Me. JEL. Yes.
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Yes, for the last 7 or 8 years I've owned a 45 AMP. First one was Wavelength Geminia monoblocks and currently have a Yamamoto. You will need efficient speakers and it's probably not the ideal amp for large scale (Mahler or Bruckner)symphonies. Given those caveats, the 45 is a wonderful tube that provides lots of SET magic.
I just started using an Electra-Fidelity Sliver 45 SE integrated in my system this past weekend. Although I've been listening to it for the past year in various iterations as it is an amp that is manufactured by my partner and that I will be selling commercially shortly.
If you have speakers that can do justice to 1.5 watts or so of SET amplification (at least 95dB and more realistically 98dB+) I suggest you give one a listen. Also, with the SET 45's there are some tradeoffs and Sibelius mentioned one of them. You should take that into consideration.
Lokie and Shoot4pin or whomever, have you owned other 45s (or 2a3) before purchasing the Deja Vu? You rarely see a used Deja Vu listed on Audiogon and I'd hate to pop for a new one without listening to it first. I'm located on the opposite coast and have no reason to visit McLean VA.
Just curious as to how the Deja Vu compares to the Burgess 45 or Don Allen's 45, or even the Yamamoto A-08.
Truly great thing about Ralph is that while he has his own company selling a certain kind of amplifier (and preamp), he also likes other kinds of amplifiers and other brands and will praise his competition publically.
Not a lot guys out there who are so open minded and generous with their time.
One of the good guys for sure.
Deja Vu is a very unusual audio store. The Deja Vu pushpull amps being discussed here (I own a Deja Vu pushpull 45) were built by a Russian living in the DC area, with the owner of the store providing the "voicing" (he would listen and say whether he liked a particular design or part change). The Russian designer/builder is back in Russia, so newer builds of that particular design are sort of on hold. The store currently is selling amps built by someone in Italy who builds exclusively for the store. These designs are quite special too--they use primarily very old vintage parts, particularly Western Electric parts. The store owner does some of the parts acquisition for the builder. The linestages are custom built (you can have it how you want--with phonostage, with remote volume control, even with built in crossover, and some that are designed with output transformers to couple with an amp with matching input transformers). The store also designs and builds high efficiency speakers, again using some very expensive vintage drivers.
Getting back to the Deja Vu pushpull amps, these were built mostly with somewhat difficult to find vintage output transfomers. Mine have Acrosound TO-330 transformers (ultralinear transformers, but with the feedback loops not used because the tubes are triodes). I think others were built with Chicago transformers as well. I don't use this amp any more, preferring my current 2a3 SET amp, but, that amp costs many multiples of the Deja Vu amp (now on loan to a friend). The store often had some very expensive used amps of other brands on sale from customers who traded in these amps for a Deja Vu 45 or 2a3 or 300B amp.