Level 3
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Level 3 Products

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.

300B

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.

Audio Note Single ended directly heated triode amplifiers

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.

Single Ended not Push-Pull

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.


 

The Compact Series

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.



The Audio Note Conqueror Stereo Amplifier

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.



The Audio Note Quest Mono Amplifiers

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 kgs each.



The Audio Note Conquest Mono Amplifiers

conquest Pic

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.

 

 

 


 

Audio Note Integrated Amplifiers

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 amplification stage.



Audio Note Digital to Analogue Converters

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 supplies.



The Meishu Integrated Amplifier Meishu Pic

 



The P3 Power Amplifier

 



The P4 Power Amplifier

 



DAC 3

 



DAC 3 Signature

DAC 3 Signature Pic As per DAC 3 but with higher quality passive components including Black Gate capacitors, Silver wired D to A interface coupling transformers.

 

 

 



Ankoru Parallel Single Ended directly heated Triode pure Class A Power Amplifier

Ankoru Pic Why we built the Ankoru.

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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