Audio Valve Solaris Headphone Amplifier
Audio Valve Solaris - State-of-the-Art - more than just a headphone amp!
Based on the concept of Audio Valve's Luminare, the form and equipment of Solaris has been adapted to RKV 3. In addition to extended features like balance-control, more inputs and a remote control which has been integrated for volume, the front plate od Solaris now has the same connection options as Luminare while offering twice the performance on all outputs which on average is 8-12 watt per channel, depending on the headphones' impedance.
Solaris is the logical synthesis of Luminare and RKV 3 and reflects perfectly what the Audio Valve team defines as STATE-OF-THE-ART product in the premium class of headphone applications when talking to a number of customers worldwide.
Solaris can be updated and equipped with DAC and is then called "Solaris-DAC"
The Solaris-DAC is more than just a headphone amp, it's more like a Swiss Army Knife in the Audio World (German: Eierlegende Wollmilchsau). It provides inputs for all sorts of headphones including Stax, analog inputs, USB input for music server and computer, MM phono input, pre-amp out for power amps, direct speaker output for high sensitive loudspeaker...
...and THE ONE AND ONLY headphone amplifier on the market that is able to drive all standard headphone loads, starting from 3 Ohm up to 145 kOhm.
- consequent dual mono design
- 2x 0.15mm copper for top and bottom layer
- multi VIA layer grounding basis, pcb design based on the theoretical principles of the "kelvin-wiring"
- heavy 3 mm laser cut steel case - coated
- clipping indicator (shows faulty tubes or overload)
- 8 power tubes (4 per channel) - 6GV18 (6F5P)
- full automatic DC/AC servo biasing
- multi match transformers (PIKATRON) included
- power output mode selector for: IMP - OTL - STAX modes
- ALPS volume remote control
- Balance pot. +/- 3dB
- green illuminated main power switch for power ON mode
- heating and plate voltage "soft start" circuit
- headphone protector circuit
- reversible heating / plate current limiter
- installed OPA 134
- highly accurate implemented stereo MM phono module - "old school design"
- OTL - Output Transformer Less tube amplifier (design 1982)
- double mono construction
- power output: each channel 12 watt sin at 220R load in OTL mode
- bandwidth: 15 - 100,000 hz
- damping 3600
- s/n ratio 100 dB
- distortion 0.002 % at 1 watt - 200 Ohm load
- max. OTL - mode: output 120 VAC eff
- max. STAX - mode: output 480 VAC
- gain: OTL mode 34dB, STAX +12dB by output transformer ratio
- gain switch for all modes: +8dB
- input sensitifty. 0dBm, resistance 47k
- bias voltage: 300 + 580 VDC
- IC - full autom. - controlled bias - Class-A mode
- patented full automatic servo tube biasing
- power consumption min. 100 watt
- size 360 depth x 320 width x 140 height mm
- weight 10kg
Audio Valve offers a high-end DAC as expansion module for the RKV2, RKV3, Luminare and Solaris headphones amplifiers. This DAC is an absolute high-end audio product with exellent parameters and characteristics. Designed by Manfred Penning - circuit designer for more than 40 years - for RESTEK, BMC Audio and others, all well known established German products known worldwide.
Features of AudioValve USB-DAC:
- XMOS 500 MIPS processor
- Sampling frequencies: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352.8kHz and 384kHz
- RF metal case shielding
- 16-, and 24- bit resolution
- DSD Audio over PCM frames - DSD64 (2.8224MHz and 3.0720MHz) and DSD128
- Galvanic isolation (outputs, two oscillators)
- NDK low jitter oscillators 45.158MHz and 49.152MHz
- No switch mode power supplies in the PCB board
- Master clock outputs: 45.1584/49.1520MHz and 22.5792/24.5760MHz (I2S 22.5792/24.5760MHz are reclocked by edge from 45.1584/49.1520MHz)
- Both the USB part and the generators with the reclock are fed by two different external power supplies
- 2 external separate power supply highest accurate state
- No drivers needed for Linux with UAC2 compliant kernel
- No drivers needed for MAC OS version 10.6.4 and above
- ASIO/KS/WASAPI/Direct Sound drivers are necessary for Windows XP to 8 (32/64 bit)
Lieven of Headfonia.com wrote (Feb.2018):
"...another thing I really love about the Solaris are the dynamics and speed with which it delivers your music, the Solaris has great PRaT. On top of all this from bass to treble you get a very high resolution, the level of detail just is impressive. A high level of detail doesn’t mean this amplifier is analytical, cause it is not. Think musicality over pure analytics but always with great clarity. If female vocals are your thing (they are for me), then you will love this amp, but in general the Solaris voices are exceptionally good, natural and romantic... the Solaris does everything so effortless, it is a pure pleasure to listen to. It’s musical, rich, extended, easy on the ear and completely non-fatiguing. What’s not to like?"
CLICK HERE to check out the entire review
Mike Portnoy, TheHeadphoneList.com concluded:
"...AudioValve Solaris is an all-in-one vacuum tube amplifier that provides an amazing three-dimensional soundstage and an impressive treble presentation. With its unique main board and the output power, it is able to drive HD800s, HD800, and HE1000 flawlessly. When it comes to its etiquette, the Solaris is not an affordable audio gear. In terms of the sound quality, some other headphone amps can be considered as options for 4.700 Euro, but considering its connection richness and the overall sound quality combination, the Solaris would have an acceptable and favorable price..."
CLICK HERE to check out the entire review