Audio Note was the first company in the world to realise, and
therefore re-introduce commercial amplification utilizing the single-ended output stage
with the parallel single-ended pentode amplifiers from Level 2, Oto SE, Soro SE
plus the P1 & P2SE, and we have now expanded the available
quality/price envelope by introducing the first genuine single-ended triode amplifiers,
the Meishu, P3 and P4 300B amplifiers.
The 300B filamentary triode is the cornerstone of the Audio Note power triode product line. Half of the 20 Audio Note amplifier models use this tube in the output stage.
The reason: the 300B delivers deep musical satisfaction and it is the most reliable and
linear audio frequency power tube ever created. Today there are at least five factories
manufacturing 300B tubes for the world wide market; two in China, one in Russia (soon to
be two), one in the Czech Republic, which together with Cetron and Westrex here in the US
represents a considerable supply base. Greater than any other audio power tube. The
rapidly growing demand in audio combined with the fact that the 300B still has important
military and telephonic uses, will ensure that you will have quality samples widely
available, for decades to come. This cannot be said of the 6550 or the EL-34. In fact its
is now very hard and expensive to find even fair examples of these once popular tubes. The
6550 and EL-34 are moving towards extinction.
We regard this type of amplifier as the ultimate expression of amplifier technology.
Examples include the famous Ongaku, Kegon and Gaku-On,
which possess a level of conceptual and sonic purity unobtainable with other technologies.
The superior linearity of the Direct Heated Triode allows operation of the output stage
without negative feedback, giving unparalleled resolution and an unambiguous portrayal of
instrument timbre. Do not be fooled by the relatively low power ratings - these are real
world amplifiers which work with conventional loudspeakers and are capable of generating
high volume levels by virtue of their resolution and dynamics.
A significant benefit of single-ended technology is the preservation of the "whole" audio signal. Push-Pull technology demands that another signal be created in a perfect mirror image to that of the original signal waveform. This in itself is a very tall order and is achieved by the use of a phase splitter, the quality of which is always questionable in itself.
Audio Note have always been convinced about the sound quality offered by single-ended technology in comparison to that of more traditional Push-Pull.
The sonic superiority of the single-ended circuitry employed in the Ankoru is apparent from the first time you listen. From the speed of bass transients to the obvious lucidity in the mid-range, treble quality is clean and extended.
This range of 300B amplifiers compliment the existing range, Meishu-P3-P4,
by offering a competitively priced package of moderate size, with a greater emphasis on
appearance and simplicity. The cheapest 300B Compact amplifier, The Conqueror,
is the least expensive Level 3 amplifier we offer.
This is our entry level power amplifier in Level 3, a single chassis and copper top
plate containing 1 x Audio Note 300B per channel, driven by one half of a
6SN7WGTA, with the other half acting as the input stage, ultra-simple circuit, hard-wired
throughout, using Audio Note paper-in-oil aluminium foil signal
capacitors, choke coupled, valve rectified power supply for the 300B's using a 5U4G, and
an Audio Note Group A output transformer. Power output 8 watts in
Single-Ended Class A, suitable for speakers with an efficiency above 89dB and a power
output of 8-watts, weight 12 kgs.
Mono versions of the above, with a better output transformer [Group B], and copper foil
paper-in-oil Audio Note signal capacitors, otherwise same configuration
with a slightly higher power output at 9 watts, due to the better transfer behaviour of
the output transformer. Suitable for speakers with 89dB or higher efficiency. Weight 12
Parallel single-ended version of the above, with 18 watts of Class A single-ended
power, suitable for speakers with 86dB or higher efficiency. Weight 20 kgs each.
Unlike the majority of integrated amplifiers, which are technically compromised in
order to meet their price target, an Audio Note integrated amplifier is a
full pre-power amplifier combination, complete with independent power supplies, in a
single box. Therefore, rather than being a compromise, it is an advantage. Single box
construction provides a shorter signal path and more ideal interstage matching giving
obvious sonic benefits. The Meishu takes this principle several steps
further and provides separate valve rectified choke smoothed power supplies for each
Audio Note DACs incorporate unique filtering and output technology to
achieve a sweet, fluid presentation without resorting to treble roll-off and the resulting
loss of information and dynamics. The filtering system is the subject of patents worldwide
and is both technically innovative and deceptively simple. Like our amplification, the
output stage incorporates valves, this time in a SRPP Zero Negative Feedback
configuration. All converters use the Burr-Brown PCM63P D/A chip with 8 times
oversampling. The digital stages are supplied by 8 separate shunt regulated power
The Meishu Integrated Amplifier
As per DAC 3 but with higher quality passive components including Black Gate capacitors, Silver wired D to A interface coupling transformers.
Why we built the
At Audio Note we decided to build an amplifier that would develop a
significant amount of power, but maintain the purity and continuity of the signal (Musical
Waveform). To create such an amplifier, we had to look at a number of options. The
output valve chosen would not only be able to make good power figures, but would also have
to sound "right".
The fruits of our research led us to the large enveloped 845 Power Triode. This valve
was originally designed for audio purposes (unlike the valves used in many of today's
designs) and is extremely linear to convey the most subtle nuance in the music, to
the most powerful crescendo. This valve is the last word in delicacy, power and control!
Single-ended amplifiers are traditionally low powered devices that are usually
partnered with highly sensitive loudspeakers. The sonic benefits of single-ended circuit
topology are very significant. Since Audio Note started the "new
wave" of single-ended designs, many other audio manufacturers have followed
suit. The number of single-ended amplifiers on the market is now very substantial. The "new
kid on the block" is here to stay.
This page was updated on: 06 Aug 1998
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