By August 28th, Sasa emailed this update
: "The Belus is still not ready for review because I have issues with my original chassis dimensions. Things I've done since the earlier prototypes no longer fit into the current box. Please be patient a bit longer. I made a very special toroidal choke for the power supply. It had an amazing influence on the sound but also made my box a bit too small. In the meantime, I did however finish a new Tara linestage based on the Emission Labs 30A triodes for Fred's client. It uses a 47-step Bent Audio attenuator, has 18dB of gain, 600-ohm output impedance and 1:3 RCA:XLR inputs."

Though a setback for my review schedule, the fact that Sasa kept buttering his bread from all sides—tubes, transistors, mainline product, one-up custom commissions—was exactly why I kept having high hopes for the hybrid Belus. By October 19th, he was still "sorry for the delay. Fred's big SE 450 TL drove me crazy on some counts and took up a lot of my time [which explains why one-off custom projects command high prices - Ed]. To prove that it's real, here are two photos of the Belus chassis ready for assembly. I already sent out the PCB drawings to the plant."

Clearly the amp would be offered in black and silver. But there was more. "The Belus front will have some wood accents. What color do you want?" I hadn't the faintest that I had that choice. Now I mentioned how the old herringbone wood parquet in our rental was of a ripe honey colour. If he had something in that vein, it'd be very trick. Even trickier, it'd impress our interior decorator.

By early November, Sasa had sent another photo asking whether he'd poured on "enough honey". I said that, sight unseen, he had managed to match our floor astonishingly well. Apparently honey translates the same into all languages. Final assembly now was just a few weeks out. On the 13th of the month, the first PCB photos arrived. Things were beginning to take shape. As to what transistors he selected, "Exicon ECX10P20 and their complementary EXC10N20 lateral Mosfets, two pairs per channel."  Hence, four transistors per side in a mini-paralleled push/pull array. As to what speakers he runs for personal sound checks, "Rethm Maarga modified with class D sub amps. Belus has a gain switch on the back to adapt to any speaker system without noise."

Those familiar with the Siemens C3m telephony pentode only in its denuded form as used by Shigeki Yamamoto may never have seen it in its original metal canister as here.

Here is one channel's tube board topped by its mono PSU still without capacitors and mains fuses. Note the chunky screw-down terminals for the current chokes. The AC voltage of the 400VA low-induction power toroid meets the lower PCB between the vertical fast recovery diodes with heat sinks.

Next comes the PCB which installs vertically right behind the power IEC on the inside rear panel. This is the high-voltage power supply and stabilizer for the C3m as well as heating stabilizer. A final red PCB also installed vertically on the inside rear panel but in a corner contains speaker, DC and overload protection. Between two of the above channel stacks and in the middle of the enclosure go two beefy high-current chokes for the output stage power supply; and the toroidal mains transformer.