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If you’ve been on the fence about Tektron because you thought “that’s too good to be true, sounds like an infomercial for TA – tuboholics anonymous”… well, in a manner of speaking, it is. For anyone with a stash of NOS triodes of the 45, 50, 2A3, 300B and VT-52 variety and nowhere to plug ’em all in, Tektron has two sockets with all those names on it.

It’s ready to roll. While it may not be the very best for any one particular tube type, you’ll just have to be able to live with the fact that you can spend your time trying to find that perfect tube for you. These are well-built pieces with quality parts wrapped in handsome packages. And they sound about as good and varied as your tube stash will bear. The hand-wired design also lends itself to some tweaking if you’re so inclined. But which to pick, the separates or integrated?

To my mind, the integrated TK2A3/50S-I is the no-brainer choice of the bunch. My rationale here is that if you’re willing to accept that you’re not optimized for a specific tube but rather relish the ability to swing, you’ll want the no-fuss convenience of the integrated. Besides, it sounds better. And with the money you save, you can start or continue to build your triode tribe collection to match any and every sonic mood you find yourself in. And boy does it catch fish.

– Michael Lavorgna –