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Audiosophia PL/VSR1 preamp and FP/VSR25 monoblocks

16.04.2014..
Audiosophia VSR pre e finali miniatura
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ReMusic Spark AwardIn the training courses for journalists, one of the first jokes that the teacher inflicts to the pupil is a funny little story: “A dog snapping at a man doesn’t make the news. A man snapping at a man makes the news!”.

 

Paraphrasing this little story, I affirm that an audio gear that costs very much and performs well does not make the news. Instead, an audio gear that costs very little and performs amazingly makes the news.

 

So, with pleasure, I report this piece of news about a tube amplification system made by Audiosophia. In detail, it consists of a preamplifier and two 25 watts monoblocks capable of delivering amazing audio performances at a cost of only two thousand five hundred euro included the power cords and a pair of signal cables made by the same Italian company.

A miracle.

Let’s see specifically the system.

 

The PL/VSR1 single-ended line preamplifier uses an E88CC, half tube per channel, with a great noise reduction and the possibility of calibrating, through a pair of trimmers, the idle point of each triode. In this way, you can get a perfect symmetry, both static and dynamic, and avoid matching the double triodes. In fact, you have to consider that it’s very difficult to find absolutely symmetric triodes.

 

The inputs are four and the pot-actuated control is near the connections. Using a feedback that originates from the external knob it is possible to select the sources. All the enthusiasts know very well how important is to shorten as much as possible the signal path in this stage of the preamplifier that is very delicate and sensitive to the electric interferences.

 

The supply of the filaments is stabilized and the anodic one is inductive-filtered with a filter capacity guaranteed by four capacitors of 500 microfarads each. Audiosophia makes all the main and coupling transformers, while all the components, like resistors, transistors and capacitors, are tested one by one through digital precision instruments so to obtain a tolerance between the channels below 1%.

 

The result is a preamplifier with a great frequency response and a high gain. The device boasts, in fact, a polarization of 0,8 watt per triode.

 

The FP/VSR25 monoblocks have three stages, with a push-pull power stage that can be provided with EL84 or EL86 tubes. The input tube is the 6BL8.

 

The main transformers and – most of all – the output transformers are the product of years of research and improvement in order to get the best performances and the lowest drop.

 

Also in this case the monoblocks have some trimmers to regulate the stages so to make stable the quiescent current. The power supply is always inductive-filtered with 4.000 microfarads per channel. These monoblocks are provided with outputs to drive loudspeakers with 2,4 and 8 ohms and are capable of supplying more than the stated 25 watts. The frequency response is comprised between 25 Hz and 25 kHz, measured at the highest power.

 

As happens with the preamp, in such devices the selection of the components has been made with digital instruments, so to contain the difference between the channels within 1%.

 

The appearance is essential and in line with the costs. It features standard metal chassis with three millimetres front fascia in anodized aluminium. The control knobs are quite big and there are very useful handles to move the apparatus.

 

Of course, if you like to improve the look or some components you can get in touch with the designer paying the difference of price. The designer and manufacturer, Massimo Micelli, is at your disposal for any improvement on his standard devices. Besides, Audiosophia, that is Massimo Micelli alias Max himself, can realize any kind of amplification to your specifications, with any kind of vacuum tube you like. I let you just imagine what has come into my mind when Max Micelli described me his amazing and unbelievable project. I don’t want to anticipate anything, but very soon ReMusic will present something very interesting indeed!

 

Hence, Max could be introduced, without any doubt, as a One Man Company at disposal of the customer that wants to realize an own design relying on the skills and long experience of a designer capable of making everything, chassis included. Actually, Max has confessed that he hungers for being hired by a big High-End company as a designer and share all his decisive ideas on the audio circuitries…We will talk about that in the future. For now consider that Max Micelli is like a “tailor” in the High-End field, capable of offering on demand to the enthusiasts a finished product, like the three-piece that we are introducing in this article, or even a custom-made amplification.

 

How does the Audiosophia system perform?

 

I have connected the PL/VSR1 preamp and the FP/VSR25 monoblocks to my Heresy Series One loudspeakers.

 

It would be more exhaustive and funny to describe the surprise and the amazement on the faces of the audiophile friends or ReMusic collaborators that have had the chance of listening to the system with the Audiosophia amplification.

No one could believe what they are listening to but most of all, no one could believe that the preamp and the two monoblocks would cost “only” two thousand and five hundred euro. In effect, in the Hi-Fi and domestic High-End, to get excellent sound results you have to spend important sums. Not only. You also need the experience and sensitiveness that make you able to evaluate correctly the right synergies among the audio devices that are in the system.

The three chassis amplification by Audiosophia in one fell swoop solves the problem at a very low cost.

With any musical genre the satisfaction and – let’s say it – the surprise are at the top. The mid frequencies are tangible, fresh and quick, so that the listener is very close to the recorded event and very involved.

The lows are correctly deep, never overflowing and always natural. The high frequencies are detailed and precise in the contours, solid and never crisp. Also the dynamics is amazing, mostly if you think that that tubes are the EL84, a kind not very dynamic. The great image and the wide soundstage are typical parameters of the excellence of the EL84 or EL86 tubes. The power amps give a sensation of extreme control and great power so that the tonal performance is of great value

 

In other words, there are no doubts or reservations when you listen to this system. You are immediately convinced, surprised immediately and also after some time. Let’s say that the more the time passes the more you are surprised, the longer are the listening sessions the higher is the certainty that the sound outcome is of top quality.

 

I’ve tried to connect less efficient loudspeakers like the Blumenhofer Fun13. Well, also in this case the control and the dynamics give remarkable performances and don’t seem to suffer the lack of efficiency. The twenty-five watts of the FP/VSR25 monoblocks seem never to end, but the tubes are not squeezed and it’s like a miracle to assist to these musical performances.

 

Do I have to remind you the cost? Hence, you have to agree with me if I consider this Audiosophia system a magnificent Spark in the Dark!

 

 

Official technical specifications:

FP/VSR25 Power amp

Type: Push-pull of EL84-EL86

Power: 25W RMS measured into 4ohm

Frequency response: 25Hz-28 kHz measured into 2-4-8ohm at the maximum power

Input impedance: 100Kohm

Output impedance: 2-4-8ohm

Tension gain: 10

PL/VSR1 Preamplifier

Type: Single-ended of ECC88

Inputs: 4 RCA

Input impedance: 50Kohm

Output impedance: 1kohm

Frequency response: 10Hz-150kHz measured at maximum gain

Tension gain: 37

 

Official Italian dealer: to Audiosophia website

Official current price in Italy: PL/VSR1, two FP/VSR25 monoblocks, shielded main cables, a pair of signal cables: 2,500.00 euro VAT excluded

Associated equipment: to Roberto "The Rock" Rocchi’s system

by Roberto Rocchi
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