The iTubes project (in English, the electronic valves are called "vacuum tubes") allows to close a circle dear to audiophiles: to bring the iPod into the realm of esoteric systems with a dedicated solution.
The merit of PsiberAudio, a company for the construction of esoteric audio systems created by Andrew Conley. In a long interview for the online magazine Stereophile, Conley recounts how his love for the iPod was born, despite all the doubts of the audio purist, and the desire to create an "esoteric" amplification system tailored for the small digital player of Apple.
A first point, Conley underlines, the possibility of using "lossless" compression formats, that is, without data loss, such as the Apple Loseless Audio Codec (Alac) designed specifically for the iPod and iTunes. A first starting point that could not have developed without having some "valuable" electronics inside the small digital music player.
Fortunately for fans, this is there. Conley reports, in fact, that when he discovered the presence of a high-level DAC circuit he immediately hooked his array of hard disks on which he stored a digital copy without compression lossy of his CDs to the new iPod. The player's capacity is drastically reduced, of course, but the most relevant musical experience for a fan.
Thanks to the iTube SE15 pair, a single-mode KT88 based amplifier capable of 15W of power and to iTube PAS1, a stereo preamp with input selection and passive line level.
The result, intended for a somewhat selected and demanding public, allows you to easily equate the output of the iPod with that of much larger and more expensive systems. Furthermore, unlike these, it also allows you to "detach" the small digital music player from the whole, put it in your pocket and continue listening even outside your home audio dome.
The iTube SE15 is produced in two editions (due to the different voltage in the US and Europe and Japan) and costs $ 900 per pair. The iTube PAS1 costs $ 100 instead. Conley's products are designed in Virginia and manufactured in Singapore, only with handwork and very high quality control standards. Selling only through the Internet worldwide.