Below are my responses to questions that I get from time to time. I’ll update this list as more questions come to mind.

Are Spud Kits available?
The short answer is “yes”, but I try to update the blog in a timely manner to provide availability details.

What is the turnaround time for a kit?
When in stock, I try to ship kits within a week of purchase.

What is the turnaround time for an assembled and tested Spud?
Optimistically, I shoot for 6-8 weeks, but this isn’t my full-time gig. Sometimes I can beat that timing, and other times it takes a little longer. I do provide updates along the way.

Will the Spud work with my speakers?
That’s a great question. When you are selecting a low-powered / single-ended tube amp for you system, you need to plan your speakers around the amp selection. This goes with any low-powered tube amp and not just the Spud. The first obvious concern is the efficiency of the speakers, but more importantly, you need to understand the impedance curve of your speakers. A wildly variable impedance curve across the frequency range will generally have a negative impact on the performance of any low-powered / single-ended tube amp. For example, some Klipsch speakers with high efficiency ratings don’t work well with low-powered / single-ended tube amps due to their impedance curves while others work just fine. Caintuck Audio speakers are known to work well, and Randy even uses a Spud for personal use. There are many other customers using a wide range of speakers, and some of them may surprise you. For example, I have a pair of Design Acoustics PS-1010’s that work great. Others I’ve personally tried are Polk Audio RTA-11t, ElectroVoice Esquire, Fostex-based single driver speakers, Stephens Tru-Sonic, and the list goes on and on.

Can I bypass the volume control?
Yes

Can I mono-block the Spud?
Yes

What “upgrades are available?
I source very high-end components including Edcor, Vishay, Dale, Nichicon, etc, and I always prefer that a new owner experience the Spud in the stock configuration before applying upgrades. Overall, I’m fairly skeptical of upgrades myself, and it doesn’t make sense for me to stock or recommend them since I would have to test the various combinations and permutations of upgrades in order to recommend and support them. I will somewhat reluctantly work with buyers to integrate one of their personally sourced upgrades into a build, but I don’t source them or sell them myself. Over my many years in this hobby, I’ve developed an acute allergy to snake oil, so I tend to stay away from things like magic capacitors, cryogenically treated wire and audiophile grade nuts and bolts. Instead, I use reliable components from respected manufacturers.


Does the Spud require break-in?
I recommend about 10 hours of runtime over a series of warm-up / cool-down cycles. For example, 2 hours on followed by 1 hour off will accomplish the break-in. Essentially, you need to heat the amp up to operating temperature and then cool it down to room temperature a few times. This gets you past the first part of the Bathtub Curve and well into the normal / useful product life of your Spud (see below).