23-10-2016

DIMD PP10 tube amplifier
indepth review

by Maarten van Druten   World Premier Review!



                                                          

On the "X-Fi show" in the Netherlands, I noticed a very beautiful tube amplifier designed and made in Europe: Latvia
This amplifier caught my attention because it looked very pure, modern and perfectly build.
After listening to this amplifier on the show, I was so impressed that I wanted to make a in-depth review of this amplifier.


About DIMD:

The people behind this new brand are three friends: Edgars Spārniņ who is responsible for the research and development,
Guts Rutkis who does the brand and marketing, and Andzejs Stenclavs who is responsible for the beautiful design of this amplifier.
Edgars Sparnins is the author of the idea and the responsible person about the technical details including all electronic units. he has studied academical physics, and he worked as a scientific researcher for 15 years.
Edgars also studied academic music as well.

Gusts Rutkis is his friend from grammar school, and he is the one who had the idea to bring unusual design into the world of tube amplifiers. His experience and taste appears throughout the visual elements of the company, starting from logo, website, owners manual etc. and, of course, the amplifier itself.
Edgars met Andzejs Stenclavs when they both climbed Mont Blanc together, and kept in touch ever since.
Having a background in music, he is running his own business in completely different field (cosmetics) very successfully.
He is in charge about the business side of our company.

DIMD is a brand from Latvia, and the word "DIMD" means "heavy stamp on the ground"
For this review DIMD was so friendly to loan me a brand new PP10 amplifier for several weeks, so I had all the time to listen and test this amplifier.

You can find more about the people behind DIMD at their website: http://www.dimd.eu/en/our-story.html



About the DIMD PP10 Amplifier:

The PP10 amplifier is an integrated stereo EL84 tube push-pull amplifier that it totally designed, manufactured in Europe (Latvia)
 Output power: 210 watts with 4 inputs
 Edgars told me that the goal was to make the best amplifier based on the EL84 output tube.
 he believes that the push-pull, ultra-linear connection is the best output topology of tube amplifiers the mankind has elaborated.
 The other design choices included selection of the most suitable output transformers (the successful result is supported by frequency response curves), working regimes (bias) of the output tubes, type of phase inverter, optimization of global negative feedback, etc.
 Scientific approach in the optimization process led to a very low distortion figures. Point-to-point montage and high grade components allowed to make the amplifier very quiet, even extremely sensitive speakers can be used without worries. Aluminium chassis is used as a most suitable material because of its conductivity and non-magnetic properties.
 Anodized aluminium coating improves the wear resistance and aesthetics, and isolates the circuitry electrically form the accidental contact with other external units.
 Geometry of the oak cabinet makes impression of lightness and allows to hide the massive transformers inside the unit. In addition, the front bottom opening allows air flow through the amplifier and serves as an invisible handle.
I have never tested an amplifier that has been build so precise, with so much perfection and eye for detail.


I have tested the amplifier on the following equipment:

Loudspeakers:  PureAudioProjects Trio 15 Voxativ (with Leonidas XO)
Amplifier:        Audio-Gd Master 10 (connected with ACSS to the DAC)
DAC:                Audio-Gd Master 7 with Amanero Combo 384 USB module (with jumper placed in 2X times oversampling)
Source:            Apple MacBook Pro with JRiver media center software
Loudspeaker Cables:            Supra PLY 3.4 (Made in Sweden)
CD transport:   Sony 557-ESD (connected with a coaxial digital cable out to the Audio Master 7 DAC)

 

Unpacking:

When I opened the big carton box I noticed how perfectly the amplifier was packed
I never have seen a High-End product being packed so carefully and thoroughly.
Guts Rutkis, the designer of this amplifier told me that the packing is so designed that even a big drop will protect the amplifier.
Special thick damping foam has therefore been used.



Guts Rutkis is a perfectionist, he told me that he put also a lot of effort in making a good manual;
that explains very easy how the amplifier works, and has to be set-up.
 

Even the manual looks amazing, with informative drawings that clearly explain how the amplifier
works.





The amplifier comes with two very nice CNC machined tube cages that protect the amplifier
The tolerances are amazing, DMD really put a lot of effort in every detail
 



Because I don't have kids, that can accidentally touch the tubes, I didn't use the tube cages for this review
It's a same because they look so nice!


Technical specs:

Designed with passion and functional perfection:

When I carefully took the amplifier out of the box I noticed how heavy this slim amplifier was
This amplifier looks very beautiful is build with perfection, no PCB's are used, everything is hard-wired together!
This is amazing, because a lot of special effort is needed to accomplish this.
But for DIMD quality is the most important, and everything of this amp proves this.

The most striking of this amplifier is  that the transformers are not placed on the top like other tube amplifiers
but they are placed beneath the metal top plate.
This metal top plate has also double function:
It shields all unnecessary electric radiation away from the tubes, and it gives also the amplifier it's nice slim and modern design.

And also impressive aspect of this amplifier is the use of German Oak.
DIMD wanted to design an amplifier that is not only sounding very good, they also wanted to push the boundaries of was
technical possible with CNC machining wood.
When they told the woodcraftmen that their design has to be precise within 0.2 mm tolerances.
The woodscraftmen told DIMD that this will be very difficult, but in the end it all worked perfectly, and this precision
has worked very well.
The amplifier immediately catches your attention, and also the amplifier feels very well build

For example if you push the on/off button, it clicks very confident, and a nice white light will light up
so you know that the amplifier is turned on.



All the knobs are CNC machined aluminium and have a quality feel about them when turned.
On the back you can see that the perfect and quality aspects continuous:



 

Build to last:
Look at these high quality silver-plated (!) cinch inputs, silver is the best conductor of electricity on the Earth
 



Another good example of the eye of quality detail of DIMD :
 The power cable has a lock mechanism, so that the power cable cannot come accidentally loose without pressing
 the red switch first.


1.6 AH and 500 mAL fuses protect the electronics of the amplifier







The DIMD PP10 amplifier is build "point-to-point" (!) for best sound quality and reliability




High quality parts are used, and this amplifier is an all European product;
engineered, designed and manufactured in Latvia
 

 

Listening:

When I listenend to this amplifier I immediately noticed that it has an very friendly character
it is also very musical amplfier, and for an tube amp it is sounding very neutral.
And this neutrality is a good thing, because this amplifier will your companion for a very long time
It is build to last, I never have seen an tube amplifier that is build with this precision and eye of detail
The high frequencies are clear, and precise. the voices sound very open, and realistic.
The bass is maybe a little bit laidback, but this amplifier had no problems with my 4 Ohm's PureAudioProjects Trio15 Vocativ loudspeakers
I had the opportunity to listen to this amplifier for many weeks, and how more I listened to this amplifier, how more
I was respecting it for it's friendly, neutral and very pleasant sound character.
The DIMD PP10 proves that 10 watt's is more than enough
The volume knop never turn further than a quarter before 12.
So it's not about the amount of watt's, but the quality of them.

Because of it's neutrality, it's important to play good recorded music on this amplifier
This PP10 amplifier will let you hear everything, every detail. it's a perfect amplifier for NOS dac's and High resolution DSD recordings
 



Conclusion:

The sound character of the EL84 tube has been praised by a lot of tube enthusiasts
The EL84 might not have the same deep black bass like the 805 tube, but instead it has a very musical, relaxed sound character.
And this tube has another very big advantage....it's price
Compared to 805, 845, and 201 tubes, EL84 tubes are very cheap.
and they are also sold everywhere, so you will have no trouble finding them

The character of this tube amplifier is very well balanced (almost neutral) and relaxed sounding
This makes this amplifier a great musical companion
Listening to music for a long time becomes very enjoyable. you get the feeling not to listen to an amplifier any more,
but instead your listening to music
The DIMD PP10 amplifier is a top quality product therefore DIMD gives this amplifier a 5 years warranty. The lifespan of tubes depend on usage. They are user replaceable and can be also be ordered by DIMD, the tubes are tested and matched specially for "PP10 stereo" amplifier.

I have tested this amplifier for months and it became my favourite amplifier because of it nice balanced, relaxed and neutral sound character
I can recommend this amplifier to anybody that is looking for a reliable tube amplifier that sounds relaxed, neutral and most important "musical"
 
Highly Recommended!

Maarten van Druten - Audio Dandy
 


Contact:

 

DIMD AUDIO
Adress: 16 Bruninieku street, Riga, LV-1001, Latvia
Phone: +37129167387
E-mail: info@dimd.eu

 

 


BACK

  Copyright(C) 2016
All Rights Reserved