JLTi Audio Products

133 Dalmeny Drive, Prestons NSW 2170, Australia +612-96074650 & 0412-203382

  JLTi Oppo Player        CD & DVD Player Upgrades        JLTi Tube Amps   

World-Wide Distributors
JLTi BDP Oppo Player
JLTi Oppo Level 4.1
JLTi Phono - Back Again
JLTi EL34 & KT88 Amps
What is Terra Firma?
CD/DVD Upgrades FAQ
Contact Us
Elsinore Speakers DIY
Elsinore Project Kits
JLTi EL34 Wins Shootut
About Joe Rasmussen
JLTi Interconnects
JLTi Review & Comment
Tubes & The Gainclones
DIY Tube Gainclone
Joe's FVP Page
Joe's Equipment Photos
Fletcher-Munson Curves
Joe's Photos
Real Vs False Claims?


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"Here at last is a universal player that can now compete directly against CD or SACD players available at any price. Yes, even with exalted players costing ten times as much, this player...will reveal a pedigree that will stun in any company."

Audio Reference, Auckland, New Zealand



Oppo BDP-105/D Level 4.2+ACB AUD $3190.00

Oppo BDP-105/D Level 4.2 AUD $1990.00

(You supply player or we may source for you.)

Enquire from your International Agent for their Pricing


ACB - "Analog Clock Booster"

The acronym ACB stands for "Analog Clock Booster" and although it sounds like a novel idea, to use an analog amplifier to control the strength, power and level of a  clock signal, the difference it can make is truly surprising. It has been proved pivotal in the development of our ultimate clocking technology.

The clock inputs of both the Sabre DAC and the Oppo Master Clock benefits from clocks with tightly controlled source impedance to precisely maintain their level and timing. Clocks are non-switching devices which require non-switching loads and the degree of isolation needed for the best results can only be achieved by using sophisticated analog amplifiers which have complete control over the insertion points of the clock signals. A full implementation also needs a large and complex power supply which together with the amplifiers makes for an extensive upgrade.

This is a new concept and a White Paper will be prepared to further explain how the technology works; why the  clock inputs are so extremely sensitive to the source impedance of the clock. The conclusion seems clear, that we are more sensitive to jitter than ever, that nothing in nature approximates it and detracts from naturalness.

(Question: Is aiming for the lowest jitter possible relatively more important than aiming for higher resolution?)

Below: Full Level 4.2+ACB

Level 4.2

Our Post-DAC Filter has been further improved by replacing the previous First Order filters with a Second Order filters to enhance the performance of the I/V Converters. This ensures a flat frequency response to 20KHz, an even lower noise floor and improved linearity and distortion.


Sabre DAC in Grounded Current Mode

The ESS Sabre DAC has a mode that the manufacturer, ESS, may not even know about. The Sabre DAC can be forced into an unusual Current Mode - where the offset "V" is exchanged for an offset "I" (the 1.65V offset gets changed onto 2.1mA per phase) and this is done simply by connecting the output physically to Ground. Fully DC coupled, non-feedback "Diamond Transistor" amplifier follows, no capacitors in the signal path.

SAW and Double-Clocking

Two "SAW" Clocks are used - one on the Sabre DACs and also one on the Main System Clock, custom made by Epsom Toyocom. SAW clocks are normally used for military and microwave purposes, but since the Sabre DAC can be clocked at 100MHz, a natural to use the SAW Clock as it is inherently a superior and more stable way to do clocking. Others are now copying our lead.

The use of two clocks was initially received with some skepticism, now other Oppo upgraders are are following suit. Two clocks are essential and also reports of significant improvement to video quality.

Passive Post-DAC Filter

So controversial that some have named this as snake oil and others have called it the "Rasmussen Effect". Yet this is a new kind of post-DAC Filter that corrects this deleterious effect that largely  makes Delta-Sigma DACs have a certain sonic signature. From Level 4.2 onward, we have further improved the filter. It is clear that this is correcting deleterious effects of "noise shaping" in Delta-Sigma DACs (they are unnecessary with Ladder R2R type DACs) and that D-S DACs have to curtail the frequency range to 20KHz and apply a filter that suppresses above 50KHz by a minimum degree.

Says former skeptic Ken Newton (Pa, USA):

The circuit modification needed to produce the effect is so seemingly trivial that one's first inclination is to dismiss it out of hand as snake oil.

What Joe has discovered is that if you add a dominant 1st order [we now use 2nd order] output filter at your DAC chip output... then the perceived sound goes from 'digital edginess' to 'analog smoothness'. The effect is very obvious, and surprising. Such smoothness is not to be mistaken for some kind of 'smoothed over' character, as the clarity across the band increases.

The Rasmussen Effect [Ken's naming] has removed upper midrange brashness and glare. The audible result of this removal is the restoration of more the sort of natural treble balance produced by live instruments... brass, cymbals, and bells now have quite distinctive tone color and weight. In addition, and perhaps surprisingly... a much more weighty sounding lower midrange and bass... The perceived beneficial affect on the lower frequency balance is quite strong.

"Flywheel" Sabre DAC Power Supply

Another Achilles Heel of Delta-Sigma DACs is the fact that they are switching engines, switching on and off a DC power supply. Any noise introduced from that supply is critical and becomes immediately audible jitter. This simple fact seems to have blind-sighted a lot of DAC designers. One solution is to filter that power supply down to 1 Hertz (Ted Smith does in the PS Audio DirectStream DAC). We have come up with a solution that is not a filter as such, but one that acts as a filter, even below 1 Hertz. We call this the "Flywheel" solution. It's simply the effect of storing a massive amount of energy on the Sabre DAC's power supply, which is an equivalent electronic mass effect in electrical sense, as it resists change down to ultra-sonic frequencies, hence an electronic "Flywheel." The improvement is instantly obvious, not exactly subtle.

Terra Firma Clocking Power - Special Edition

Our alternative to Atomic Clock method. What makes the Atomic Clock so good is that they are impervious to power supply noise and conventional clocking is not. This creates ultra-low frequency noise that turns into a 'worst-kind' of jitter - the kind of jitter that makes digital playback sound digital. We use a servo-controlled power supply that is calculated to be tuned to a few millionths of a Hertz. Please read this article for more detailed information.


Prices -  International Agents - Please Contact:


Custom Analogue Audio - Sydney

Contact Joe, +612-9607-4650

Mobile/Cell: 0412-203382

Email joeras@vacuumstate.com

New Zealand

Brian Gurr and Audio Reference - Auckland

Contact Brian: +649-530-8330

Email: b.d.gurr@gmail.com

United States

Michael Lanham - Pennsylvania

Phone: +1 703-517-7257

Email: mlfcva@cox.net

Asia- Malaysia

Octave Electronics Enterprise - KL, Malaysia

Contact TT Yap,  +603-79555755

Email: tt@octave-electronics.com


To Be Announced


I was sitting there stunned. It just sounded so organic, so natural. Just like my Kuzma turntable. And this is all from CD replay. CDs that sounded forward and thin, had body and presence. Sitting there last night playing CD after CD and getting goose bumps.

Let's just say that since Friday 15 records have turned up and none have been played. The Kuzma Stabi Reference is on holiday!

I just want to let you know that I've only played 2 records all week. 2 records. That's it. It's been CD constantly. What have you done to me?

Anthony Camplone, VIC


My wife is at odds to understand why she found me at 3.30am sitting in the prime position with the stereo blaring totally asleep.

My intrigue was obviously greater than my stamina. Needless to say that track after track stood me in disbelief of what I was hearing.

Disbelief that my system could actually sound that good and that my music could reveal that much more life and detailed information.

Gordon Wilson, VIC

Click on Image to Enlarge


JLTi Terra Firma Multi-Player


(NOTE: Superior sound to stock Oppo BDP-105D at almost same price.)

Oppo 103 & 103D


Also Oppo 93

Oppo BluRay BDP-93/103/D

AUD $1100 Upgrade

"When it arrived I had a quick listen not too impressed. Then after an hour or so I just couldn't believe what I was hearing.  And it was stuff I had never heard before. Amazing juju coming from that box. Detail, excitement, and an infinite sound stage. First impression is fantastic. I can't wait for my new speakers to arrive." Gary J. - Princeton NJ, USA

The Oppo 103 has same Digital Main Board as the '105 - the main  difference is the USB DAC of the 105 and the Variable Volume of the Sabre DAC. The Oppo 103 is Best Value and Oppo 105/D is Best Performance. The older Oppo 93 could be picked up second hand and upgraded to the same sonic performance. This would be an astonishing sonic bargain.

Re ACB option (Australia only for now) Phone or Text 0412-203382.


The “Solid Diamond” Phono Stage

(Australian No-Frills Version)

Now AUD $990.00 (Read More Info)

(Now Free Shipping World-Wide)






Do you have a Tube Amplifier? Are you aware that upgrading, fitting the LEM Output Transformer Booster module, Virtual Triode Operation and eschewing negative feedback, will transform what you already have. The majority of Tube Amplifiers and Integrated Amps are upgradeable and reported feedback extremely satisfactory. Very cost effective too.

Email: joeras@vacuumstate.com




Leading Edge Digital Clocking Technology

Terra Firma is here!

So what is Terra Firma? Read the article

Redefining Digital Playback


"It would be hard for me to undervalue this..., it has transformed what was already a very good player into a player that transcends what I thought was possible out of digital... There is an improvement in definition across the entire spectrum... what is more important is how the machine loses the last vestiges of what I can only describe as a "mechanical" presentation... and replaces that with a sense of] ease. Music simply breathes; expands and contracts in volume without strain, is achingly pure yet full bodied."

"I am now hearing more than ever but without any sense of etching or over-emphasis of detail... this is a whole new ballgame, where musicians become much more physical entities in my listening room. The extra level of nuance and resolution is just great. I love it! This is nothing short of a breakthrough as far as I am concerned." Rob Ferguson, New Zealand

Many more reviews here...

It may look like the audio scene is full of smart people but it is not really like that. In fact, only a fraction of them fulfill [that] criteria... and makes the audio wheel spinning, or moves it forward, if you like. If I had to name some, people like Jean Hiraga, ...as the Vacuum State guys do, Allen Wright and Joe Rasmussen. Pedja Rogic, Audial, Mono & Stereo Interview


Projected Price AUD $1045 plus Import Cost of Basic Amp of KT88

For those who wish to Upgrade your KT88 from Mark 1 please contact me.


Projected Price AUD $990 plus Import Cost of Basic Amp of EL34

Read Audiophile Society (ASoN) Shootout (load 0.5MB)

NICE ONLINE REVIEW by Digital Audio Review

Based on a Chinese OEM manufactured EL34 Tube Integrated Amplifier, rebuilt to our JLTi Standard. Incorporates new 2015 tube technology, such as the L.E.M., which is a module that literally super-charges the performance of the Output Transformers in such a way that they outperform even Amorphous  Cores (expensive and lower power). In addition, it uses a new method of Triode mode, which we call "Virtual Triode Operation" as well as other clever design ideas. If you cannot afford the Vacuum State prices for SVP, RTP and DPA-300B preamps and power amps, then this will get you much of that level of performance at a fraction of the cost. These are music lovers amps, not Hi-Fi amps, highly refined, grainless, liquid and surprisingly handles both micro and macro dynamics effortlessly, ultra-smooth, yet wonderfully full bodied and a bass quality that belies its humble power rating. Orders for Australasia will be taken now. Read more...

"The amp is STUNNING! And I can convey just how good with one example - even my wife remarked how good it sounded! Many thanks, I can't tear myself away from listening to it. People buy speakers not realizing that an amp can make an even greater difference.  Warwick Piper, SA

"Thanks Joe, my amp just sings! Matthew Foley, NSW





A "Current" Compatible Loudspeaker

Arguably The World's Largest Online Speaker Project - 100 Plus Pages (if printed out)

"To my opinion the performance is now on par or even better than the Avalon Eidolon."  Hans Hammerbauer, Switzerland

A World Class Speaker that only needs 18 Watt per channel under most circumstances.


Cost: AUD $190 per Pair  - Includes Air Delivery World-Wide (PayPal OK)


The impression is that it is made of a super-light metal, about half that of Aluminium, but is in fact made of ACETAL, a synthetic material that can be used in place of metals and machined like metal. Truly a high tech material. Designed for the Peerless HDS Tweeter, which is now manufactured as Scan-Speak D2608/913000. Dramatically reduces distortion by an order up to 4 and has the benefit (not often considered) of the Tweeter tracking "Current" rather than "Voltage" and reduces Phase Noise/Jitter.

Red: On Axis

Green: 15 degrees Off Axis (smoothest response when slightly Off Axis)

Blue: 30 degrees Of Axis

Note: Using a 1.8uF Coupling Capacitor will EQ the Frequency Response flat.


Kit of Parts (all drivers & bits except the box itself) $2500 - Usually 2 Weeks Delivery



Factory Sanctioned

Upgrade to Orpheus Apollo "Signature" Loudspeaker

Using New "CCD" Crossovers - read more

Mission Statement

It is all about value for money, helping you getting high performance audio at a reasonable cost. In the case of the latest Oppo Level 4.0 Upgrades, you have digital playback at the highest level.

Custom Analogue Audio is situated in Sydney, Australia. It is registered business in the state of NSW, solely owned by Joe Rasmussen, and the name tells exactly what we aim to do. We specialise in valve/tube equipment, often refurbishment, some repairs (but not a repair business), specialised in some Solid State products based on our own R&D. You will be surprised by what we can do.

Proprietary clock technology, specifically the way the clock is powered, we are world leaders and that is not an empty overstatement.

The biggest headache in digital audio is the un-musicality of "Delta-Sigma" Digital to Audio Converters and we have developed leading edge technology that finally fixes the worst problems of "D-S" DACs - our new Post-DAC Filter and Electronic Flywheel is being copied by others, but we were the originators.

Much of the technology is indeed proprietary and developed with along with others, most particularly with Vacuum State in Switzerland owned by the late Allen Wright. Other collaborators are from the U.S., UK and Europe etc.

Custom Analogue Audio also does leading edge R&D work into improving multi-way loudspeaker technology using innovative minimum and linear phase crossover philosophy being shared with select speaker firms. The vehicle to publicly describe this approach is the Elsinore Loudspeaker, now the first "current" compatible loudspeaker, and it is DIY and constrcution details available on this website.

Rebuilding Tube Amplifiers, particularly Power and Integrated Amplifiers, is a high value service for those with existing models. These can often be upgraded to an audio performance that is sublime, and capable of dynamics that Solid State amplifiers barely hint at. These amplifiers, converted to Virtual Triode Operation, sound far more powerful than their rated output indicate. If in Sydney, or coming to Sydney, please give us a chance to demonstrate this.

A so-far exclusive service offered by Custom Analogue Audio is the L.E.M., the add-on module that will upgrade and super-charge any output transformer used in any tube Power or Integrated Amplifier, without even removing or changing the transformer itself. Combine this with our special method of converting the output stage to to Virtual Triode Operation, and your old amp will be ready to be aimed at the moon.

We also rebuild or improve some Preamplifiers and custom make new ones. This can be anything from a simple and inexpensive upgrade to complex rebuilds and new FVP-5B Phono PreAmp, but always delivering value. If you are an owner of an older Vacuum State FVP Preamp, this can be upgraded to a preamp that competes with commercially available products selling for $10,000 or a new FVP5B can be built to order. It is simply a killer preamp, even if some were made twenty years ago and then upgraded with time over twenty years. Also, new Solid State preamps, even Microphone Preamps for Studio use, based on our own exclusive R&D. No negative feedback, large bandwidth, best non-tube sound imaginable and reasonable cost. The technology is based on the amazing JLTi Phono Stage that is now commercially available and is arguably the best value Moving Coil Phono Stage available under $6,000. If in the U.S., contact Audio Revelation.

We welcome visitors and the opportunity to demonstrate what we can do. Please bring some familiar music, whether CDs, SACDs or Vinyl. The atmosphere will be very different from that of a shop, there is no obligation to buy anything, as it is mostly services that we make available rather than specific products to sell. Just enjoy the experience.

Improve Any Tube Power Amplifier


Linearity Enhancement Module

International Version to Dual 115V-230V AC Now Available

L.E.M. is a module that fits inside your Tube Power Amplifier that enhances the performance of the Output Transformer. How does it do that? It is not well known that Output Transformers suffer from lower resolution at low signal levels due to the Permeability slide factor as publicly described by Menno Vanderveen (member of the Audio Engineering Society), the Dutch transformer designer (for Plitron and more). The L.E.M. works by exciting the Output Transformer at very high frequencies near the edge of its bandwidth, so there is a constant signal going through the transformer preventing the Permeability to slide below a certain point. Resolution is always kept high, audible grain is prevented, blacker backgrounds due to better dynamic shading, bass fundamental improved and more. Improves any Tube Power Amplifier.

According to Menno Vanderveen, the flux density can go as low as 40 nanoTestla @ 4KHz - as weak as the Earth's magnetic field.


For the time being this is offered in Australia alone, the projected price is $300 for a Stereo amplifier and $360 for Mono Blocks, fully fitted.


Email joeras@vacuumstate.com

The L.E.M. has also proved to be beneficial to some Solid State Integrated and Power Amplifiers. Especially successful in improving the novel "Gainclone" type of amplifier, such as the JLTi Integrated. Since these have no output transformer, it is clear that something else is at work. While not as easy to define, it would help keep the transconductance of the solid state output devices higher at lower signal/current levels. Also, the higher rise time of the L.E.M. signal will accelerate the transition through the zero point, thus reducing crossover artefacts. The sonic improvement is the actual proof - the rest is academic.

LEM fitted EL34 Tube Amplifier available, also KT88

Joe Rasmussen - Contact Information


612-9607-4650  (02-96074650)
Mobile Phone
61-4122-03382  (0412-203382)
612-9034-9666  (02-9034-9666)
Postal address
133 Dalmeny Drive, San Marino Estate, Prestons 2170, Australia
Electronic mail
Webmaster: joeras@vacuumstate.com
IMB Bank, Wollongong NSW

Account Name: Custom Analogue Audio

Account Number: 200-568-410

BSB Number: 641-800

ABN 606-327-68606

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Send mail to joeras@vacuumstate.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2003-10 Joe Rasmussen & JLTi
Last modified: Monday June 08, 2015

Just had a terrible thought. If "intelligent design" is unscientific, then who will design our audio equipment?