EL84 prOTOtype Phono


L4 EL84 integrated amplifier with phono stage – the ultimate vinyl / EL84 integrated amp.

SKU: EL84-Integrated-plus-phono Categories: , , ,


 If you love EL84 Amplification , Tube rectification , Ccore transformers  and built in high end RIAA phono stage then the prOTOtype is for you! One room in my house if full of about 1000 vinyl records and a pair of Tannoy 15″ speakers – I thought why not have an all in one EL84 15W amplifier with a built in high end tube phono stage – i can plug my turntable and speakers directly into it – and while we are at it use tube rectification , big Audionote Film caps through out and a serious 12at7/6n6 driver stage – well it took a while to engineer but here we are and the sonic results are stunning!


The Design

Leveraging the knowledge of our popular  L1 EL84v2 and L3 Phonov2 products   we thought we would integrate  an all in one EL84 15w  integrated amp with built in phono and at the same time  take the EL84 section up to an extreme level by focusing on the several new enhancements.


  1.  Triple C core EL84 output transformer pair
  2.  5AR4 tube rectification
  3. Increasing foot print size for the big FILM cap positions
  4. New Driver stage with a single 12at7 and a pair of 6n6p drivers
  5. Full L3 v2 Phono stage with large film cap footprints
  6. New Screen Regulation for the EL84s for amazing dynamic impact
  7. Large EL84 Mains transformer

The end result was stunning beyond my wildest dreams!


A single Board design made for the shortest possible wiring from the phono section direct to the line board

We are pleased to introduce our new EL84 integrated amplifier with built in L3phonov2 !! We’ve given it the name “the prOTOtype” even though it’s the culmination of a long evolutionary road. We started prototyping phono stages in 2005- I was a huge vinyl fan and 10 years of evolution /listening and tweaking resulted in the L3 phonov2 and the L5 phono – at the same time we started EL84 amp development well over a decade ago with the entry level L1 el84. Several enhancements were made over the next few years (L1 EL84v2), but there was even more that we aspired to in the next generation product – for example 5AR4 tube rectification in the power supply- New Screen Regulation for the el84s and a new front end 6n6/ 12at7 stage- at the same time we thought : lets integrate our latest phono technology into this product such that all the grounding is shared and we have a one box solution- no cables – plug in your MM turntable and your speakers ! The ultimate system downsizer product!


5AR4 Tube Rectification

Gorgeous Tube rectification to top off this amazing EL84 amplifier – that makes 10 tubes in this unit and 8 film caps! A serious piece of kit!

New Driver Section – 12AT7/ 6n6p

We implemented an ultra Dynamic Driver circuit to drive the EL84 output tubes – the drive stages consists of a single 12at7 input gain tube ( there are some excellent NOS tubes available) and then each channel branches off to its own 6n6p Driver tube – these tubes are really magnificent and create amazing dynamics in the music!


Phono Stage

We are using the L3 Phonov2 stage in this EL84 integrated amplifier – the good news is that you have room for Large FIlm caps and Larte Resistors so ideal for DIYers who want to put the ultimate parts in ! we already supply Non Magnetic Takmans and AUdioNote coppers or Tin !  the stage uses the 12ax7 input driver gain stage and a 6922 output = its a zero feedback passive RIAA section using high quality REL caps for the accurate RIAA values! the design is dead quiet and has about a 40dv gain which is plenty for MM cartridges and high output Moving coil!


Triple C core Output transformers for EL84 15W

we use our custom designed Triple C core output transformers (6 ohm) for the output stage – incredible output transformers designed to get the maximum sonics out of the EL84 tube!

Sonic Review

When the first “prOTOtype” was finally ready I started listening and was impressed with the overall dynamics and soundstage, but I made a couple of tube changes- I happened to have  a Telefunken 12ax7 for the phono stage input and a NOS 6922 for output – wow nice improvements and so smooth! – then I added some extra stock Duelund caps on the 12ax7 section at the input to the phono section- now I was really starting to feel the elusive magic – I thought that I better have a quick  listen to a track to confirm my initial senses – I put on the Heart “Dog and Butterfly” album. I have memories of this album from years ago, but it never really occurred to me to actually listen to it again as I felt had heard it enough times, and felt it really wasn’t going to present anything new to me – I have to admit it just happened to be lying on the top of a pile of records , and I thought I’ll have a quick listen to one track to check the sonics of the new amp!

Well listening to the first track second side there was some serious hard rocking going on with major bass drum action – it was a live cut on this studio album and I was starting to feel the impact! What shocked me was how solid everything was- drum kicks and big crashes came and went with ease – no harshness – so smooth and just luscious warmth and detail- wow – well let’s check out the next track which was the first studio track- more of the same astonishing guitars and bass drums thumping my chest with ease and warmth against a black background- I couldn’t stop………..

The rest of the side played and I found myself embarking on an audio journey of epic proportions– I was lost in a sea of instruments that I could pick out of the three dimensional experience – acoustics , 12 string’s , bass, toms, snares and hi hats, electric lead guitar , crunchy rhythms! A rather lacklustre album or so i thought was now taking me on a journey into the cosmos and back – I awoke from my first side daze and flipped the record to side 2 which is the softer acoustic side to heart and butterfly- I sat there stunned as i could feel the acoustic wood timber and vibrating 12 strings – every note and string seemed to be telling me a story- deep bass notes seemed to move me. The side 2 journey was now beginning and I held on for dear life!

This side builds to huge crescendos with tracks like “Nada One”. “the prOTOtype” stunned me with natural textures , gorgeous acoustics and incredibly defined bass levels – the journey back in time was complete and as the final track ended I felt that my original 5 minute listening session had turned into a 1 hour journey on a rocket ship – it made me appreciate the genius of the album. I felt like I now knew what the recording engineers really wanted to achieve – Even though I first bought this album in the late 70s and had heard it countless times, I felt that I had just experienced something completely amazing! It looks like ”the prOTOtype” could transform many vinyl audiophiles into a new dimension of sonic enjoyment!



4 x EL84

1 x 5ar4 ( rectifier )

12at7 Input stage

2 x 6n6p ( drivers)

12ax7 Phono input

6922 phono output

Class AB 15W per channel

Resistors : Takman metal film non magnetic

Capacitors – AudioNote Tin film caps 6 x .1 , 2 x .22 ( Copper film upgrade available)



Click on this link above to access our hi res gallery pics of the EL84 prOTOtype


Additional information

EL84 prOTOtype Phono

C Core, C Core with AN copper film upgrade