SCIENTIST SERIES – ULTIMATE MACHINE HEISENBERG

The machine:

Designed by German design legend Hartmut Esslinger of Cupertino fame, our new über-performance power amp HEISENBERG combines Audionet’s unique electronics, stratosphere version, with a design quality that has not been seen in the realms of highenddom before.

The patented FLOATING PANE DESIGN encorporates the ultimate audiophile qualities.

One amp to rule them all – HEISENBERG rises high above anything, anywhere – even our serial show winners ART and VIP (2015 “best sound” at RMAF, AXPONA, T.H.E.SHOW and HIGHEND).

The science:

Special features HEISENBERG

  • Mono power amplifier for absolute channel separation.
  • Magnetically and capactively optimized circuit and device design without any ferro-magnetic materials.
  • Floating Pane Design for optimal resistance against microphonic effects and temperature stability.
  • The floating panels of the body are resonance-optimized by pads on an aluminum frame.
  • Mounting and bolted assembly of transformers made of stainless steel.
  • Air Flow Design circuit boards for an optimum of cooling and stable quiescent currents.
  • Galvanic separation of all analog circuits by opto couplers.
  • Audionet ULA technology (Ultra Linear Amplifier) for real-time linearization of distortions.
  • Rhodium Cinch jacks and Rhodium torque speaker terminals by Furutech.
  • DC coupled with no sound diminishing capacitors or coils, shortest signal paths.
  • Lossless signal transport via massive, gold-plated copper rails to the speaker terminals.
  • No speaker relays.
  • Two separate power supplies for device control and detection / monitoring of zero-crossing of mains power.
  • Four power supplies for positive and negative power currents, separate for input & driver stage and power stage.
  • Two encapsulated und decoupled 50 VA toroid transformers for input & driver stage.
  • Two encapsulated and decoupled 1,200 VA toroid transformers for the power stage – ensuring a perfect power supply.
  • Low impedance-optimized power capacitors with a total capacitance of 200,000 µF.
  • Microprocessor controlled protection circuit with separate power supply, detecting high frequency, DC, overload and overheating.
  • Rhodium fuse for mains and secondary side.
  • Rhodium mains connector by Furutech.
  • DC coupled with no sound diminishing capacitors or coils, shortest signal paths.
  • Lossless signal transport via massive, gold-plated copper rails to the speaker terminals.
  • No speaker relays.
  • Two separate power supplies for device control and detection / monitoring of zero-crossing of mains power.
  • Four power supplies for positive and negative power currents, separate for input & driver stage and power stage.
  • Two encapsulated und decoupled 50 VA toroid transformers for input & driver stage.
  • Two encapsulated and decoupled 1,200 VA toroid transformers for the power stage – ensuring a perfect power supply.
  • Low impedance-optimized power capacitors with a total capacitance of 200,000 µF.
  • Microprocessor controlled protection circuit with separate power supply, detecting high frequency, DC, overload and overheating.
  • Rhodium fuse for mains and secondary side.
  • Rhodium mains connector by Furutech.

Features

Function

Ultimate Linear Mono Power Amplifier.

 

In- and Outputs

Inputs: 1 Cinch line, Rhodium plated, Teflon insulated (Furutech)
1 XLR balanced, gold plated (Neutrik)
1 Audionet Link, optical (TosLink)
Outputs: 2 pair speaker terminals, Rhodium plated, with torque guard (Furutech)
1 Audionet Link, optical (TosLink)

Specifications

Technical Data

Output power: 530 W into 8 Ω
1,050 W into 4 Ω
2,100 W into 2 Ω
Frequency response: 0–700,000 Hz (-3 dB)
Damping factor: > 1,800 @ 10 kHz
> 10,000 @ 100 Hz
Harmonic distortion: k2 typ. -117 dB for 25 W into 4 Ω
k3 typ. -123 dB for 25 W into 4 Ω
Intermodulation: < -110 dB SMPTE 100 Hz : 20 kHz, 4 : 1, 50 W into 4 Ω
THD + N: > -106 dB @ 1 kHz, 25 W to 700 W into 4 Ω
SNR: > 125 dB
Filtering capacitance: 200,000 µF
Input impedance: Line input: 50 kΩ, 33 pF
XLR input: 7 kΩ 66 pF (line to line)
Power consumption: max. 2,400 W
Mains: 220..240 V or 110..120 V, 50..60 Hz
Dimensions: Width 270 mm
Height 500 mm
Depth 490 mm
Weight: 66 kg

Finish

Colours: Silver or black

Reference

the absolute sound

“Acknowledging the remarkable advancements we’ve witnessed in solid-state amplification over the past dozen years or so, especially those leveraged by a number of industry leaders, most notably from the U.S., Germany, and Switzerland, nothing else in my immediate experience better demonstrates the transistor’s ability to accurately and artfully combine delicacy with power, focus with bloom, resolution with body, detail with texture, and clarity with expressiveness than the Stern and Heisenberg. These flagship Scientist Series products from Audionet should be seen as more than merely the significant accomplishment of their vision; they represent the embodiment of the most refined triple threat available today—class-leading design and build-quality, outstanding specifications, and landmark sonic performance.

Visually, the Stern/Heisenberg combination also makes an arresting impression. There are only a handful of audio devices that speak anywhere near as strongly to my aesthetic sensibilities and can convey this remarkable sense of a powerful and imposing identity.

On the test bench, the other contenders in this luxury class, be they the most highly regarded from Switzerland, the United States, or Germany, cannot measure up in some areas; taken at face value, many of the Audionet specifications appear in select areas to set today’s benchmarks.

And sonically, this linestage and monoblock combo offers a degree of resolution and subsequent transparency I’ve yet to hear from any other equivalently or lesser-priced series of electronics, and in fact, surpasses the performance I’ve heard from any solid-state players at any price. Yet much like anything else in audio, and across most all disciplines in general, it is not the individual constituent capabilities that infuse these remarkable machines with their undeniable and enchanting magic; it is their synergy.

I know that if I had the means (I’ll be paying for my new speakers for some time yet), the Audionet Stern and Heisenberg’s would be a permanent part of my system. Those of you reading this who can afford to acquire such exotic and exquisite equipment should make sure to find a way to audition the Scientist Series devices before you settle on any purchase. If you don’t, and you get to hear their contributions afterward, you may discover that you are still riding the audiophile-upgrade merry-go-round. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!”

the absolute sound, 10/2020, Greg Weaver

positive feedback

“To this point in time, the Audionet STERN and HEISENBERG reference designs are the very best that I’ve ever heard in my listening room, top-to-bottom, front-to-back, and side-to-side.

Furthermore, if you take the STERN and go with two pairs of HEISENBERGs…four monoblocks, total, which I’ve heard in Bill Parish’s extraordinary reference listening room…then I can be categorical: That configuration is the best preamp/amplification that I’ve ever heard anywhere, anywhen, to this point in time, period.

Ne plus ultra.

If you’ve been reading my evaluations over the decades, you’ll know how rare (almost unknown) it is for me to say anything like this.

So, pay attention. This is the high-end audio mountaintop…for here, for now. Don’t miss it!

If you are operating in this budget range, then you simply must not purchase anything else until you listen to the STERN and HEISENBERGs in operation.

And that, amigos, is the name of that tune….”

positive-feedback.com, 10/2018, Dr. David Robinson

 

AV Showrooms

Review STERN and HEISENBERG
Product of the Year + Gold Award by AVShowrooms for our statement Amps STERN and HEISENBERG. It doesn’t get better than this in the High End, guys. Thank you!!!

 

Stereo Times

“The bass was quick-footed, articulate and most importantly it conveyed a musicality that belied both its size and build. All I could say was DAMN! Ironically, instead of more powerful, the system appeared more relaxed and resolving – as if the added wattage aided in providing less stress and more realism. In a sense, it sounded as though the Heisenberg/Stern combo took full control of the massive YG XV’s many individual drivers and made them a single source.

The very look and feel bespoke “state of the art” throughout while the sound is powerful and taut, yet elegant and ultra-refined. Voices hover above the floor at the right height and size but elicit a sense life that’s quite uncanny for a solid-state design. Music just flowed into this huge listening space in way that it had not in the past. It made the room seem smaller and more intimate. Weird. This made it somewhat difficult to concentrate on anything except the music. What higher accolade is there when a system can achieve that?

I don’t know what else to say except that listening to the Audionet Heisenberg and Stern combination was truly an adventure!”
Stereo Times, Clement Perry

 

the absolute sound

“We chose to listen exclusively to LPs for this audition. I got to spend the entire day listening to this remarkable system, and virtually every LP we played (I had a dozen of my own favorite records with me) left me astounded. From the moment the needle landed in the groove, the utter naturalness of the presentation became apparent. I was hearing subtleties of hall and performance ambiance that I’d never before heard in all my years of listening to this LP on literally hundreds of systems. Transients were crisper, more sharply and accurately delineated, tone color and texture were astonishingly accurate, and every aspect of the presentation was depicted with full, honest bloom, accurate weight, and ample body.

Dynamic scaling was spectacular, and I was overwhelmed by the degree of ambient detail conveyed. The way this system recreated the sound of a snare drum—its location, size, tone, body, and retort—was chilling. This system expressed a fine degree of delicacy and finesse that I’d never experienced prior, and yet, at the same time, there existed an enhanced measure of power and speed. Both of these characteristics coexisted in equal measure; neither showed compromise.

An absolute revelation of the musicians’ spatial relationships within the soundstage and of vibrant, faithful timbre. And the rhythmic pace, the timing and drive of the music, had never sounded more frenetic!

During my time in front of this system, my impressions about a number of attributes that this new linestage and monoblocks demonstrated solidified. One was the overwhelmingly conspicuous absence of any vestige of transistor pall, glare, or grain. Moreover, all instruments, both in their singular, individual voices and in their specific locations throughout the soundstage, had never been so starkly apparent and yet so convincingly natural sounding.

Add to this the expressive and seemingly unflappable sense of unrestricted power and control, and you have a series of electronics capable of recreating a sense of realism unprecedented in my experience of three-plus decades of reporting on the art of music reproduction.

The Stern linestage and Heisenberg monoblocks push the bar to previously unattainable levels.

In short, the combination of the Audionet Scientist Series Stern linestage and Heisenberg monoblock amplifiers establishes a new benchmark.”
the absolute sound, Nov 13th, 2017, Greg Weaver

 

Hi-Fi+

“What is more, low-level textural, transient, and timbral details were rendered in a more complete and holistic way and with a heightened sense of focus and nuance. As a result, the voices of instruments and human singers became at once more natural sounding, more pure, and more focused. The sheer effortless clarity I heard was unlike anything I had heard from any hi-fi system in the past, and as a result, large-scale choral and orchestral works took a quantum leap forward in overall intelligibility and lucidity. Even more depth, more focus, and much more bass detail, yet that is exactly what the Stern/Heisenberg electronics delivered. Third, (and perhaps this come as no surprise) the extremely powerful Heisenberg amplifiers (1,050 watts @ 4 ohms) gave the system a certain “ceilings unlimited” quality in terms of dynamics.

Now those raised in the ‘smaller-is-better’ ethos of hi-fi amplification might well wonder if blockbuster amps such as the Heisenbergs could be anything but muscle-bound, but that isn’t the case at all. In fact, I suspect the Heisenberg might just be the most fleet-footed and agile audio amplifier I’ve ever experienced. Two major benefits of the Stern/Heisenberg package are these: first, the strengths of ancillary components seem greatly magnified by the Audionet electronics, and second, with the Audionet components in play recordings can be explored in much greater depth and with more insight than listeners might have thought possible.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not the only one who finds these components beautiful; in fact, the Stern is now on display as part of the Smithsonian’s National Gallery.

The bottom line is that Stern and Heisenberg have, in my opinion, raised the performance bar for high-end audio electronics, and I say this having heard top-tier components from Audio Research, Constellation, Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems, Naim Audio, Pass Labs, Soulution, and others). They also serve admirably as audio objets d’arts that are, in a very literal sense, of museum quality. Therefore, I would encourage listeners to go hear and see the Audionet components, if only for a glimpse of what’s possible when performance constraints are removed.”
Hi-Fi+, Nov 08th, 2017, Chris Martens

 

Positive Feedback

“The Heisenberg and Stern have a serious, we’re-not-playing-around, visual that will stop you in your tracks with their scale, cosmetics—and ambition! Both units are encased in nearly identical aluminum chassis of flawless German metalwork (by German design legend Hartmut Esslinger). The Stern has already been placed in the Smithsonian’s National Gallery of Art. The Stern has got to be one of the largest preamps on the planet. Why so much real estate? I was told the interior is chock-a-block with circuitry. It boasts some amazing specs. There’s more: more tone, more timbre and, most especially, triumphantly, the grandest dynamic peaks I’ve encountered in residential audio. I’m always fiddling with or critiquing tonal balance—it’s rare to find a system that leaves me with no complaint—but with this rig I didn’t want to change a thing. The tone was BIG, with 100% saturation, and striking in its uniformity from top to bottom. The treble was sweet and extended, but never harsh, and certainly not of a quality I associate with solid-state. The mids were clean; the bass full, round and tight. All of uncommon purity. Yay! The tone showed no compromise. The instruments on The Blues and the Abstract Truth grew from ff like you get with other über components, and then pushed beyond that to full fff, where no amp has gone before. Edge-of-the-art for what’s possible in audio reproduction.”
Positive Feedback, Issue 94, Marshall Nack

 

Audiotechnique

Review STERN and HEISENBERG
“Stern and Heisenberg take the transistor amplifier to a new level. An ultimate position, a new benchmark. Most strongly recommended by Audiotechnique. … This Audionet system is ABSOLUTELY THE BEST OF TRANSISTOR AMPLIFIER TODAY, with the highest end performance.”
AUDIOTECHNIQUE magazine Hongkong, Editor-in-Chief Lincoln Cheng

 

i-fidelity

Review STERN and HEISENBERG

“With the Stern preamp and the Heisenberg mono blocks, Audionet chimes in a new chapter of amplifier building. In more than one respect this trio is blasting conventions; sound quality and price fall definitely within. The attractive – also because it won’t reveal itself at first glance – styling by Hartmut Esslinger and the extent of innovative hightech from Audionet’s R&D department form in this triumvirate a passionate symbiosis which brought me a true joy of heart. The fact that these components bear the names of Noble Prize winners won’t cause any harm, for Otto Stern and Werner Heisenberg would certainly be proud to stand bail as namesakes for the new i-fidelity.net references.”

 

hifi&records

Review STERN and HEISENBERG

“Unheard-of-supremacy… A new leaf in the book of ampbuilding… Soundwise, musically and aesthetically the three towers are performing in a different league, a new class that needs no other superlative.”

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