New for 2017+
F-7189-II (MK2) Integrated Tube Amplifier (20W+20W)
F-7189 has always been a Limited Edition model for the tube connoisseurs and purist who likes the EL84/7189/6BQ5 tubes so much and wanted more power. In previous generation, the predecessor - "F-7189a" (the designation "a", meant it must uses the 7189 version A tube), it was designed for the extended power rated EL84M and 7189a tubes only to put out 17-20W per channel depending transformers.
And this very latest generation, the F-7189-II, it has gone thru a complete redesign for an extended power of 20W output power. We have put in our best ever design that will run all variants of EL84 / 7189 / 6BQ5 tubes to have the same output power without using the scarce and expensive EL84M/7189a version of tubes. It also feature our latest two stage SEA-II Drivers design - more headroom, more dynamic, more gain, more punch, with a two-stage driver design, versus the singe stage driver as the previous SEA Driver design. Of course, to put out more power means a far more complicated/ precise calculated design, more parts, and a more critical / serious power supply design is required, in order to come up with the same quality and reliability.
So what makes the F-7189-II even more precise and different to other EL84 / 7189 / 6BQ5 amplifiers?
- Output Transformers - They required bigger ones, and we picked the very best Hammond 25W (oversize) for this important duty
- Power Transformer - It required a bigger one with higher voltage at 300V vs the usual 275V-285V for standard EL84/7189/6BQ5 application
- Choke Transformer - it has been upgraded to our own Triode Lab's choke made by high-end M6 metals, its beefier and better - and quieter!
- Upgraded power supply : Needless to say, due to the extra output power, a more complicated / higher design for the raised operation voltage, the main power supply is beefed up.
- The ground loop design on the 7189A is also revised and enhanced, along with above upgrades in the power supply, we were able to measure S/N ratio better than 95 db (Conservative rating, we really saw 101 db coming!), and this reads EXTREMELY quiet, total dark out noise floor.
- What makes the F7189-IImore serious regular to race tracks? a power regulation stage is added to the screen grid, a mosfet chip is applied to regulate and stabilize the power supply, and a heat sink is in place for the best optimal result - it does get hot there. It does not just make the amp runs more quiet and efficient, but it also extend the life of the tubes, also increase the accuracy of the circuit , which enable generating more horsepower!
- Last but not least, a spark killer circuitry is added at the AC Inlet, to shield/protect surges and noises. (When you turn off your old tuner while the amplifier is still ON)
- And this is how serious and how far we go to make this very high quality 20W (at 3% THD with Hammonds).
This is easily the best EL84 / 6BQ5 / 7189 machine on the planet now, and with great real-world driving power for most speakers. Standard premium parts including:
- Alps Japan Blue Velvet Volume Control
- Finale's Pink-Lingu RCA Jacks - Choices of one single set of RCA for purest signal transfer
- CMC USA Binding Post
- Mundorf Germany Evo Oil Caps/ Nichicon Coupling Caps (Total 6 Coupling Caps vs 4 Previous gen)
- Furutech Japan Gold AC Inlet IEC
- QQQ Japan Industrial Grade Rectify Tube Socket
- Hammonds Canada Complete Set of Four Transformers
- Finish : Finale's Satin Black (20% Gloss on Matte Black), or Triode Lab Matte White . Add $150 for other Finale / Triode Lab Colours
- We can also further upgrade the transformers, capacitors and connectors for the serious individual.
- Class A/B
- Pentode Mode
- 20W + 20W
- 0.6V Input Sensitivity @ full power (Which mean even you have weaker source such as tapes or tuner, you will still have good boost/gain)
- 22W Max (when equipped with Hashimoto output transformers)
- Preamp Tubes : 12AX7 Pair (The Quieter = The Better)
- Rectify Tubes : 5AR4 / GZ34
- Output Tubes : EL84's / 6BQ5s / 7189's
- Speaker Output Switch : 4-8 or 8-16 ohms
- Dimensions: 18"W X 9"D X 7"H
User Manual for F7189a Original Pre 2016 (PDF files)
MSRP: $3,499 USDWith Hammond Output Transformers/ $3,899 USD With Hashimoto Output Transformers / SIO Caps
DO YOU KNOW: Part 2
Using an audio grade transformer is important for providing high quality sound. This is why we always try to use brand name audio transformers that are designed specifically for tube applications, and are well-tested for safety, with solid quality control. As experienced tube amp repair specialists, we see a lot of import and budget tube amplifiers that use low grade transformers - even though they may claim they are "in-house built” or “made with high grade materials.” We, on the other hand, love using brand name transformers, and the cost alone of the set of Hammond transformers we use on the F208a is more than the selling price of some low grade EL84 amps on the market.
F-208b EL84/6BQ5/7189 Entry Integrated Amplifier
- Edcor USA Output Transformers (Standard for F208b)
- 6 Ohms or 8 Ohms Speaker Output (Free choice)
- Class A 10 Watts in Ultra Linear Mode
- SEA DRIVER Design
- Hammond Power Supply Transformers
- Mundorf or equivalent coupling caps
- Finished in Matte Black / Hammertone Silver Gray 2016+
- Options available, from connectors to transformers.
- Add $500, upgrade to F-308b (15W+15W Class AB Autobias, Upgraded to Hammonds Canada HiFi Push Pull Output Transformers)
MSRP : $2,399 usd/cad for F-208b
MSRP : $2,899 usd/cad for F-308b (Shown below)
User Manual for F208's / F308's / F7189a (PDF files)
DO YOU KNOW: Part 2 cont.
So why should you care about the quality of your transformer — what are the down sides of using a poor-quality one? From our extensive experience of fixing tube amps over the last 30 years, we know a poor-quality transformer can induce hum/noises, reduce output power greatly, fail prematurely, have output imbalance (one channel makes 25W while the other 22W), cause poor measurements and instabilities to endanger the circuitry itself (or your speakers), and lastly, the thing we worry about the most is, in a word, safety — a poorly-built transformer is a time bomb...especially the low price/high power ones: Be warned.
Finalé F-208a / F308a / F-7189a Stereo Tube Integrated Amplifier (DISCONTINUED)
- 10W Class A for F-208A & B / 15W for F-308 / 17W-20W for F7189a-MK1
- Push Pull Class A or Class AB for F-308 / F-7189a
- Driven by SEA Driver with 12AX7/ECC83 Per Channel - Our all time favourite pre-amp/driver tube
- 0-4-8 Ohms Speakers Out (16 ohm available)
- Last MSRP $2,099 USD - $3488 USD
- Made 2009 - 2017
The F-208A is our highest dollar-to-refinement ratio amplifier. This unit combines the most silky, high-quality playback with 10 Watts of Class A, real world drivability. Fully automatic, it needs only 6 tubes and is ready-to-play without the headache of matching the EL84 power tubes (however, you will want to match the two 12AX7 pre-amp tubes).
Although it is an integrated unit, we find that the superb inner details, proper weight and joy of music, real life transient speed and quiet, stable operations will beat a lot of the current pre-amp-power amp combinations — especially if you are looking for the best sounding EL84 Integrated Amp under $2K.
On second thought, forget that -- we have heard, serviced, and seen tons of tube amps around the world, new or old, entry or exotic -- and, regardless of price, this is one of the best you'll hear, period!
Customer feedback #1 : (Direct and copy 100%)
"It was apparent that my expensive 140 watt transistor amplifier could not handle the bass and musical demands of my 91 dB/8 ohm loudspeakers. A professional recommended trying a tube amplifier and a friend recommended Tube de Force.
As it happens, for a dedicated audiophile like myself this was almost a life changing moment!
My Finale F 208 costs much less than the solid state, provides at least twice the quality and many times the enjoyment! Absolute bass control, staggering detail, and luscious high end. Tube de Force nailed the specifications and loudspeaker pairing when they built my amplifier in just three days. It was in my house within a week of ordering it! Great service, very helpful suggestions and a totally awesome product. I just wish I'd have found them earlier and afford even more thrills via their higher end models!"
Customer feedback #2 : (Direct and copy 100%)
"I know a reasonably priced 10 watt amplifier shouldn't be considered "Great" but yours is at any standard. Not broken in (less than 5 hours use), it is much better with the Gemme audio Vivace's than Bryston and therefore many other solid-state amplifiers. I have had Bryston, Audiomat Opera and Aurum Acoustics (NFLD) and yours is lots better. Shocking really. Listening during a quiet evening has provided my best CD experience with orchestral, jazz and even pop/rock. I enjoyed about 8 CD's all of which sounded much better than I have ever heard. "
Customer feedback #3 : (Direct and copy 100%)
"Next subject is the F208 I purchased from you. Wow, this amp is a staging master. It has authoritative low frequency, smooth mids and light, airy and delicate highs. I paired it with LSA 1's and it is a match made in heaven, talk about organic. Absolutely no listeners fatigue and the listening session intensifies as the hour go by! What continually passes thru my mind when listening is 3D, this sounds like 3D. It reminds me of the first time that I witnessed color TV! I am using the tube compliment that you recommended, EH 12Ax7's and SovtecEL84's.I experimented with a few other NOS 12AX7's but always preferred the EH's, talk about cost effective. Thanks for recommending this to me."