The Audio Beat – Paul Bolin
Contender – The Absolute Sound – Jonathan Valin
The Absolute Sound - Jim Hannon
The Absolute Sound - Robert Harley, Jonathan Valin, Julie Mullins
In pursuit of a phono stage that is able to reveal the soul of the recording with silence and tonal truthfulness, the Absolare Phono stage embodies our design principle of “Purity, Control, and Power”. Purity of signal, Control of Resonance and Clean power.
"The Absolare electronics have a directness and realism that conveys a more convincing illusion of live instruments. Every audiophile should experience this level of midrange transparency and directness at least once."
Robert Harley - The Absolute Sound – Issue 234
The Absolare Phono stage is a 2-chassis, all-tube, directly coupled phono preamplifier with 2 sets of inputs.
Two parallel high transconductance input tubes provide direct connection ability for MC cartridges, without the need of a step-up transformer. The input section is followed by a passive R-C RIAA filter. Paralleled double output triodes enable a low impedance output stage.
The two cartridge inputs have a separate set of selectable loadings, 5 preset and one custom. Preset loading values are also different for each input, enabling 10 different preset loading values. It is also possible to add custom load resistors for each input via a small back panel cover. The input stage of the phono circuit is located just behind the input terminals for minimum interference.
The dual chassis design (one chassis housing the power supply and the second chassis housing the analog circuitry) perfectly isolates the delicate phono signal from possible magnetic interferences and vibrations from the power supply. The power supply unit is also internally partitioned with a thick aluminum wall separating power transformers from regulators to keep the DC outputs free of AC noise. Custom made oversized toroidal power transformers were developed for low noise and large headroom. Tube heaters are powered from a separate transformer. Input and output stages of signal circuit have separate dedicated B+ regulators. Final supply filters are located inside the signal unit, next to the tubes. Heater currents are also regulated and filtered.
RIAA and output stages are directly mounted upon a large CNC machined aluminum housing that provides a vibration free environment for the tubes and other signal components.
All signal connections between components are point-to-point, most of them directly mounted on the underside of the tube sockets with point-to-point soldering.
The laser cut and precision welded 3mm aluminum chassis is encased in leather clad, high density fiber panels to minimize the mechanical resonances. A 5mm thick aluminum base plate provides a perfectly stable foundation for the amplifier’s feet. Externally it is covered in Hi-End automotive leather with several color and stitching options.
All signal connectors are gold plated tellurium copper and all tube sockets are made of pure teflon with gold plated copper contacts. All internal cabling utilises Echole family alloys.
Absolare’s production standard signal and power section utilize Mundorf’s custom-matched Silver-Gold-Oil and TubeCap capacitors, and Echole’s proprietary Signature-grade Silver/Gold/Palladium alloy wiring.
The Signature model is a significant step above the Passion series. Within the signal path, Duelund’s select CAST coupling capacitors together with Echole’s Orius cabling are incorporated. Critical parts of the signal path utilize other custom components. The N.O.S. tubes are carefully chosen to align with the new level of purity.
MC/MM Directly-coupled, All Tube, 2 chassis (power supply + signal) design
3 x 12AX7 / ECC83, 2 x 12AU7 / ECC82, 4 x 6C45PI - Every unit comes with select NOS tubes
20 Hz - 20 kHz
68 Ω, 150 Ω, 330 Ω, 680 Ω, 47 kΩ, custom value
47 Ω, 100 Ω, 220 Ω, 470 Ω, 1 KkΩ, custom value
1 RCA with single-ended
38.2 x 50 x 14.8 cm / 15" x 19.7" x 5.8" (W x D x H), per chassis, excl. feet
20 Kg / 44lbs. (Signal) / 22 kg / 48 lbs. (Power Supply)