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Advice about import of Elekit TU-879s tube amp

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I'd appreciate tapping into your collective wisdom before I make a mistake I regret!!
On the advice of Tachyon from the forum I have investigated some avenues of getting into valve amps at reasonable cost.
Firstly I would like to buy a DIY kit. Secondly I dont want something extremely basic that I'll find unsatisfying.
I have almost completely settled on buying an elekit tu-879s. Good 6-moons review and other reviews too.
Seems to be available from US from two avenues - VK music and Tube Depot. However Tube Depot seems to have skr%wed Mr Kung from VK music (who translated all the Japanese build instructions) so morally would be nice to support VK if possible.
Onto the problems & questions:
1. Anyone had experience with this design? Reason not to purchase...?
2. Something seriously better I could consider at similar cost ($600)?
3. Any positive or negative experience with either of these outlets?
4. Tube depot will supply a 230v power transformer whereas I would have to contact VK and ask what he could offer. The standard kit and review is based on the Japanese transformer. I have concern that changing transformers to some random transformer (I have no evidence they would be so careless to spec a completely "random" transformer) would adversely affect performance. Comments?
5. I've read the importing thread. I'm slightly hesitant to pay up front and just wait patiently for something which may never arrive. But it looks fun and I'm mentally almost ready for the risk!
6. What's the import duty on electronic goods? I've got no idea.
Any useful comments gratefully received.

(Before you warn me about the speakers I will need for an 8w amp dont worry I have it covered.)

Mmmm ....

Would like to help you decide on the technical side, but the circuit appears to be 'secret'. (I am basically sceptical - always wondering what's there to hide when some simple thing is secret.) But my Googling skills aren't the greatest. Can anybody oblige?

The circuit appears to be this:


Though the actual component values aren't shown.

Changing the mains transformer is not going to have much effect on it, unless they supply a real 'economy' style one. The other option is to take the original 110V version and buy a 220:110 transformer locally for a few hundred Rondt.

I think if you pay by credit card, you are reasonably well protected if it doesn't ever arrive.

Thanks for the effort. However I still am not sure. :-\
Will keep you updated if I go ahead and buy it.

"Ah shouldna start"

I notice from Mr Valve's price list that 2 x EL84s (2 x R110) are less expensive than a 6L6GC (R245). And for almost the same performance (12W) he offers 6P1P-EVs at only R45 each. Both those sets for 12W output (p.p.) compared to a single 6L6GC at hardly 8W, and the latter with a rather more expensive output transformer.

But not a ready kit for the worthy ColdGlassEye. Wish I had more time right now!!

(As said, I should not interfere. But if anyone can sell CGE/me 2 x 12W UL output transformers (primary 8K), one can draw him up a kit at less than $600 (and that is before imports) to beat the socks off an S.E. (I have three such OPTs, but no two are the same.)

But let this not deter you, ColdGlassEye, though I will look. Also from me (as at least one esteemed forum member wil warn) - no time for the next few weeks. In the mean time, any offers for commercial valve OPT's lying around, possibly for the future?


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