In a perfect world, we would be adding blogs every month. I see that our last entry was back in February and it is now almost June! How time has flown.
Briefly, since the last update, we have exhibited at the London Heathrow High Fidelity Show in the Artisan Audio room, our Dealer in the South Bucks. area; were awarded a HiFi and Records (German audio magazine) Editors Choice 2008 award at the Munich High End Show for the AT3000 CD player in April; and have taken on several more distributors around the world as well as appointing a dealer in Scotland (see web site for details) and taken in stock of the AT3500 CD player in black.
The AT2000 integrated amplifier will finally be launched this summer. Very overdue and much awaited, this amplifier will offer a number of features, such as two room audiophile sound and outputs for 2.1 (stereo + sub-bass) in an amplifier that offers our now sought after good value package and a great musical sound.
The AT2000 has been developed out of the A1000 and AT5000 pre/power amplifier we currently sell. The development however, took a number of twists and turns , the AT2000 now utilising the power amplifier design. with changes, to squeeze some more power from the circuit, and the pre-amplifier now being a class A design, all solid state.
The rated power output at 8 ohms will be around 75W RMS per channel. There is a good reason for this still modest output - we only use a single pair of very particular MOSFET's per channel, with very large power supplies behind it, and valve (tube) assisted at that! This combination offers great transient response and clarity, combined with a very natural sound. Unless you have a VERY large room, with less than average efficient speakers, this is we believe the best approach for true musical fidelity. If you want to listen to 'thrash' bands until your ears bleed, this will not be the amplifier for you!
Their are two aspects to the audio electrical design that we are rather excited to be using, as they both offer quite stunning improvements over the more standard designs employed, particularly in the price range we are aiming at (£1,000 - £1500) with the AT2000.
Firstly, we are using the Never Connected power supply design for all the low power audio supply rails. This power supply simply offers the best supply solution we have ever used, including all of our designs, and allows the pre-amplifier and other audio components to operate at their best.
Secondly, we are offering a balanced XLR input, used when the 'audiophile' second room option is implemented. However, the amplifier when used in the main listening room (or stand alone amplifier if you do not use the multi-room option) can use this input as a normal balanced signal input.
We have used a 'pro-audio' circuit, offering perhaps the best sounding solution available, short of using highly expensive transformers - indeed, (the legendary) Bill Whitlock of Jensen Transformers actually helped develop the circuitry, and he knows everything about balanced circuit designs. Powered with the Never Connected supply, this circuit is stunning, and allows both VERY long balanced cable runs and single ended to balanced cables to be used from your source equipment, with great results.
We hope this has whetted your appetite for hearing more about this product - and hearing the product! We will keep you informed as to availability, we will be playing it at the Heathrow, London, Sound and Vision show in September 08, but it will be with your Astin Trew dealer well before that!