What is the Sakuma Amplifier?


SAKUMA amplifiers have caused controversy among many Japanese audiophiles.
Some say "The Sakuma amplifier is the finest for music listening "; while others say "Judging by his circuit design, Sakuma must not understand audio electronics. His amplifier may destroy speakers".
To avoid misunderstanding, To be honest, I admit that most Japanese audiophiles are in the the latter group.


It is 20 years ago.
Sakuma often listened to Be-Bop jazz.
He especially liked to listen to piano played by Bud Powell.

Sakuma had tried many speaker systems: Western Electric, JBL and other famous products. Indeed, their sound is better than most. But these speakers did not completely satisfy him.

One day he bought a Lowther speaker PM6 driver unit.
The looks of it ...so bad! The sound of it too bad !!
And although it seems strange, he chose this Lowther.
He said " In the tone of Lowther, I find something I have needed for a long time.

I did not hear this.
I felt it."

When first his amplifier drove the Lowther, the tone of PM6 unit was too thin.
He began day by day to create an amplifier suitable for the Lowther .
After five unsatisfied years, he mounted an interstage transformer.
Although interstage transformers were considered no good for sound, the amplifier now brought a beautiful mid-range from the Lowther.

Sakuma says "I opened the reference books every day. And then, that old interstage transformer asked me:
'Sakuma, who do you build this amplifier for?
Do you make the amplifier to get praise from electronics teachers?'
Since that day, I have made amplifiers for my own pleasure as an amateur".

He has already abandoned NFB, D/C heating of the final tube's filament, and SRPP.
He changed from capacitor coupling to transformer coupling.

Sakuma says "Many Japanese audiophiles use high power amplifiers to get powerful mid-range and bass. But excellent speakers, like the Lowther and Altec, refuse brute power.
The most important goal is not 'Power', but 'Energy' and 'Frame of tone'.
The only way to get Energy and Frame is to mount the many transformers, although I can't tell you a scientific reason for this".

Sakuma says "It is easy to build from a reference book or from MJ.
But we can not make the amplifier better that way. When I make an amplifier, I listen and listen to music so as to find 'what I need' in my imagination.
Once I find It, the amplifier design is very easy".

The title of his book and the name of his audio concerts is "Rememberance of Sound Past".
This is not to say that we wish to listen old sounds like a music box.
When we listen to an audio system, there is first, our own emotion.
It is the start of audio life. But after hearing many audio systems and reading other's audio reports, we may lose our own emotion.

"Rememberance of Sound Past" is the memory of our first emotions brought forth by music and audio.