The EAR 8L6 has been designed to meet a wide variety of needs, from the most demanding of audiophiles to the professional seeking high quality monitoring equipment in the studio field. The circuit design uses push-pull output and driver stages, a high quality in-house-designed output transformer and low negative feedback. Tube life is long (and replacement costs modest) and the circuit operates in pure Class A.
An unusual feature of the 8L6 is that it can be used as an integrated amplifier or as separate preamplifier and power amplifier. This is selected using the switch at the rear of the unit marked ‘Pre/power split on’. In integrated amplifier mode the front panel source selector works in the usual way to select any of the five inputs available on the rear. No connection is required between the ‘Pre out’ sockets and the ‘Power amp in’ sockets.
In pre-main mode the (passive) preamplifier section is disconnected internally from the power amplifier section, requiring an external connection between the ‘Pre out’ sockets and the ‘Power amp in’ sockets. This facility is provided to allow the user the option of connecting a signal processor such as an equaliser between the pre and power sections. An additional benefit is that the ‘Pre out’ sockets remain active when the 8L6 is in integrated mode, so that a second 8L6 (or other amplifier of similar gain) can be used ‘slaved’ to the main one for bi-amping.