I want to start this article off with a quote from one of the most well-known designers in history: Charles Eames. He once said that “The details are not details — they make the product. It is, in the end, these details that give the product its life.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement, and its profoundly precise representation of minimalism and good design. Hybrid Tube Amplifier, designed by Koichi Futatsumata of Case-Real for Elikit, is a product that would not exist without its details.
Whether emphasis is placed on the dials, metal casing, or glass tubes, a person’s superficial judgment of the amplifier’s simplicity will only be superseded by their recognition of its immaculately designed elements. Measuring 265mm W x 103mm H x 151mm D, the Hybrid Tube Amplifier is a rather small object when considering all of the technology being squeezed into its enclosure.
While everything down to the screws and typography are beautifully laid out, the most impressive feature of the amplifier is the fact that it works better than most. Form versus function? This product is form and function. The amp has a rated power output of 12W + 12W, a frequency response of 15~30000Hz, and input jacks for component players and portable music players.
There is clearly a Dieter Rams “less is more” influence on the Hybrid Tube Amplifier’s form. The two beautiful tubes that sit atop its surface produce a pleasant asymmetry, yet harmoniously compliment the large operation dials in the front. Its aesthetic is strikingly attractive, sensibly minimal, and impeccably detailed. Overall, there is nothing I would do different in how this object was designed.