Neuhaus T-2: An Odd Hybrid Tube Amplifier
By James Grahame
The Neuhaus Laboratories T-2 amplifier is a strange beast. On one hand, it features six vacuum tubes in a push-pull configuration. The signal path is kept clean by eliminating bass and treble controls. However, it also has a newfangled USB input that drives a 44.1 kHz digital to analog converter. But that's not all... there's another TOSLINK optical digital input in case you want to hook up a DVD player.I'm somewhat baffled. If you're going to make a fuss about creating a clean and simple analog signal path, keep it that way. Don't add a couple of DACs because chances are that the converters in your CD and DVD players sound every bit as good. Keeping digital interference away from your glorious tube circuit is far more important.
Those criticisms aside, the T-2 is a nice looking amp that offers a handful of old fashioned analog inputs. The $795 list price is reasonable, and I appreciate the inclusion of a genuine ALPS motorized volume attenuator and a basic but functional remote.
The piano black glossy front panel is understated and the stainless steel body reflects the plethora of tubes in their best light. You can connect analog devices using three sets of gold plated RCA inputs, and the amplifier is capable of putting out 20W x 2 (presumably into a 4 ohm load). The output transformers are "homemade" (not a marketing term that instills great confidence) and the circuit incorporates slow start power on to avoid damaging your speakers.I only wish they'd release a simplified version without the digital bells and whistles. It would cost less and probably sound better.