Sorry ,do you own any Golden Tube product or are you planning of buying one? I would stay away from them.I got a nice story about them,but I rather not say,right now.
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I can't say I agree. I have one and it only gave me trouble after about 2 years of 3 or 4 hour a day use. And that is leaving it on for 12 hours+ at a time which you shouldn't do.
Remember though, unlike PP Pentode amps which are easy on tubes and very reliable, it is a pure class A single ended pentode amp. That means from a heat disipation standpoint, which factors in to how some resitors and caps wear out, it is harder on itself at idle than in usage, because the tubes are "on" all the time, but not moving along with anything. So it runs just a hot or hotter at idle. From my experience. Turn it on, warm it up, use it, and turn it off. It brings the tubes up on a variac so startup doesn't hurt your tubes.
Most of all you will have to maintain this amp. No if's and's or but's as they say. It is a very nice sounding amp though. Most of your problems come from undervalued parts, which should be replaced as they go out or as upgrade. I have a website for you but I can't think of it just now.
You may want to give Jeff Glowacki at Sonic Craft a call. Looks like he loves these amps and will upgrade/repair them for you or sell parts kits if you want to do it yourself. He's a really nice and knowledgeable guy and I'll bet he could answer any questions you have about the differences between the two models.
Everybody thanks for your input. Yes I have the bug to buy a class A system that is not priced out of the ballpark. There has been a lot of news about the SE-40 and I did talk to Jeff Glowacki.
I hate to nip at you but nobody has answered the question. Jeff says the only difference is the special edition has a bigger transformer, (he tried to sell me one). I am curious if there is any sonic difference.
I have a blown system due to an electrical power surge that I can fix our just move on to something new.
I have or had a:
Pioneer tu 9900 tuner
Pioneer ba 3000 Amp
Pioneer ca 3000 Pre-amp
All need serious work.
I will check out the Yahoo Forum. Maybe I should have done that first. Thanks again for the input.