The Sangaku


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"Sangaku” is one of many words that means “Mountain” in Japanese. It is also the name of a national park in Japan that encompasses part of the “Japan Alps”, a beautiful mountainous area in central Honshu.
The Sangaku headphone amplifier is a tube hybrid headphone amplifier (meaning that it uses both vacuum tube and solid-state technology).  It employs the “NuTube” device from Korg Incorporated in Japan, which is a newly developed dual triode vacuum tube.  The NuTube device provides true directly-heated triode characteristics in a small package.  It requires very little power, at lower voltages, than other tubes.  This enables the Sangaku to provide true DHT sound at an unprecedented small size and low cost.
For more information about the NuTube, please visit Korg at
In the Sanguku circuitry, the NuTube device is used in a single-ended configuration to provide the needed voltage gain.   Solid state buffers provide both unbalanced and balanced outputs with a very low output impedance to drive the headphones.  The Sangaku can drive any headphones, from 16 ohms to 600 ohms, and has enough gain for even inefficient headphones.
To keep the footprint small and the audio path direct, all audio switching and routing is done using relays, and control is done with simple buttons on the front panel.


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Measurements and Specifications

NOTE:  Please read the page about headphone & amp specs!

Values are typical. 

Power input:    115-125V or 230-250V, 50-60Hz, 25W maximum

Dimensions:    8.75” wide x 10” deep x 2.4” tall (including knobs, connectors, and feet)

Inputs: Three - one balanced input (3-pin XLR jacks), two unbalanced (RCA jacks)

Outputs:          Three - unbalanced headphone (1/4” jack), balanced headphone (4-pin XLR jack), and unbalanced line out (RCA jacks)


Download the Sangaku user manual