ENIGMAcoustics Athena A1
ENIGMAcoustics published some details about the Athena A1 hybrid headphone amplifier which works with Dharma D-1000 as well as other headphones. ENIGMAcoustics came into existence as a company devoted to electrostatic design, with a statement right out of the gate with their groundbreaking Sopranino electrostatic super tweeter. Its design, built around the patented SBESL (Self-Biased Electrostatic) technology, eliminates the need for an external AC connection to provide a polarizing voltage.
SBESL technology is implemented in the Dharma D1000 hybrid electrostatic stereo headphone. The result, according to the press release, is high frequency response that extends to 50 kHz, and sweet, nuanced sound. The Athena A1, designed by a virtuoso engineering team, is the first headphone amplifier from ENIGMAcoustics. Chosen for their sonic purity and low noise, ECC82/12AU7 triode vacuum tubes, driven in pure Class-A mode, provide the foundation for Athena A1's single-ended front end. A full-wave 6CA4 vacuum tube rectifier is then employed, followed by an LC smoothing filter. While the Class-A MOS/BJT hybrid output stage is extremely solid and robust, it is a great complement to the single-ended triode front end. Together they render music that flourishes with all the harmonic hues of live music.
The output stage exhibits extremely low output impedance, which ensures compatibility with low impedance headphones and its high output voltage swing also allows Athena A1 to effortlessly drive high impedance headphones as well. Elegantly presented, the Athena A1 features a strikingly attractive visual design, glass exterior, and state of the art construction. Photos by ENIGMAcoustics.