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RMAF 2015: VK Music for the tube-loving everyman

The modest Victor Kung

The modest Victor Kung imitating speaker stands.

Victor Kung is a sweet, soft spoken guy, who hails from my hometown of Vancouver (OK, it’s really COQUITLAM), British Columbia. He is VK Music, and you should check out his gear. It’s just some of the funnest, little kit and pre-built hifi I’ve stumbled across in a while.

In talking with Kung, it became apparent that he has a crazy travel schedule as he plies his fully-built and kit – DIY – Japanese-built, tube-hybrid amplifiers, CD players, DACs and speakers all over the world at hi-fi trade shows. He’s full of energy and just a genuinely nice guy. I kept seeing him constantly as I marched from the “Tower” to my hotel room, the restaurant, the bar, and pretty much anywhere I went because he was set up in the lobby at the Marriott for RMAF. And I always looked at his gear that was practically pouring off of several tables because there was just so much of it. But a sweet little Elekit hybrid tube stereo amplifier (tu:tu:) kept grabbing my eye because I had seen a mock-up of the design years ago and always thought it attractive in a very modern/Danish/Japanese kind of way.

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22 (tu:tu) Hybrid amp

22 (tu:tu) Hybrid amp

The little amp that could

The little amp that could (one day be mine for review). $625 USD, 6SN7GT tubes, 12 watts, 15~30,000 Hz response and weighing in at a svelte 1.6 kg.

I only had a chance to listen to a little Elekit PCL86/14GW8-based tube amplifier running through tiny speakers that Kung kept raising to ear level to demonstrate how deep their soundstage went… and I was floored at how good this strange little set-up sounded. I could definitely see this being an end-game system for a desktop or laptop-based computer audio system with a decent DAC.

Desktop end game

Desktop end game

I’m hardly an expert in computer audio, but I know what I like for sound, and this little kit had all the tube goodness going for it that I love – only smaller – and certainly doesn’t break the bank with many of the items I saw running around $200~$350 USD. If you’re in the market for something small ‘n sweet, look up VK Music.

–R

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About Rafe Arnott (325 Articles)

Editor and Creative Director for Part-Time Audiophile & The Occasional Magazine.