In this last post about the fully differential phonostage with D3a tubes, I am sharing some more photos, also with the unit glowing in the dark and some assessment of it's sound.
Here a photo of the phono with the power supply:
As mentioned it shares pretty much the same circuit and parts quality with the differential EC8020 phono.
The D3a tubes glowing away:
8 D3a tubes playing in unison.
So the big question: How does it sound?
This unit shares the same strengths with the EC8020 version. The absence of capacitors in the gain stages shows it's advantage by removing the last bit of grain from the sound and giving extremely revealing timbre and details.
The result is surprisingly close to the EC8020 version. So the sound descriptions given for that one are mostly valid.
The EC8020 gives a tad more resolution, ambience and decay of tones. It is for those who only accept the best of the best.
The D3a however is a close runner up at significantly less tube costs. Let's see how the ultimate version with all silver transformers and plate chokes will do. Stay tuned!