ANK Audiokits Valve Amplifiers
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“The Mentor will change the way you listen to music. The detail, the sensitivity, it has to be experienced to be believed.
BRIAN SMITH

 
 

Next generation technology
our ultimate pre-amplifier
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Our next generation Pre-amplifier architecture is now available with the release of the Level 5 Mentor Line Pre-amplifier. Based on our proprietary power supply design technology which encorporates Dual 5U4G Rectifiers, Dual 4 pole Chokes and Large Mains Transformer more commonly found In power amplifiers. This SHUNT regulated design delivers instantaneous current to the driver stage in response to the ever changing demands of the audio signal.

 
     
 
UPDATE: We are now shipping the Mentor 2.0 which has several new refinements added including the new Mundorf EVO film cap on the line stage and mechanical enhancements.
 
   
 

The Mentor uses 2 x Triple C-Core output transformers for maximum signal energy transfer and the ability to handle long interconnection runs. The result is outrageous dynamics, subtleties and sensitivity delivered to the power amplifier. With the Mentor your beloved power amplifier & speaker investment will finally be realized. Couple the Mentor with one of our top of the line Monoblock amplifiers such as the Legend or Interstage C-Core Monoblocks or the EL34 C-Core Power or Monoblocks and you will experience unparalleled musical involvement.

 
     
     
 

6SN7 input & ECC99 driver stage

The Driver stage employs the popular 6SN7 input stage followed by an ECC99 to drive the C-Core output transformers. Employing Audio Note 1W tantalum resistors, ELNA Silmic Electrolytics and Audio Note or V-Cap coupling capacitors, the parts are top of the line for this L5 series Pre-amplifier.

An ELMA selector and extension kit are used to allow very short wire runs from the input RCAs to the output board.

The filament section has a separate board with individual heaters for each line stage tube.

 
     
 

The magic behind the Mentor

The Level 5 power supply is the magic behind the Mentor. It’s our recently developed and highest level power supply specification with over specified Mains, Dual 4 pole chokes & 2 x 5U4G Tube Rectification, 35mm Mundorf Mlytic Power Supply Capacitors and SHUNT regulation. SHUNT regulation provides an additional reservoir of current (30ma) to be running from B+ at all times separate from the standard current draw of the line stage. Thus when music makes quick changes and demands instantaneous current addition, this additional current will come from the SHUNT resistor mounted on the chassis.

 
     
     
 

KHOZMO 48 step attenuator

We supply the L5 pre-amplifier with this top quality attenuator that ensures there is absolutely minimal losses in the signal path. With a long life in excess of 50,000 cycles they are a perfect match for the L5 pre-amplifier.

  • SHUNT type: Only two resistors in signal path
  • Switching type: MBB (Make Before Break)
  • Attenuation range: -60 dB - 0 dB
  • Attenuation per step: steps 1 to 11 - 2dB, 12 to 48 - 1dB
  • Contact material: Hard gold • Polished wiper and contact pins
  • Extremely short signal path • Channel matching: +/-0.1 dB
  • Resistors: Vishay/Dale RN55 1% 100ppm , 1/8W, low noise, non-inductive, metal film • Precision ball bearing support
 
     
  Tubed amplification system: L5 Mentor Pre-Amplifier C-Core with L4 EL34 Monoblocks C-Core  
     
 

Construction manual

Download the build instructions for the Mentor here.
The manual will give you a good idea of all the componentry involved In the building of this very high level pre-amplifier.

 
     
 
   
 
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I was once again extremely impressed with the high quality of the Mentor components - even the plastic bags it came in were strong and thick! It was truly a joy to build and very satisfying indeed, so when visitors come to my house I am filled with pride as they compliment both the DAC and the Mentor - they make an excellent duo. I cannot put into words how sweet and beautiful the music is, the musicians I listen to would be awed at how good they sound.

I have a friend who told me they recently went to a Penguin Cafe Orchestra performance and they sound better through my system than they did live. I truly feel as if the artist is not only in the same room, I believe they are playing for my benefit alone. There are times I make an unintentional noise and almost apologise for interrupting the performance!

The Mentor has a huge power transformer and utilises shunt regulation, which means when the amp needs to suddenly draw a lot of power, it is available. This makes for some outrageous dynamics. No longer do your recordings sound flat and uninteresting - they absolutely burst with life! Before this I listened to good music, but no more, now I am listening to
fantastic music and wonderful emotions. My first listen and I could feel tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat from this pre-amp. It has seriously changed my life.

I now spend a lot (too much in all honesty) of time sitting listening with an enormous grin on my face. I threw my television out some time ago and miss it not one jot, but losing this amp would break my heart. My advice is buy one - NOW! If you cannot afford it, then honestly, sell your children/wife/house/car, you will not regret it. Money cannot be a barrier to such an amazing piece of equipment. If you have a bucket list this should be on top.
Keith Graham, Cheltenham, UK. 2014

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Finally I listened last night to some cd’s, I thought my L4 Pre could not be bettered, how wrong can you be! And that's with the stock valves, pleasurable listening awaits you all! The sound stage/depth and being able to hear further into recordings is astonishing.
Les Golder, UK. 2015

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The DAC is almost beyond belief. I am re-discovering all my discs while my records and tape lie still. 'The Mentor', walks, and often runs, away from my similar priced McIntosh preamplifier in everyway. Low level resolution was quite astounding even when using other pre-amps, but with the L-5 ( Mentor), it moves into a different class.

So many products in audio have increased in cost and decreased in value and performance. The media seduces us into thinking what they say is what we want. All the products carried by AudionoteKits, are of the highest standard for schematic conception, layout, parts, fit and finish.
George Zabrecky

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  "I can hear music made from The Mentor far closer to real instruments than ever before.
Well done Brian!"
Jerry Lo, UK. 2015
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Specifications:

Output Tubes: 1 x 6SN7 Electro Harmonix & 1 x ECC99 JJ
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Rectifier Tubes: 2 x 5U4GB
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Outputs: 1 x Stereo Pair RCA to a
Power Amplifier
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Inputs:
4 x Stereo Pair RCA
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PCBs: Sturdy PCBs with 2oz copper trace and thick grounding/ HT traces
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Chassis: 3mm Aluminum with Black Powder Sandtex
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Width: ?? cm
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Height: ?? cm
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Depth: ?? cm
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Weight: ?? Kilos

 

Parts Compliment includes:

Large Mains Transformer
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2 x Dual 4 Pole Chokes
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Triple C-Core Output Transformers
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Audio Note 1W Tantalum Resistors
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Audio Note Copper film caps or V-CAPs
(dependent on availability)
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Elna Silmic Electrolytics & Mundorf 35mm Mlytics in Power supply
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Dual KHOZMO attenuators
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ELMA Selector
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Audio Note Silver RCA jacks
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L5 The Mentor Pre-Amplifier
C-Core 2.0

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L5 The Mentor Pre-Amplifier
C-Core 2.0
Assembled kit version by Digitalpete

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