up ratios of the input transformer. The other linestage has the same, using the silver LL7903Ag only with the selector switch at the back.

    Since both of these linestages will be used with the DHT phono, which has very low gain, they have one input equipped with step up transformers.

    Best regards