The Delta Studio 6s33s is a new, 100-pound dead weight, stereo tube power amplifier (with volume control), wrapped in a semi-circle of sumptuous wood. With transformers as big as coffee cans, it push-pulls 72-watts in class AB, with the first 20-watts in Class A. Although expensive (priced at 5,000Ä, currently about $5,931), with some prototype nits, the 6s33s is gorgeous in sound and appearance. It is flat-out one of the best amplifiers I have seriously auditioned, in my own home, with my own equipment, for Enjoy the Music.com.
As far as I know, I am the only reviewer to consistently review equipment with big ole horns as reference loudspeakers. By virtue of a new mate, new job, 3 moves and a handful of hurricanes, I listened to the 6s33s amplifier extensively in 3 locations, on 3 loudspeakers - and was always impressed by its golden sound. I listened not only to my big ole horns, but also to their large baby brothers, the two-foot square Klipsch LaScala horns, and a smattering of vintage solid-state and new age, digital class "T" amplifiers. Each offered some capabilities (sometimes for a price) that the others didnít.
Letís get right to it; how did this voluptuous looking babe sound?
The naturalness of the 6s33s midrange on his recordings is peerless, convincing, detailed, coherent and physically present. Johnsonís voice appears with a tumbrel and textural reality. The sonic illusion of a 3D holographic image is as good as any system I have heard.
Warm on the top end, a bit boomy perhaps down below, the Delta Studio 6s33s plays the mid-range with a loving, gentle sound that unites the bandwidth into a coherent and rich whole. Other amplifiers are more extended on the top, better damped on the deep bass, more punchy and dynamic, but this one delivers the joyful effervescence and palatable presence of live music.
On the 6s33s, the voice is cohesive sounding, but I sometimes wished for a sparklingly treble and hard-hitting subwoofer. While the sharp edge of the treble is subdued compared to the Caspian, the tone was enticing and engaging. It sounded a lot less like a recording. The 6s33s amplifier is not a luscious sound, like the Popeís new robes. It is more accurate than that, without being bloated or ostentatious. It catches nuances of Johnsonís voice the Caspian never revealed. You do quickly miss the Caspianís remote control however.
Perhaps the root of the 6s33s amplifierís superior performance is that it brings vocals to the foreground. It excels at vocals like few other amplifiers I have seriously auditioned for Enjoy the Music.comģ. This is also an easy amplifier to play hard Ė it sounds good at low and loud volumes.
I have yet to hear a tube amplifier that has the cement solid feel of even a modest solid-state amplifier, and the 6s33s amplifier doesnít change that. Yet its music is more like the live event, except without the background sound effects playing on the same horizontal plane. While the 6s33s sounds like the mic is down Johnsonís throat, it relegates other instruments to the background. Where the 6s33s subdued Johnsonís rim shots with concert-hall reverb, the Caspian exhibits space around the notes.
harmon kardon 330B Receiver
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Red Wine Clari
With solid-state amplifiers, if any adjustment is made to the volume, it is most often higher, one needs more of the sound. With tubes amplifiers, if any volume adjustment is made, it is most often lower. Neither is completely 100 percent satisfactory to tweaking audiophiles for all movies and music.
Bottlehead 2A3 Paramours
The Paramours are lighter and leaner than the 6s33s amplifier. Their quickness makes percussion enjoyable and lends sheen to cymbal ring. The piano tinkles, but does not crash. Where the Paramours render pianos as delicate, the 6s33s amplifier plays them as strident Ė with energy. It fills in songs, rounds off the treble and makes luscious bass.
The bass booms on Paramours, but does not thunk. While easy to listen to, the Paramours certainly need subwoofer support. You hear the low bass, but with the 6s33s amplifier, you feel it. Bass on the 6s33s amplifier is like a bulky American muscle car. On the Paramours, it is a tight Japanese compact.
The 6s33s amplifier brings out the intelligence of the sound engineerís design: oh, that is why they juxtaposition those rasping notes on Patricia Barberís "Cafť Blue." The logic of tonal contrasts appears as they are meant to. It not only seems to get what music is about, as other tube amplifiers do, but it also has the capabilities to get what the engineer -- probably on solid-state equipment -- was trying to accomplish.
In the past, I gloried in Tracy Chapmaní snappy folk-rock dynamics, but the 6s33s amplifier subdues these effects. It is said amplifier and loudspeaker combinations influence music choices. That is certainly true of the 6s33s on both conventional cones and big ole horns. Although perfectly adept at movies, I gravitated away from slamming rock sessions and yet could not get enough of female vocals (my favorite anyway).
Pass Laboratories Supersymmetry X250
Jaskulowski is a big music fan with a large vinyl collection. He was always looking for perfection in music. For years he was buying, testing and collecting audio equipment around Europe. During his search, he met Kochanski, great amps and transformers constructor also a music fan. Kochanski knows perfectly power tubes construction. They joined together in 1999. After 2 years of search for the best components, such as German capacitors and hand made output transformers, in 2002, the 6s33se was produced. This is the most powerful integrated amplifier in the Delta Studio family.
Enter The Third Man
"I went to Poland to see Witold and his amps. He built kt88 and 6s33se amplifiers for me. Today I'm very happy with my choice. They play wonderful, no problem at all! Any time I can contact Witold - ask him for advice and help. They provide wonderful service and great products. Then I decide that this is the product what customers will be very proud to have, so I start to sell this product in the USA. Thus Hi End studio was born."
Now Szylar offers three Delta Studio models:
Delta 845/GM70, Single Ended Triode, integrated amp with separated power supply.
Delta 6s33s SET, Single Ended Triode, dual monoblock (stereo channels, but on a single chassis)
Delta 6s33s Push-Pull, integrated, 2 power tubes per channel
All models are made for Europe with 230-volts and for USA with 115-volts.
The chunky tubes are produced in Russia for the military use. The tubes require a looooong time to power-up. Turn on the amplifier and then go get your beverage. Szylar says the tubes need about 2 hours to sound their best, but I did not notice any appreciable difference. No tube covers provide safety, but the amplifiers do meet ISO 2002 standards. Specs from Russia say the power tubes should last about 2000 hours. Szylar says they will they last much longer. Replacement tubes are $150 each, from Russia. Play this baby hard and the tubes throw as much heat as a stovetop.
He says their most popular model is KT88 tube because of its high sound quality and high power. Yet it looks like this one will be the most popular. He says after presenting both KT88 and 6s33s, most hi-end customers prefer the 6s33s amplifier.
The amps work without negative feedback Ė which might help explain their never-ending listening pleasure. There is no fatigue with extended music sessions on this monster. Szylar says maximum induction level on the transformer core is about 0.6 Tesla. The size of the transformers, he says, is the compromise between a good quality of high tone and losses resulting from the transformer core, winding and etc.
The amps are made for 8-Ohm load. Szylar says "you can put 4-Ohm load, but the sound quality will be a little bit worse, and you have to be very careful with volume control. We believe that this class amps should match the speakers for the best sound quality." With such large power draw, Szylar does recommend 20-Ampere electrical service.
The gold binding posts are the best possible. Easy to reach and use, as big as a walnut, they fasten any style of cable like an ocean liner to the dock. The posts feel so good, the volume knob should also be gold and beefy.
When you turn on the 6s33s there is a red LED light, which means the amplifier is not ready. Szylar calls this a soft start. At this point you can't play; there is no output power. The only power is to the power tubes. When the LED turns green, it means the tubes are warm enough to enjoy the music. The soft start "prevents to listen music with cold tubes."
Szylar does not recommend power line conditioners. He says the power lines in US are in the good condition, given the some level of power. While a power conditioner is not recommended, he says don't put the massive device on the some circuit with heavy load equipment like a microwave or fridge.
The 6s33s top plate gets hot enough to make toast. Szylar says the top and bottom plates have small holes, but the amplifierís cooling is by the natural air circulation. "It sucks cold air in the bottom and give the hot air on the top." The amplifier, he says, was tested in the very hot environment and was working great, "so we don't worry about the top temperature. What we worry about is to keep [it] out from children."
In his defense, Szylar says the massive amplifier "should not lay on a floor, optimal height is around 25 inches, to minimize sucking in dirt and dust. Perfect [position] would be to stand on a table with a hole in itís deck to allow free air flow. In this position, [the] LED on a bottom side is visible enough and nicely reflects in tableís deck. That was the point." Also, he says, you donít reach power switch over tubes, but from side around the amplifier ("thatís why the switch is close to a side, not central").
The Product Details
A few stores around Poland showcase their amps, but the final order is placed directly with Delta Studio office. Each amp is made on customer order. They match the frame to customerís environment and quality of sound to customer preferences. Price varies with customer specifications.
Shipping is handled by PolTravel company to the USA. Szylar says they provide good and fast service. In the USA, they use FedEx, "but if it is possible, we are going personally with the product to the customer. Customer pays for shipping in the USA, he says, and for the warranty repair if customer is shipping amps to us. "If the damage occurs on our fault, we repair it or give all the cost back."
Fulfillment time on orders depends on model. Usually the 6s33s manufacture time is about 4 to 6 weeks. "This includes not only putting all the components together, "he says, "but also amps must be checked, warmed up and adjusted before they are shipped."
He does not recommend upgrading or modifying their amps. "All elements and parameters are chosen very carefully, passing a lot of tests for the best sound. So whatever is going out of Delta Studio is ultimate best of what you can get from the unit. As I said before, all our amps are custom made according to customer's preferences. Sky is the limit. We can build output transformers with perm alloy core with silver wire clean class 9999, but the price is also affected."
Szylar concentrates on the direct sales. He plans on a showroom in New York city, but right now visits are by appointment only. "We would like to develop a relationship with the group of people, he says, "who are interested and appreciative of a product of this class. In Poland we have a listening/ showroom when potential customers can listen to and pick his/hers favorite model. Sometimes customers come with their own speakers and CD players to make sure they got what they want. Sometimes we are going to the customerís homes, if it's more convenient for them."
I suggest he hook up with the Uptown Horns of Bob Visintainer's Avantgarde Music & Cinema. An upscale audio emporium is the perfect venue for amplifiers of immense quality.
A massively solid, attractive and powerful performer, the Delta Studio 6s33s amplifierís blatant appearance and obvious charms, despite newbie glitches, make it a very enjoyable companion! For those who drive nothing but the best, this is a beautiful looking and gorgeous sounding amplifier any tweaking audiophile would be proud to own.
Power Output: 72 watts per channel
Operation: Triode AB (20W in Class A), Push-Pull
Tube Compliment: two 6S33S per channel
Frequency Response: 4Hz to 82kHz (-3dB)
Distortion: < at 1W/1kHz
Signal To Noise: >95dB
Line Input: RCA
Output impedance: 8 Ohm (4 Ohm optional)
Weight: 100 lbs.
Dimension: 17.5 x 14.6 x 9 (WxDxH in inches)