point-to-point or solder to CB: what should I be considering?

Greetings all.

A long time ago (okay, a few months ago) I asked for the group's advice as to which tube amp to buy—Cronus Magnum III or Cary Audio SLI-100. I read all of your recommendations, many of which didn't address the two units I was considering, but that's okay. You all gave me a lot to think about and much research to do. I was able to audition the CM III and the Primaluna Evo 400, which some of you endorsed. The PL won hands down. Played through a Marantz SA10, I heard sounds that have been lost to me for over 30 years. Tears of joy fell from my eyes when I heard Steve Gadd hit the bell on his ride cymbal during his Aja solo not to mention the shimmer of all of his cymbals (I used to be a drummer back in the day). The PL extends to 42kHz.

I'm now considering stretching my budget to take a look at Ayon's Spirit V. One problem is, there are very few reviews online to read. The other possible problem, Ayon uses circuit boards, no P-to-P wiring. My question to the group, are some systems that use circuit boards still worth considering such as Ayon or is p-to-p the only way to go? I suppose using circuit boards allows for the shortest single path, but will the solder joints on the ceramic bases to the boards eventually give way with constant exposure to heat? As always, thanks for your input.


Circuit board is better than point-to-point. Easier to achieve a lower noise floor and better grounding.

I have a pair of Quicksilver Mid Monos and a custom 300b amp.   Both are point to point wired, simple, reliable, and serviceable.   Im having a preamp built too and it is point to point also.  My last PCB Based amp had some nasty burns on the PCB where the bias resistors were.   If one failed it left a burn mark.  Or even worse damage the printed circuit trace.      

Small signal tubes don't present much of a heat problem. Output tubes are best used with their sockets attached to the chassis' metal work.

Like most things in high end audio…it depends….  As Jason correctly said ( and i will modify ) a hand soldered ( no wave ) PCB with curved traces of odd shapes on a multi-layer board will have better noise and other sonic benefits, especially as they  relate to inductance on component leads. The board material also matters. Conversely point to point can be critical in higher heat applications as noted output tubes, etc. For a master class in using both a PCB and point to point, take the bottom cover off of the brilliant RM-9 by Roger Modjeski ( RIP ) There are of course others.

So in short, i wouldn’t base a buying decision on point to point or PCB….

Best on your journey 

OP keep banging on the drum !


I have an Ayon Spark Delta for sale.  I found that the circuit board based amp wasn't as clean, clear and magic as the point to point amps.  It certainly is a great amp.  The 6c33c is a great tube (although it generates a lot of heat).  

If you're in Socal you're welcome to come listen to it.


Both approaches can work fine. The design is the issue- if the designer did not address the layout requirements, it can go south in either case.

It is usually easier to update and repair when point to point wiring is used in tube equipment.