Interest Check: David Berning amps

OK… I have two Berning ea-230 amps; anyone who has been around hi-end audio for long enough knows about these! Both have been recently gone over by David Berning; one has his new auto-bias board installed, and the other does not (but I have the board and it is not too hard to install if you are moderately handy with a soldering iron and a hand drill.) Both are excellent cosmetically. I have one shipping box. I have a pretty large stash of NOS 6JN6 tubes for them as well as 6SN7GTB’s and 12AT7’s. The power tubes in these last pretty nearly forever, so finding more is not gonna be an issue, but even so they are easy to source. I also have a spare set of output transformers (used.)

These amps can and will literally bring you to tears… they are that good, and used as mono amps (60WPC) they are easily the equal of 100+ solid state watts. Also their bass is totally unexpected - solid, deep, and tight, nothing like Dynacos, etc.

Why am I thinking about selling? Well, I am still not sure I will. But: in my main system I am running Vandersteens which are pretty power-hungry, especially in my very large room, and my better half tends to leave the whole system powered up 24/7, which is not great for tubes. I have been trying to figure out how to deploy one of the Bernings in my office system but I am not at all sure I can make it physically fit in the space I have…

I have the ZH230 and the Micro ZOTL2. Berning amps don’t come for sale used very often and they will go quick. Yes, “these amps will bring you to tears” and I’ll add, amongst the best amps in the world (I have never heard the BHK amps). David Berning has a new line of more affordable amps under the “Linear Tube Audio” name.

lancelock, I was right on the edge of buying one of the new MicroZOTL’s… still might!

Bob, I think Mark has a 30 day return policy to try it out. Being local, I was able to visit Mark and pick up my Micro ZOTL in person. Mark is a great guy. I bought the Micro for use as a head phone amp and then found out what my high efficiency speakers sounded like with it. The best one watt for $1100 I’ve ever spent.

In my office system I use a pair of Sequerra Met 7 MK II’s, which are very efficient. The idea of driving anything with one watt is pretty scary, but I have connected them to an old heathkit 5-watt amp and it was way more than enough for them in that space (a small, closed office) so it just might work.

That one watt drives my 93db radial speakers fairly loud and the room is bigger than a small office. When I added a Decware CSP3 preamp, the added gain makes it go really loud. Berning is very conservative when rating his amps power and sounds like more than 1 watt for sure.