Certain "unusual" aspects in my schematics present mysterious contradictions and may raise doubts in some minds. You may say this is not a volume control but rather a tone control because it interacts with my intentionally mismatched input transformer.
But who has such doubts among those who have attended my audio concerts in Japan and Europe?
I understand that your doubts are grounded in accepted theory. I know this because I had to work through the barriers of convention myself. Now I assert that theory in electronics reference books took my favorite music from my life for a long time.
I think an amplifier builder should consult with himself and his amplifier before asking the reference books and authorities.
It is only after much cut-and-try that I find my best matching point for audio. The tube manual is like a telephone book. It gives perfect numbers. It is useful to make it possible to speak with a girl- but we cannot see her beautiful face from the mere telephone number.
To get the best sound from a tube, even if the proper match is 5K, we will try 7K. And we try these "mismatched" values with input transformers and other parts.
A few days ago, my friend, an experienced craftsman, painted the chassis in dark brown. I begged Kuniko, my wife, to cover the chassis with a soft cloth so the fresh paint won't be damaged.
I want to mount the parts soon but this big chassis, 65cm wide and 35cm deep, absorbs all the power from my body and heart.
For five days I have worked and listened to music, watching the chassis in repose on a round table. I keep the chassis like a wine. This is the most important technique of my craft.
There are two key matters in building amplifiers and audio systems.
One is to recognize the value of family and one's many friendships.
The other is inducing cooperation between human and machine.
After many hours of listening to music together, the chassis seems to recognize "who I am." It turns from mere sheet metal into the chassis for my amplifiers. I can then imagine the perfectly built amplifier. This moment is the end of my design, my planning, and yesterday's me. Now I must play my self ad lib.
It is easy to build from a reference book or from a magazine. But we cannot make the amplifier better that way. When I make an amplifier, I Iisten and listen to music so as to find 'what I need' in my imagination. Once I find that, the amplifier design and building are very easy. I take a screwdriver and mount all transformers and other parts in about one hour.