valve amplifiers and high efficiency speakers

Kees Olaf: Supply chokes

This is not to "reveal the best choke"!, an effort is made to describe the typical sound of each choke to ease up a possible choice!

Type Corematerial Induction/DCR
Tango CD80-12wn 45% Permalloy 45He/30mA/390ohm
Tamura A394 unknown 30He/40mA/740ohm
Tribute "custom" Amorphous 65He/15mA/380ohm + 65He/30mA/190ohm


This is the system used:

What music?:

The supply choke under test was each time placed as second supply choke, being in between driver and powertube.
Differences in sound due to different impedances and inductions were taken into account (experience?). Each time the voltage was adjusted (when necessary) so the adjustments of the tubes were the same throughout the test..

First impressions/sound descriptions!

In about 3 weeks a final evaluation/test will be given! At that time everything will be "played in".
Then the following chokes are also evaluated:

01-11-2002The big comparison test is a fact!!

These supply chokes are tested/listened to in the Single Ended amplifier as described above.They were placed in between the driver and powertube. The choke is not exposed to a big supply ripple here and is thus evaluted on its audio capacities only. These results reflect only the sonically differences between the chokes so that an eventually choice can be made easier. Our own preferences are not mentioned, we have tried to point out that feature of a choke which is, as we see it, important to the music. Tamura's A4004 and A4006 are still to be listened to, sorry for that...

...the chokes under test...

The chokes, with a highlight on the good points:

Preciser defining:

Type Emotion Timbre Space Quietness Precision Rythm Energy/power Naturalness
Tamura A394 good good good good top good good top
Tamura A935 good good good good good good top good
Western Electric good top reasonable good reas/good top good good
Audionote good good reasonable good good good good reasonable
TangoCD12-180wn good reas/good reasonable reasonable reas/good reas/good good reasonable
AE 6-chamber moderate/reas reasonable moderate reasonable reasonable reas/good good reasonable
AE C-core moderate/reas reas/good reasonable reasonable reas/good reas/good good reas/good
Parmeco moderate reasonable moderate moderate reasonable reasonable good reasonable
Tribute 1in-2out good reasonable moderate top reasonable reasonable reasonable good
Tribute 2in-1out reasonable good reasonable good good reas/good top good
Tribute amorphous good reas/good good top good/top reas/good reasonable reasonable


That's it! Kees and Olaf really have been busy... The description is meant to be as a guide if you're planning to buy supply chokes, but are not sure which one to buy. I must emphasize that a good supply choke really can make the difference! More than you'll think of! Not every available supply choke is listened too, only (most of) the better and more expensive models, the ones you don't "just buy" to discover later on that it sounds not to your likings. Prices are not given, keep in mind that if you're buying one of the Japanese products, you'll have to add almost as much as the cost-price to get them home (shipping&customs)! the background you can see the tubes used in this test..