The Dust Bowl & Store

Well, folks it’s happened. I’ve designed and built what I (and a few others who have demo’d it) consider to be a really really fracking good amplifier and have decided to take a stab at selling it.

I’d like to introduce The Dust Bowl.

The final Dust Bowl prototype that I’ve been using for a few weeks now.

I chose the name Dust Bowl in honor of the Dust Bowl that caused an extraordinary number people to migrate west in hopes of escaping drought and effects of the Great Depression, only to become migrants in places like the Central Valley of California. Those journeys have been captured in the music of artists like Woodie Guthrie and novels like The Grapes of Wrath. It helped shape music of the American West for years to come. This amplifier pays tribute.

I like naming things 🙂

It’s as old-school as it gets without sucking. It’s all based around the 6C45P-I/E Russian vacuum tube which I was turned on to by another DIYer. I chose a parafeed design for two reasons: 1) I was curious about it and 2) OTL amplifiers are pretty crap for anything not high impedance. I want to be able to use this anything I own, from low impedance planars to higher impedance dynamics like my Sennheiser HD 650.

Some technical highlights:

  • Parafeed topology and all the benefits output transformers give vs. OTL designs
  • High and Low Z switching for high and low impedance headphones
  • Simple and effective circuit (no magic here folks, just a very pure circuit)
  • Power: 678 mW at 20 ohm load, 213 mW at 100 ohm before clipping . Enough power to go deaf for the majority of high-end headphones out there.

Some less technical highlights:

  • 100% handmade from raw materials by one guy (me)
  • Point to point wiring
  • Choice of Red Oak or Mahogany skirt and volume knob
  • 6061 brushed aluminum top plate (all metal working hand done by me)
  • Choice of default Hammond power and output transformers and choke, or upgraded Edcore transformers/chokes
    • Full disclosure, I can’t really hear much of a difference between them, but the Edcore trio offers additional headroom in terms of power handling and power supply noise filtering, theoretically leading to a lower noise floor
  • High grade, non BS-audiophile snake oil components
  • 3D printed custom components
  • Built to order with some customization options available upon request

So far, I haven’t found anything that it doesn’t play well with from the Koss Porta-Pro to Audeze LCD-X.

I hope you’re able to hear one soon and they’ll go on sale at the Yerhot Audio store‘s grand opening on Monday, Aug 17th 2020. Base model is priced at $2,500 USD.

I plan to offer a few other things in the near future there, such as custom wood knobs, enclosure feed, etc… for DIYers who are in to wood stuff, like I am.