Raspberry Pi gets real valve sound

10 May 2016

Pi 2 Design has launched a Hybrid Tube Amp shield for the Raspberry Pi on Kickstarter.

The new shield is intended to bring the rich warm sound of tube amplification to Raspberry Pi users. The 503HTA Hybrid Tube Amp HAT will work with any of the 40-pin Raspberry Pi boards and is designed to drive 32 - 300 ohm headphones. 

The device is built around a 12AU7 (or 6922) tube gain stage, driven by a PCM5102A DAC to give a solid-state Class-A output. The -112db THD PCM5102 is converts the Pi’s I2S Stream to drive the Single Triode Tube Stage at 24-Bit up to 192Khz Frame Rate. The 503HTA also has on-board regulators to power the HAT and the Pi from a single, 24V external supply.

The design is derived from the Bravo V2 architecture with recommended modifications such as: IRL510 Output Mosfet; Regulated Heater Voltage to reduce cross-talk; Adjustable Plate Bias for Tube Rollers; Nichicon MUSE Output Capacitors; and Jumper-able output impedance of 1.5, 32 and 100 ohm and switchable gain selection. The 503HTA supports both 12AU7( ECC82) or 6922/6DJ8 (ECC88) type tubes. Individual Anode Bias Adjustments plus selectable Series/Parallel Heater Drive ensure other tubes can be used. www.tubedepot.com can suggest alternate options.

The kickstarter can be found here. 

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