Red October

The Red October is one of our flagship Personal Audio Tubed Integrated Amplifiers, providing our example of true 300B DHT/SET Sound. This is a sound true to source and without the warm euphonic signature of 60s HiFi being midrange centric. It’s a sound that goes back to Western Electric, where spatial cues held as much import as tone.

Red October Rev 2 includes 2023 tube cage. This change to the metal work allows us to delineate inclusion of the Gen 5 power supply and culmination of 2 years successive efforts to improve this amazing amplifier.

With the inclusion the new tube cage, the transformer cover was raised 2" to allow the cage to fully protect any 300b. The resulting metal work and power supply changes have yielded our quietest Red October yet.

Like the Nautilus, the Red October started as a personal project. It was not confined to a price point, and was not built for the masses, but instead the Red October was built to be the very best amplifier we were capable of building. We took every lesson we learned from the Nautilus, and we applied those lessons to the most legendary tube in the audio world, the 300B.

People love the 300B for its true to life vocal representation and it’s sense of clarity and space, it is the ultimate Directly Heated Triode. The Red October incorporates this famous tube in a circuit that traces its roots back to the Agartha. However instead of a circuit board implementation, the Red October is entirely hand assembled using point to point wiring and turret board constriction. Every component is hand selected and chosen for performance: Jupiter foil wax coupling capacitors and an excellent 24 step stepped attenuator are standard, the Red October has no compromises. Our skilled team assembles each unit entirely by hand. There is not a single IC, voltage regulator, or silicon chip in the Red October, this amplifier is built in accordance to classic techniques and will last a lifetime because of it.

Our goal with the Red October was to honor the 300B, to do so we did a classic implementation with a single gain stage, zero feedback, and close attention to grounding techniques. The result is a deeper connection with your music, and an inky black background on headphones with no hum noise.  

The font end of the Red October uses a 12AX7 as an input tube. We chose this 9 pin high gain front end due to its ability to deliver a faster and more lively presentation. It also helps that 12AX7s are accessible in both old and new stock form. The front end of this amp is paired with a massive tube rectified dual mono power supply that ensures tight bass and earth shattering slam on any headphone you plug into this amplifier.

While the Red October may look like a single amplifier, it is actually true dual mono amplifier built on top of a single chassis. The only shared components are the input tube, volume control, and output jacks.  The power supply, power transformers, output transformers, and even the turret boards are all separate. The result is class leading mono block performance with the convenience and ease of a single chassis.

When people talk about ampsandsound products, they often talk about our transformers. The Red October uses the best transformers we have ever developed. The power transformers are massively over spec’d and the output transformers have an incredibly wide bandwidth and provide the Red October with shockingly low distortion measurements given its single ended nature.

Like the transformers we have taken great pride in our metal work. The Chassis is hand fabricated and built with 10 gauge steel. The result is a 68 pound amplifier that feels solid as a rock. To give the Red October a clean look, we covered the transformers and power supply with a gorgeous damped cover.

While many things set the Red October apart from its peers, its most unique feature is the different output impedances, 5 in total. Unlike others who use voltage divider networks to create these different impedances, our transformers are wound with taps for each impedance. The result is the ability to perfect match the Red October with nearly every single production pair headphones in existence (as well as speakers). This also gives the Red October five distinct sonic profiles for every headphone allowing the listener to choose what sounds best to them.

We call the Red October a tube integrated amplifier for personal audio use because it also contains a speaker switch and a pair of 8ohm binding posts on the back. With 8 watts of power, the Red October can easily power a reasonably efficient pair of speaker to deafening levels. The speaker selection switch allows you to select between the headphone outputs and the speaker outputs enabling the Red October to truly be the center of your audio system.

When it comes time to connect your components to the Red October, you have two choices, a pair of high quality single ended RCA inputs, and a pair of XLR inputs. The XLR inputs us a input transformer to convert the incoming balanced signal to a single ended signal for the amplifier. The input transformer allows you to retain all the benefits of balanced cabling along with providing better bass and a quieter background.

The Red October is everything we could have hoped it to be. It is truly a marvel to behold, and we are proud to call it our new flagship amplifier.

Input sensitive: with 12AX7 input @ 2V P-P

Noise: @ 300ohm/HiZ 1.1mV RMS

Noise: @ 100ohm 1.1mV RMS

Noise: @ 32ohm 650 µV RMS

Noise: @ 8ohm LoZ 530 µV RMS

Max Power @    8ohm   @ 8 watts RMS

Max Power @   32ohm   @ 6.2 watts RMS

Ultra-wide bandwidth; 10hz to 24khz @ 1 watt -2db

Compatible with nearly every headphone.

THD 1Watt @ 0.307%
THD 2Watt @ 0.415%
THD 3 Watt @ 0.519%
THD MAX @ 0.533%
Noise ACV=0.120mV 

Power and Noise specs are dependent on tube selection.

Actual size is  13”deep, 17.5” wide and 8”tall. (70lbs)

Amp weighs in at 70lbs/100lbs shipped in a large Pelican style case.

Black base/Matte chrome cover. 

Additional colors are possible as a special order... please call or email for details.

All ampsandsound amps are handmade in Southern California with custom hand-wound output transformers and U.S. sourced parts.

Our amps are hand-made by a small team with quality being our first priority.

Additional colors are possible as a special order... please call or email or for details.