just a small sampling of all the new amplifiers and preamplifiers seen at the show.
Wavelength Audio is introducing quite a few new tube units. The KIR is a
25 watt monoblock that uses the 6922, 12B4, VV52B, and GZ34 tubes in single-ended output
design. This amplifier directly couples the first two stages and then uses an interstage
between between the driver and the VV52B tube to one of the largest output transformers
made. Pricing is $10,000 for a pair of the monoblocks. The Tangent is a new battery
powered phono stage unit. Although i've known about it for four years, it's taken the head
designer, Gordon, this long to finalize this product which is now available. It uses NiCAD
batteries, and includes an intelligent recharging unit, to power the B+ directly and
doesn't use any step-up designs like the Nagra PL-P. In other words less stuff in the
signal path the the Nagra PL-P which makes this possibly the killer Nagra beater
phono-only stage and priced at $3,000. Lastly, the Cotangent is also a phono stage though
it's a hybrid phono stage. It's MM/MC switchable using a FET input which feeds a tube line
stage then passively RIAAed which is then buffered by another tube output stage. This unit
can be run on batteries for an additional cost. Pricing? An amazingly cheap $1,000.
was showing the new, huge, monstrous X1000 amplifier which is capable of producing ONE
THOUSAND WATTS into an 8 ohm load and TWO THOUSAND watts into a into a 4 ohm load. It's
like the old saying in retail mass merchant sales: "How do we do it? Volume! Volume!
Volume!" These $24,000 a pair monoblocks amazingly enough have only two gain stages
consisting of a single-stage front end which give voltage gain while the second gain stage
is a high current follower. This new unit features the Super-Symmetrical balanced
single-ended Class A topology where the two halves of the balanced signal are precisely
matched. This leads to cancellation of noise and distortion for a very quiet output
amplification. Four massive banks which total a whopping 80 power MOSFETs are used in each
monoblock which yields a pure Class A operation for outputs up to 128 watts while from 28
to 1000 watts the X1000 operates in Class AB. Just so ya know, the bias current is set for
about 600 watts idle dissipation per channel. If ya wanna talk about power supplies, two
massive toroidal transformers rated at 4 KVA are used as are parallel high current
rectifiers and over 240,000 uF of storage at 700 joules. The X1000 only accepts a balanced
input via XLR. There's more!!! Basically you can use this amplifier in an array situation
where four X1000 units per channel will give you, are you sitting down(?), 32,000 watts
into a 1 ohm load. Each monoblock weighs about 200 lbs. by the way.
Pass Labs were also showing the
matching X2 preamplifier. Basically it uses no negative feedback, metal film resistors,
ultra-matched power MOSfets and can deliver as much as 50 volts rms on it's balanced
output via XLR. Pricing is only $2,500 which seems very reasonable all things
Manley Laboratories Inc. has this really retro-cool 150 / 75SE / PP807
unit playing a pair of Tannoy speakers. This stereo unit uses four 807 tubes per channel
to achieve 72 wpc in SE mode or 150 wpc in push-pull. The 807 is another one of those
fabled good sounding tubes. It also uses the 7044 as a driver while the 5751 is used for
input tube duty. Priced at $8,600 by the way.
was showin' the really cool prototype! This unit uses two 845 tubes running in Class A and
has, like, a totally slammatocious meter on the front. It perfectly matches their all tube
PL-P preamplifier with phono stage. Hey, it zounded zentual yet zuper! No pricing as of
this time. Hey, it's a prototype my friend. please remember where you saw it first!
Graaf just introduced their GM-20 Class A tube power amplifier.
Designed by Giovanni Mariani this unit OTL unit uses two 6C33C output triodes, two 6922
tubes which operate as "impedance adapters" in this OTL unit. The driver stage
uses two triode-coupled EF-184 pentodes. This unit can be used as a stereo unit or you can
connect the two channels and use two of them for monoblock operation. Fast specs: 20 wpc,
8 or 16 ohm output, frequency response 1 Hz - 350 kHz (-3db), and uses 6db of negative
feedback priced at $4,800.
was showing their new solid-state A 20 integrated amplifier. Using dual-mono construction
for higher performance this 60 wpc. (8 ohm load) unit consists of all surface mounted
parts to shorten the signal path. The volume control utilizes an impulse generator and
when used with the supplied remote control it also operates the balance right/left too.
High quality polypropylene capacitors are used throughout this unit. Four inputs via gold
plated RCA plugs standard and a stereo preamplifier output on RCA plugs is also included
for bi-amping or external processor's or for whatever floats yer boat. Price? $1,250
Industries Inc were showing this $13,645 ea. monoblock amplifier. So what cha get
for that kinda fundage? Ya know, i asked quite a few questions and just didn't see where,
for $27,290, my money is really going to. No silver wired output transformers and
when i asked the dude where my fundage was going to the answer was, well, um, nevermind.
Anyway, it has XLR or RCA inputs, uses one each of the 12AX7WA, 6N6P, 6AK5, 5651, and two
6C33C tubes. Now it does weigh in at 64 lbs and maybe i'm just missin' something here to
justify the price??? Ok, as i looked further i see they are uses some exotic parts like
military grade low noise DALE metal film resistors, Electrocube and Roederstein film
capacitors, Cornell Dubiler and United Chemi-Con electrolytic capacitors, and lastly
Hammond chokes. Hmmm... Output is 18 watts with 16.97 volts peak into an 8 ohm load. WOW,
now that is a lot of voltage output! Maybe i was wrong, maybe i was right? (As i
begin to sing) If loving you is wrong i don't wanna be right.
Research, the Italian made yummies with lovely wood trim, were showing the new
Simply 845 Class A triode stereo integrated amplifier. Four high level inputs, one tape
loop, and a dedicated input for the optional Simply Phono unit are included. Using one
EC82, one ????, and one 845 for output this unit produces 24 wpc output. This self biasing
unit is easy to operate with the input selector on the top left of the unit with the
volume control on the left on the front panel. There is also twin outputs for bi-wiring
and retail pricing is $5,545. When i had the Simply Two at my home everyone seemed to love
the look and i gotta agree. Italians have a talent for making gorgeous lookin' stuff.
Ferrari! Need we say more?
is following on the heels of the killer ART preamplifier with a units designed like the
art yet on one chassis called the Premier 16LS. Using six sections of the 6922 tubes this
triode preamplifier is packed with totally awesome parts and uses no loop or local
feedback either. My friends who own the ART preamplifier all say it's the best preamp on
the planet. Well, for those of us with less fundage yet want a good amount of the ART's
performance we now can buy the Premier 16LS! Save thousands because it "only"
costs $7,995 and full production will begin in April folks. Order now because i got the
strange feeling they'll be bachordered once production starts. Of course we all know about
c-j's high quality construction and that they also have the best customer service
in my humble opinion. Go Lew go!
just introduces a real bang-for-the-buck amplifier. The MAT-100 uses two EL519 per
channel, all tube, all triode, it be all good and priced at $1,895. For this chump change
you get 100 wpc and that usual Melos quality. Two new preamps are the V-SHA preamp with MM
phono section using the 6922 tubes for $1,595 and for all you SHA-1 owners there's now a
SHA-2! All you SHA-1 owners can upgrade to the new SHA-2 which is a total reworking. Their
rep-dude told me they basically gut out the older unit, add all new stuff inside and it
costs you about $500 or so. For those who don't have a SHA-1, you can simply buy a SHA-2
for $1,595. Oh yeah, it has six inputs RCA and XLR output too.
Audio Design is showing a prototype of a cool little EL34 based integrated unit.
It features three inputs, cherry wood base, two EL34, a 6CD7, and a 12AU7 tubes per
channel. It's only ready for an 8 ohm load though. Pricing? Around $1,195.
Kora Electronic Concept, a French company highly
regarded by many overseas reviewers, is introducing three new amplification products. The
Titan is a 120 watt monoblock with a s/n ratio of a claimed outstanding 110db. It accepts
RCA or XLR inputs, mosfet regulated, and uses twelve EL84M tubes for output. Retail
pricing is $7,495. The Jupiter is a 60 watt stereo unit priced at$4995 and uses six EL84M
tubes per channel. The Equinoxe is a preamplifier with five inputs, headphone and preamp
outputs, independent monitor/record controls, and has a maximum output level of a whopping
20 volts! S/N ration is claimed as 110 db and it's priced at $2,200.