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Friday, June 15, 2018

The 46 drives 46 Amplifiers - Part 3


As mentioned in part 2 about the 46/46 mono blocks, I built a second pair since the first set got delivered to it's new owner.

Here some photos of the second set and some further thoughts about the 46.

This set was finished in April already and used for demo at the High End show in Munich.

Shown here with globe 46 tubes.

The 46 continues to amaze me and especially in this 46 drives 46 configuration.

Here with ST shape 46.

The 46 trumps the 45 in terms of midrange magic and tone. With the right speakers it delivers a full spectrum and is capable to reproduce large scale orchestra without any trace of break up. It can deliver solid and powerful bass. Only in terms of high frequency resolution thoriated tungsten triodes like the Elrog ER300B or 801A have a slight advantage.

These 1250 Milliwatts tend to sound like much more power. When pushed to the limit they clip gently. Like hitting a cushion. They are perfect proof that the first Watt is the most important. So better just have one Watt, but the best possible one, instead of high power output. Of course speakers in the 3 digit sensitivity range are necessary to experience the magic of the 46.

Although the 46 seems to get hard to find I could source quite a few more. This box just arrived:

And there is another layer of tubes below. Some more are on the way to me and together with the tubes I already have in stock, ensure that many more 46 amps can be built and replacement tubes are available for many years.

Best regards



  1. How much are these beautiful amps? The 46 has been my favorite tube for years.

    1. Please email me for pricing. There are various options regarding choice of transformers

  2. Is the 46 your favorite output tube now if power isn't a consideration?

  3. I've heard that the 50 is also a very fine sounding output tube with similar attributes. Have you compared the 46 vs the 50 before ?

    1. Such sound impressions are subjective. Always listen for yourself what you like best and don't give a damn what anybody writes about sound (including me ;-) )

  4. I have some NU type 45s that are actually 46 with internal rewiring. Nickel anodes. Really weird, there must have been a shortage of 45s or something.

    1. Apparently that was done for various types. The 46 probably was not very successful and this way they used up some stock