The main design is a spin off from its bigger brothers, with some lessons learnt along the way. It is based around an all new class AB, Bi-polar, Darlington configured output stage using Sanken devices, coupled with a differential front end and buffered voltage stage. The main PSU consists of a custom wound toroidal transformer with 20,000uF of smoothing. The active pre-amp section uses a Soundwell volume control and features relay input switching. So, there are no compromises on the parts!
The IA model design brief was to produce a ‘hair-shirt’ all out performance product that anyone could afford, which especially in these tough economic times we believe is an important consideration, so the only concession to modernism has been the elimination of remote volume. The IA1-R has remote volume if you can’t live without it!
The elegant ‘half width’ case size with RED LED backlit display allows the amplifier not to be imposing in the domestic environment even with its flexible input arrangement: you have 1 x line level on 3.5mm stereo jack and 4 x line level inputs on RCA, one of which is labelled OPTION, for use with the optional moving magnet RIAA input stage.
The PCB’s are all surface mounted using Vishay mini melf 1% resistors – not the usual thin film type which sound inferior. The capacitors, no less than Panasonic FM series and larger components are all hand placed and hand soldered as flow soldering has a negative impact on sound quality.
So where have we been able to make the savings? Well the answer is simple, by investing over many years in buildings and machines we have very low overheads and consequently a low cost of production.
So, IF you TRY really hard and you really WANT to, you can still build quality, budget components in the UK.
Apprentice IA Integrated Amplifier
Output into 8 Ohms/4 Ohms both channels driven 50W /80W
Power bandwidith +/-1.5dB 20-20kHz
HD Distortion -83dB
Signal to noise ratio Ref 1W – A Wtd 85dB
RIAA Card (OPTION) gain 40dB 47K with 120pF
Stereo separation better than 66dB – 20-20kHz
Input Loading – Line level 27K
Dynamic Range 110dB
Output impedance Max output level burst 5mSec 1kHz one channel 60W into 8 Ohms
Dimensions WxHxL 218 mm x 87.5mm x 325mm
Weight packed / unpacked 4kg/3kg
Power consumption (idle) 30W