The Amp-1 amplifier was first made for Totaldac internal need. Here is its story.
In 2018 Alon Wolf, founder of Magico, contacted me to evaluate a Totaldac source. I sent a d1-twelve-mk2 and a d1-driver to Magico’s demo room in California.
Alon decided to keep the DAC and it was an opportunity for me to get a pair of Magico M6 speakers.
I had several amplifiers on hand to drive the M6. Triode, pentode, transistor class A, class AB and class D amplifiers. None could exhibit all qualities of the M6 at the same time.
I tried many amplifiers from the best brands, at any price, and again I could not get the real-life timbre and openness of tubes with the drive capability of the biggest transistor amplifiers and without harsh sound so often found with transistor amplifiers.
So I developped my amplifier for my own need, starting from a prototype already made by an experimented partner, and I was free to optimise it my way.
The Amp-1 use a triode voltage amplifying stage and a high current transistor buffer, to give roughly the best of tubes and transistors, and tuned with a d1-twelve-mk2 DAC as reference.
Each step was tested on Magico M6 and on my big coax horn system, and sometimes also the Totaldac d150 speakers and the Camerton one-way bookshelves.
The Magico being moderate efficiency and difficult impedance, the big horn system being 105dB/1W/1m efficiency with easy 8ohm impedance.
An amplifier giving the best sound in these two opposite environnements will work as great with all hifi speakers.
“Its sheer balance and ability to present a healthy naturally weighted sonic performance is exemplary.
A true thoroughbred high-end audio power amplifier! It stays in the system!.” Matej Isak, MONO&STEREO
“The hybrid stereo Amp-1 played the Magico M6 with a fresh, pliant authority.
With the Amp-1, they almost completely relaxed. With the Amp-1, they opened up spatially and dynamically.
I asked Brient to play a solo-piano recording and was surprised by the scale and fullness of the instrument that appeared between the M6s.
Tone was the most life-like I have heard from Magico.” Herb Reichert, Stereophile
“Sur un passage d’orgue, la puissance est impressionnante dans l’extrême grave, sans aucune confusion, d’une netteté alliée à un délié rare, en plus d’une capacité dynamique à l’énergie sans limite, comme sur le French Cancan endiablé. Surtout l’Amp-1 alliée au sources Totaldac sait mettre en valeur la finesse et la définition des Magico M6, en apportant plus de matière sans rajouter de surbrillance dans l’aigu qui reste d’une variété incroyable, sans raideur comme parfois avec certaines électroniques à transistor puissantes.” Bruno Castelluzzo, Haute Fidélité
“Un « monstre » de musicalité.” Jean Razzaroli, L’AUDIO DE FRANCE
“Musicalement, l’Amp-1 s’impose par une analyse pleine et dense, une superbe transparence et une douceur extrêmement savoureuse.
classé ‘référence'” Dominique Mafrand, Haute Fidélité
DSD files (DoP standard) are accepted on the USB, spdif and AES-EBU inputs and then resent in DSD DoP format.
It is supplied by default with a Totaldac live-power external power supply.
stereo power amplifier
zero global feedback
fully discrete design
triode main stage and solid state output
class AB with medium level of class A for moderate power consumption and for moderate heat in the room
2500VA, 26kg LIVE-POWER transformer with separate windings for left and right channel
separate left/right power supply rectifications and capacitor banks for an almost dual mono configuration (like two monoblocs in one chassis)
designed on Magico M6, on a 105dB large coax horn system and on the 97dB d150-anniversary speakers
low noise truely tested on very high efficiency speakers
largest Mundorf binding posts
2x160W under 8ohm
2x300W under 4ohm
2x500W under 2ohm
stable under 1ohm
input impedance from 0Hz to 20KHz > 2.3Kohm
frequency response at -3dB: 0.06Hz to 200KHz
distorsion: 0.05% @ 20W
power consumption when music level is low: 230W @ 230V
248mm height including feet
453mm depth including connectors
-120V or 100V power (standard is 230V)
-fully balanced from the XLR input to the speaker output
-XLR input instead of RCA
-600W under 8ohm
-1000W under 4ohm