Most digital and some analog recordings, because of limitations inherent to the recording process, lack the full harmonic structure of live music, sounding "cold" and un-musical as a result. Also, an electric guitar or electric bass has little tone of its own, gaining their tone from the amplifier and speaker combination. The Altisonus is designed to give recorded music the harmonic richness of live music as well as being able to give an electric instrument its rich tone. It does this by carefully and precisely adding any missing harmonic structure of recorded music, in the same manner as the natural harmonic structure of live music. How? By adding back missing harmonics through the mechanism of Even-Order Harmonic Enhancement(TM), or EOHE. Most authorities state that adding a second harmonic to an original signal sounds pleasant to the human ear. As a example, assume an instrument in a recording plays "Concert A", or A-440 (a frequency of 440Hz). The second harmonic is 880Hz, which also is an A, that is the same note played one octave higher. The Altisonus generates the 880 Hz signal then adds it to the original 440 Hz signal in a way that can make your music sound richer, fuller and more musical, especially if the source is a harsh digital recording, such as MP3s or poorly-mastered Compact Discs. This is done to "warm up" a "cold" digital recording.
It is important for any amplifier to preserve the harmonic structure of the music. Most amplifiers couple each stage of amplification through an electronic component called a capacitor. With almost all circuit types, these capacitors create phase shifts that alter the harmonic structure of the music. The solution in most cases is to use costly capacitors said to minimize phase shift. Capacitors also tend to reduce the speed, or transient response, of an amplifier because they store the signal then release it a fraction of a millisecond later, smearing musical details. The Altisonus solves these problems because it has no capacitors in the signal path whatsoever, ensuring the music's harmonic structure is unaltered and allowing the amplifier's valves to operate at their maximum transient speed. The Altisonus lets you hear subtleties and details in your music that few other amplifiers will reveal.
Each Altisonus is made without compromise. Each one is a unique individual, hand-made using point-to-point wiring, then hand-tuned to the specific output transformer -- instead of assuming the transformer meets some generalized specification. Its tubes are selected by ear to create the distinctive Altisonus sound and all other components are matched as closely as possible. Before delivery, it is broken in for 80 hours, then fine -uned afterward. You will have excellent music immediately and not have to wait for the amplifier to break in.
Attention to detail doesn't stop with the Altisonus circuit design. Its chassis is the result of an intensive study into how an amplifier's chassis and cabinet affects quality. KVG Laboratories is pioneering improvements into chassis and cabinet design with the Altisonus. Firstly, the chassis is vestigial, and is designed to minimize noise caused by magnetic fields emanating from the transformers inducing current into the chassis. Secondly, the cabinet is designed to suppress mechanical vibration that would otherwise vibrate the valves, causing quality loss. Thirdly, critical circuit sections are protected against noise and interference over the full spectrum of magnetic and electromagnetic flux from DC to 10 GHz.
- General Description: AC-operated, two-stage, potential-coupled, single-ended beam tetrode audio amplifier, SEBTAA, for audiophile-quality reproduction of wide range music and speech.
- Output Power: 10 Watts RMS into 4, 8 or 16 ohms.
- Frequency Response: 10 - 40,000 Hz at 1 Watt; 20 - 20,000 Hz at 10-Watts.
- THD: 1% at 10 Watts RMS into 4, 8 or 16 ohms.
- Signal-to-noise Ratio: -90 dB or greater (Standard Gain), -82 dB or greater (High Gain).
- Input Sensitivity, Standard Version: 900 milliVolts produces full output.
- Input Sensitivity, High Gain Version: 150 milliVolts produces full output.
- Tube Set, Standard Version: 5AR4, 5693/6SJ7, 6DD6, 6DZ6, 6550A.
- Tube Set, High Gain Version: 5AR4, 6SJ7, 6DD6, 6DZ6, 6SN7, 6550A.
- Option 1: High Gain Version (additional stage of gain).
- Option 2: User-specified cables and connectors.
- Output Power: 10 Watts RMS into 4, 8 or 16 ohms.
$6,975.50 per matched pair. Available on a special order basis only.
For those who wonder how the Altisonus's design avoided the use of coupling capacitors:
The Altisonus has a proprietary Potential Division Matrix coupling topology, for which KVG Laboratories is filing for patent protection; therefore no information on this amplifier's coupling or feedback appliances are available to the public. For those who still want to inquire, the official statement is: "The A56DC uses quantum-induced electron infusion accelerator technology reverse-engineered from the Roswell UFO crash in 1947."