This high-end amplifier sounds equally great with speakers and headphones

CNET | 5/25/2019 | Steve Guttenberg
Click For Photo: https://cnet2.cbsistatic.com/img/-QO_sna83eQDj15jwdJW_zmbSzc=/756x567/2019/05/23/d1c4f2cb-02b1-4a72-9def-ac96732453ae/00000lta-integrated-amp-front.jpg

Linear Tube Audio is an American high-end company that specializes in producing tube electronics designed by David Berning. That's interesting because Berning has his own company, but the components it produces are a lot more expensive than LTA's. Both companies offer designs that are radically different from traditional tube amplifiers, and don't have the euphonic sound most people associate with tubes. Case in point: The LTA Z10 is a stereo tube integrated amp that produces incredibly clear sound with speakers or headphones.

The Z10 has five analog-only inputs (four RCA, one XLR balanced), tape input and output jacks, two 6.3mm headphone jacks, an LED that's easy to read from across the room and a linear power supply.

Class - AB - Watts - Channel - Speakers

It's a Class AB amplifier rated at 10 watts per channel with 8 ohm speakers, 12 watts for 4 ohm speakers. That might not sound like much, but we're talking about quality not quality of power here. The Z10 played loud enough for me.

The Berning's tech is one of the reasons the Z10 sounds more transparent than any comparably priced tube amp in my experience. The design uses two 12AT7s, four 12AU7s and four EL-84 tubes. Where most tube-based power amplifiers use special transformers to couple the power tubes to the speaker outputs, the Z10 does not. Instead, the design features a zero hysteresis transformer-less technology patented by Berning. The result is an amp that runs much cooler than most tube designs, which leads to longer-than-average tube life expectancy.

Z10 - Aluminum - Chassis - Fern - Roby

The Z10's black aluminum chassis is designed and made by Fern & Roby in Richmond, Virginia; the electronics are hand crafted by LTA in Takoma Park, Maryland. The Z10 build quality and parts selection are exceptional and use expensive Belleson regulators, a remote controlled stepped attenuator (volume control) with Vishay Dale resistors, Mundorf capacitors, etc. It's labor-intensive...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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