Audio Valve Eclipse Pre Amplifier
The ECLIPSE is a true Class-A line stage pre-amp. Designed for the audiophiles who want pure analog with the highest quality sound available, without the price of one.
The ECLIPSE is the result of Audio Valve's experience gained in preamplifier design over a span of 15 years. In every aspect it is quite different from other Audio`Valve products. Our absolute priority in the design of the ECLIPSE was total shielding from RFI and unwanted noise which could degrade the purity of the signal.
The chassis is, therefore, machined from laser cut 5mm steel fully isolating its 4*12AU7/6189 tubes. The circuitry is housed on a double-sided circuit board designed by the most advanced computer technology.
All that combined with the 1% film resistors, Draloric NOS carbon resistors, polypropylene caps and built on a solid FR4 material with Military specs PC board, 2 oz copper. The Eclipse components are soldered by hand and all matches to perfection between the left and right channels.
Audio and power traces are separated from each other by lanes and blocks of ground. Alps motor pot is used for volume control mounted on a PC board, like wise input selector and volume control by hand or remote controlled
The quality of sound is a dream come true, with a true 3 dimensional sound. Where the depth of instruments and their location, the warmth and transparency puts you in a world where only few have been. You will discover that your music has details that were held back and now are being revealed.
The quality of sound is of highest you can imagine. Precise, dynamic, warm, and full. It is very quiet and detailed. The Eclipse is warranteed for 2 years, parts and labor from day of purchase and it is transferable to second owner.
AUDIO VALVE's Eclipse provides an exception to the rule. A look inside the unit reveals a special two sided, 2 oz. pure copper panel known as a FR4, a military approved high-quality PC motherboard. Created with special software, the FR4's design eliminates the need for point-to-point soldering. The signal and power lanes are separated by ground traces or block of grounds to minimize cross talk or noise. The result is a tube component board void of maze-like lanes and jumpers that can compromise sound quality. A tight and secure component board is the heart and soul of AUDIO VALVE's Eclipse.
The power supply's components are over rated in wattage and precise in value. All resistors (Dale Vishay certified) are 1% wire wound. The caps can withstand temperatures up to 105 degrees Celsius. Like all of AUDIOVALVE`s components, the caps and resistors are soldered to the power supply board, resulting in a silent pre-amp that is void of hum or noise.
AUDIO VALVE's Eclipse regulated power supply is superior in its design and a draw to the true audiophile. Split into two sections - the filter and regulation circuitry - the power supply's voltage is held to a constant level and never affected by AC line fluctuations.
The pre-amp is contained in a black anodized 4mm steel chassis with custom designed face plate and knob. The power supply employs the highest quality 160 VA toroidal transformer with dual primary and secondary winding. Each secondary has its own full wave bridge rectifier. All electrolytic caps are bypassed by polypropylene caps. The power supply is regulated by four adjustable regulators for an exact plate - and heating volts DC. And both of the regulators are fully protected against any short through diodes.
The Eclipse is broken in for at least 48 hours before shipping to customer. With a 2 year transferable warranty. Warmup time is about 30 minutes.
AUDIO VALVE's Eclipse comes equipped with high quality ALPS motor volume control flawlessly installed onto its wired PC board. Specially designed in steel bracket provide extra support for the controls, which are linked to a volume control rod using a special universal joint. All parts are matched between the left and right channels to perfection (resisters and caps). The output stage is capable of driving any load at any ohmage.
The face plate features sleek, custom made brass anodized knobs. Added to the front panel are more color LED displays, which change color in different mode.
The AUDIO VALVE's Eclipse features a striking faceplate stroked with easy-to-read gold lettering. The back panel and bottom plate of the chassis is made of 4mm rugged steel polished in a smooth black finish.
The Eclipse is generous in input and output, 20 in all. All gold plated and soldered directly to the I/O board. Among the connectors: seven line inputs, one complete tape loop (I/O), and two pre-amp outputs. Added to the unit are two high quality rotary switches. They are warranted and tested for 25,000 rotations. Additionally, the switches are sealed, keeping dust and corrosion to a minimum. Screws are used to attach the switches to a specially designed I/O board. Again, no wires are used, resulting in shorter signal paths and less noise.
All parts were carefully matched for the most exacting tolerances. Condensers are of the highest quality and the total is completed by the use of classic NOS resistors. The ECLIPSE is versatile, as well. Its solid and slightly projecting rear has both balanced and single ended outputs as well as a full array of single ended input connections.
The beauty and elegance of the ECLIPSE`s design and construction mirrors the purity and vibrancy of its musical presentation. Music is freed from the boundaries of the speakers. The ECLIPSE was created to pay a special homage to all musicians and the music they create.
• Concept: high class douple mono pre-amplifer
• Output Level: 15 V max.
• Bandwidth: 4 - 45.000 Hz.
• Distortion: 0,1 % (1V)
• Noise: 0,05 mV (Volume noise limiter)
• Inputs: 7 Line In, & 1 Line Out, tape loop
• Output Impedance: 300 Ohms
• Power Consumption: 40 Watt
• Line Voltage: 117 up to 240 VAC
• Valve Line - Up: 4*6189 (12AU7)
• Spec.-Features: Stand By & Mute Function, rem. - Control
• Dimensions: (w-d-h) 420 * 320 * 130 mm
• Weight Net: 20 kg
Ken Kessler for Ultimate Audio concluded:
"...it was easy to fall in love with the AudioValve pair (Eclipse pre-amp and Challenger mono-blocks), even the baroque styling; it was like looking at a gigantic Montblanc pen. The Eklipse impressed me because of its authoritative performance, openness, ergonomics and build quality. The Challengers? Deceptive they are, like U-boats. Small footprint, not too heavy for a 6-valve amp with huge transformers - yet they drive any bad without complaint, maintaining their composure at all times. Yeah, 1 could live with these without complaint..."
Mike Wright, The StereoTimes 01/2009:
''...this vacuum tube-based unit is a combination of looks, build quality and sonic enjoyment that I could not, in good conscious, bypass. The clear acrylic top allows you to peer inside and smile at how well it’s built and show off for your friends, and of course, sonically, it makes music quite enjoyable. The biggest secret yet lays hidden deep inside of this preamp, beyond the visage of the human eye. Once you replace the stock tubes with NOS tubes, the performance escalates to a higher level and gives the Eclipse the ability to perform at a much higher level, comparable to preamps costing two to three times its cost. Using NOS tubes, the performance at the frequency extremes becomes noticeably better and the midrange becomes eerily life-like. It’s a good preamp with stock tubes that becomes an exceptional one using NOS tubes..."
Michael Wright, The StereoTimes 09/2008, concluded:
"...my review of the Eklipse very easily could have been called “A Tale of Two Preamps.” The Eklipse with the stock Electro Harmonix tubes is, in my opinion, a good preamp. Nothing really wrong with its performance, but sonically nothing to really get excited about, save for its nice midrange performance..."
"...during the time that I had the Eklipse in my system, I also had on hand my reference Klyne System 7 linestage, the Conrad-Johnson ACT2 Series II, the XLH XL-11XS, the ModWright 36.5 and the GamuT D3. The ACT2 was the class of the bunch with the Eklipse a step below it. But when I put the RCA Clear Top tubes in the Eklipse, it bested these competitors, inlcuding the CJ ACT2. I had a lot of listening sessions with friends over this period of time, and each reached the same conclusion..."
"...don’t get me wrong, I was in serious lust for the ACT2 and, up to that point, was prepared to call it the best preamp to ever grace my listening room. But the Eklipse eclipsed (pardon the pun) the ACT2’s performance, and at less than a third of the price to boot. The amount of realism and lifelike dynamics, and the ability to communicate the music was a step beyond what the other preamps on hand were doing..."
"...this preamp is a “tube rollers” dream. Depending on what your sonic tastes are will determine which tubes you will want to use in your Eklipse. While you may like the sound of the Eklipse with the stock Harmonix tubes, in my humble opinion, NOS tubes like the RCA Clear Top take its performance to a higher level. Highly recommended!"
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Robert Reina, Stereophile 09/2009 concluded:
"...this preamp is a tube rollers dream. Depending on what your sonic tastes are will determine which tubes you will want to use in your Eclipse. While you may like the sound of the Eclipse with the stock Harmonix tubes, in my humble opinion, NOS tubes like the RCA Clear Top take its performance to a higher level. Highly recommended!"
Art Dudley, Stereophile concluded:
"...for the past several weeks, the Audio Valve Eclipse has been a joy: fun to audition, fun to look at, even fun to deoxidize. Visitors have noticed its styling, too, and praised it for looking less dour than most: for looking both modern and retro in one neat stroke...the Eclipse competes in a tightly run race, but does so gamely: Other choices offer different combinations of strengths, some of which will suit you more than others, but the Eclipse isn't shamed by any of them. In fact, to the listener who prizes musical drama above all else, the superbly crafted Eclipse could be seen as the only choice. Reasonably. A lovely product, and a decent value for the money: The Eclipse has me wondering what Audio Valve's power amplifiers sound like..."
Peter Ferguson Perth, Australia:
"..now, this preamp is like nothing I have ever heard. And I used to be an assistant in a company here in Perth that made possibly the world's best solid state preamp back in the late seventies. This preamp (known as HSA) consistently beat all preamps that it went up against, even the Mark Levinson. The point is that I do have a very good ear, and I have never heard a system that could beat the old HSA. Many can now, but none as well as your Eklipse..."
"...the detail is stunning. With the clarity of my Soundlab M1 electrostatics and the explosive power of the Sanders Sounds ESL monoblock amplifiers the sound is electrifying! Bass - I had started to doubt that the Soundlabs had any bass - WOW the bass now is amazing!!!! Guitar strings and piano are stunning but then a voice comes in and the singer is standing in the room - fantastic!"
"...once again - thank you for designing and building such a wonderful instrument. The design and build quality are stunning but it is the sound quality that is on a different level to anything that I have ever heard. Thank you for this gift of sound..."