Jan Deckers's
Date of "Visit":
02 December 2000

19 May 2001

"Third Visit":
13 April 2003

the system

DIY power amp

phono preamp

Pro-ject turntable


e-mail to:
JAn Deckers


The whole sad/lucky story is mainly the same as every one else. I started at the age of 14 with a DIY amplifier, and build a few nice amps, and as a student at the academy of music hadn't the money and time to build more. After that period, with a nice job, I started with a nice tube amplifier, but wasn't really satisfied with the sound. So I mailed tube-audio-guru Dick van de Merwe, who designed an update for my amplifier. Actually I only used the output transformers.

Now I'm listening to a push-pull 2A3 (direct heated) amplifier, with a (for the experts) mu-stage paraphrase splitter using a 6SL7wgt and 12HG7 tubes.

I did have two systems of loudspeakers, a Focal set (sold now) and a Scanspeak set (still playing very smooth), all DIY. My CD-player is a Marantz CD67 very heavily modified, and now outnumbering a very expensive Cyrus and van Medevoort DAC. My interlink is a van den Hul the First between CD and amplifier, and the loudspeaker cable is a TNT-audio FRRC-cable.

My room is about 35 m2, with (red) carpet on the floor.

When building, tweaking and trying I listened to a lot of CD's, mostly classic, but also the good pop music (in my honest opinion). Mostly to:
Stokowski's Symphonic Bach (really great), Gustav Mahler 5 symphony with L. Bernstein, Sting (the best of) and The Eagles (Hell Freezes Over). And last but not least to my own record (the original master) made with three other people. Mainly quiet songs, with piano, guitar, bass and bass clarinet and voices of course.

Mostly I'm listening to classic music, a lot of Bach (I love Glenn Gould playing the piano). From lets say 1650 till 1930, I don't like the really modern ..... uh..... music (???). Further some pop music, from Queen, Sting, Eagles, Supertramp, and Dutch "Cabaret" music (really a Dutch style not to describe in English), the most famous is Herman van Veen. Also Klezmer, non-european music (arab, rai, Iraq, Indian and so on and Turkish music brought to me by my pupils!!! And really nice). So it is 70% classic, and 30% the rest.

System's Components


Pro-ject 6.9, with Grado Platinum Reference cartridge

CD Player:

Marantz CD67, heavy tweaked and modified

Phono Preamp:

DIY tube amplifier for the TT

Power Amp:

Custom made 2A3 tube push-pull amplifier.


Scanspeak Opus but will be updated very soon by a Wilson Audio Cub imitation (uh… inspirated by is a better word).


Van den Hul the First, DIY silver interlink.

Speaker Cables:


Jan's comments about his System:

AA: "Jan, how would you describe your system's sound?"

JD: "The sound is smooth, very nice mids and high, really a lot of detail and never becoming harsh. You can really hear a violin player breath while playing, and feel the emotion in the music." 

AA: "Do you think there is room for improvement?"

JD: "Yes there is always room for improvement. I am planning to make other speakers, and again another amplifier, this time really single ended. This will give even more detail. I think it is a life time job to get the perfect system (does it exist?)."

AA: "Have you got plans for upgrading?"

JD: "As I said, my speaker. Those will be a DIY system inspired by the Wilson Audio Cubs (high efficiency), and later on a new amplifier, and a new DAC maybe."

new system

new speaker

new DAC


"Re-Visit" Notes (19 May 2001)

Here is my  first upgrade story of my system. A lot has changed since my first visit. Let's start with the most visible one, my new rack. I bought a nice rack made in Denmark, Aarvik. It looks great and sounds good.

Then I had a very big change by building some new loudspeakers. It is actually a clone of the Wilson Cub, but with a different tweeter, namely the Seas Excel tweeter. It sounds superb, sweet tasty and so on.
After that a new DAC appeared in my system, made in the Netherlands by Tribute. It uses the famous PCM63K convertor, and amorfe-output transformers.

Further I updated my amplifier with Black Gate caps (for the cathode of the 2A3) and Hovland Coupling caps. Made all internal wiring pure silver (99.99%) and also the speaker cable and my interlink.

At the moment I am using The First (van de Hul) as digital cable, that's a real discovery. Superb great!!! Try it.

Actually only the amplifier is the same, except for the caps of course.

How does it sound. More analog, more taste, more balanced. It was good already, but now it sounds like heaven. The only new part that will come is a new preamp, using the 76 tube for the line, and the 6SL7 for the phono. When that is finished I will visit again.



a closer look

Melisande preamp

Sony SCD-555ES



"Third Visit" Notes (13 April 2003)

Got another job and moved to another place. So a lot has changed in my system…..


Sony SCD-555ES. A very good sounding SACD-player. Even with the normal CD it sounds great. Like Guido de Laet I will make some modifications for even a better sound.

Totally new amps. As told before, I built myself a new preamp, Melisande. But it has changed already 3 times. Started with the 76 tube, and then the 26 (DHT) tube, I'm using at the moment an old post-tube. In the near futere I'm going to build another preamp.

I also built Zeus. A single-ended power amps with the KR300BXLS output tube. It uses the best materials like amorfe-core output trannies, paper-in-oil capacitors, internal wire is 99.999% silver. Wow this thing really rocks. Guido de Laet made the wooden chassis for me, a real artist don't you think?

Made myself some nice subwoofers for my new system. Now the orchstra sounds really great. Timpani are there, and the deep organ tones are really deap. I uses an Eton woofer. The module is from Thomessen.

All speaker cables and interlinks are also 99.999% silver (and of course DIY).

The sounds is detailed, smooth, wide stage and a joy for the ear. A really great improvement.

Some more improvements are a better 220v filter, and again another preamp. With a different chassis for the line-stage and the PSU.


New Homepage: http://members.home.nl/deckersmoll/