Japanese valve manufacturer Takatsuki released its very first valve amplifier, the Takatsuki TA-S01 integrated at the Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show in Melbourne -- a world exclusive for the show.

The official launch of the Takatsuki TA-S01 was spearheaded by Takatsuki’s Australian distributor Finn Bespoke Technology. Designed and built in-house at Takatsuki Electric’s own factory in Kyoto, Japan, the Takatsuki TA-SO1 integrated amplifier is a single-ended triode (SET) design that uses Takatsuki TA-300B output tubes and a Takatsuki TA-274B rectifier tube, as well as output transformers built specifically for Takatsuki by specialist Japanese transformer manufacturer Tamura.

We first heard this amplifier in March this year in the listening room of Takatsuki with the design team,’ said Bryan Fletcher, of Finn Bespoke Technology. ‘It was actually quite a surprise as we were visiting the company to find out more about their valves and knew nothing about the existence of their amplifier. When I asked what amplifier they were using, and they said it was their own development which wasn't released yet. The dynamics, tone, and speed of the amplifier were all very impressive, but at the time, the power transformer they were using was only set up for 120-volt mains. After convincing them to built a new transformer with both 120-volt and 240-volt taps we had to wait for several months while Tamura designed and built those transformers, just in time for us to show the amplifier to the world for the very first time, here at the Australian Hi-Fi & AV show. The amplifier we’re demonstrating here bears the Serial Number 1.’

The Takatsuki TA-SO1 has three unusual controls on its front panel. One is labelled ‘Harmonic Content’ and is reportedly used when you want to adjust the tone of the amplifier to be the same when switching from one pair of speakers to another. The second control is labelled ‘Coupling/Bypass Capacitor’ and our best translation of the explanation of what it does is currently that it ‘Changes the sound’, so we’ll have to get back to you on that one, but apparently it allows you to switch between different types and value of coupling capacitors. The third control ‘Bypass Power Capacitor’ adjusts the level of bass. You can also adjust the bias of the 300Bs fitted to the TA-SO1 using a front panel bias meter in concert with inbuilt bias adjustment circuitry. The power output of the Takasuki TA-SO1 is rated at 9-watts per channel.

The 300B output valves used in the Takatsuki TA-SO1 are also available for sale in matched pairs for use in other valve amplifiers requiring 300B triodes. In Australia, a matched pair sells for $2,350 and come with a full one-year warranty. TA-274 Rectifier valves are also available, at $1,400 each.

Manufacturer’s Specifications: Takatsuki TA-SO1 Integrated Amplifier
Power Output: 9-watts per channel
Frequency Response: 5Hz–60kHz
Inputs: 1×d.c. coupled, 1× a.c. coupled
Input Impedance: 100kΩ
Valves: 12AU7 × 4, TA-300B × 2
Valve Bias: User-adjustable
Power Supply: 1 × TA-274B
Output Transformer: 2 × Tamura F-2007A
Transformer Taps: 4Ω, 8Ω, 16Ω
Dimensions (HWD): 240×440×300mm
Weight: 25kg
Price: $23,000

For more information, contact FInn Bespoke Technology