Sunday, 26th October 2014.

Posted on Friday, 10th October 2014 by Auw Jimmy

Ken sent me more pictures. It would be interesting as the production is entering the final stage. I will not write much about this transformer as I have done that in my first post here. Feel free to check the first post.

So here you go. We can see the layers of the windings are neatly aligned. I have ever done windings of such transformer and to be honest, it’s not easy to have such neat work.



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Posted on Friday, 10th October 2014 by Auw Jimmy

I have spent quite a lot of time to find a good transformer maker who can build something “beyond ordinary”. That means something standard (or a bit above standard) is no longer interest me. I spend hundreds of emails to talk and ask – from East to West. Some of the manufacturers are able to build what do I want, but they are not able to convince me that they know what they are doing instead of just like agreeing what I’m asking – that gives doubt on me. Some other manufacturers simply just insist to build based on what they have (and they know) – that’s good, but simply not what I want.

After spending hours to chat, email, and browse, finally I meet Ken from J&K Audio Design. Previously, he was the owner of DIY Audio Guide. Later then he decides to run his transformer business. One thing that interests me is his “bravery” in playing with “fire” (means high quality materials). I rarely see someone who really cares about power transformer – like I do – and I see that on him. After several emails back and forth, I finally come into conclusion to order something special (probably really special) from him. He probably have said silently that I’m crazy…

Not quite sure if he agrees with me, but probably this custom power transformer is also his first ultimate power transformer. He categorized this as Level 4. Normally he tells me that he build only up to Level 3 (and that’s also quite rare).

Beside ultimate materials used, this power transformer also designed with all techniques used in designing output transformer. I can guess some of his techniques, but will not explore more here. At first, Ken tells me that it’s useless to use output transformer design in power transformer. He agrees that  I will gain some benefit but (probably) not much. Power transformer is designed to run at lower frequency, while output transformer is designed to have widest bandwidth (completely agree with this). So probably just not worth with the cost to apply output transformer’s style as it will require more precision work and longer working hours – which translated to higher bills on me.

But sometime when we have reached certain point, going back even an inch will be regretted for the rest of our life… So be it! Be something that probably no one has gone before.

This custom power transformer is expected to upgrade my current Z11 power transformer for my Aikido PreAmplifier. It will be a split transformer for High Voltage and Filament.

I will not spend too much time talking here. Below are some pictures from him. You should upgrade your camera, Ken! ;-)

First picture, precision CNC machine is working to create custom size bobbin.

CNC Precision Cut Bobbins

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Posted on Wednesday, 27th August 2014 by Auw Jimmy

There is an interesting website which allows us to simulate the triode loadline, or in other words: Triode Loadline Calculator. The link is here. You can easily drag-and-drop the curver inside the chart to simulate the impact on other parameters.


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Posted on Sunday, 17th August 2014 by Auw Jimmy

I got this Tymphany driver from broken Bluetooth speaker. First, I don’t expect I would see anything special inside a broken Bluetooh speaker. But I’m wrong. The driver used is Tymphany (Peerless) P830985. I believe the name/numbering format is following old Peerless standard – and yes, this is Peerless (now Tymphany).

The problem is actually quite simple. It seems the speaker has been dropped from a distance. Therefore, the basket (which made from plastic) torn apart. Usually, most brand will use metal as basket which is quite rigid to hold such pressure. But as this is only small 2.5″ full range driver (and to save cost for sure), the basket is made from plastic. It’s good, until you drop it.


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Posted on Sunday, 17th August 2014 by Auw Jimmy

When enough is never enough! I think that would be a proper statement for this new approach from Kharma. Welcome, the Kharma Exquisite P1000 amplifier.

I have no plan to talk about its specification. You are free to visit Kharma’s site directly here.

I have more interest to show its special ‘crazy’ feature which I don’t think anyone ever done that before…


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Posted on Sunday, 10th August 2014 by Auw Jimmy

Year 2014 could be an interesting year for DIY audio. I just came across Audio Note website and found that Audio Note planned to launch a new electrolytic capacitor. More in here.

I think Audio Note has same problem with me: we are lacking of good or reference electrolytic capacitor. I might have my own solution here. But it seems Audio Note is also working on their own electrolytic capacitor as shown below.

Their first line will be available around September 2014 which will be named as “Audio Note (UK)™ Electrolytic Audio Capacitor”. Closely after that, on October 2014, they are planning to release higher grade model which named “Audio Note (UK)™ KAISEI Audio Capacitor“.

Kaisei in Japanese sometime pronounced as “改正” (Gǎizhèng) or ” 海星” (Hǎixīng). The second one means  a “Starfish”, while the first one means “Update/Revision”. If I could read Peter Qvortrup’s head, then I think the idea of the name should come from the first one.

The “K” signature reminds me of the ancient Black Gate capacitor – which is closely related with Audio Note and Peter Qvortrup.


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Posted on Friday, 18th July 2014 by Auw Jimmy

First, I need to say sorry because I haven’t updated this blog for quite some time. Crazy busy with my daily office life. I have some good stuff on hand, but unfortunately don’t have much time to take picture and upload to this blog.

Second, I got email last month from Rob ( regarding my ‘No Name’ Capacitor. You can read his comment yourself below.

I believe the SE45 definitely could have used of big capacitance of the ‘No Name’ Capacitor. And surely with its internal 4-pole construction, it will bring a lot of benefit in terms of the noise filtration, which translated into a better musicality and excellent speed/dynamic. Not mentioning it was specially tuned for music (well, by me off course!).


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Posted on Sunday, 18th May 2014 by Auw Jimmy

I’m quite sure most people will know this name ‘Jupiter Condenser Co.’ and its famous brand, Jupiter Beeswax Capacitor. I don’t really remember if there is any other brand using ‘beeswax’, but I can say that Beeswax capacitor is Jupiter.’

Unlike other brand which has moved to Copper foil long time ago, Jupiter is still consistent with Aluminum foil. One reason (probably) to maintain the affordable selling price. Other reason probably they have reached what they want in terms of sonic signature with the Aluminum foil.

Long story short, I received email from Christopher Young from Jupiter Condenser Co. He was asking whether I’m interested to try their new capacitor, with Copper Foil. Definitely I didn’t mind to try, but I also didn’t want to get it for free (as I always tried to be neutral when sharing my findings).

Chris didn’t mind, so he sent me an invoice, I paid it instantly (thanks to Paypal), then within around 2-3 weeks, finally I got his new capacitor.

I still remembered my first online transaction (probably over 12 years ago). I needed to go to a Bank to buy money order, sent by airmail to the seller, waiting him to clear the money order, then finally he would ship the goods, plus another few weeks waiting before I could get the goods. Now? Instant payment within minutes to anyone anywhere the world (though 3.5-4% charge by Paypal is a bit too much if you are paying more than 1K USD).

The first thing that I noticed when I received the goods was this is quite small capacitors. I just couldn’t believe how small it was. Well, I knew that size meant nothing ;-). Other capacitor that I could recall having similar size is Mundorf Supreme.

Jupiter is using pure silver leadout, similar with Jensen and Duelund. The leadout is soft one, also similar like Jensen and Duelund. Very different with Mundorf which is using a bigger diameter leadout (and also stiffer one).


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Posted on Sunday, 11th May 2014 by Auw Jimmy

This is one of the measurement device that has been on my list for a while, it’s HP/Agilent 8903B distortion meter (well, Tektronix AA501 is also on my list). It’s a solid unit with combination of low distortion oscillator and analyzer (which lacked on HP 8903E model). The B version has more feature than the A version, but both offer similar combination of oscillator and analyzer.



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Posted on Sunday, 11th May 2014 by Auw Jimmy

In order to have better view (and better understanding) of how stuff works, especially in audio, I need to have more testing equipments. Unfortunately, those are quite expensive for a person who is doing this as hobby – like me. So one by one and step by step is the best way to acquire them.

One of them is below, HP/Agilent 5328A Universal Frequency Counter which covers up to 100 MHz. Not quite sure about the age of this device, but this device was introduced roughly on 1976 by HP, later taken over by Agilent. It has 8 digits (1+7) and mine also comes with nice Digital DC Voltmeter option.


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Posted on Sunday, 11th May 2014 by Auw Jimmy

It’s time to replace battery on some of my measurement device. And surprisingly, it’s not easy to find good (and safe) replacement. For some of you who never (I hope really-really never) got problem with battery, probably you will not realize how important to replace your battery and find a good/safe one.

We often forget to replace the battery on our measurement device – like multitester (AVO meter), LCR meter, temperature tester, etc. Especially for you who doesn’t use those device daily. The device left inside the shelves for months (or years) then once you want to use it, boom, it doesn’t work. When you open the device, you see some leakage from the battery. This is very pain story and bigger chance your device is broken permanently (lucky if you can fix it). Been there at least once, and I swear that I won’t let it happens again.

There are several options that we can take.

First is to find a safe battery. It’s not easy, but usually this comes from personal experience. Some brand are well knows as easily to leak, and some has good reputation of being very solid. I’m not preferring any brand, just try to show some local option available.


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Posted on Thursday, 1st May 2014 by Auw Jimmy

Long time no post. Quite a busy months. Let’s start with a simple one. All photos were taken with my Nokia Lumia 1020. I was too lazy to use my DSLR for this purpose ;-).

During some ‘cleaning house’ session at the weekend – few weeks ago, I just realized that I have an old Marantz AV Amplifier, PM400AVK. I still remembered that this unit was quite problematic (bulging capacitors, some problem on the driver, etc). Was too lazy to repair, so this unit was stored under the table for long time. Before throwing them away, I thought it would be good to salvage some parts from the unit.


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