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Constellation Centaur II 500 Stereo

Regular price $104,000.00

Taxes calculated at checkout.

Constellation Centaur II 500 Stereo

For those that are familiar with Constellation’s range, the Centaur II 500 Stereo is effectively a 500W version of the Centaur II Stereo boasted by the addition of a power supply that’s derived from the company’s flagship Hercules II amplifier. However, it’s not quite that simple as the maximum voltage of each of the power supply capacitors has been upped by 30 percent in order to cope with the new higher rail voltages. The output stages and their respective heatsinking, meanwhile, remain the same as they are considered up to the job of handling the increased output.

Time for Evolution. Today's hi-end amplifiers all use an age old design, which is actualy far from perfect. The only difference between hi-end designs now are the attention they give to parts quality, transformer quality etc, but fundamentally it comes down to building a better steam engine. Time to move on.

"This Constellation Audio Hercules II stereo amplifier from the company’s Reference Class is the best amplifier I have ever heard, and by a significant margin." read the review HiFi Plus (note this review is of the bigger Hercules model, but the same design topology is used in all Constellation models)

How did they do this? To build the world's best amplifier, Constellation contracted the world's top amplifier designers to address the problem with all amplifiers today. The "Dream Team" sat around the boardroom and agreed on the remaining obstacle to perfect sound. Here is how they defined the issue: The problem lies in the fact that hi-powered amplifers use pairs of output devices. This leads to an asymmetrical signal output and distortion.

Constellation's amplifier design uses all of the strengths of a balanced amplifier (such as a low noise floor, greater dynamic range), and combines them with the refined and sophisticated sound of a single-ended design. Instead of the usual arrangement of P-type (Positive-Negative-Positive) transistors handling the positive rail of the balanced line, and N-type (Negative-Positive-Negative) transistors handling the negative rail, the Hercules II modules are two single-ended amplifier designs, ending in N-type transistors in the output stage. This design has significant advantages over other circuits, because N-type and P-type transistors behave very differently, and that difference undermines the sound quality.

The result is an incredible refined product. 

Reviews

"More than anything else, the Centaur II 500 Stereo delivers all the clarity, power and dynamics that even the showiest of playboys could ever desire. In short, the grunt that it brings to the listening room is positively seismic."

read the review by HiFiChoice

       

Absolute Sound Editor's award

Stereophile Recommended Component

"The Constellation provided "a transparent window on the acoustic of the Amsterdam hall where the recording was made," with stable and appropriately scaled imaging of solo instruments. The Constellation offered "superb" dynamics: "The timpani blows . . . rocked me back in my chair" 

Specifications

  • Inputs - 2 XLR (1 for Constellation Link), 1 RCA, 3.5mm jack for 12V trigger, USB control jack
  • Outputs - metal binding posts
  • Power output
  • 500 watts per channel, 8 ohm (1 kHz @ 0.05% THD+N)
  • 1,000 watts per channel, 4 ohm (1 kHz @ 0.05% THD+N)
  • 1,600 watts per channel, 2 ohm (1 kHz @ 0.05% THD+N)
  • Gain - 14 dB (Constellation Direct), 26 dB (balanced & RCA)
  • Output noise <70 ?V, 500 kHz BW, -116 dB @ 250 watts
  • Damping factor (8Ω load) - 160
  • THD+N <0.05% (1 kHz @ rated power)
  • Input impedance (direct) - 100K Ω
  • Input impedance (balanced) - 10K Ω
  • Input impedance (single-ended) - 10K Ω
  • Output impedance - 0.05 ohm
  • Weight - 150 lbs / 68 kg
  • Dimensions (W x H x D) 18.75 x 11.5 x 24.25 in   476 x 292 x 616 mm

Audiofi is your Constellation Audio dealer in Vancouver, Canada