Gadgets 20-ErzetichAudio_BacillusTilia-Isolated

Published on April 10th, 2017 | by Greg


Erzetich Bacillus Tilia: A Stunning Handcrafted Headphone Amp

Chances are, you’ve probably never been to Slovenia. And most likely, you don’t even have an item in your house or apartment that you could point to and say with confidence that it is from the country. But if you have a set of audiophile headphones- the sort that cost over $500- then you probably should consider picking up a serious amplifier, if you don’t already have one. And even if you already have a portable amp, it won’t cut serious desktop listening sessions. Amplifiers often look fairly standard though, metallic boxes, with little visual appeal.

Which is part of how the Erzetich Bacillus Tilia immediately sets itself apart, with a unique wooden case that is individually handmade with linden wood from the forests of Trnovo. The Tilia edition is the more appealing model, but it’s based on the original Bacillus, a well-regarded desktop amplifier that has similar internals (though we hear of updated capacitors and op-amps). The back of the unit will look familiar, with gold-plated RCA connectors on the rear along with a simple switch and the power plug as well, and the front boasts a single large, sturdy volume knob and the headphone jack.

Gearheads will appreciate the specs and components- a dual Burr-Brown current buffer and an Alps Blue Velvet volume potentiometer. And we put them through their paces- first, burning in the amp for a couple of dozen hours and then testing it across a huge range of headphones, from planar magnetic pairs to 3D-printed models, and a wide variety of music and sources too. It proved incredibly versatile, capable of driving any set we tried, without worrying about impedance (8-600 ohm)- and the same was true of genres. Rock and pop sounded energetic and just a touch warm, with operatic and acoustic vocals truly present and transparent- the sort of depth and staging that will impress even the most jaded listener. It’s a touch light on the lower-end, but there’s no volume ceiling that we could detect and no noise.

Now, this isn’t a DAC/amp combo with direct USB connectivity, so you’ll need a good digital-to-analog convertor that’s worthy of the system if you’re trying to use your computer or other device. There’s no remote control, no interchangeable tubes, but that means no mess and no fuss. The Bacillus Tilia certainly offers an aesthetic appeal, with a natural, almost rugged elemental balance between the metallic and the wood that is mirrored in the music. And Erzetich made an amp that feels well-made, durable, and comes with a five-year warranty. Expect to spend around $799 online for the Erzetich Bacillus Tilia, one of the most unique desktop amplifiers that we’ve seen.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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