Amps&Sound Kenzie Encore - New Acquisition

Just unpacked and set my new headphone amp… Amps and Sound Kenzie Encore. Very sweet indeed…Source is imac Roon>Meridian Prime DAC/AMP


Every time I’ve heard the Kenzie, I’ve always loved it’s tone and detail but the staging always gets me…

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Definitely sweet stuff. Beautiful device.



I have been using a base Kenzie with outboard input transformers for almost two years. At the time I ordered mine the Kenzie Encore had not been introduced yet. With HD800S I have felt no need to upgrade once I settled on the tubes I preferred. I ordered my Kenzie with the 32/300 Ohm taps and listen to the HD800S using the 32 Ohm jack, following the 1:8 rule.

It is easy to find matched wartime RCA 1626, not so easy to locate the better sounding brown base Tung Sol 1626. As far as input tubes my favorite 12SL7GT is the RCA grey glass. Very liquid midrange with punchy bass and silky highs. However if you want the best SQ possible I found the 1960’s vintage Telefunken 'Diamond Bottom" ECC801S (adaptor needed) to work best for my ears in my system.

The Kenzie sounds just fine with the stock tubes but the benefits to rolling in the tubes I mentioned are clearly audible. Because they sound so fine it is very hard to locate the RCA grey glass 12SL7GT and Tung Sol 1626 but pick some up if you see them from a reputable supplier. You want the Tung Sol with the brown bases, not black by the way.


There are lots of choices when it comes to input tubes 2C52, 12AT7, and 12B4A output tubes…

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What input tube are you running there?

Input tube is 1963 Telefunken Diamond Bottom ECC801S using an adaptor. I have tried them all: 2C52, 12AT7, and 12B4A etc. Favorite input is the Telefunken ECC801S with Tung Sol 1626 power. Second place is 1940s RCA grey glass 12SL7GT input with 1940s RCA 1626 power.

With the Telefunken ECC801S I don’t miss the Tung Sol 1626 so much, for a while I had to use RCA 1626 until I located some more Tung Sols last year. If you decide to try the ECC801S it is best to only get the Telefunken Diamond bottom from the 1960s as the later Siemens are inferior.


I have the 12SL7 grey glass and 1626 RCA variants. I have the same adapter, and a slew of 12A_7 family tubes, most from US manufacturers.

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