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The Doge 5 is a 35 watt integrated amplifier using EL34 / 6CA7 driver tubes.
The Doge 5 is the newest in vacuum tube technology using computer assisted bias for quick and accurate tube bias adjustments.
The Doge 5 does not suffer the distortion of bias technologies that constantly adjust tube bias.
Speaker taps for 4, 8 ohm speakers.
The Doge 5 comes with 4 inputs, gold plated speaker jacks and remote
It has always been our goal to provide our loyal customers with the best and most
innovative technology at a great price point. In this case it looks like Doge has done it again with the innovative Doge 5 vacuum tube integrated amplifier, which cuts notch distortion near zero with its unique computer controlled bias feature.
Continuous bias amps sound “choppy” and distorted do to the constant adjusting of bias current while the amp is playing. This type of bias almost always results in significant “crossover” distortion as the current to the tube changes and the tube lags in response - altering the music and the sound stage. With the Doge 5, however, the bias is adjusted through the help of a user controlled computer, with a push of a button. Pressing the “Computer Bias” button begins current tube bias current analysis. Any tube not meeting the proper EL34 / 6CA7 / KT77 bias current is displayed in red, while correct bias is displayed in blue. Then another button is pressed where magic happens: the computer continually biases all tubes in a correct push-pull configuration until all the tubes display “blue” which indicates correct bias voltage. Due to the characteristics of the precise bias, the amp stays in correct bias current for extended listening sessions. The entire bias process takes about one minute.
In addition to the bias switch, the Doge 5 has a remote operated volume control, 4 inputs, gold plated speaker jacks (8 ohm, 4 ohm) and a unique Stand by switch (which keeps the caps warm for fast warm up capability). The versatile remote also operates the bias computer.
The sound quality of this amp, with its Alps potentiometer , Japan Chemicon Electrolytic caps, MKP10 WIMA caps and Z10 transformer cores must be heard to be believed. For more information about sound characteristics and tube roiling / matching, see “Water Cooler Talk” and ”Tube Righteousness”.
The Doge 5
Learning Center Videos
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The Doge 5 works best with studio monitors and high efficiency speakers. We tried Focal Chorus, Proac Response D Two, Linn Majik 109, Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 and EPOS M16. The High efficiency speakers we tried are Zus, Klipschorn Corner Horns, Klipsch Heritage, Horn Shoppe Horns. The Doge 5 worked well with other low efficiency speakers in small rooms such as Quad EL-63s, Vandersteens and Totems.
Bass: Quick and clean. There is a slight hump around the lower mid bass that adds to some of the bass excitement.
Mids: Clear and clean midrange gives 300B type class A sound to a standard push-pull Class AB configuration. Transparent midrange with clean upper midrange with no glare; A trick at this price point.
Highs: Extended and articulate without being overly brassy or etchy.
Dynamics: Low noise floor contributes to dynamics. Speaker sensitive as the amp struggles with hard to drive speakers in large rooms.
Air around instruments: The Class “A” SET presentation continues with this amp, as it does things with air and instruments that we never hears in an EL34 amp.
Body and Weight: Actors (vocalists and instruments) had significant body and weight so you can easily place and identify them in the sound stage.
Warm/Cold: Warm tube amp without any tube glaze or veiling that is usually associated with warmth. The Doge 5’s ability to be warm and yet crystal clear is an outstanding feet for this price point.
Imaging / Sound Stage: The Imaging capability places it with the best of the tube amps. Throws images easily to the left and right of the speaker.
Resolution / Detail: Strong ability to resolve and render without overly blooming or pushing actors. The amp presents a real, valid sound stage with imaging and detail.
Value: Outstanding value for money for those with small speakers or small rooms – a 300B 35 watt sound in an amp at a reasonable price point.
Dimensions: 13 X 15 X 7
Weight: 40 Lbs
Inputs: 4, High level
Remote Control: Infrared System
Power Output: 35 Watts, 80 Watts Max
THD: < 0.2 %
Signal to Noise: > 88db
Input Sensitivity: 360mv
Input Impedance: 50 Ohms
Tube Complement: 2 X 12AX7 as Preamp, 2 X 12AT7 as Phase Inverters, EL34 / KT77 / 6CA7 Tubes
The Doge 5 was evaluated using CyberServer, Lite DAC 83, Matrix Mini, Aune Cyclone Transport, Lite CD 21 transport, Doge 6 CD player, Linn Sondek Turntables with Decca and Magnepan tone arms mounted with Dennon, Lyra and Sonus Blue cartridges, YS Audio Concerto Plus Phono preamp, B&W matrix 801 speakers, Magnepan MG III, Magnepan 1.6, Quad ESL 57 speakers, Quad ELS 63 Speakers, Proac Response 2 s, Vandersteen IIC speakers.
As the description implies, the bias feature must do wonders in precise biasing because we have never heard a sonic window open on low wattage / low cost (< $3000) EL34 based integrated like this one. We do not mean to sound like this is "new and improved" model (like laundry detergent or saltines); there is really something different about this amp. As a matter of fact, given its price point, we are willing to say it is untouchable to 2K!
With tube amps at this price point, there is a subtle veiling that takes place: the midrange laid back, less detailed, the highs rolled off and the lows, well, lumpy and soupy. This is a romantic sound that some people just love. Others, love it at first, then grow tired quickly. With the Doge 5, there is none of that. As a matter of fact the Doge 5 does what the Doge 8 does in a preamp: Viz., it fills the room with midrange bloom without any of the side effects of tubby bass, rolled off highs or over-liquidity.
The Doge 5 is detailed and warm, yet not syrupy. If we were at Dennys, it would be more like the Denver omelet as opposed to the buttermilk pancakes. The highs are extended yet not over-ringy or snappy. The lows are solid and not tubby. For our tastes, the lows could be better – this may be due to the fact that we are just running out of power here at 35 watts on our Vandersteens, so speaker / room matching is a must. The bias feature must be doing something because if you feel the amp drifting, just press the button and the magic returns. This also makes tube rolling a lot of fun because power tubes can be changed and biased easily.
Over all, the Doge 5 is an outstanding piece. You might also want to consider in lieu of a SET amp, due to its detailed and image retrieval characteristics and of course, its lower price point
Heard around the water cooler:
We found that the Mullard re-issues 12AX7s performed the best along with the JAN 12AT7s. We cannot say enough good things about the JAN 12AT7s. While there are many better choices, there are none so readily available and so reasonably priced as the JAN 12AT7.
This leaves us with the power tubes. We selected three each with their differing sonic characteristics:
The JJ KT77s were the softest of the bunch and sounded more like a SET amp (think 300B, but with more power). Its bass was thicker than the rest of the tubes. The midrange was a little more recessed and the highs were pleasantly rolled off. The inner detail of the midrange was by far, very excellent for a tube at this price point and made the amp a downright steal for this sound quality at this price point.
The stock EH 6CA7 are quite the opposite of the JJ KT77s. These tubes produced a bigger and bolder sound. Instead of sounding recessed, they pushed music into the room and like to JJs, let you hear that inner detail of actors at jazz clubs or at orchestra halls. Rock music was particularly exciting as bands like Dire Straits and Pink Floyd really shook the room.
This tube was the most detailed of the three and a little hotter on the upper midrange than the three. It was the most powerful of the bunch. If you have full range speakers and a lower sensitivity, you might want to get this tube as the amp pushes closer to 40 watts with these than the other three. Sonically, it does not disappoint, as the added power also gives dynamics a great head wind when listening to rock and jazz music. Bass was tighter than the JJ and on-par with the EH 6CA7.
For the RIGHT tube, its Tube Righteousness !
You can greatly change the sound of this product by following these guidelines: