If an audio system could be likened to the miracle of the human body, then the amplifier would be the heart. An amplifier is the heart of any audio system. Like the human heart, and amplifier creates the pulse pumping life energy through your system. When you place greater physical demands on your body, your heart must respond. So too must the amplification respond to the demands of your system. Without a heart, there could be no music.
Control, Color, and Dynamicsare the essence of every preamplifier. Of all the components in the amplification chain, the preamplifier may be the most critical because it is when the audio signal passes through the preamplifier, that it is the most vulnerable to even the most minute distortion, timbral change, or noise which when added to the signal will be magnified when the signal enters the amplifier.
It is also a crucial stage for determining the character of your system.Yin /Yang ,Cool/warm or “ neutral”
Here is where the Aural flavor really starts
New breakthroughs in power supply design and shielding technology has finally allowed hi-end designers to create stunning integrated amplifiers which can truly perform on par with some of the best separate components from only one unit. This is welcome news to audiophiles who simply may not have the room for an extravagant separates system.
Breathe life into your system with one of our choice amplification devices. At Sound By Singer Ltd., we have painstakingly selected only the finest components to offer you. When you sit back and enjoy the new life the right amplification can bring to your system, you may find your system's pulse isn't the only one racing!
The Absolare Integrated Amplifier is a hybrid design with a tube preamplifier section and solid-state dual mono power amplifier section. The tube preamplifier section is configured in pure Single Ended Triode architecture. It is a mu-follower design like the Absolare Preamplifier, with a minimum number of components to preserve sonic purity. All internal cabling uses Echole’s proprietary alloys.
The power amplifier section uses separate power transformers and large very low ESR capacitor banks for each channel. 12 active output components provide 200W continuous power per channel into 8ohm loads. They are individually hand tuned for perfect symmetry. A massive CNC carved aluminium heat sink dissipates excess energy providing overheat and overload protection for the output stage. A power-on timer circuit protects the speakers from transient signals that may occur before the tubes are heated to optimal operational temperature levels. Balanced models employ input transformers for balanced operation.
We believe that the Absolare Integrated Amplifier has the musical and emotional involvement of a tube amplifier with an inaudible sonic signature. Further, the design insures the realism of tonal balance, extraordinary transparency and a three-dimensional soundstage without boundaries and limitations. In short,, the Absolare Integrated Amplifier will breathe life into your music.
… ” I found my attention drawn to the midrange for this amplifier’s extraordinary sense of clarity, combined with warmth and sheer timbral gorgeousness. Heightening the experience, the Integrated’s rendering of timbre was utterly liquid and grain-free. Subtle textural details that convey instrumental timbre and musical expression were beautifully conveyed. The Integrated is as close in sound to a pure tube amplifier as I’ve heard from transistors. Also like a tube amplifier, the Integrated had a wonderful feeling of bloom and “action,” with a palpable sense of air expanding around instruments’ dynamic envelopes. I can best describe the Integrated’s sound, and midrange in particular, by comparing it to the sound of Ben Webster’s tenor sax on, say, Gentle Ben, or Soulville—rich, creamy, and sensual.
Some tube-transistor hybrid amplifiers are a mix of compromises and trade-offs, with the designer attempting to minimize each technology’s shortcomings while maximizing its strengths. I see the Absolare Integrated not as a product of compromise, but rather of distillation. The company has found a way to bring the magic of its all-tube Passion components to a product that is not only more affordable, but also more flexible because of its ability to drive a wider range of loudspeakers. Give the Integrated a listen; I suspect that many of you will be captured by its many charms, just as I was.
The absolute sound
By Robert Harley| Mar 13th, 2018
The Absolare Preamplifier has been designed with the goal of creating a pure and emotionally engaging preamplifier capable of conveying the deepest musical integrity within the faithful reproduction of the recorded performance.
The Absolare Preamplifier is housed in a single chassis with separate power supply and signal sections internally partitioned by a thick aluminium wall. This design eliminates unwanted magnetic influence of AC noise on the signal path. The laser cut, precision welded 3mm aluminium chassis is enclosed in leather clad high-density fibre panels to minimize mechanical resonances. On top of these, a separate large CNC carved aluminium housing provides a vibration free environment for the tubes and signal components. Supporting the entire structure is a 5mm thick aluminium base plate that also provides a stable foundation for the feet. All signal connectors are gold/silver plated tellurium copper. All tube sockets are pure teflon with gold plated copper contacts.
Electrical filtering is implemented in three stages: a pi-type capacitor-resistor filter; an active regulator and another large pi-type filter. All filters employ the highest grade Mundorf capacitors with ultra-low ESR to preserve maximum levels of dynamics and detail in the signal. All internal power cabling utilizes Echole proprietary alloys. Schottky diodes provide fast and noise free rectification while a significantly oversized Lundahl transformer mounted on a slab of palisander wood supplies all the current demands instantly. Heaters are DC regulated and filtered with Mundorf capacitors.
The all tube signal section is configured in pure Single Ended Triode architecture. Output impedance is kept low by a mu-follower design with a minimum number of components to preserve sonic purity. Signal components are directly mounted to the underside of a large CNC carved block of aluminium with point-to-point soldering. Input connectors are mounted immediately behind the signal stage, keeping all Echole signal connection cabling to the minimum possible length. Both input selector and attenuator are also mounted within the signal housing, next to signal section. Balanced models employ input and output transformers for balanced operation.
Following several years of careful preparation, Absolare has brought to market a new perspective in Push-Pull amplification with its introduction of an 85 watt Push-Pull amplifier. The Absolare Push-Pull amplifier combines the finesse, delicacy and midrange magic of a Single Ended Triode amplifier with the capability of driving an even wider range of speakers.
The Absolare Push-Pull Amplifier has two chassis monoblock construction. Laser cut and welded 3mm aluminum chassis are enclosed in a high density fiber cover to minimize the mechanical resonances. Power supply and speaker output transformers are in epoxy filled metal cans to minimize vibration and magnetic interference. 5mm thick aluminum bottom cover provides a stable base for the feet. Internal components are mounted on a thick aluminum plate which is bolted to chassis. With the painted top layer, overall thickness of aluminum where the components are mounted is more than half inch (14mm). This is a much better option than to have a very thick front plate just to support single power indicator LED and mount all the signal components on thin PCB's.
All signal connectors are gold/silver plated tellurium copper. Binding posts are silver coated copper with polyethylene barrels to decrease conductor mass. All tube sockets are made of pure teflon with gold plated copper contacts. The power supply for B+ voltage contains a three stage capacitor-inductor double-pi filter which employs highest grade ultra-low ESR Mundorf capacitors to obtain maximum levels of dynamics and detail in the output signal. Power by-pass capacitors are placed at every tube's supply pin to further increase dynamics and lower the noise. All tube heaters are DC regulated and heavily filtered. All internal cabling is done with Echole family alloys. A timer circuit enables a smooth start-up operation to protect the tubes from imbalanced power-up voltages. Power resistors are oversized for safety in the case of tube failures.
All tube signal section has transformer coupling between driver and output stages, ensuring perfectly symmetrical signal for push-pull operation. EL34 tubes provide a powerful drive for 845 output tubes. Phase splitting is done via a high current 12AT7 tube. Separate power filters for each stage eliminate modulation distortions. Signal components are directly mounted on the underside of the tube sockets with point-to-point soldering. Custom winding of output transformer maintains perfect symmetry and low distortion at every level.
The sonic objective is to allow the Push-Pull topology to deliver a natural, musically involving listener experience without a discernible sonic signature and with a new level of dynamic contrast and harmonic resolution unprecedented in today’s Push-Pull designs.
Words can hardly convey what the new SAM G2 is capable of achieving. With a spacious yet subtle sound, it plays transparently and spatially, sleekly and most powerfully. Reproducing every single note naturally and effortlessly. The new SAM G2 is even more committed and passionate than its predecessor. Indeed, its richness of information and tone, power and authority as well as its musical coherence has audiophile critics clapping their writing hands everywhere on the globe.
Such quality is scarce on the market, making this device ideally suited for domestic use and tonally convincing musical reproduction. The SAM G2 masters all the tasks set to it with dedication, captivating its listeners with breathtaking authenticity. Its sound is characterized by speed, purpose and honesty, yet at the same time is full of charm, finesse and the utmost care to detail. With its catching enthusiasm, this lively device produces a surprisingly realistic sound experience.
With its new transformer-coupled outputs and superb user interface, the VK-33SE offers both extremely dynamic, transparent renditions of musical events and the industry’s best ease-of-use versatility. The result of intense research, each of the preamplifier’s transformer-coupled outputs is encapsulated within a mu-metal shield, a design substantially superior to any capacitor in maintaining purity of signal transmission. True to its heritage, the VK-33SE uses the 6H30 SuperTube to form a high-current, low-impedance gain stage. For extra convenience, the fully balanced VK-33SE even incorporates a mix of balanced and single-ended inputs as well as outputs The VK-33SE preamplifier is truly an outstanding performer in Balanced Audio Technology’s line of Special Edition vacuum tube preamplifiers. At BAT, they don’t look over our shoulders to see what the competition is doing. Their toughest competition comes from within.
With its new transformer-coupled outputs, the VK-33SE simply offers a far more dynamic and transparent rendition of the musical event than previously thought possible. Available with or without MM/MC Phono Stage.
Known for its use of Unique Tubes and Circuits BAT recently introduced one of the great bargains in amplification : the VK 56Compact Chassis, Outstanding Performance, Stunning Affordability
The Balanced Audio Technology VK-56 represents the meticulous application of modern design principles to the development of a compact, affordable, and supremely easy-to-use vacuum-tube power amplifier that sets a new standard for musicality in its class. The result is a unique combination of fully balanced, all-triode design topology, automatic biasing of individual output tubes, and a marvelously simple upgrade path to monoblock operation—all in a chassis more compact than any previous BAT tube amplifier design. In addition, VK-56 is available with a silver color option that incorporates a silver front faceplate and matching rear arch. By using the same high-current dual-triode 6C33C-B tube employed in BAT’s flagship REX II power amplifier, VK-56 (55Wpc stereo, 110Wpc monoblock configuration) delivers the high-current kick required to drive even difficult low-impedance speaker loads. You can simply choose the stereo or monoblock version based upon your choice of speaker and room size. VK-56 can be upgraded to VK-56SE status at any time.
Balanced Audio Technology’s VK-3000SE integrated amplifier embodies simplicity without compromise. At last, audiophiles can get no-limits musical finesse and exceptional performance in one convenient package. Competitive with reference-level separates, the VK-3000SE provides a robust 150 watts per channel into 8-ohm loads and doubles this output into 4-ohm loads. Combine such ability with BAT’s vacuum-tube preamplifier section—based on the same reference 6H30 SuperTube used in the flagship REX II preamplifier—and you get sublime power matched with richly textured musicality. Sonically open, delicate, and smooth, the VK-3000SE allows any space to breathe with exquisite music.
The Balanced Audio Technology VK-3000SE integrated amplifier embodies simplicity without compromise. Whether it’s a studio apartment with skyline views or an expansive home with minimalist décor, even the most uncluttered living space should breathe with the life of exquisite music. Made to satisfy the world’s most discriminating music lovers, and providing effortless power in a truly compact package, the VK-3000SE delivers such splendor.
The Bryston B135³ Integrated Amplifier is without question one of the most sonically transparent and reliable audio products available. It offers performance levels equal to the finest separate audio components.
Inputs: 6x RCA Single Ended Pairs, 2x RCA Single Ended Pairs (Record In, Power Amp In), 2x Optical (TOSLINK)*, 2x SPDIF (RCA)*
Outputs: 2x RCA Single Ended Pairs (Record Out, Preamp Out), Speaker Terminals, ¼” Headphone Jack
Control: RS-232 (DB9), AUX IR, 2x 12V Output Triggers
The Bryston 4B³ is a dual channel (stereo) amplifier which is acclaimed internationally as being suited for the finest and most sophisticated sound systems. It is currently their most popular Cubed Series model.
Here is why:
"The sonic advances achieved with the new input stage have resulted in a singularity of sorts. This damn thing has perhaps the sweetest, purest top end I have ever encountered in a solid state amp at anywhere near the price (and way beyond), and a tonal finesse that rivals a fine modern tube amp, especially from the mid-bass and into the lower treble. Coupled with the amp's iron-fisted bass range and superbly low noise floor — a combination which allows micro and macro dynamic nuances to shine unimpeded — and you have one helluva performer." - Positive Feedback
300W into 8Ω
500W into 4Ω
900W into 8Ω (Bridged Mono)
Balanced and Single Ended audio inputs
Selectable gain at 23 or 29dB
Regulated power supplies to all voltage gain stages
Independent power supplies for each channel
Bridging switch configures amplifier into a single 900W Channel
The Bryston BP17 is a state-of-the-art analog stereo preamplifier, utilizing software control which allows Bryston to provide many more features and functions. The BP17 delivers incredible sonic performance while still adhering to traditional, fully discrete, analog circuits throughout the preamplifier. The BP17 offers a dramatic improvement over the BP16 by incorporating much of the existing architecture developed for the Bryston B135 Integrated Amplifier and SP3 Surround Sound Processor.
Inputs: 8x RCA single ended pairs*, 2x optical (TOSLINK)**, 2x SPDIF (RCA)**
Outputs: Balanced XLR Pair, 3x RCA single ended pairs (Record Out, Preamp Out), ¼” headphone jack
Control: RS-232 (DB9), AUX IR
Balanced and unbalanced outputs
Fully discrete class A analog circuitry
Balanced action volume control provides for both manual and remote control
Independent power supply and ground paths for analog and digital circuits.
Breathe new life into your loudspeakers with the Stellar S300, one of the most extraordinary stereo power amplifiers ever crafted for the low-end (under $5000) market. The S300 combines the slam, linearity, and toe-tapping pace of a Class D output stage with the warmth, grace, and rich inner detail of the Stellar Class A Analog Cell. The results are nothing short of ground breaking.
This Amp will liberate a wealth of untapped energy trapped in your media library. It delivers sufficient power, control, frequency extension, and dynamics, while maintaining a perfectly layered soundstage under the most complex musical passages.
The RP-7 essentially defines what a reference-level tube preamplifier can achieve, offering a balanced blend of smoothness and an extraordinary level of detail and transparency. The RP-7’s sophisticated electrical design is based on pure class A tube amplification with mosfet output buffering, providing a huge drive with a super low output impedance.
Beyond the incredible sound that it produces, the feature-rich RP-7 provides all of the functions users look for in a high end preamplifier, including home theater bypass, processor loop, mono button, defeatable display, slow start circuitry, and a host of other amazing features. A full function remote provides additional convenience. Two pairs of XLR balanced inputs and three pairs of RCA line level inputs allow for numerous source components while two pairs of XLR balanced outputs, along with two pairs of RCA variable outputs, facilitate a wide range of output connectivity. Also included is a high-power tube-based headphone amplifier, capable of driving even the most difficult headphones.
Elegantly simple, yet technically sophisticated, the Rogue RP-1 is offered at 1/3 the price of the RP-7 and is the best sounding preamp you can buy less than $2000. Based on the innovative RP-X platform, it is stunning in both performance and design. With all of the features needed for a true high-end system, boasting outstanding specs and remarkable sonics, the RP-1 sets a new benchmark in affordability, performance, and functionality.
The remarkably musical onboard MM/MC phono has user-adjustable gain settings of 43 and 58 dB to accommodate most popular cartridge and, with a wide variety of loading options your favorite cartridge can be configured to sound its very best. The discrete 1w headphone amplifier will thrill you with its smooth and refined sound.
This Rogue offering, now in its third iteration, like so many others, seems too good to be true. This 80w per channel tube amp, integrated with MM phono stage, sounds so convincing for so little outlay it has competitors scratching their heads. It will drive almost anything, sounds great, and is extremely reliable.
The design of the all-new VAC Master Preamplifier takes the essential developments from the cost-no-object Statement pre-amplifiers and presents them in their most elemental and effective forms. If the Statement products are like a Formula 1 racecar, the Master Preamplifier is the derivative ultra-performance road-ready sports car equivalent. All of the hand-wired Class A1 audio circuits are carried on machined, mass-loading plates, which are decoupled from the main chassis.
An astonishing value for the money, you’d have to spend twice as much to even begin to come close to its performance.
The Renaissance Mk V Preamplifier replaces the earlier Mk III, with a totally new in circuit, new chassis materials, and new appearance. It has more in common with the VAC Statement Series than the prior Renaissance generation.
The line stage circuit is the same transformer- coupled Class A1 balanced triode design found in the Statement Line Stage. The external power supply has rectification and filtering of the crucial high-voltage supplies for superb, spacious imaging and great preservation of nuance. The remote volume control is of direct-acting analogue type and continuously variable, so users can find the precise level necessary to snap the music into focus.
The Mk V features premium rhodium-plated Cardas and Neutrik Professional audio connectors with three high-level inputs, two of which may be balanced or single-ended, just like the output.
Vinyl lovers will enjoy the optional MM / MC phono stage, featuring three twin triodes operating in pure Class A1, variable MC impedance loading, and purely passive, precise RIAA equalization. The circuit topology is derived from the Signature Mk IIa SE, while the results rival and exceed those delivered by the more costly separate phono stages.
After designing the cost-no-object, award- winning Statement Phono Stage, VAC approached the Renaissance Phono project with great excitement wondering how lessons learned could be applied to create a more attainable phono stage. The goal was to find a way that the techniques developed for the Statement could be adapted and applied. That goal was obtained and the sonic family resemblance is uncanny and unmistakable. In fact, the stunning Renaissance Phono Stage Preamplifier is already a reference for turntable manufacturers.
The Renaissance circuit is developed directly from the Statement, incorporating the six twin triode tube stages responsible for the principal amplification of the phono signal and RIAA equalization.
Dual mono rectication, filtering, decoupling, and energy storage are provided in the external power supply and in the audio chassis for spacious imaging, incredible detail, and full-range impact. The new chassis design greatly improves EM shielding, with results more similar to the Statement than to earlier VAC preamplifiers.
Three inputs are provided on premium Cardas rhodium RCA jacks. Front panel controls allow you to customize the gain as well as both MM and MC cartridge loading. You can even select a mono mode to optimize noise and resolution with non- stereophonic recordings.
This 100 watt per channel stereo, 200 watt monoblock powerhouse features the exclusive patented VAC iQ Continuous Automatic Bias System, the only system that has the ability to hold each power tube's true underlying idle current steady at all times, resulting in more detail, increased subjective power, greater stability, lower noise, less distortion, and no more runaway tubes.
It will even tell you when it's time to replace weak tubes.
Conventional wisdom would suggest that the most critical part of a preamplifier is the active circuit design. Ypsilon, however, believes that the means of signal attenuation (the volume control) is most critical to the overall sound. Most designers use resistor attenuators for volume control, while Ypsilon long used resistor attenuators with high quality resistors, but that was before they developed their own transformer as the means of attenuation.
Unfortunately, even the best resistors can sound grainy and discontinuous. The materials used in resistors are far from ideal as conductors and sound much worse than pure copper or silver, doing harm to the signal. In a transformer, however, the magnetic circuit can be ultra-linear when the very best core materials are used creating a sound that is more musical and detailed compared with the best resistors. That’s why Ypsilon produced, in-house, a special transformer attenuator with 31 taps.
The maximum attenuation is 52db and maximum gain is 12db. The output impedance is 150 Ω max. The PST is the pinnacle in pre-amplification and a must have component for building a “no holds” system.
Ypsilon’s SET 100 Ultimate is s a 120W single-ended class A hybrid amplifier. It has the magic midrange of a small S.E.T amplifier with the scale, authority, and macro and micro detail that no amplifier has ever achieved until now. It uses a specially designed s-e mosfet output stage direct coupled at the output using as the dc current path a double c-core amorphous choke. The SET 100 has power and drive with transparency, musical involvement, and above all, creates a natural sound.
With only 2 gain stages in the signal path, the level of immediacy and transparency is unequaled by designs using more than 2 gain stages. Having no overall feedback, the distortion is kept comparably low while the output impedance is sufficient enough to drive real world loudspeakers.
The first stage uses a high transconductance triode, the SIEMENS C3g, which was selected for its sonic capabilities and reliability. It is powered by a separate power supply with tube rectification and choke regulation. This stage is transformer coupled with the output stage. This interstage transformer is a state-of-the-art component that uses a proprietary double c-core material and is silver wound using Swiss-made pure silver enamel wire. Sonically, it is virtually a nonexistent component. The output stage and all internal wiring are hard-wired with silver wire extruded to the highest specifications.
The power supply is designed with the smallest detail in mind to avoid any affect to sound quality. It uses a low-noise E-I power transformer, a big size differential mode power supply choke, and 4 pole electrolytic capacitors. It is also hard-wired using silver wire.
Mechanical, magnetic and electrical noise is very low, thus contributing to the quiet operation of the system. A darker background is produced from which sounds suddenly emerge as if coming from real life.
Ypsilon’s SET 100 Ultimate is an amplifier that produces music in its true natural scale and brings you as close as possible to the music event, so that you are touched by the music and the feeling that lies within, free from distortion. Compared with conventional amplifiers it is more direct sounding and musical featuring more instrument body, lower frequency extension, frightening dynamics and, most of all, magically three-dimensional.
The Ypsilon Phaethon integrated amplifier uses many of the technical solutions developed in the Ypsilon Aelius monoblock amplifier and PST-100 Mk.II, in a more compact and elegant design.
The Phaethon is a hybrid line level amplifier utilizing only three active gain stages, two of them with low-noise valves operating in single-ended class A fashion for the input and driver stage. It uses an in-house built transformer attenuator, embedded in the preamplifier section using a novel post attenuation technique.
The tube driver stage is coupled to the output stage with a wide bandwidth inter-stage transformer that provides perfect phase splitting for the output stage. The output stage combined by same polarity semiconductors for both phases in a “balanced single-ended architecture,” offers the flavor of pure single-ended designs with the power of a push-pull design.
There are separate power supplies for the tube and output stage, utilizing five power supply inductors for low-noise filtering.
All these were designed to operate in unison, offering unmatched sound quality, making the platform of the integrated amplifier a clear advantage. All functions are remote controlled and visible through a high quality LCD display with large characters so it can be read from across the room.
Extremely simple in appearance the 3000 II is truly one of the world’s great preamplifiers.
A significant improvement over the original Model 3000 , the 3000 II employs Amorphous cobalt core transformer at the inputs and mu-metal core transformer is employed at the outputs. The amplification stage is constructed using Zanden's unique no negative feedback circuit. Absolute phase can be inverted, and a full function remote control is included.
The result is a little like straight wire plus game with a little sweetness added.
The 3100 is a remarkable preamplifier in its own right. Using a slightly simplified version of the 3000II classic line stage circuit The 3100 produces A truly musical presentation with clean detailed and dynamic sound . Employing transformers in the output section only , 3100 nevertheless maintains the use of tube rectification which is more than a little unusual in its price range.
One of the great mono block class A 845 amplifiers, the model 9600 operates in purely balanced mode employing KR 845 vacuum tubes which allows it to generate 60 W of class a power and up to 100 W of class a B power. The musical results or simply such stunning.
8120 originally saw light as the power section of the model 6000 integrated amplifier. Once the far superior preamp stage of the 3100 was introduced Zanden made the decision to offer it as a power amplifier. Using KT120 output tubes the model 8120 is remarkably fast and laid on its feet for a tube amp not quite as warm as we usually expect but brilliantly transparent in every sense of the word.
The only solid-state component which Zanden makes is it’s model 120 phono preamp . The 120 has two inputs either of which can be designated as high or low impedance. It continues the tradition of offering multiple phono equalization curves as in the 3002. While not as luxurious as it’s big brother the model 120, it is and exceptional performer in its own right.
From its debut, the Rhumba has wowed listeners.
The Rhumba 1.3 features a convenient tube access door, which allows easy tube changes and comes off with 2 chunky thumbscrews that remain attached to the door, so they can never get away from you. Other features carried over from the Rhythm 1.3 include fully balanced XLR input and output, a luxurious remote volume control, mute switch, stereo/mono switch, balance control, REC OUT jacks, Home Theater Bypass jacks, toroidal transformer and IEC inlet to allow you to experiment with various power cords.
The Rhumba sounds remarkably similar to the company’s flagship. Although it is about 1/3 the price of the Rhythm Backert was able to bring its fun factor, its detail retrieval and its harmonic richness extremely close to the Rhythm’s.
These sonic characteristics form part of the company’s mission. Bob Backert has said, “When you enter a club or restaurant, it’s usually easy to tell whether the music is live, or being played on a stereo. The mission I set was to make it impossible to tell the difference. To do that, we focus on the accuracy of two things: dynamics, and timing. Several of our technical innovations have brought out audiblmprovements in these areas. As a result, I believe we have made significant progress toward the goal of reproducing truly live sound.”
Take 90% of the innovations and technology found in the Backert Rhythm 1.3 and put it into the same chassis as the Rhumba 1.3 and ,voila, you have the Rhumba 1.3 Extreme.The formula seems just right. 90% of performance for 60% of the price seems like quite a feat, but then again, we are talking about Bob Backert! Of course there are some differences besides the chassis.The rhythm has a dual mono power supply while the Extreme uses a dual mono regulator.V-cap copper foil power supplies run the power supply in the Rhythm 1.3 while the Rhumba 1.3 Extreme uses polypropylene caps.In the output the Rhythm uses Mundorfs best capacitors while Mr. Extreme employs Jantzen silver caps.
Yes you can hear the difference even if its only 10% , but in most systems the Rhumba Extreme more than carries the day.
At the top of Backert's lineup stands the Rhythm 1.3,the latest iteration ofthe Preamp that Scott Hull described as"freaking awesome " in the March 19, 2016 issue of part time Audiophile
I am guessing that if he had a chance to hear the 1.3 the " freaking" might be replaced by something even stronger(very freaking?).In that review the Rhythm 1.1 was compared to a $ 25,000.00
Tidal Preamp , which seems to be par for the course -that is to say the Backert Rhythm is so good that one naturally tends to compare it to components many times its price. The Rhythm 1.3 incorporates the finest capacitors made (V-Cap capacitors), a first in audio made possible by Bob Backert’s patented GreenForce power supply.and that is just where the unique innovations begin.
The Rhythm 1.3 uses an amplification circuit (“gain stage”) unlike any other. The way it amplifies is extremely easy on your tubes, running at a constant current and a remarkably low voltage (150 volts) for the blackest backgrounds possible, as well as the longest tube life you will find anywhere. Its 75 ohm output impedance means it is compatible with any amplifier made regardless of type.
An Amplifier of exceptional body and control , the Antileon exudes quality and stability. One look at it and you know that you are in the presence of
Greatness both in sound and fit and finish.The current signature version is a highly reworked version of the original Antileon which was introduced almost 20 years ago .The Antileon Signature, like its predecessor, the original Antileon, was born a classic, establishing itself immediately in High End circles as one of the most acclaimed amplifiers of all time. Loyal devotees around the world praise its singular ability to maintain a firm grip on even the most demanding loudspeakers and reveal the innermost soul of any musical performance.
Super integrated amplifiers are rapidly populating the Audio Landscape. What characterizes all of these offerings is the goal of putting all the qualities of the best separates into a single box.
Prices range from the low $20.000 to $ 150,00.00 or more .That is with the notable exception of The Gryphon Diablo 300 which enters the fray at $16000.00 for a truly magnificent expression of
what can be achieved in an integrated amp at the highest level of performance.vailable with a marvelous DAC , which at $6000.00 is a bargain unto itself and or a terrific MC/MM phono stage.
It is fair to say that tthe Diablo 300 is one of the outstanding bargains in High End Audio. But , take note , The Diablo 300 is no light weight literally or figuratively. It is an amp which is as big and as heavy as it needs to be to do the job.And what a job it is!
Now, in its long-awaited debut, the Gryphon Zena true dual mono preamplifier harvests the fruit of significant advances made in the evolution of the state of the art Gryphon Mirage.The Zena preamp is based on an exclusive, fully discrete, DC-coupled Class A topology with zero global negative feedback and extended 1 MHz frequency bandwidth, all contributing to high slew rates, extreme transient fidelity and zero treble phase shift for proper focus with fine ambient micro-detail.
The Amp is one of my all-time favorite power amplifiers. If you don’t need megawatts this amplifier seems to have it all. You might call it a Goldilocks device. Not too sweet ;not too hard; just right!
It does not have the slam of a big Gryphon or CH Precision amp But it has plenty and what its hybrid design DELIVER’s is simply captivating. Perfect for Stenheim, Kaiser Kawero, Harbeth,Splendor and Graham.
The "Preamp" is quite special employing only two stages of balanced amplification. Interestingly, the second preamplifier stage(output) doesn`t have any voltage gain but is a pure impedance converter with very high current reserves Both preamplifier channels are perfectly decoupled from the housing and mounted on their own low resonance frequency tuned sub-frame. This protects the amplifier stages against interferences from outside such as micro phonic or mechanical resonances. The unique power supply offers absolute stability under even the most adverse conditions.Stray magnetice fields and voltage fluctuations have virtually no affect on the Musical signal. Finally, Neither the volume control nor the selector switch are in the signal path.To change inputs Einstein raises and lowers the voltage across the tube assigned to the respective input.
Providing 100 watts at 8 ohms of absolutely linear UFPD 2 amplification across the entire audible bandwidth, I25 Prisma delivers naturally fast, clean and agile sound with an unprecedented ability to bring music to life.
In addition to five analog inputs, I25 Prisma includes a DM35 full-featured DAC stage enabling up to PCM 768kHz/32bit and DSD 256 conversion, as well as Prisma connectivity and control technology.
Absolutely the best integrated amlifier ever made by Krell , the K 300i punches way above its weight. Available as simple integrated or fitted with its own Dac
work card, the Krell K 300i integrated has earned Kudos wherever it has been reviewed. Most Recently ,What Hi fi had this to say
The Krell Duo 300XD is marked by huge power and remarkable finesse. Combining the slam and energy that Krell has come to be known for the new XD amplifiers have brought back the sweetness and resolution of the legendary KSA 50 , but made it far better! It is hard to talk about an amplifier that cost $ 9500 as being a bargain but in this case it is entirely appropriate.
Indeed,If you don't need the bone crushing 300 watts per channel produced by the Duo 300XD you can get the same nuanced sonic performance in the lower priced Duo 175XD and Duo 125xd
The XD technology is nothing short of revolutionary and its effect on the sound of Krell Amplifiers is nothing short of rematrkable.As Tone Audio Noted in its December
"The jump in resolution and musicality is massive. It’s like they are channeling the sound that made Krell famous, while incorporating the changes in technology that have cometo be over the last 35 years.The raw emotion that generated so much excitement over this brand in the 80s is back in spades, yet without losing that magic, there is more low level detail, and more refinement. This is a tough combination to master, yet Krell has. It’s like taking a car with a great paint job, wet sanding it with 2500 grit sandpaper and then buffing to a higher luster than you thought possible –yet there you are....
The folks at Krell are calling this “The New Sound of Krell,” but I submit that they’ve just returned to what made them great in the first place, bringing it up to date with the best advances in audio technology that have come our way in the last few decades. I’d say they’ve found their way back home."
I am deadly serious when I say that I have been longing for someone to create a power amp with resolution and grACE THAT SELL FOR UNDER $5000.00 TO MATCH SOME OF THE OUTSTANDING SUB 7K TUBE PREAMPS THAT BACKERT AND ROGUE MAKE . THE QUALITON APX 200 MEETS THIS QUALIFICATION AND THEN SOME FAETURING A SELECTABLE VOLUME CONTROL THE 100 W PER CHANNEL A 200X SIMPLY WIBES THE FLOOR WITH ANY TUBE POWER AMP I HAVE HEARD IN THE SUB 10K RANGE A NO BRAINER FROM THE W0ORLD OF PLAINKI AND GOULASH.TOP RECOMMENDATION
The Qualiton X 200 defies simple description. It is all at once an integrated amp, a power amplifier, and a pre-amplifier. it even has tone controls which suddenly affect bass and treble when you use them or otherwise completely transparent. All of these features would be simply meaningless if the sound wasn't there to match them. But it is there. It is there in spades. We have never heard a tube power amplifier/integrated amplifier that sounds as transparent dynamic and detailed as the X 200 for anywhere near its price range. It absolutely trounces amps which we have compared it to that sell for 15,000, 20,000 even $30,000. But the Qualiton can be had for a mere $6500 which makes it our go to Tube integrated/Poweramp under $15,000. it even has an MM phono stage.A great one at that. with 100 W per channel There are a few speakers which it cannot drive. Put it on a pair of Harbeth HL5XD and you will hear Nirvana.
The Brinkman Balance
While it is the oldest of Brinkman‘s turntables, it remains, the top of its line because it is that good. The Brinkmnn balance is a turntable I am extremely familiar with as I own one with of course a Ront tube power supply. The right power supply makes all the difference in the world as without it the Brickman sounds like a very very good belt drive turntable.
But, with at the Brinkmann balance flows like the Afton River:"Flow gently Sweet Afton among thy Green Braes “ -Old English folk song
When we think of Brinkmann we think of the marvelous turn tables they have made for many years. So, unfortunately, people often neglect the SUPERB electronics which they make. In particular the Brinkmann Edison is a world-class bargain in hybrid phono stages offering three inputS each of which is fully adjustable for impedance. I think the sound as described by Jacob Heilbrunn in the following several paragraphs February 2020 review gets it just right:
I listened to the Edison both through the Brinkmann and Ypsilon Silver PST-100 preamps. I found it most useful to isolate its sound by using the familiar Ypsilon. This afforded me the opportunity to hear exactly what it was—and was not—doing as it amplified the tiny signal from my Continuum Caliburn turntable and Swedish Analog Technologies reference CF1 tonearm via the Lyra Atlas SL and Miyajima Infinity mono cartridges.
The phonostage is quite flexible, allowing you to switch the transformers in and out of the circuit to boost the signal from moving-coil cartridges before the amplification stage. On stereo records I found the transformer to be indispensable. On mono records not so much. Many of the mono records from my jazz collection simply sounded incredible on the Brinkmann. Take the album Li’l Ol’ Groovemaker….Basie! The drums were set back far in the rear of the soundstage while the brass choirs came screaming out with what seemed like unprecedented ferocity in my system on cuts like “Nasty Magnus.” Basie apparently told Quincy Jones after the first run-through, “You ought to have written four of these, Quincy! That’s wailin’!” Indeed. Sonny Payne’s drums had visceral impact as the orchestra blasted out a series of crescendos.
Edison provided a rock-solid rendition of this trio, the best….
The sheer artistry that the Edison conveyed on the Philips recording The Delectable Elly Ameling was a combination of the sublime and the beautiful. On Mozart’s wonderful motet Exsultate, Jubilate, which he composed in 1773, the Edison tracked every syllable, every quaver, every trill that Ameling enunciated during her ravishing performance. It nailed the antiphonal effects between Ameling and the oboe as she sang “Hallelujah.” Once more, there wasn’t a trace of sibilance or harshness. Instead, the Brinkmann delivered a posh, upholstered sound that was quite delectable. Actually, I should say breathtaking. On the Bach “Floesst, mein Heiland, floesst dein Namen,” the interchanges between Ameling, two oboes, and chorus reach an exalted level. Listening to such works made me think of the eighteenth century German writer Friedrich Schiller’s famous distinction between naïve and sentimental poetry—the former being the natural state that we aspire to but can no longer achieve. In sonic terms, Brinkmann, you could say, tries to bridge the gap.
When contrasted with much more expensive equipment from CH Precision, Boulder, and Ypsilon, the Brinkmann gear doesn’t quite have their magnanimity of sound, grip, and airiness. CH Precision produces a cavernous black space that seems unrivaled. Boulder has a degree of control that is unique to it. And Ypsilon lights up the soundstage. But Brinkmann comes remarkably close and has its own set of virtues. It has a dynamism and smooth continuity that are immensely beguiling. It represents formidable German engineering allied to a profound sense of musicality that will be difficult for most listeners to resist.”
Edison Mk II Phonostage
After the astounding success and performance of the S500 Stereo Amplifier, MSB set ITS sights on expanding that sound to more systems. Trickle-down technologies incorporated into a more compact, lower-power framework resulted in the S202 Stereo Amplifier. It’s capable of meeting our DAC’s ultra high dynamic range head-on with optimized architecture in the critical areas of audio performance, power supplies, and ultra low-noise design. The S202 includes a fully modular design, matched impedance input stage and an all billet CNC case. The highest value amplifier MSB ever created, the S202 redefines excellence and sets a new bar in the industry.
When the musical vibrancy and sparkling audio energy are properly in harmony, only then can a pure Class A tube preamplifier deliver unsurpassed sonic performance.
There is no doubt that the preamplifier is the heart of any high-end audio system and Lab12 Pre1 was designed from ground up as a high-performance preamplifier that can easily serve both solid state and tube power amplifiers.
Lab 12 didn’t cut corners at any step of the design and despite Pre1’s affordable price, it can undeniably infuse a purity of music energy into any power amplifier whilst conveying an organic, transparent and highly involving sound performance.
The attractive simplicity and purity of class A single ended power amplifiers are imprinted in Suara, a high-fidelity audiophile Parallel tube Class A power amplifier.
Suara is a pure Class A power amplifier that has the ability to reproduce music with exceptional musicality and directness whilst its 50W per channel bring immense and controlled power out of the box able to drive any audio system’s loud speakers.
Special audio grade matched parts of the finest selections in every stage, refined voicing tests and countless hours of actual listening, allowed us to create this great octal tube based power amplifier, that offers both Triode and Ultra Linear mode at the tip of the switch.
Suara’s natural, intimate and warm reproduction of sounding will surely immerse the listener in a long- lasting audition without any listening fatigue.
Like all of the Lab12 products, Suara also comes with two colour choices of glass blasting anodizing finish.
g Lab12 suono, an audiophile Class A power amplifier. Every component on it is designed to provide smooth and untreated sound. It is a full tube amplifier with 6n2p NOS Russian driver tubes and KT150 on power stage. Suono can cooperate gratefully with any preamplifier on the market and it is the perfect match for Lab12 pre1. Suono has the ability to nail you down on your couch and make you listen all your music collection again. Full power for your speakers is here, but the most remarkable point is that you will receive a fluid, wide and addictive consonant sound with any choice of music style. All components are carefully chosen after hours of listening and testing, while paying great attention to every detail affecting the outcome. As every Lab12 device, suono has an ultra-solid construction with glass blasting anodized finishing and retro analogue V/U meters.
With the Essence series, the Gryphon has created a preamp and power amplifier a remarkable musicality, modest size, and reasonable price. When I first decided to bring in The Essence amplifiers , I had forgotten what a modestly powered pure class a amplifier could do with the music. In this case the answer is simply wow!
Interestingly what became rapidly apparent was that to get the best out of It’s performance you really needed to connect it to its own preamplifier. So in some ways, I think of the Essence Pre/Power As integrated amplifier in two parts. Just stunningly musical!
Designed for the true music lover, the C1's apparent simplicity hides highly sophisticated technological solutions with the single goal of recreating the full musical experience. This emotion can only be achieved when both level and time information are properly reconstructed from the digital data. And this is what the C1 is all about...
The C1 is based on a fully modular, future-proof architecture. Up to three inputs boards include standard digital inputs complemented by the proprietary CH-Link interface. Optional streaming audio inputs as well as line-level analog inputs enable the use of the C1 as a full featured preamplifier thanks to its integrated volume control.
A reference grade linear power supply (with <1W power consumption in standby mode), sophisticated mechanical chassis design and full USB based firmware update also contribute the C1's uniqueness, for now and for any future format!
28 Kilograms of Passion
The AMP I V2 represents an exemplary combination of pioneering Audionet technology with the company’s typically detail-obsessed scientific application and experience-based knowledge.
The sonic culture of the AMP I V2 is characterized by emotionality, sincerity and completeness. Performing quickly and with extremely fine resolution, it dazzles with its richness of detail. At the same time, the delivery is relaxed, devoid of the least hint of harshness or rigidity. Dynamic leaps are imparted with the necessary impact, without being merely loud. The bass is resolute and richly contoured. All this amounts to strikingly realistic holographic quality. And as a machine, the new Audionet discreetly stays in the background and creates a space within which the effect of the music can unfold – in all its artistry and emotionality. I know of no other Solid state amplifier in its class which offers so much.
As the driving force behind recreating the full musical experience, the task of the power amplifier may seem desperately simple but is indeed highly complex. Achieving our simple goal of ”add nothing, remove nothing” to preserve the full musical emotion has resulted in a ground breaking new amplifier topology. Housed in a chassis similar to the C1 and D1, the A1.5 sets new standards in terms of performance, flexibility of adjustments, industrial design and pure enjoyment.
The A1.5 is based on a novel proprietary amplifier architecture which optimizes the critical matching of the amplifier with the speaker. It can be operated either as a mono or stereo amplifier
A sophisticated mechanical chassis design and full USB based firmware update • 2x 150W / 8 Ohms, 2x 275W / 4 Ohms, 2 x 500W, 2 Ohms - 1x 550W / 8 Ohms in bridge mode .
”The C1+A1 combination sounds ultra-transparent, clean and controlled clean but also smooth and fluid, and organic. CH nothing is added and nothing is subtracted but this is actually what seems to be happening here. However, it is not a system that delivers the truth at the expense of musicality. Sure, play mediocre recordings and they will sound mediocre, but you can literally play any kind of music on this system, and it plays everything without prejudice and without ever adding even a hint of hardness.
Some audio components excel in their ability to allow the listener to dissect the music into its every musical strand, for example to precisely follow a certain subtle rhythmic aspect or almost hidden melody line. Often though, such super-transparent components can make for a more technical delivery, reducing the emotional impact in the process. Other audio components excel in luring one into the emotional performance and making one forget about the technical aspects altogether. These components, however, can tend to “generalize” the subtle elements of which the music is made. This discrepancy is something that I have often proclaimed to be inevitable because like humans, no audio component is perfect.
CH Precision audio components tick all the audiophile boxes, there need be no concern about that. however, they are unique in my experience for possessing the finest technical abilities while totally making one forget about them by simply sounding utterly realistic, wholly musical and absolutely convincing. The various technical aspects are woven together so utterly seamlessly that one is encouraged to stop the eternal analysis and simply enjoy the musical performances. It’s as close as I have heard audio components come to perfection.”
- Christiaan Punter 10 April 2018
It is well known that the electrical characteristics of turntable cartridges differ greatly from one cartridge to another. Ohm’s law shows that Moving Magnet cartridges will generate larger voltages while Moving Coil cartridges are generally more efficient at delivering current. Phono stages should take full advantage of the cartridges’ strengths and amplify the signal in the way they work best.
With two dedicated MC current inputs and one MM/MC voltage input, the P1 provides the optimal coupling to all types of cartridges.
In addition, discrete class A stages as well as the highest grade, tight tolerance components allow the P1 to deliver hi The P1 provides two moving coil current inputs, featuring the following specifications:
inputs specifically designed for low output, low internal resistance MC cartridges
current mode for best signal to noise ratio when paired with low output MC cartridges
no impedance adjustment required in current mode
XLR and RCA connector available on each input
Moving magnet / moving coil voltage input
The P1 provides a more classical voltage input, featuring the following specifications:
input designed for MM, MC cartridges and step-up transformers
ultra low noise FET-input stage
cartridge loading adjustment, variable from 100k Ohms to 20 Ohms in over 500 steps
wizard to select the cartridge's optimal loading through frequency response automated analysis
XLR and RCA connections
RIAA and enhanced RIAA (with additionnal Neumann pole) EQ curves factory fitted
high grade, tight tolerance custom components
optional add-on board containing EMI, Columbia, Decca and Teldec EQ curves
Analog signal path
selectable high-pass subsonic filter to remove unwanted rumble
ultra low noise, high bandwidth, high slew rate design
class A, discrete transistor based design performances for a transparent yet natural sound.
Blockbusters for Demanding Listeners
The new Audionet AMP high performance power amplifiers are true mono-blocks that combine remarkable sound potential with high-end technical possibilities. A pair of blockbusters for real connoisseurs.
Air plays a key role in regard to our AMP mono-blocks. For one thing, the pair needs some air around them in order to permit the diffusion of the heat either block generates. And for another, air is part of the sound experience they offer: every fragment of a beat, every acoustic detail is offered to the listener in transparent spatiality, as if encapsulated in the purest air. Weighing in at 22 kilograms, the two mono outputs deliver a maximum of airiness and vivid rendition, and may well bring tears of joy to the eyes of more sensitive listeners. The AMPs play with fascinating ease, impressing us with acoustic permeability, tonal accuracy and striking macro- and micro-dynamical precision. The musical reproduction is transparent, airy and colorful, but remains agreeably relaxed at the same time.
The uttermost quality of a preamplifier is its transparency. The source is selected and the volume is applied, however the original audio characteristics and signal dynamics are fully retained. The L1, a dual monaural analog line level preamplifier, was developed using this approach. It is a pure class A, ultra low noise, high bandwidth, fully balanced transistor based design. It provides the shortest path between input and output, maintaining the highest speed, transparency and musicality, allowing the L1 to become a truly exceptional preamplifier.
A Wide Grin at the Touch of a Button
The Audionet PRE I G3 combines opulent equipment with a brilliant sound. It is difficult to describe the sound it produces: spacious yet subtle, transparent and sleek, powerful and unshakeable. The PRE I G3 plays music in all its facets naturally and effortlessly.
Mains phase recognition
With six inputs and two outputs which can be labelled with individual names, a bypass mode for integration into a home cinema system, two subwoofer outputs, level offset for the inputs, a headphone output, monitor switching for accessories, automatic mains phase recognition and trigger output, two Audionet links and an additional earth connector. Optionally, the PRE I G3 can be extended with our high-quality phono preamplifier board.
The technically unique complex circuitry is radically realized. Distortion and noise are almost non-detectable across the entire frequency and dynamic range. With a modern assembly, shortest signal paths and a capacitively and inductively optimized construction provide optimal high-frequency characteristics. Volume and balance adjustment is performed using a unique, electronically switched precision resistance network which is realized in real time, ensuring a constant dynamic and distortion-free operation across the entire control range.
Being able to truthfully and accurately reproduce today’s highest quality recordings has never been more challenging. Only when each element of the reproduction chain is able to precisely recreate the music’s time and level information can a genuine emotion be felt.
The M1, CH Precision 1 Series’ most powerful amplifier was developed with this in mind. The leading-edge technological advancements implemented on the A1 were further refined, among others is the ExactBias circuitry and a finer loudspeaker matching.
Specified at 200W RMS into 8Ω in monaural mode, 2x 200W RMS into 8Ω in bi-amplification / Stereo modes and 700W RMS into 8Ω in bridge mode, the M1 houses a dedicated 2200VA power transformer providing the amplifier output stage with ample energy to accurately and effortlessly drive the most demanding loudspeakers.
“As classically correct as solid state gets yet as musically engaging and expressive as the best electronics I’ve used, the CH Precision L1, P1 and M1 come awfully close to the "nothing added, nothing taken away" ideal of high-end replay. Yes, they have a character to go with their astonishing levels of resolution and organization, but they never allow sonic obsession to obstruct their musical purpose. No, they don’t match the rich body and sheer presence of the best -- the very best -- tube electronics. Listening to them, am I aware that I’m listening to solid-state designs? Yes, but only if I actually stop to think about it -- and that’s the key. What CH Precision has achieved is to bend solid-state technology and combine it with sophisticated microprocessor control to produce purely musical ends. Like all truly great designs -- and make no mistake about their greatness -- these products exploit their chosen technology and materials and ameliorate their flaws. The result is capable, poised and polished performance that still manages to shock, surprise and amuse. The musical message is so central and so articulate that the medium becomes utterly secondary.
The M1 power amp is simply the most musically accomplished, high-powered solid-state piece it has been my pleasure to use. I love its configurable nature and I love the idea of adding additional amps along the way, even if the cost of just one of these is beyond my means. One M1 or two A1s? Definitely the M1. It has a confidence and stability, a freedom from constraint at either end of the musical range that is rare indeed. Which leaves us with the L1, the least outwardly special but, quietly, the most impressive and fundamentally musical product here.
Used individually, any of these units will, by turns, astonish, beguile, impress and entertain. Used together, I have no doubt that this is one of the finest and most musically complete electronic chains currently available. It is also by its nature, one of the most musically consistent. The cost of ownership is horribly and unattainably high and, given the ability to seemingly expand each and every component ever further, almost without limit, but for those who can afford it, the performance will -- and will always -- justify the price.”
THE AUDIO BEAT
by Roy Gregory | May 11, 2018