We are proud to announce the arrival of the next group of MASTER COLLECTION products, following the appearance and substantial global acclaim of LINEa and LINEb preamplifiers last year.
MASTER COLLECTION POWERa mono and stereo power amplifiers complement the existing LINEa and LINEb line preamplifiers not just better than any other mono or stereo amplifier we are aware of, but also elevate their own performance to heights beyond imagination.
POWERa amplifiers are available as 2100W (8 Ohm) mono designs or a dual-mono stereo amplifier chassis delivering 2x650W (8 Ohm) of highly musical, dynamic, and stable power into any loudspeaker, irrespective of sensitivity or impedance profile.
Just like any other MASTER COLLECTION design, POWERa amplifiers use only the very best passive and active components (resistors, capacitors, bipolar output devices, internal wiring, connectors), as well as extremely large, but mechanically and otherwise ultra-quiet toroidal transformers. Much greater reserve energy reservoirs within the power supplies gave been implemented accordingly. Milan Karan has introduced a number of new, innovative solutions into the circuit topology of his long-standing products that have been revered by music lovers and audiophiles over 20 years, thus pushing the envelope of possible much more forward and nearer to the ideal – closest possible sound of live music in your living or music room!
Two design aspects of the new MASTER COLLECTION POWERa amplifiers need a more elaborate presentation. A completely new approach to design and execution of the main chassis, and, for the very first time in any Karan Acoustics product, the presence of a proprietary, in house designed, built in Line (mains) Conditioner.
The new chassis concept is unbelievably effective in its ultimate simplicity. What would be the best way of minimising or, even better, eliminating mechanical resonances of various components inside the chassis, as well as the chassis (amplifier) itself when in situ and under operating conditions? Increasing the mass is the most obvious solution towards superior overall damping, but, even more importantly, the choice of the correct type of material which would, with all added mass, behave correctly. Meaning, not resonate at all (less likely) or resonate at one or more frequencies that would not interfere with the harmonic structure of the music itself (more likely possible). Aesthetically pleasing and otherwise purposeful to the maximum, the new MASTER COLLECTION POWERa amplifiers’ chassis is a piece of art in itself. Increased density and thickness of front and rear panels as well as the top cover are very beneficial. However, a unique manner of using a solid CNC-machined piece of special aluminium as a single piece unibody heatsink for the output devices, is something that contributes more than anything else toward a very non-resonant and quiet behaviour of the new chassis in both new power amplifier models. Gone for good are the sharp heatsink fins in favour of purposeful and beautiful elegance!
Needless to say, new amplifiers also exploit all good properties of the CMS CS2-1.5 isolation/support feet which are suitably sized and comfortably support the net weight of 105kg of a single POWERa amplifier. Such a high mass with central stability of the chassis allows for only three (3) CS2-1.5 feet to be used, allowing for ideal balance on any supporting surface.
We feel that the implementation of our own design and solution for treatment of unwanted DC artifacts from the mains supply is at least as important as all other circuit innovations within the MASTER COLLECTION POWERa amplifiers. After all, what would be the point of designing vastly capable mains transformers and other segments of amplifiers’ power supplies (essential for state-of-the-art sonic performance) if the quality and purity of the electric energy entering the amplifier would not be of adequately same standard? It would be almost as killing the object of the exercise, would it not??!!
Allow us to offer a few general guidelines on this crucial subject. To simplify something quite complicated, let us say that any supply of electricity also brings all sorts of unwanted ingredients into our households. Just imagine how many ordinary electrical appliances and/or consumers of all sorts happen to be permanently connected into the mains network supply. They all produce a vast number of spurious by-products generated by the manner in which their own power supplies may have been designed and, for as long as connected, those “dirty” components are fed back into the network and, consequently, into all connected and active consumers all over the place! Not just high-end audio components, everything! The most parasitic pollution is of DC (direct current) nature. This, quite damaging for audio components in particular, component of our mains supply reflects itself as a DC voltage that can be of a positive or negative polarity and has an amplitude of up to several Volts! The higher this DC voltage may be, the more saturated cores of mains transformers within our amplifiers will become and the temperature of the transformer windings will rise because they feel the DC voltage almost as if it were a short circuit! As a consequence, transformers begin to vibrate mechanically to a various degree. This anomaly is what can be heard from the amplifiers within one’s listening room. The bigger the mains transformers, the more sensitive to the parasitic DC voltage they are and the louder the mechanical vibrations will be.
Leaving aside the annoying noise reaching the listener and thermal consequences to the transformers, we also have a problem with the Neutral side of the mains supply as there will be a phase shift to a various degree, depending on the severity of the DC voltage at any time. This, ultimately, prevents the sine wave to be correctly and perfectly shaped as one would expect and hope for. Does all this effect the operational performance of an amplifier and degrades the sound? Absolutely!
In order to protect an amplifier of such a (high) power output as in MASTER COLLECTION POWERa models, design of a suitable Line Conditioner with an efficient DC “eliminator” imposes a number of difficult tasks. First and foremost, any such device must not have a negative influence on the inherent sound the amplifier itself. Secondly, it needs to be the very generously specified in terms of current and voltage flow from the mains supply, so it is able to cater for at least three times (3x) more than the maximum required. In real numbers that means a rating of 60A or more. We are proud to confirm that the mains (line) conditioners inside the new POWERa amplifiers comfortably meet and exceed those and many more additional criteria. Not only, the new Line Conditioner has an on/off switch function enabling the user to perform direct comparison of its beneficial effect at any time while the amplifier is in use and operational!
As always, Milan Karan knows only too well that all the academic perfection he has been putting into his creations for more than 20 years, is of no ultimate value unless the resulting sound did not noticeably improve on what has become a trade-mark of the Karan Acoustics brand. Hundreds of ours of listening tests and fine tuning of all crucial components within the audio and power supply circuits have taken place…the final result are audio amplifiers of, in our view, unsurpassed natural musicality, transparency, dynamic headroom, transient speed, vanishingly low noise floor, and utterly lifelike, almost physically tangible, 3D holographic palpability.
For now, only POWERa and POWERa mono amplifiers are available and shipping from the factory in Novi Sad, Serbia. Smaller and less powerful mono and stereo variants of the same and equally uncompromised design (POWERb and POWERb mono) will, hopefully, start shipping in the latter part of 2022.
As a reminder, the MASTER COLLECTION PHONOa and PHONOb preamplifiers are in the final stage of pre-production development with production and shipping expected to commence shipping before the end of February 2022.
Last, but not least, a couple of other new developments may take place in the very near future…after having found our built-in Line Conditioner so beneficial, we may choose to present a self-standing product of the kind that could be used with any audio equipment anywhere in the world. Further, we are toying with the idea of designing and building an ideal audio amplification component (product) for all those who: a) long after the best possible sound with ample power reserve, b) want all the 21st century amplifier facilities and options under a single roof…more to follow as soon as we know more.