Henry Platt Tube Amplifier & Speaker

At one point, I asked Henry Platt to explain the tube amplifier and speaker system he designed for us and something about why, for those with an interest in high end tube based audio. From the perspective of radionics and subtle energy, a system like Henry's has both technical crossovers—similar components and electronic design to early radionics boxes—as well as in the strong aesthetics of that period. Is it possible that these early warm, analog, pulsing, carbon based electronics capture more of the full bandwidth of nature than our silicon digital tech does today?

From Henry:

"The speakers are Stephens Trusonic 80FR, one of the best full range speakers from the "Golden Era" of American HiFi. They were marketed between about 1958 and 1965 by the Stephens co. of Culver City, Ca, and are still highly regarded by collectors and listeners today. Full Range means that it is only one driver reproducing the full audio range. Therefore there is no crossover network to divide the frequencies between multiple drivers. With single driver you get a coherent sound in the midrange, where in conventional 2 or 3 way speakers there is a crossover network separating the sound between low and high frequency drivers. The result in theory is a more coherent sound.

"Yours are the 16 ohm version and are housed in reflex style cabinets small enough to fit on a desktop but big enough to do some decent bass."

"The Amp is a stereo type 45 Single Ended Direct Heated Triode amplifier. Power output is 2 watts per channel. The driver tube is 6SL7 dual triode. The output transformers are made by James."

"Again, the amp was built with a smaller footprint in order to keep with the desktop theme."

"Single ended means that there is only one output tube per channel, not two in the conventional push-pull topology of most tube amplifiers. The output tube, the RCA 45, is a three element directly heated triode. Directly heated means that the filament is coated with a strontium/barium mixture that gives off electrons when heated. The 45 was designed at the end of the 1920's for home radio use after the first dynamic loudspeakers were invented. By the mid 1930's 45's were rendered obsolete by the introduction of the pentode, a five element tube such as the ubiquitous 6L6 found in guitar amps. Some audio amp builders on the fringes swear that the type 45 is the purest sounding tube ever made. The single ended direct heated triode amplifier and the single full range speaker are the simplest form of audio amplification, and in some ways perhaps the most direct."