English Valves Amplifiers

Minuet' ...Construction

Casing The Amp

The aluminium chassis of Minuet' is of modular construction comprising nine laser cut and pre-formed sections which when assembled form a very strong, light framework for all the components to be attached. There are no printed circuit boards, all the wiring is 'point to point' using the tried and tested feed-through system where silver plated insulated pins are pressed into holes allowing connections to be made both sides of a panel, a method adopted by laboratory and military equipment designers.

Minuet' internals

The handmade casework is of 1.5mm sheet steel with stainless steel perforated grill inserts and manufactured by one of Europe's top metal fabrication companies whilst the substantial knobs and feet are machined in solid stainless steel, the nuts bolts and washers throughout are also of stainless steel. The stainless steel insert grills are secured by a very high performance "Two Pack" Epoxy adhesive which is normally used in aircraft and F1 race car construction, it has the added benefit of insulating the case from the hot grills especially those located on top of the output valves.

The control knobs are unique, being made of two pieces; the core is machined from billet stainless steel whilst the collar is of Acrylic. The collar is illuminated blue when running, the brightness of which is adjusted by a small switch on the rear panel. When in standby each collar is lit by a red bar at the top.

Parts In Particular

Wherever possible English made components are used, thus the selector switch for instance is a very high quality Lucas Mil spec item, all the other parts are of the highest quality. You will not find any esoteric, expensive and irrelevant parts, all the components used are standard 'off the shelf' items selected for quality and dependability.

The output transformers, the heart of a push pull valve amplifier, are handmade to our specifications and although loosely based on the LEAK Stereo 20 design, they are optimised to deliver the best sound. The secondary windings can be altered by means of soldered links to cater for speaker impedances of 4,8 and 16 Ohms and although this is a little inconvenient it ensures that all of the transformer windings are used all of the time unlike many amplifiers that used taps which leave some windings unconnected and thus inefficient. Closely coupled multiple windings ensure a minimum of magnetic leakage and self capacitance to promote stability and high frequency response.

The HT system is smoothed by three big value smoothing capacitors and contained within the amplifier, each capacitor some 10 times the value of many similar amplifier HT supplies, this is to ensure stability but more importantly to provide adequate energy at very low frequencies thus Minuet' can resolve frequencies well below 10Hz with speed and ease.

Throughout Minuet's design, a 'less is more' approach has been adopted, there are as a result, a minimal number of components needed and used to achieve the desired result.

Hi-Fi Pig

"...one of the best valve amplifiers of the 50s, and indeed all time, but now it's even better"