CanJam SoCal 2015 Member Table Frank Cooter
When Warren Chi said there would be a curated member display at CanJam SoCal 2015, my instant response was, "Will Frank Cooter be there?" Yes, he's that amazing.
This year Frank's creation is a rare re-creation of an amp he created last year. Commissioned by Jude Mansilla, founder of Head-Fi.org, this amp is designed to mate the current top-of-the-line Stax SR-009 with the classic sound of direct heated triode (DHT) tubes to produce a somewhat meatier sound than usual from these fine headphones.
The power supply chassis incorporates five regulated power supplies: 700 Volt; 400 Volt; -125 Volt bias supply; and two separate filament supplies, one for the main 845 tube and one for the remaining tubes.
The main amp chassis holds a three-stage, single-ended, DHT tube amp. Input stage uses a type 76 triode tube with a constant current load on the plate directly connected to 6V6 tubes prior to the interstage transformers. The main power output tubes are DHT 845 tubes that drive the custom Electraprint output transformers, which split the signal into the high voltage balanced signals needed to driver the stators of the Stax SR-009.
I had a nice listen and, boy, this amp does provide a tasty grunt for the SR-009. Jude has a little slice of heaven coming his way!
Now, I said above that this amp is rare because Frank has a practice of only building one version of each amps he creates, usually timed to be ready for a big California meet. He always has a theme or particular goal in mind as he makes his amps, and his interaction with folks at the meet is a measure of how well he has succeeded in meeting his goals. The amps are always stunningly beautiful. Frank says the woodworking and electrical design aspects of his hobby share equal importance and satisfaction for him.
And then, when the meet is over and Frank has received his feedback and had a good time with folks, he disassembles the amp, re-stocks the parts, and starts all over again. It reminds me of the Buddhist monks that make the sand mandalas and then destroy them when the ritual is over.
Frank is not a prolific poster on Head-Fi, but he does maintain ongoing relationships with members that share his interests and says a lot of his on-line activity is by PM as he gives and gets advice in his area of interest.
He's an absolute treat to have in the community and a pleasure to chat with as you'll see in the video.
Click here if you can't see the video.