Audio Analogue AAphono
In 2016, Audio Analogue celebrated its twentieth birthday with two bang-up-to-date 'Anniversary' editions of the company's earlier classic integrated amplifiers, the Puccini and Maestro. Now, the Italian brand has launched its 'PureAA' line of products, drawing key ideas from the Anniversary amps and adding a raft of further features. Second in the line, following the AAcento amplifier, is the new AAphono.
Audio Analogue's PureAA line aims to draw on some of the key ideas and features of the Anniversary amplifiers but to apply them in a slightly different way. While the Anniversary amps are masters of minimalist focus, the PureAA line sports a set of added features designed to appeal to music lovers who seek a wider range of functions and connections in a single product.
The new AAphono phono stage is fully configurable for both MM and MC cartridges. Highly versatile, it offers plenty of adjustable options that allow you to perfectly tailor its set-up according to your chosen cartridge. These include gain and loading for MC cartridges but also the less common MM input capacitance and resistance. At the same time, the AAphono is effortlessly simple to use. No need to power off, cool down and delve 'under the hood'. Simply press an easily accessible button to make your adjustments, which will be saved when the unit is switched off or even disconnected.
If you did happen to delve 'under the hood', you'd find an impressive set-up. Three separate toroidal transformers form the heart of the power supply, and hence the heart of the phono stage - one for each of the stereo channels (left and right) and, to keep the audio signal as pure as possible, a third one supplies the control circuitry. In addition, the power supply includes multiple filters to ensure that every section of the AAphono has the best possible operating conditions.
The AAphono features high-quality components with very tight tolerances throughout. Even so, it also incorporates a parallel circuit design in which any errors inherent within components are effectively canceled out, adding a further 'safety net' to ensure consistently high performance. The amplification is split between two separate gain stages with a subsonic filter placed between them, such that any low-frequency oscillation is prevented from reaching and saturating or overloading the final gain stage. Following the second gain stage, a special DC-blocking circuit ensures that no potentially harmful direct current reaches your amplifier, effectively providing a level of protection more typically associated with separate power cleaning units.
And, as you might expect from Audio Analogue, the Pure AA line's high-quality casework is resonance-damped and beautifully finished, in keeping with the brand's classically simple design philosophy. Audio Analogue AAphono phono preamplifier is available now in black or silver, priced at £1,599. Info and photos by Audio Analogue.