Valve / vaelv / n 1. A device for controlling the passage of fluid through a pipe etc., esp. an automatic device allowing movement in one direction only. 2. A membranous part of an organ etc. allowing a flow of blood etc. in one direction only. etc. etc. .- The Oxford English Reference Dictionary

Valve / vaelv / n 1. A device used in only the highest quality musical reproduction instruments whose function is to enrapture the listener with waves of warm music. 2. The word the British use to refer to what we call "tubes."- My Kind of Music

Amplifiers, Line & Phono Stages, Valves & Solid State

Hegel H30 Reference Amplifier

Hegel H30With a power rating of more than 1,1 kW in 8 ohms it is on the verge of being easier to measure the H30 in horsepower. The massive H30 mono power amplifiers from Hegel play any loudspeaker in the world with ease and authority. The H30 is our best power amplifier ever, and is definitely a combatant for being the best power amplifier in the world. The H30 is developed as a mono block, but there is also the possibility to use it as a stereo power amplifier to start with if you are on a budget. Progress is a one way street and so for our power amplifiers. The H30 is using a new and improved version of the patented Hegel SoundEngine amplifier technology. This further reduce all types of distortion. In addition to the improve SoundEngine we are also using the highest possible level of the Hegel FET-technology in the input stage and the voltage gain stage. This technology reduce a very specific type of distortion called Harmonic Distortion. This particular type of distortion causes what many people call “transistor sound”, and this is therefore dramatically reduced in the H30. It will simply let the music reach you in a different way than what you have ever experienced before.

Review in The Absolute Sound…


Hegel H20 Stereo Amplifier

Hegel H20H20 High-End Power Amplifier, 2x200W 8 ohms, 2x350W in 4 ohms. The Hegel H20 incorporates the latest version of the Hegel FET-technology. A practical benefit of the H20 FET-technology is a more rhythmic sound. It is simply better at re-creating a bass line. Another vital element is the removal of harmonic echoes in the higher frequencies, which result in a lot more detail and still a smoother and more natural sound. The core design of the H20 is based on the H30 reference amplifier, with the best possible implementation of our patented and laser trimmed Sound-Engine modules. Also designed in the timeless Hegel look, it will fit in any modern or classic home. Just one single button on the front and a solid bead blasted and anodized front panel. A truly rigid design with well over 1,5 kg of aluminum in the front panel alone.

New too the H20 is bead blasted and anodized top and side covers. This adds to the exclusive look, and the overall design is more consistent. The Hegel H20 is a remarkable power amplifier with power capabilities of more than 130 Ampere. Extremely low distortion levels. Amongst the highest damping factor in the industry, and full control of the loudspeakers. All this to give you the most NATURAL, RHYTHMIC and DYNAMIC sound on the market today.

Review in Soundstagehifi


Luxman L-550AxII, Pure Class A, Integrated Amplifier

L550AX_front_smallLuxman produced the world’s first Class A integrated amplifier in 1981 – L-550.

Luxman introduced the L-550Ax and L-590Ax in 2005, since then we have celebrated our 80th anniversary with commemorative components that have reaffirmed Luxman’s status at the pinnacle of high-end audio. In these latest integrated models, the gorgeous texture and three-dimensional performance of our original Class A amplifiers has been retained and further refined. For example, the amplifiers feature a new electronic selector switch, adopted from the input section of the C-1000f control amplifier; the internal circuitry has been revised to include customized OFC wiring and a high-speed Schottky barrier diode has been selected for the power source section; improvements that have notably enhanced the sound quality for greater musical enjoyment.

Chassis bases have superb vibration absorption in order to suppress noise levels. The power transformer, electrolytic capacitors and amplifier output stage (see amp block below) are laid out so as not to interfere with each other. To reduce interference further, the block construction isolates each section using shielding panels, and extensive internal filtering to reject magnetic flux interference.

Luxman holds many patents for audio engineering, amongst them is the application of Global Negative Feedback to the output stage, which while widely used throughout the audio industry, they no longer use themselves.

Luxman nowadays use a distortion reduction circuit called Only Distortion Negative Feedback (ODNF). This system works by isolating noise & distortion at the output from the music signal and sparingly applying negative feedback to suppress them. Conventional negative feedback systems can have an adverse effect on the music, introducing phase distortion. “The circuit features such an ultra-wide range, ultra- high slew rate and ultra low distortion that it does not use phase compensation for the music signal amplifying circuits.” This new technology also ensures that need for a DC servo circuit is alleviated, again improving sound quality.


Both the L-590AxII and L-550AxII, feature the new high quality electronic selector switch, which is the heart of the C-1000f pre-amp (one of Luxman’s 80th anniversary commemoration models). The sound quality deterioration using the new electronic input switch is now minimal, while channel separation and crosstalk efficiency were raised substantially in comparison with the previous L-550A / L-590A. In addition the illuminated position indicator around the input selector knob, makes it much easier to view the selected position even from afar.

Luxman Control Amplifier C800f

c800fWe have acquired a great number of technologies for improvement of sound quality through the development of our flagship model, C-1000f. Such technologies have been integrated into newly appeared C-800f, a masterpiece of control amplifier. Our original feedback circuit, ODNF, is introduced into C-800f, which is version 2.4 as the same as used in C-1000f. In the attenuator section that is integrated into the amplification circuit, 4 pieces of “LECUA1000-WM” that has been newly developed for improved efficiency with the signal path are mounted. Various gorgeous specifications are inherited from our flagship model including full-balanced transmission circuit, power supply equipped with current supply source comparable to a power amplifier, and bi-amplification output mode. C-800f can fully exercises its unlimited dynamism and richness of music essence when a high-performance power amplifier such as M-800A is driven.

Luxman M800 Pure Class A Amplifier

m800Luxman’s emphasis is on reproducing natural music, with lots of warmth, detail; not frightening it into scaring up non-existent detail, which is sometimes described as etched. Luxman’s engineer’s are fanatical in their attention to detail; while they spend a lot of time analyzing how components perform on their test equipment, the final arbiter is the listening evaluations. Is the product able to play music, convey the emotion, reproduce the ambience of the venue as well as the timbre of each instrument, distinctly. This is where Luxman shines.

Beneath the elegant shell of a Luxman amplifier, lies innovative circuitry, meticulous attention to detail and plain common sense.

Using trickle down technology from the flagship B-1000f, comes this stereo Class A power-house amplifier, with pure A 60W x 2 per channel, into 8Ω. It is stable driving any loudspeaker, even 1Ω loads, with 480 watts to spare.

Modulus 3B Full-Function Valve Line Stage

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn 1981 Audible Illusions began production of the first Modulus preamplifier. Almost instantly, it became known as a breakthrough component setting new standards for sonic performance and reliability. Four years later, Audible Illusions introduced the Modulus 2 which carried the promise even further, quickly becoming one of the best-selling tube preamplifiers ever made. With the introduction of the Modulus 3 in 1992 the M3A in 1995 and the Modulus 3B in 2008 our Modulus preamplifiers have continued to earn a reputation for sonic excellence, construction quality and reliability.

To date over 20,000 Modulus preamps have been manufactured with over 150 excellent product reviews from audio critics around the world.

Adhering to our circuit design philosophy that “Simple is Better” and based on the proven superiority of single-ended, triode-tube designs our engineers continue to refine the preamplifier. Some of our innovations include the elimination of cathode followers, buffers, and negative feedback. The Modulus was also the first preamplifier to parallel tube output stages, and to design high performance Teflon capacitors. These are but a few innovations that have made our company a pioneer in modern-day tube technology.

The M3B is the natural evolution of the M3A. It remains one of the few full-function preamplifiers made and is built for vinyl and digital enthusiasts alike. Our goal was to retain the sonic signature of our previous design while improving on fundamentals that simply, let the music flow. The result is a preamplifier with a further simplified the signal path, improved switching, and reduced vibration. These improvements are elegant and results great sonic benefits.

The M3B is the finest full-function preamplifier we have ever made and continues to be the benchmark by which many others are compared.

Nagra BPS Solid State Battery Phono Stage

bps4The reduced size of the Nagra BPS phono preamplifier is the immediate result of using completely solid-state technology, less costly to implement than for the valve version.

The BPS electronics consumes so little that it operates on a single 9-volt battery with a life expectancy of about 100 hours. It is thus possible to renounce the usual Nagra very-low-noise external power supply that is complex and expensive to manufacture.
The Nagra BPS enjoys an attractive positioning thanks to a simplified approach as regards functions. Nagra however retained the popular load adaptation found on the VPS model, which allows to obtain, with small plug-in modules, the desired matching between the phono preamp and the specific cartridge used on the turntable arm.
The equipment supports either moving-coils (MC) or moving-magnet cartridges (MM) by means of appropriate switching.

Assembled on a single motherboard, the electronics use exclusively discrete and military-type components (JAN standard). The amplification is provided by selected and matched bipolar transistors. The capacitors on the signal path are of audiophile quality and the precision resistors are MELF (Metal Electrode Leadless Face). Versatile, simple and easy to use, it is intended to work with the best modern turntable units.

Nagra BPS – Stereophile Jun 2009 – PDF Click to download

Quad Classic – Electronics

quadbanThe history of Quad is one of technical achievement in the field of sound reproduction. It is a story that began with the Quad 1 amplifier which brought the benefits of 15 years and experience in professional audio and industrial products to the task of making the most accurate domestic audio amplifier of it’s age.

A few years later, the product which set the standard for amplifiers was the Quad II Power Amplifier that was introduced in 1953, the year of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation and the year in which Mount Everest was finally conquered. This amplifier pioneered the principal of cathode coupling through the output transformer to reduce harmonic distortion to almost negligible levels. Such was it’s clear superiority that this model remained in production for 18 years.

Three years later in 1956, Quad demonstrated the first true full-range electrostatic speaker. This remarkable product (know later as the ESL-57) used a virtually mass-less plastic film as a moving diaphragm between two charged plates. Compared to the loudspeakers of the time, the ESL free of unwanted colourations and distortions. This landmark product remained in production, virtually unchanged, for 28 years.

Available through My Kind of Music; for more information visit the manufacturer’s site: http://www.quad-musik.de

Orpheus Labs

orphbanAll Orpheus Laboratories products are designed and manufactured in Switzerland to highest quality standards. The design philosophy allows future upgrades and complete system integration, which makes them true long term investments. We hope they will provide you with countless hours of enjoyment.

After designing the ORPHEUS ONE digital to analogue converter, the ORPHEUS TWO multi-channel pre-amplifier and the ORPHEUS THREE mono and stereo power amplifiers, Orpheus Labs is working on extending the Orpheus Laboratories line. Expect to see new innovative and high performance products soon.

Available through My Kind of Music; for more information visit the manufacturer’s site: http://www.orpheuslab.com/

Audio Aero

compositeAUDIO AERO, created in 1997, is the high end audio equipment division of Mazères Aviation Group, started in 1977. This group includes now 5 high-tech companies with main activities in aeronautics and racing industries.

The company is based in Toulouse (south-west of France), the “silicon valley” of aeronautics, located just near Airbus office and Aérospatiale plant.
AUDIO AERO products are enjoyed in more than 30 countries.All Audio Aero products are manufactured in our facilities by people with aeronautic certification to ensure quality and reliability.
AUDIO AERO has at it’s disposal aeronautic industry testing equipment and we own complete audio specific testing devices (Audio Precision ATS2, Neutrik A2D)

“Passion for music is the reason why AUDIO AERO exists, while our slogan “Fly to the music” summarizes our area of France and our way of living, mixing art and aerospace industry.

Available through My Kind of Music; for more information visit the manufacturer’s site:http://www.audioaero.com/

Prestige Monoblocks – Experience the ultimate in single-ended design

monoblockPrestige Monoblocks represent the latest development of our exclusive TRAC® system (Tube Relay Amplification Concept) where single-ended triode and high voltage pentode are matched to bring out the best of both worlds (musicality and low impedance for triode – power and efficiency for pentode).
Far beyond classical single-ended designs, these reference mono blocks are able to reproduce music in an outstanding way, offering the more open, dynamic and realistic sound you’ve ever heard.
Indeed, this 40 W Class A special system allows single-ended to keep its body and magic, and enables higher speed, large bandwidth, incredible true soundstage, improved details and focus.
Step forward and go to the exception.

Typical audio performance :

Frequency range : 15 Hz – 25 kHz (-1dB)
Output power : 40 W Class A / 8 ohms
Input impedance : 2,2 Kohms
Input sensitivity : 1,0 V
Rise time : 5 µs
Signal to noise ratio : 70dB
Total harmonic distortion : < 0,3 %

Power supply :

100 / 120 / 230 / 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz selected at factory. Voltage visible at the rear on the fuse drawer.
Power consumption (each block) : 300W

General :

Tubes : 6SN7GT, VT4-C, 813
Inputs : single-ended RCA
Outputs : gold plated five-way binding posts
Chassis and bottom plate : 15/10 steel
Upper plate : 30/10 polished stainless steel
Delivered with Black Diamond Racing Pyramid Cones
Weight (each) : 30kg. / 65.22 lbs.
Dimensions (W x L x H) : 520 x 395 x 285 mm / 20.47 x 15.55 x 11.22 inches