Audio Tekne top end gear?

Has anyone ever listened to Audio Tekne's top-end gear? Their MC equalizers? preamps? amps? What did you think?

I just saw an older pre with phono section for sale (on auction) yesterday. I did not buy it but was sorely tempted as I know of Imai-san's reputation for excellent transformer-coupled circuits and attention to low-level signal purity. I probably should have bought it anyway but I thought I should get rid of some other stuff first.
Nobody has ever listened to top end Audio Tekne gear? [bumping the thread]
I've heard the current Audio Tekne phono stage and it's the best in my somewhat limited experience. I'm trying to sort out how this compares to the Allnic's which seem simular, the shindo's and the Doshi. If you check Albert Porter's system, he recently dumped his Aesthetix line & phono for the Allnic pair.
Thanks. I agree that the Audio Tekne gear is similar in spirit to Allnic - the other "all-nickel" transformer gear which appears to use transformer coupling extensively in pres and phono stages. I don't much about the Shindo and Doshi - certainly not to know if they have a thing about nickel too (though would have figured if Nick Doshi is using the JH50 as a building base, saturation might be an issue (for Allnic and Tekne, the tubes appear to be run at lower voltages)). I saw Albert's change and await his further comments.

I wondered whether I should just take the plunge but decided not to. Funny thing is, a similar vintage pair of Tekne 2A3 monoblocks has just come up too. Don't know what they originally went for but the newer versions of the 300B PP amps are serious yen (and not much of it is spent on making it pretty).
I actually got the amps. They are pure Class A, tube-rectified (5Z3), all transformer-coupled, PP 2A3 monoblocks. They were, as advertised, an older pair. Initial listening tests were better than I expected but they do not wield tremendous amounts of power. I will try them on 8 ohms tomorrow to see if that does better. I expect in the end I will have to use them only for the mids and treble if I keep them.

I hope to get in contact with Imai-san this week and find out all I can about them.
Hi Every one:

I like to clarify some of the info on Audio Tekne. Unlike most other high end tube amp manufacturer, Audio Tekne only believes in push pull circuit with triode tube. In past, you may see some Audio Tekne in SET format, but their actual top level component are all in push pull circuit with triode ( 300B or 6S7G )tube. Mr. Imai, he believes only such way may able to bring out the lowest signal. So in this regards, Audio Tekne is different from majority of low wattage high end amp manufacturer which are mainly SET circuit. Of course, some of you mentioned transformer, Mr. Imai also makes his own transformer with permalloy but the basic design and philosophy are already different than most others, therefore the sound is also different. Here I like to add my own comment, by comparison, Audio Tekne is more into revealing, "original sound" kind of quality , and not into warm , sweet and beautified kind of sound. But you have to hear them with yourself in order to hear the difference.

Yujean Kang
Tangram Audio
US Importer for Audio Tekne

Thanks very much for clarifying that. Most of that info seems to be available in Japanese on Imai-san's website but while some of the site is in English, it is not entirely understandable in some cases.

The ones I bought are an older model of push-pull 2A3s. The model name is the TM 8401. Would you have, or be able to obtain, any info on them?
Hi T bone:

It looks like really an older version, as I say before Mr. Imai is no longer making amp with 2A3 tube, now only 300B or 6AS7G. In Mr. Imai's own view 6AS7G is more quieter than 300B therefore currently the top of the line such as TM-9502 are in 6AS7G tube. I can ask Mr. Imai about your TM-8401 and let you know once I have it. Most Audio Tekne's power amplifier come with only 8 or 15 watt and I may believe your TM-8401 probably only have about 8 watt may be. So you need a speaker with at least 94db. If you need to see more Audio Tekne's info in English you may go to my web-site

I would have said they were 10+ years old. I'd love to have any info Imai-san could provide.
T-Bone, weren't you in Japan? If so, why don't you look Imai-san up? I visited him at his shop some years back, which was in Hachioji, Tokyo. He is quite a nice fellow, and has some rather exotic gear (particularly if you like turntables).

hth, jonathan carr
Jonathan,Thanks. I am in Japan and will look him up. His website suggests he is still in Hachioji. I did not know if he was amenable to a visit. I'm going to bet he has something like a Final which has been tweaked within an inch of it's life.
T_bone: No, Imai prefers things that are less commonplace and more creative (^0^). I'm the one who has to be satisfied with a Final (^_^).

Most real craftsmen who love what they do are genuinely concerned about their past creations, and want to make sure that each piece is behaving itself, giving satisfaction to its owner, and being treated well. It's a bit like having lots of children (smile).

I'll guess that you'd enjoy the visit, and Imai-san would appreciate having you bring the 2A3 monoblocks for him to verify.

cheers! jonathan
Recently I heard Audio Tekne on Warsow 2013 Audio Show.
It was first time I have ever seen it, and I was attending several shows in the past 15 years.
In summary: The most liquid, transparent, velvet harmonically rich sound of tht particular show.
I did not like thatarly Luftwaffe look, though.
Fortunately they hire some beautiful hostesses to look at :)
They are transformer coupling obsessed, as source 15 years old Marantz CD was used CD-16, of course transformer coupled (19.000Euro) to pre amp.
I could never believed that that old CDP could sound like that. Later they changed to TT (not Audio Tekne TT), it was first time I have ever heard that switching to TT degraded the sound. I figured it out that TT was not transforer coupled to pre hence degradation. I wish I could afford that ugly gear. Total for speakers with external crossover, preamp, monoblocks, coupling CD transformer was ~200.000 Euro.
But it sounded like that, it was really special.