Constellation Andromeda Phono Pre-amp
Our "dream team" of the world's finest audio engineers was thrilled with the results they heard from our Performance Series Perseus (US$35000) phono preamps. They loved the incomparable clarity and detail, as well as the flexibility these preamps gave them to get the best possible sound from their favorite cartridges. They did, however, express the wish that more people could hear the results of their work. So when we talked about creating the Revelation line, we knew we should include a phono preamp. The result is Andromeda (US$19900), a phono pre that distills the circuits, construction techniques, and features we pioneered with Orion and Perseus into a model that is somewhat more accessible to a larger audience.
- John Curl-designed phono circuitry
- MC loading adjustable with 1-ohm precision
- Dual-chassis design with separate power supply
- Suspended circuit boards for maximum vibration reduction
- Thick aluminum chassis panels to block EM and RF interference
Perfect, precise adjustments
Increasingly, vinyl enthusiasts are exploring a wider variety of cartridges - and also experimenting by going beyond the cartridge manufacturers - recommended settings. For these adventurous audiophiles, Andromeda will be a godsend.
For the most important cartridge loading adjustment - setting the load impedance of moving-coil cartridges - we have provided controls that allow settings with ultra-precise 1-ohm steps, from 0 to 999 ohms. Settings for each channel and each MC input can be seen and stored independently through Andromeda's front LCD touchscreen.
Loading may also be adjusted for moving-magnet cartridges. Load impedance may be set to 10, 33 or 47 kilohms, and load capacitance to 0, 100 or 200 picofarads.
The ideal phono circuit
At Andromeda's core is a phono EQ circuit engineered by John Curl, for decades famed as the world's best phono preamp designer. We combined this musically refined circuit with a technically refined output stage based on the fully balanced Line Stage Gain Modules found in all of our award-winning line stage preamps. We build these circuits using FETs selected specifically for their outstanding, ultra-low-noise performance.
Thus, not only is the signal from the cartridge perfectly equalized, the exceptional transparency of our circuitry assures that even extreme low-level microdetails from the best pressings make it all the way from the stylus to your speakers.
Superior vibration control and isolation
Audio signals from moving-coil cartridges can be as low as 0.05 percent of what might be expected from a CD player or DAC. Because these signals are so low in level, they are especially susceptible to interference and vibration. Vibrations can create small fluctuations in the value of passive components, which produce microphonics - in which the vibration is turned into an audio signal that mixes with the music. In Andromeda, our "dream team" took great pains to prevent these problems from affecting what you hear.
Andromeda's circuit boards mount on a thick metal plate that "floats" on a suspension made from soft, pliable material. This material damps any ground-borne vibration that makes it through the chassis. The chassis itself is built on heavy, machined aluminum slabs that are thick enough to block 50/60 Hz electromagnetic radiation as well as radio-frequency signals. Steel buttresses join the panels, locking them together using a system similar to the tongue-in-groove technique used in fine woodworking.
Triple-transformer, dual-mono power supply
Andromeda's power supply is one of the best ever used in a phono preamp. We build it into a completely separate chassis which, like the preamp section, is constructed using thick, machined aluminum panels to minimize interference. Inside the supply are individual R-core audio-grade transformers assigned to the left and right channels, plus an EI-type transformer to power Andromeda's control circuits. The dual-mono supply prevents activity in one channel from affecting the other channel, and thus maintains all the stereo imaging and soundstaging in the original recording.
Dedicated vinylphiles can opt for the Revelation Series DC filter, which adds additional storage and filtration to the already impressive componentry in Andromeda's stock power supply. The added components improve dynamics and reduce the noise floor from the power supply even further.
While Andromeda does omit a few features and inputs found on its brothers in the Reference and Performance Series, it retains what most vinyl enthusiasts demand: pristine, quiet, musical sound quality with enough flexibility to achieve maximum performance from their favorite cartridge, whatever it may be.
"Cold out of the box. Without having read the owner’s manual. As my ass touched my listening seat for the first time. Within ten seconds of starting to play the first record. In that frozen moment, I realized I would rue the day this phono stage departed my system"
read the review in Soundstage Ultra
- Inputs - 2 stereo XLR & 2 stereo RCA
- Outputs - 1 stereo XLR, 1 stereo RCA
- Gain - 65 dB max (Balanced & Unbalanced)
- Output noise -96 dB re 2V output, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
- THD+N <0.008% 10Hz - 20kHz
- Frequency response +/-0.10db 10Hz - 20kHz
- Output impedance < 5 ohm (Balanced & Unbalanced)
- Load impedance
- 5 ohm to 1000 ohm, MC inputs
- 10K ohm to 47K ohm (MM input)
- 0,100 or 200 pF, selectable (MM input)
- EQ curve RIAA
- 45 lbs/20.4 kg (preamp)
- 22 lbs/10 kg (power supply)
- Dimensions (W x H x D)
- Preamp: 17 x 5.25 x 15 in (whd)
- 43.2 x 13.3 x 38.1 cm (whd)
- Power supply: 17 x 2.75 x 14.5 in (whd)
- 43.2 x 7 x 36.8 cm (whd)