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|EICO HF-81: What if we
The Super HF-81
By Jean-Francois Lessard & Kelly Holsten
Just what if we took the excellent little
EICO HF-81 circuit and decided to duplicate all the relevant parts
including the all important output transformers, and make a Super
HF-81 with exposed tubes on a wood chassis with copper/aluminum
top plate? What if you made an HF-81 but sans all the extra switching,
tone controls, and other superfluous pieces of the equation that
serves to cloud rather than help? Would it reach yet another
This amp used a volume pot in front of the amp
with ONE set of inputs. It's was the paragon of simplicity,
more or less. Problem is that it didn't match the sonics
of even a stock up-to-snuff EICO HF-81, at least not in the all
important soul department, something the original HF-81 seems
to nail in spades, all the while providing an amazingly transparent
look into the performance while avoiding becoming a tool for "audiophiles"
to "listen to their systems.".
Ok. In all honesty, I think Jeff has given up making
an HF-81 clone and was just going for a nice EL-84 amp.
And that's what he got. But he is the first to admit, it
was no EICO HF-81.
As for the power transformers, they are notoriously problematic
as they are being taxed. Heyboer, a GREAT company to deal
with, makes a direct replacement PT that's excellent. They
have also supposedly done copies of the original EICO output transformers
but the jury is out on how they compare exactly.