Tube Preamplifier

During the progress of making my portfolio I had to make some nice photos of all my important projects, one of them is my tube preamplifier. I built it about two years ago but didn’t find the time (and also due to the fact that I didn’t have a appropriate digital camera) to make some photos.
It is part of the “product lineup” of my private (and rather imaginary) audio brand, SonicEclipse.

The SonicEclipse Toccata is a tube preamplifier based on the Orthophonic IVc circiut by Raphael-Audio.
It utilizes 4 12AX7 tubes for amplification and has an inbuilt phono stage, alltogether you can connect 4 sources to the Toccata.
The retro futuristic design combines high tech appeal with the classical looks embossed by the golden aera of tube amplifiers.
The brushed aluminium, the switches and the Mahagoni pickled plywood also remind you a bit of old airplanes and Buck Rogers.
But the housing is not only a “nice looking shell” but it has also some technical senseful aspects, so are for example the tubes not directly exposed to the outer world, they are protected by 3 highly polished aluminium sheets, which reflect the smooth glowing of the tubes when the amplifier is switched on.

Dimensions: 80x320x220mm (HxWxD)
Weight: ~6kg
Frequency response: 20 Hz-20 kHz/4 Hz-244 kHz (Phono/Line)
THD: 0,7 %/0,01 % (Phono/Line)

Since the text and the photos are part of my portfolio, I’d also like to know what you think of these things. :wink:

Wow, thats really nice, good job.
Only suggestion would be to continue the wood around the front, or maybe just get rid of the two screws on the metal front panel.
I’ve always been partial to tubes, they’re just so cool (eg: Mesa-Boogie amp, or VTX amp.

I like how you are both hiding and showing off he tubes. Most tube gear has the vacuum tube fully exposed, and I’m kinda tired of the effect.


It’s very cool.

One small point, on the back of the unit where you have all of the inputs and out puts, I would make sure all of those fastners are in the same orientation. On such a simple, clean product, little stuff like that is a nice touch.

Wow. Where can I buy one? :smiley:

The photos that you have posted don’t look bad at all; the lighting is a nice change from the usual super bright, stuck-in-a-snow-storm look that a lot of product photography has, even though it appears rather dark in the thumbnails.

You might try photographing it with other audio/music in a stylish setting to give it some scale and context.

The only negative is that I didnt see a good shot of the front of the unit where the switches are.

Well… first of all, thnx for the comments (gives me a push in the “looks like I don’t do too “bad” design” :wink: ).

In the “I didnt see a good shot of the front” point I’ll have to agree, but I made about 100 pictures of the amp, and I also did make pictures from the front, but I didn’t have eneough patience to browse through all of them.
For me it’s not possible to make a picture of the amplifier sitting in my rack togehther with the other components because of the lighting (the photos were done in my flat), otherwise I would have definately made some. :slight_smile:
Anyway… since this was the first time I took some pictures for about 1 1/2 years I’m pretty satisfied with them. Some areas could be a bit lighter some a bit darker, but hey… that’s why I posess photoshop. :smiley: :wink:

…now I’ll just have to find a company for my internship. :confused:

Hmm… talking about the photos.

I think you need a light source from the front, or at least use a white board to reflect some lights. Right now the back ground is too bright.

You need to learn how to get the right focus range. If you can, set the aperture lower to have a deeper depth of field in order to get more parts of your model in focus. You will need longer shutter speed though.

If not, set your camera further and use the zoom instead of taking shots with dramatic perspective for overall shots.

Very cool project. Good execution too.

Did you use pre-existing components (ie, repcakaging an existing pre-amp)? I ask, because the front panel looks a little off. Specifically, the rotating knob in the middle. Perhaps it is the photo though. I second the request for a shot of the front.

You have created a very unique and interesting form. Thanks for letting us in on it!