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China Grand Tour 2009
TJ Full Music Tube Factory
Report By Steven R. Rochlin

 No, this is not the speedometer reading on my ol' Ferrari while on the back straight at Watkins Glen International. This is one of the many high-speed bullet trains as i make my way to the large TJ Full Music factory.


The designer of TJ Full Music, Liu Zhe Sheng, stores his hand written trade secrets and designs within these large file cabinets.. that date back to 1956. We open the doors are technical documents from the Beijing factory and many of his own designs fill the many books Liu Zhe Sheng is perhaps the world's foremost authority, longest and oldest audio tube designer specialist. His experience over half a century has served him, and audiophiles of course, quite well.


Here he is going through some designs that date back many decades.


Making the grid pin piece is done by hand using a specialized press/forming device.


After grid part is made it is inspected under a microscope to ensure each and every one is perfectly created. Less than perfect pins can be adjusted or simply discarded, while the good ones make it to the production line. 


Spare parts for various machines.


This machine quickly spins a long bar while an extremely thin metal wire is carefully applied at precise spacing. What you are seeing here is the creation of TJ Full Music's KT88 grid being wound.



The above machine magnifies 50 to 100 times the completed grid structure. They are carefully observed and spacing might be adjusted as needed to ensure perfect spacing. The right photo is a close-up of what the operator sees on the screen.


Making of the plate structure. Below are step-by-step hand done operations so you can see how the grids are secured to their top and bottom piece.



This is the original Russian 1950's tube glass manufacturing machine. There is a plaque and i took a separate photo for those curious as to what it says.


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