Jun 142018
 

As you know, I’m a big fan of EL84 integrated amplifiers, as they provide a live-like musicality that always seems to thrill me!

So when Mark Still contacted me about writing up his hand-crafted Still Audio EL84 integrated amplifier here at Jeff’s Place and for Positive Feedback, I was happy to say “Yes!”.

Adding to the intrigue was Mark’s description of the amplifier as, “Following in the footsteps of Don Garber of ​​fi and Shindo Electronics, making each and every amplifier by hand using the best parts available.  Each unit is a work of art and is meant to last a lifetime.”

Still Audio EL84 integrated amplifier by Mark Still.

Mark’s Still Audio EL84 integrated amplifier is built to a stunning level of quality that I wish my photo’s conveyed, but you really have to hold this one in your own hands to admire its artisan-level craftsmanship in order to really appreciate it!

Still Audio EL84 integrated amplifier by Mark Still.

Like Don Garber, Mark is a big fan of Hashimoto transformers, and his Still Audio EL84 is equipped exclusively with Hashimoto transformers!

Don Garber’s fi 300B monaural amplifier with Hashimoto transformers.

The chassis of Mark’s Still Audio EL84 integrated amplifier reminds me of Don’s fi chassis, which were works of art, with it’s open architecture stainless steel construction. Mark has put some screening around the open architecture chassis to protect creatures with inquisitive fingers or noses from getting accidentally zapped from its electrically charged innards!

Mark says, “Every detail of this amplifier has been extensively researched to find the absolute best possible part available. Everything from the PTFE tube sockets with gold pins for perfect connections to the highest grade transformers I could source.  It’s these types of details that make this amplifier extraordinary.  We did not invest is expensive machined cases rather we chose the highest quality parts.  We found that keeping it cool with the perforated sides to dissipate heat easily was much more important.  All the wire is PTFE (Teflon) coated, Silver tined copper.”

Bottom view with pictorial of the tube complement. All new production Mullard tubes, by the way.

Top view.

“This EL84 based amplifier takes the EL84 tube to a whole new level of sound. Using transformers capable of 15Hz to 50,000Hz gives this amazing amplifier extraordinary bandwidth taking it beyond the hearing of most people.”

Bottom angle view.

Top angle view.

Right now I’ve got the Still Audio EL84 integrated amplifier powering my vintage Altec 832A Corona loudspeakers and it’s sounding mighty fine!

Still Audio EL84 integrated amplifier powering my vintage Altec 832A Corona’s!

The Still Audio EL84 integrated amplifier puts out 10 watts per channel, which is a massive amount of power for my Corona’s, and also comes with a remote volume control (which you can just see in the photo above), which is a really thoughtful touch!

Price for the Still Audio EL84 integrated amplifier is a very fair $2895 USD considering the incredible parts quality and the hand-crafted nature of the amplifier.

I’ll have a lot more to say about the Still Audio EL84 integrated amplifier in due time, and I’ll be trying it in my various systems here at Jeff’s Place and reporting back on the results.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!

 Posted by at 9:56 am

  8 Responses to “Today’s Fresh Catch: The Still Audio EL84 Integrated Amplifier!”

  1. Wow, what a nice looking amp!

    The approach of this ’Still Audio amp’ is very similar to my handbuild Chaos tube amp. Jan Hut, the inventor and builder used only the best (available) parts and the trafos where built based on his personal requirements.

    The Chaos is a 100% zero negative feedback amp. I am wondering is this Still Audio amp also developed by this same approach?

    I am looking forward to your listening experience!

    Siedy

    • Hi Siedy,

      I haven’t yet interviewed Mark about his Still Audio amplifier, but it sounds like Jan and Mark have similar approaches in their design priorities.

      The quality of parts and the fit & finish of the Still Audio EL84 integrated amplifier is incredibly high, and it’s impressive to look at and touch, and of course to listen to music with.

      The Still Audio integrated amplifier has a lot of run-in time it needs to go through to fully develop, but even at this early juncture it is sounding very nice on my Altec Corona’s.

      Much more to come about this one!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  2. Hi Jeff,

    I second what Siedy says. Wow! What a beautiful amp!

    I look forward to hearing more about it.

    Best,

    Pete

    • Hi Pete,

      I’ve got quite a nice collection of cool audio gear here at the moment that you haven’t heard yet, like the Still Audio EL84 integrated amp, the First Watt SIT-3 by Nelson Pass, the Soundsmith Zephyr Mk III and Carmen Mk II phonograph cartridges, to name a few.

      You and I need to get together to do a little listening and to sip a good beverage!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  3. Beautiful amp and I was expecting a much higher price tag. Impressive!

    • Hi Robbie,

      The build quality is impressive. I haven’t looked inside yet, but everything I can see from the outside exudes quality parts choices and a superb fit & finish – a very high-quality artisanal integrated amplifier. I love the size too, it opens up a lot of choices for easy placement.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

      • Hi Jeff, well out of pure luck I now have first experience of Mark at Still Audios handiwork. I just received a 6v6 based linestage created by Mark based on a diyaudio circuit by Salas.

        Mark’s take used massive plate chokes and elevated heaters and is quite breathtaking in looks, build quality and sonics. I’m currently feeding my cs600, and whilst I actually thought the pairing would be redundant, I’m quite gobsmacked at the improvements. I have retained the leben tone, but gained more definition, micro details and imaging.

        Took a good couple of days to tune in, with rectifiers playing one of the biggest parts in tuning. Interestingly the gain staging between the 2 volume controls had a massive effect on tone. With the volume wide open there was too much highs and not enough bass, and a harder sound. For me the leben at 11 o’clock have the old leben magic balance. Can’t quite work out if it’s the sound of the leben pot, or and impedance thing? Have you tried out the cs600 with a pre? Interested to hear if you had a similar experience.

        The funniest thing about all this is I bought the pre without joining the dots between your post and the pre, only dawned on me last night. Was a joint facepalm and fist bump at the same time!

        • Hi Robbie,

          Congrats on the new Mark Stills line stage! I haven’t seen one of those, but if it’s like Mark’s EL84 integrated it’s a beauty!

          I haven’t every tried using my CS-600 as a power amplifier with a line stage driving it, so I’m afraid I’m not much help on that front.

          Kind regards,

          Jeff

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