xDuoo TA-26 Tube Headphone Amplifier

xDuoo TA-26 Tube Headphone Amplifier

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Product Description
One look at the Xduoo TA-26 and it’s clear what the point is: delicate, tube-driven audio. The sandblasted, aluminum alloy shell sits in an L-shape on your desk, leaving both tubes fully exposed Read More

A Preamp That Puts the Tubes Front and Center

One look at the Xduoo TA-26 and it’s clear what the point is: delicate, tube-driven audio. The sandblasted, aluminum alloy shell sits in an L-shape on your desk, leaving both tubes fully exposed. A 6N8P preamp tube colors the sound with a light amount of warmth, while a 6N5P tube buffers the response a bit, adding a soft pleasantness to the sound. With a total harmonic distortion of less than 1%, the TA-26 only colors your music with the right kind of breakup. With high impedance and impressive responsiveness, it delivers a rich sound only tubes can provide. On the back of the chassis, there’s one pair of stereo inputs and one pair of stereo outputs—and both are high-quality, gold-plated RCA jacks. 

xDuoo TA-26 Tube Headphone Amplifier
xDuoo TA-26 Tube Headphone Amplifier
xDuoo TA-26 Tube Headphone Amplifier

Specs

  • xDuoo
  • Tubes: (1) 6N8P (preamp), (1) 6N5P (buffer)
  • Inputs: (2) gold-plated RCA
  • Outputs: (2) gold-plated RCA
  • Frequency response: 10 Hz – 30 kHz 
  • THD: <1% (1 kHz)
  • Power output: 500 mW (600- / 300-ohm load)
  • S/N ratio: 110 dB
  • Gain: +16 dB
  • Input impedance: 60 ohms – 600 ohms
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 4.3 x 6.3 in (25 x 11 x 16 cm)
  • Weight: 8.6 lbs (3.9 kg)

Shipping

Estimated ship date is Sep 16, 2021 PT.

Payment will be collected at checkout. After this product run ends, orders will be submitted to the vendor up front, making all orders final.

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Recent Activity
So, after a full week of use 12 hours a day, I'm rather in <3 with this amp. Ended up going back to and sticking with the RCA 6AS7G and GE 6SN7GTB combo. It is very sweet and hits most all of my sonic preferences nicely. At some point I'll roll in a Svetlana 6H13C and either a Sylvania or Hitach-Raytheon 6SN7, but I'm feeling no great urge to roll from the way it sounds currently. The good: The TA-26 runs significantly cooler than the DarkVoice or TA-03S. The chassis does warm up a bit, especially the housing for the power transformer, but not to the painfully hot temperatures the DV and TA-03 show across the whole unit when used for 12 hours straight. The TA-26 has much much less noise than the DV, still. Pretty consistent with all of the amps from xDuoo I've bought, but very pleasing after fighting with a DV. Every single set of high Ω cans I've used with the TA-26 have worked as wonderfully as possible. Nothing needed me to go past 10 o'clock on the dial. The front facing power switch isn't a giant honking bar like on the DV, and is much harder to accidentally toggle. The volume knob doesn't generate noise when being turned and doesn't seem to have any imbalance. The sockets used for the tubes are nice high quality ceramic with gold plated pin cups. They make very excellent tight connections to the pins on the tubes. The preamp out sounds about as good as one can expect from an OTL triode amp, and very similar to the DV. I think the preamp on the Schiit Valhalla 2 sounds a bit better, but that is likely because it is much more neutral and doesn't have the bottom end bump like the TA-26. That said, if the amps you're going to feed with the preamp out are a bit bass shy, the TA-26 will do a wonderful job. TA-26 feeding TA-03S was not good sounding, giving the TA-03S nasty bloated bass that wasn't good for anything other than EDM (for me). The Meh (I nitpick): The TA-26 does not have a bypass for the preamp out when headphones are plugged in. Without opening the unit up and tracing the circuit, I'm guessing it is rather similar to the DV, and something to potentially mod with a simple cut of a trace, snip of wire, or de-soldering of resistor. Not horrible. Not amazing, not horrible, just meh. The volume knob isn't as pleasant feeling to turn as the DV. It feels about the same as the pot on TA-03S, it has some resistance but not that silky smoothness of the pot the DV ships with. The tube slots are just a bit too recessed, making it somewhat difficult to safely pull/replace tubes unless you use socket-savers/extenders. The stupid railings make it difficult to use wacky tube adapters for stuff that isn't 6AS7/6080. They may be removable, but I've got a feeling it requires complete disassembly of the amp to get at the screws (or nuts). Aside from aesthetics, they don't serve any purpose. I'd rather have a removable cage or nothing at all. Blue LED. Why oh why must these vendors use blue. Just give me a dull amber or green. Hell, I'll take dull red even. Anything but the spot-light blue. It isn't a beacon of blindness in dark rooms like a bunch of gear I've bought, but it is still much brighter than I like. I'll likely slap a square (or two) of kapton tape over it, damn the aesthetics. The bad: Nothing. 100% stock the unit isn't bad. Some silly design choices, sure, but nothing that stands out as a deal breaker. I'm not sure if I like the way it sounds more than the TA-03S. I mean, they're very similar sounding, with the main difference being that the TA-03S has a slightly deeper bass and a bit more recessed treble which is better with brighter cans (like the T1.2). Both amps have that sweet linear big boy triode sound and similar pricing, and to be fair, I'd be perfectly happy using either amp all day every day. The TA-26 has a slight edge in regards to availability of 6AS7 and 6SN7 tubes for rolling, but the prices for both tend to be a bit higher especially for NIB/NOS. The TA-03S on the other hand has extremely limited rolling options for the output tubes, but they can be had dirt cheap and Russian variants (6S19P-VR) can be found that have long lifespan and extreme vibration tolerance. Preamp is a 12AU7, so stupid easy to find for cheap, even NIB/NOS. If you plan to roll heavily, the TA-26 will be a better option. If you want a set it once and forget it (until heat death of tubes), the TA-03S is probably the way to go. So, yeah. I've no regrets associated with buying it. My only problem is the extreme lack of space for my ever growing collection of amplifiers. If I had bought the amp here my review would absolutely be a 5 star and recommend to friends.