CanJam at RMAF 2014: Todd the Vinyl Junkie and Apex Spire Headphone Amp

In my book, Pete Millett and Todd Green are two of the nicest guys in headphone audio. But so what? We're interested in audio expertise and performance. Okay, no problem, these two have you covered there as well. Pete's been designing tube headphone gear for decades, and has contributed many gigabytes of information to the community on his DIY audio pages.

And Todd, well he and I go way back some thirty years when we both worked for a laser instrumentation company before we worked together at HeadRoom. His contribution to the headphone world is his small Three Forks Montana on-line store Todd the Vinyl Junkie, where he sells all manner of high-end headphone and other audiophile goodies. Records too!!! Lots and lots of them.

This year's CanJam had Todd and Pete showing off their latest creation: The Spire ($1495). This 12AU7-based hybrid amp has a microprocessor controlled, relay switched stepped attenuator before the tube for volume control, which Pete claims delivers excellent left-right volume matching at all levels. The Spire will be delivered with a a JJ Electronic ECC802S. Other tubes that work include any type of 12AU7 or ECC82, 5814, 6211, 5963, 6680, 7057, and 12BH7 tubes.

The main knob on the front panel offers complete control of the Spire; turn it for volume control changes, push it to select from the three analog inputs. Also included is a remote control.

You can check out the Spire at TTVJ web site, and also on the Apex Audio site. The users manual is available here.