AVID Reference Pre Amplifier
'The result of an unrelenting obsession'
'Little did we imagine the arduous path the development of this product would take us upon. Without our perseverance to create a product without equal, any commercially minded organisation would have relented. A tale for another time perhaps, but rest assured this is not a product for the sake of it, but establishes new meaning to the word "Reference".'
Originally envisaged as an expansion of the Pulsare phonostage, simplistically adding line level inputs and a volume control. AVID's goal was simply to create the World's best sounding Pre-Amplifier, sound quality overriding all other design parameters. They believe they have done with the introduction of the AVID Reference Pre Amplifier.
Essentially the AVID Reference Pre Amplifier is made up of three building blocks; Power Supply, internal electronics and some form of volume control.
Power supplies are hardly new territory for AVID, using them to great effect within their turntables and phonostages. So whilst the AVID Reference Pre Amplifier draws very little current AVID have used a colossal 1Kva mains transformer, because the improvement was considerable. Adding over 350,000uF capacitor power reservoir, half in the power supply, half in the Pre-Amplifier itself, also witnessed immense dividends.
The AVID Reference Pre Amplifier internal electronics commands the same attention to detail. The AVID Reference Pre topology is a fully balanced design, in common with the Pulsare, with exceptionally low noise and distortion across the audio spectrum, however the AVID Reference Pre Amplifier uses an active RIAA stage rather than the Pulsare's passive design, pushing performance to new levels of excellence.
As with the Pulsare, at no point is signal integrity compromised, using relays for every adjustment. Every input and output is optionally XLR or RCA for complete flexibility and the phonostage allows up to four cartridges to be connected simultaneously for real vinyl aficionados.
Mono can also be selected on the AVID Reference Pre, catering for the growing interest in this playback style. Added to this are three line stages and a fixed level tape output. Four main outputs allow up to four mono-amplifiers to be powered in either balanced or single ended configuration.
AVID developed their own wound film capacitors with polypropylene dielectric, employing no less than thirty within the circuitry. Being physically large capacitors they hang vertically below the main circuit board in close proximity to each other. This can cause reduced cross-talk performance in this situation. The AVID Reference Pre Amplifier uses a machined 55mm solid aluminium block with individual pockets, then electroless nickel plated it to screen each capacitor.
The AVID Reference Pre Amplifier uses the "King" of volume controls. The ALPS RK50, handmade from signal conductive plastic and manufactured to absurd limits. The AVID Reference Pre does away with the conventional ‘performance-limiting’ remote control motor with its field effects and rewarded with a breathtaking perception of realism.