Aurorasound PREDA TBSP Pre Amplifier
With the new PREDA TBSP Karaki-san is pushing the envelope. The PREDA TBSP (True Balanced Signal Path) is a big step up from the well recognized original PREDA. The design is fully balanced from top to bottom.
The PREDA-TBSP is the high grade version of the PREDA with true balanced signal path. From input, amplification, autoformer attenuator, output buffer to output, the complete signal path is of true balanced configurations. This is almost twice the complexity of total circuitry compared to standard PREDA. The PREDA-TBSP system can eliminate common mode noise and get rid of ground noise influences. It transmits the purest possible music signal from source to power amplifier. The power supply unit is in its separate chassis. Four units of power transformer and regulators are completely independent for left/right channel and analog/digital control section. PREDA-TBSP is a non compromise control center for real balanced signal path audio systems. All functions are remote controlled.
The latest Aurorasound product is an outstanding and very innovative preamp. Its list of features is long like a 54-step transformer-coupled volume control, fully balanced, true dual-mono design, gain-selector, gold-plated circuit boards, rhodium-plated connectors, golden-age transistors (developed especially for audio), glass-encapsulated relays, and more.
The sound is extremely detailed and transparent (without sounding thin), very clear and clean with super low noise floor, full-bodied with rich textures and very fast and dynamic. A clear winner and our new reference preamp.
A conventional resistor-type attenuator waste energy of reduced signal as heat. Since the current in a preamplifier is small, it does not give off high heat, however, attenuated signal is discharged in the air as heat. A transformer-type attenuator is an electric energy convertor without energy loss, therefore, it allows lossless signal level control. A typical transformer-type attenuator has only around 32 steps, but Aurorasound adopted 54 steps, which allows precise setting of volume level.
Highly-reliable Lead Relay used for tap selection
Highly-reliable lead relay encapsulated in small glass tubes are of UK-based Pickering Manufacture. ON/OFF switching is accomplished by an external magnetic field generated by current in the coil. Multiple lead relays are completely shielded by mu-metal to avoid interferences.
Newly Developed Aurora-AMP Module
Aurora-AMP Module is a discrete amplifier, capable of handling heavy load for high driving, up to 110dB open-loop gain. It has 12MHz gain-band width, THD+N of 0.0003%, through-rate of 28V/ usec, offering extremely high performance. The PCB is gold plated, without use of resist process to avoid any coloration on sound. PREDA uses 6 units of this AMP module. This unit has become the core amplifier module of Aurorasound representing our company’s sound philosophy.
Well-recognized power supply
The power supply is highly reputable for its super-low noise and high speed. PREDA is equipped with 2 independent power supply units for L/R channels - put into a separated unit. These power supplies are packaged in series to cancel unnecessary leakage flux from the transformers.
Balanced Input has Instrumentation Amp Structure
An Instrumentation AMP is used for the input of XLR balance signal. Output goes through Aurora-AMP module, which has high precision with balanced transfer circuit, allowing well balanced transmission of the signals. It requires a total of 4 modules in order to accomplish a completely balanced architecture including AMP and volume control for L/R channels. In addition, attenuation level in the HOT and COLD circuits, frequency responses, distortion must be identical in each channel. Otherwise, the differences will surface in the output stage. On the other hand, there are substantial merits such as immune to external noises and cable length. For these reasons, PREDA adopted balanced structure.
Srajan Ebaen of 6moons.com concluded:
"...a sonic tutorial for the Preda would call it an uncompromised passive on sheer transparency. Uncompromised means zero impedance/drive issues no matter the ancillaries including cable lengths. On speed, drive and control, it switches gears to behave like a high-gain wide-bandwidth circuit. That implies no signal-path capacitors and no phase shift. To the ears, it's a not exactly common 'hybrid'. Add superlative build and comprehensive functionality. It all delivers a complete package. The only real proviso, coin excepted, is that its true balanced architecture mandates also using it in the context of a fully balanced system to get its best and cash in fully on such a serious investment. This really is extremist hifi at its best!"
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Reviews for the standard PREDA:
Winner of StereoTimes' Most Wanted Component 2015 Award!
Michael Wright, The StereoTimes, (04/2016) concluded:
"...at just under $13K the PREDA will easily compete with preamps in the $20K price-range. And when you combine it with its matching phono stage, the VIDA, you have a killer preamp setup that both digital and analog lovers can dig. I recognized the PREDA as a “Stereo Times Most Wanted Component” for 2015. The only way that I can possibly express my appreciation for it more would be to actually buy it. I’ll be spending the rest of 2016 trying to figure out how to do just that. Highly recommended..."
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Michael Wright, The StereoTimes (01/2016) wrote:
"...the first thing that captured my attention regarding this preamp was how remarkably realistic and dynamic music sounds with it in my system. The low end of the PREDA speaks with a level of authority and extension that I had not associated with preamps from Japan. The other attribute of note was how solid and well built this preamp is. I am more accustomed to seeing tube based units from the smaller Japanese audio manufacturers but this one breaks the mold in terms of top-notch build quality and exceptional sonic performance..." Check it out
Winner of HiFi Critics Audio Excellence Award 2015!
Martin Colloms, HiFi Critcs (07/2015) concluded: "...while rather more costly than the matching phono stage, this control unit sets a still higher standard. High precision best describes the sound, build and operation, while the range of balanced and singleended inputs alongside full remote control represents an all-too-rare combination of virtues. Alongside its fine flexibility and ergonomics, the technical and subjective performance alone attains the Audio Excellence standard, which is the rating we award this highly precise, neutral and informative control unit..." Check out the entire review
Winner of the hi-finews Editor's Choice Award 2014!
Steve Harris concluded: "...no ordinary preamp, to say the least, the Preda seems to reflect its designer's long experience in modern commercial electronics as well as his lifelong audiophile quest. It's somewhat idiosyncratic in styling and ergonomics and so it may not be for everyone. But sonically, it can be revelatory, excelling at portraying the realism of vocal textures, for example, which makes the music expressive. It must be heard!" Check out the entire review
|Line-level RCA Unbalanced x4, XLR Balanced x6
|RCA Unbalanced x1, XLR Balanced x2 (#2HOT is convertible to #3 HOT with Global Phase Invert)
|10dB, -6dB at Gain select SW on
|5Hz - 100kHz /1.5dB
|Total Harmonic Distortion
|0.008% A weighted
|Input 56kΩ / Output 47Ω
|54-Step Volume Control, add. 16step at Low Gain mode, L/R Balance Control, Mute, Display On/Off, Input Selector x6, Global Phase Reverse, Remote Control for all functions
|Size and Weight
|W 420 x D 330 x H 90mm, 10.8kg AC100-120V