|Inside a DIVA . . .|
You will some some expensive, famous-brand components
as well as some inexpensive, lesser-known components.
Expensive components are not inserted to impress anybody;
nor are "cheap" components used to save costs.
All are chosen for one reason only:
DIVA preamplifiers and amplifiers come with the best-sounding reasonably priced tubes, be they NOS (new old stock) or current production.
For example, Classic One and Classic 300 preamps, come with NOS 6SN7s and we provide the best we can find at moderate prices.
For 12AX7 tubes found in the M-7 preamp and phono amps, we provide Electro Harmonic. They are excellent sounding at a very affordable price, much better sounding than many NOS.
Driver tubes of power amplifiers, inclduding 6SL7, 6SN7 and ML6 are again NOS. So are the CV345 output tubes in the Tian Zhu monoblocs.
EL34 output tubes for Blue Sky and Tian Zhu power amps are from SVETLANA or ELECTRO HARMONIC, Again, both of these sound better than the majority of NOS brands.
DIVA chooses different transformers to suit the needs of different tubes and amplifier designs.
Increasingly, DIVA uses transformers that are made in Singapore by an audiophile who is a highly experienced transformer specialist. They are hand-wound with top quality wires and transformer cores from the UK.
These transformers moderately costly and they have proven themselves to be both excellent sounding and reliable, even when compared against very expensive and reputed brands from Japan and the UK.
DIVA preamplifiers us Wima & Ero capacitors in the signal path.
DIVA power amplifiers are direct coupled between amplifier and the phase inverter stage. They use polypropylene capacitors (obscure brand, chosen for excellent sound) to couple the output tubes, and Cerafine & Philips electrolytics as filter capacitors.
Metal film resistors with 1% tolerance within the signal path
5% carbon resistors with power rating greater than 2W.
NOS (new old stock) silver wiring now come as a standard in all DIVA amplifiers. They are by far the best out of over 100 wires that DIVA designer T S Lim tested over the years.
Before these wires were discovered in late 2002, OFC (oxygen free copper) wires were used. Owners of older-generation DIVA amplifiers are encouraged to do an NOS silver wiring upgrade, for vastly improved sound.
Noble volume ports - well-reputed for their excellent sound - were previously used. Unfortunately, they are no longer in production. The next best, in designer Lim's opinion, is ALPS.
Many high-end preamplifiers use step-switch volume controls which offer better clarity and transparency, but Lim's experience is that they tend to be less musical.
Very hgh quality, gold plated RCA sockets. Obscure brand, but these are the same sockets used in Jadis amplifiers.
SPEAKER BINDING POSTS
UK-made and, unfortunately, somewhat "cheap" looking (even though they are not low-cost items) when compared with reputed brands such as WBT or Cardas.
But again, extensive tests by Lim revealed them to be the best - and most musical - sounding.
Lim's experience is that big, fat (and costly) binding posts do allow more signal to pass through, resulting in low-level details being enhanced and amplified. However, because high-level signals remain unchanged, the difference between soft and loud is reduced, and the result is lesser dynamic contrast.
The careful selection of chassis material and thickness is one of the secrets of the DIVA.
DIVA does not believe in using thick aluminium, which deadens the sound. Instead, the chassis material is carefully chosen and finely tuned to give the right balance between dampening and resonance.