Dezeen Magazine

Tube Amplifier by Case-Real for Elekit

Japanese designer Koichi Futatsumata, founder of Case-Real studio, has designed a vacuum tube amplifier for electronics manufacturer Elekit.

Elekit traditionally manufacture affordable, high-end audio equipment in kit form. Fatsumata was commissioned to design an amplifier that would be sold ready-assembled to appeal to a younger generation.

The prototype shown largely follows the established typology of tube amplifiers but the circuitry and mechanical parts that are usually left exposed to aid cooling are hidden inside the steel casing.

Instead, the aluminium top from which the vacuum tubes protrude acts as a heat-sink to dissipate heat from the components.

All the controls have been integrated into two front-mounted aluminium dials.

Photos are by Hiroshi Mizusaki.

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More details from Case-Real:


by Koichi Futatsumata / CASE-REAL

Design of a new generation vacuum tube amplifier for EK Japan Co., Ltd.(Fukuoka, Japan) who develops numerous electronic kits/ gadgets targeted at both children and adults.

Traditionally, the types of assembly audio kits EK JAPAN has developed have been largely for audio or mechanical maniacs, for an affordable price, thereby serving their quality of life by way of spending time to assemble and then to enjoy the audio from what they have made. The direction of a project commissioned to us this time was completely different and was to design a compact, stylish vacuum tube audio consonant with the life style of young generations novice about vacuum tube but are naively interested in the charm and atmosphere created from/ via a vacuum tube amplifier.

The prototype, as shown in the photo, is an embodiment of the concept which symbolically gives an accent on vacuum tubes on the top, supported by aluminum dials on the front integrating all controls thereinto and by the sides made of cast steel. So that a vacuum tube light stands out, the mechanical structure and parts (which usually exposed outside to radiate heat) are kept inside and the top aluminum plate functions as a heat sink instead.
The circuitry a hybrid configuration, and, on the right side is a mini- jack for portable music players like iPod.

[Product]  Vacuum tube hybrid stereo amplifier
[Design]  Koichi Futatsumata / CASE-REAL
[Manufacturer]  EK JAPAN
[Circuit components]  Tone control stage / Tubes (2x 6SN7GT), Power amplifier stage / Semiconductors (IC)
[Rated output power]  10 + 10 Watts
[Rated powe consumption] 38W
[Rated Power source]  100V AC  50-60Hz
[Input / sensitivity]  Rear RCA jacks / 560mV (For component type player), Side mini phone jack / 180mV (For portable music player)
[Frequency response]  5Hz - 50kHz (-3dB)
[Dimensions]  W265 x H103 x D151 (millimeters, including projections)
[Body Weight]  2.6kg
[Special feature] Automatic sleep mode (at no input signal)
*The sale is undecided.