July 19, 2005

Topaz Upgrade Announcement

All models of the Topaz have been discontinued and replaced by the new model version 211C.

Upgraded Features

1. 211 Output Tube using Valve Art

The output tube has been changed back to the 211 type. Previously we switched from the 211 to the 572-10 Svetlana tubes due to two problems that the previous 211 manufacturer from China had. One was fallout of the filaments during shipments. The other was loose tolerance between the carbon plate and the tubular connecting structure causing intermittent ticks that could be heard through the speakers.

These former problems were addressed by Valve Art who now make quality 211 tubes without these previous defects. These improved 211 tubes from Valve Art also sound better than the former 211's and 572-10's tubes which is why we settled on using these.

2. Output Transformers by BARTOLUCCI

The output transformers we are now using come from Bartolucci of Italy and are double C core copper wire wound and differ from the ones formerly used which were using E-I laminations. The double C core type in general have a wider bandwidth than the former E-I type. However we do not find noticeable differences between the former ones from Audio Note. The only reason for changing was due to the company that made these particular ones which we obtained from Audio Note England, went out of business and we could not obtain custom dimensions from their new transformer company, that would fit our chassis.

3. PCB's using precision double turret terminal posts

Our fixed terminal hand crafted printed circuit boards are a new technology used in construction and is a first in the industry. Again Wyetech Labs is at the forefront and is always looking for ways to improve reliability and construction.

Some of the components are mounted on double turret terminal post. The exception are components such as chips and relays [ which are mounted in sockets which are soldered to the board ] and their associated small parts.

The double sided printed circuit board [ PCB ] has been manufactured with the same high standards as that found in the Sapphire amplifier. It has full solder masking on both sides of it's premium glass epoxy board with white silk screening that identifies parts and there placement for fast efficient hand soldering and assembling. These boards are held elevated from the surrounding metal chassis to avoid any capacitive coupling between components.

The double turret terminal post are first swaged to the printed circuit board and soldered into place. After that the boards are then hand assembled with parts soldered to the terminal post. We use WECO screw terminal connections to fasten wires to the PCB to facilitate easier replacement of parts for future reparability and long service life. This technique will result in much faster trouble shooting and repair in the event of a failure and thereby reduce the labor and cost of any necessary repair.

4. Power Supply Upgraded

The power supply is similar to theTopaz 572B model where the High Voltage capacitance has been doubled over the previous Topaz 211A original design.

5.ADAPTER Upgrade from 6BX7 to 2 x 12B4A TRIODES

- lowers the overall gain of amplifier by about 5 or 6 db?s

- lowers the noise floor by the same amount - this lowers the dynamic floor

- gives a greater sense of uncompressed music - Dynamic bandwidth is greater

- gives more precise channel balance - better 3D effect

- more silence between notes from speakers

Adapter consist of a cast aluminum black case,

- 8 pin male socket - plugs into 6BX7 socket

- 2 x 9-pin Teflon sockets for the 12B4A?s

- 2 x 12B4A NOS GE triode tubes

- PCB board where components are mounted

- machined deep red plexiglass cover