What's the different between Hybrid (integrated) vacuum tube music players and

pure vacuum tube music player, echoElite Vi?

"Hybrid (integrated) vacuum tube player", hereinafter "Hybrid".

The "Hybrid vacuum tube player" actually is a kind of" marketing purpose" to induce consumers by highlighting the reputation title of "vacuum tube", but is that really powered by vacuum tube? Let's go deeper to discover the truth!

1. As shown in Figure 1, added a vacuum tube to the signal routing as a Tube Cathode Follower (or Tube Buffer Amplifier), the common vacuum tubes, including 12AX7, 12AU7 or 6DJ8; In circuit, they are just like "buffer", without a high-voltage DC power supply to drive the vacuum tube pre-amplified, it operates as a diode or impedance matcher only, with low-input / high-output impedance, it's suitable to be matched on next level of circuit, it actually doesn't have nothing amplification effect at all; if there is no amplification effect, then there is no noise issue to fix? That's why it can be designed easily with very low cost.

2. As shown in Figure 2, it's the same we mentioned as Figure 1, a Tube Cathode Follower (or Tube Buffer Amplifier) is placed in front of signal source (INPUT). The common low noise of vacuum tubes, such as 12AX7 and 6DJ8, they are all like "impedance matcher" only, nothing amplification effect at all; if there is no amplification effect, then there is no noise issue to fix? That's why it can be designed easily with very low cost.

3. From Figure 1 and Figure 2, we can only found the vacuum tubes such as 12AX7, 12AU7 or 6DJ8, these small signal triodes are used as "buffer", no high-voltage DC power supply. The sound performance is minimal from rendering the transistor to the pure vacuum tube player, and the effect is also limited even to process the amplification by using the small vacuum tubes and high-voltage DC power supply. The key item to activate the ultimate sound of pure vacuum tube is "power-amplifier vacuum tube", Hybrid players are without this key part like EL84 or 6BQ5, not to mention a vacuum tube audio output transformer, and both of them are the most expensive key parts.

Obviously, this is a lucrative marketing purpose to "integrate" or "repack" the transistor players by using the low cost of vacuum tubes, and taking the reputation of "vacuum tube" to hype consumers as a publicity stunt, but eventually, the sound quality and cost will prove everything.

echoElite Vi is designed by the original rule of traditional vacuum tube amplifier, and driven by power-amplifier vacuum tubes during all the amplified processes, so it is needed to be equipped with a pre-amplifier and a power-amplifier high-voltage DC power supply.

echoElite Vi is also designed with a high & low voltage dual winding transformer to double reduce the noise of vacuum tube amplifiers (Invention Patented from worldwide). The design structure of a traditional vacuum tube amplifier is as shown in Figure 3.

From Figure 3, the pure vacuum tube amplifier has 6 main configurations, including all the routings are equipped with a pre-amplifier triode and a power-amplifier pentode vacuum tube, build-in step-up power transformer (Hybrid can only be placed out of device), high-voltage rectifier circuit, audio output transformer like traditional vacuum tube amplifier used, and echoElite Vi is also equipped with a customized internal-magnetic speaker. These configurations guarantees sound best, the cost is far away from Hybrid and nothing to compare between them (Hybrid players are without this most costly and crucial item, audio output transformer).

Pure vacuum tube players (echoElite Vi) VS Hybrid (integrated) vacuum tube players


Hybrid vacuum tube players

echoElite Vi

Pre-amplifier vacuum tube triode

As a buffer for impedance match only

Signal amplification

Power-amplifier vacuum tube pentode


EL84/ Power amplification

Step-up power transformer

NO (Out of device only).

Build-in high voltage DC power supply

High-voltage rectifier circuit



Vacuum tube audio output transformer




Common speakers

Internal-magnetic speakers for vacuum tube



Much higher

Sound quality

Minimal rendering of the vacuum tube tone

Pure vacuum tube tone

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