constellation audio amplifier

constellation audio amplifier插图

What is the constellation audio inspiration integrated?

The Constellation Audio Inspiration INTEGRATED 1.0 is the newest member of Constellation Audio’s most affordable Inspiration Series, and joins its preamplifier and amplifier line-mates in delivering the performance that is expected from Constellation Audio at a more affordable price.

What is the best power amplifier for my Constellation system?

Taurus is the ideal way to get Constellation performance and power into systems where, for whatever reason, a foot-high power amplifier won’t quite fit. The Inspiration MONO 1.0 amplifier easily delivers 400 watts per channel into 8 ohms, doubling to 800 into 4 ohms.

What is constellation balanced bridged amplifier?

Constellation claims a benefit of this practice: the positive and negative halves of an audio signal thus behave identically, to result in perfectly symmetrical output. Every Constellation amplifier model, including the flagship Hercules II monoblock, contains at least one Balanced Bridged module, each of which has eight output devices per channel.

How big is constellation audio?

Yet it is the size of a standard audio amplifier and weighs just 55 pounds. Our original goal when we founded Constellation Audio was to apply the talents of our dream team of top engineers and designers to creating the finest components the audio world has ever seen. According to many noted experts, we’ve done just that.

How much does the Inspiration Stereo 1.0 weigh?

Although the Inspiration Stereo 1.0 weighs only 55 lbs —half the weight of one Mark Levinson No.536 monoblock —its lack of handles and my own limited strength meant that I couldn’t lift it onto a shelf. So I placed it on the floor, which made it easier to switch interconnects and speaker cables when comparing amplifiers.

Do amps have sonic signatures?

I’ve found that some audio amplifiers have sonic signatures so subtle that they emerge only over weeks of listening; yet other amps sound so distinctive—more vivid, more transparent, more dynamic—that their signatures are immediately apparent. Can those latter qualities really be inherent in the recording, or are they colorations produced in …

Does the Stereo 1.0 have a manual?

The Stereo 1.0’s shipping carton also contained a heavy detachable power cord and three fuses. There was no hard copy of the manual, so I downloaded it from the company’s website. Following the instructions, I plugged balanced interconnects from my preamplifier into the amp’s rear-panel Balanced jacks (not the Direct XLRs), set the Input toggle to Balanced and the Mute toggle to Off, and the master power switch to On. The LED on the front glowed a steady red, signaling that the Stereo 1.0 was in Standby mode.

Can you use XLR jack with Constellation?

The Direct XLR jack can be used only with Constellation’s preamplifiers, all of which include the same line-stage gain module that comprises the Stereo 1.0’s initial input stage. Plugging an XLR from one of those models into a Stereo 1.0’s Direct jack bypasses the amp’s input module. Inside, the Inspiration 1.0 is divided into two compartments: …

Does constellation distort sound?

So the current is not a problem into these speakers its the distortion ML is pristine into the lower frequency while Constellation distorts the low end creating that light sound

How much does a Centaur monoblock cost?

The schematic is identical, but the Hercules features cost-no-object parts such as Vishay foil resistors. This $54,000-per-pair Centaur monoblock delivers 500W into 8 ohms, which is more than sufficient to drive all but the lowest- sensitivity loudspeakers.

What does a centaur sound like?

The Centaurs sound very much like the Hercules, with tremendous transparency and resolution, a big and open spatial presentation, and a feeling that the amplifier is light on its feet dynamically. The overall balance leans slightly toward the upper- midrange and treble, with very airy and highly resolved midrange and treble. The Centaur’s bottom end is full and satisfying, but not the last word in weight and heft. The bass tends to be quick, agile, and articulate. Resolution and transparency are simply world- class—this is an amplifier that allows you to hear back through the playback chain with every detail highly resolved.

How much does a Hercules cost?

Although the Hercules delivered reference-quality performance, its $140,000-per-pair price put it out of reach for all but the most well-heeled of audiophiles. Plus, who really needs 1100W into 8 ohms (and 2kW into 2 ohms)?

Who makes Constellation Audio?

Constellation was founded by the principals behind the Continuum Caliburn turntable. For Constellation Audio, they assembled a team of the world’s greatest designers to create a new line of reference-grade electronics, a team that included among others John Curl, Bascom King, Demian Martin, and James Bongiorno, all led by industry veteran Peter Madnick. (Sadly, James Bongiorno, the man behind Ampzilla and Great American Sound in the 1970s, passed away January 10, 2013.)

What is the Constellation Audio line?

Constellation Audio has been around since 2008, and in that time the California-based electronics manufacturer, founded by the same Australians responsible for Continuum Audio Labs, has launched four product lines. From bottom to top in terms of price, these are the Inspiration, Revelation, Performance, and Reference ranges of models, the last of which tops out with the Hercules II monoblock power amplifier ($190,000/pair). The entry-level Inspiration line has four members: the Stereo 1.0 stereo power amplifier ($12,500), the Preamp 1.0 preamplifier ($11,000), the Mono 1.0 monoblock power amp ($25,000/pair), and the subject of this review, the Integrated 1.0 integrated amplifier. Constellation also makes a pair of phono stages, a DAC, and a standalone power supply.

How much does a Constellation 1.0 weigh?

The Integrated 1.0 measures 17”W x 5.5”H x 19”D and weighs 43 pounds, and its design draws heavily on those of the Stereo 1.0 and Preamp 1.0, as well as on core technologies that Constellation uses throughout its product lines. One of the latter is the company’s minimum-feedback, class-AB, Balanced Bridged amplifier circuit, which uses N-type transistors throughout instead of a combination of N and P types, as is done in many other solid-state designs. Constellation claims a benefit of this practice: the positive and negative halves of an audio signal thus behave identically, to result in perfectly symmetrical output. Every Constellation amplifier model, including the flagship Hercules II monoblock, contains at least one Balanced Bridged module, each of which has eight output devices per channel. The module’s 125W power specification leads me to think that the Integrated 1.0’s spec of 100Wpc into 8 ohms might be conservative. The Integrated 1.0 is biased into class-A for the first couple of watts.

How many ohms does the Inspiration Stereo 1.0 have?

The Inspiration Stereo 1.0 develops 200 or 400Wpc into a respective 8 or 4 ohms. The Mono 1.0 doubles those values into 400 and 800Wpc, while the Integrated 1.0 halves them, producing 100 or 200Wpc into 8 or 4 ohms, measured using a 1kHz test tone at 1% THD+N. This makes the Integrated 1.0 not exactly a powerhouse — though Irv Gross, Constellation’s friendly VP of Sales, told me that the amp is stable down to 2 ohms. Ornery speakers aren’t necessarily ruled out.

What is integrated 1.0?

The Integrated 1.0 also makes use of Constellation’s Line Stage Gain Module, a “balanced circuit from two mirror-imaged amplifiers, one for the positive half of the signal and the other for the negative half,” with “hand-matched, ultra-low-noise FETs and servo circuits.” Throw in a linear power supply whose 1400VA transformer is coupled with 100,000μF of capacitance per channel, an analog volume control with a digitally addressed resistive ladder, and a headphone amp that outputs 800mW into 32 ohms, and you have yourself a nice little high-end integrated. Other specs include a frequency response of 10Hz-20kHz, ±0.5dB; total harmonic distortion plus noise of 0.035%, measured at 1kHz when delivering 25W into 8 ohms; an output impedance of 0.125 ohm; and output noise of -84dB, A-weighted.

What is the difference between the Simaudio and the Constellation?

There were two subtle differences. The Simaudio sounded a little airier and more extended in the treble, which made its sound seem bigger and, seemingly (though not actually), more transparent. By fine margins , the Constellation traded that spacious top end for a touch of smoothness through the mids that lent it a more robust tangibility.

Is the integrated 1.0 a good remote?

The Integrated 1.0 ’s aluminum remote control is one of the very best I’ve used. It’s simple and solid yet not too heavy, and its buttons have a satisfyingly “clicky” action. And it lets you turn the amp off and on, which is not always a given. In my experience, good remotes often don’t earn the attention they deserve, despite the fact that most users almost always interact with the remote more than the controls on the component itself. This is a good remote. Nicely done, Constellation.

How much is the Argo?

With these combined integration and contraction efforts, the Argo ends up retailing for $25,000. Let’s acknowledge right here that that’s still a whole lot of money, but it is well under half the cost of the parent components. The new Inspiration Series separates come in at very nearly the same price as the Argo and, as Robert indicated in his review, you may even prefer their sound. But the Argo is the least expensive Constellation product aspiring to Performance Series sonics. Assuming it succeeds, it represents a great value.

How can a storied manufacturer of expensive audio components bring down prices?

There are three ways a storied manufacturer of expensive audio components can bring down prices while endeavoring to preserve the sound that made it storied in the first place . The first technique is what I call contraction. This is where a builder of, say, loudspeakers uses the same basic (sometimes identical) building blocks it uses in its big …

Is the Argo a Constellation?

The Argo is immediately recognizable as a Constellation product. As with all of the company’s higher-end components, its front panel is modern-clean, with but two knobs. The faceplate is dominated by a touchscreen, under which are a series of buttons. Together, these elements enact all operations.

Is the Argo the same as the Centaur?

The Argo functions with just one of those modules per channel, so its power is exactly half that of the Centaur. Note, however, that the amp modules themselves are identical. At the same time, while the Virgo III’s power supply is an outboard unit, the Argo’s is built into the chassis.

Does the Argo match the reference system?

As for dynamics, the Argo is generally very accomplished. To be sure, it cannot match my reference system in terms of “jump,” but it comes surprisingly close. On that dynamic torture-test chestnut, Flim and the BB’s Tricycle (title cut), the Argo’s sudden dynamic bursts evoke nearly the same sense of surprise and impact as my reference setup. On the live Belafonte, the amp also does an exceptional job of conveying the singer’s considerable dynamic range, which he uses to great expressive effect.

Does the Argo bass have slop?

Similarly, and not coincidentally, the Argo’s bass has no slop whatsoever, and like the rest of the aural spectrum, it’s full of beautifully complex timbres. Compared to my reference linestage and power amps, which tote up to about five Argos, the Argo falls short in just a few areas.

Is Argo a headphone amp?

Software runs the show, and it’s upgradeable over the Internet. There’s even a built-in headphone amp. ( That’s right, the Argo can serve as a $25k can amp!)