This writing on the delivery box both demonstrates hifi enthusiasm at its best; and a certain naiveté that hasn't yet gotten ripped off by advertising so loudly what's inside the carton.


About those addictive innards, Piotr Siekanski had this. "Like our power amplifiers, the ASP-1000 preamp is based on what we call BQVA technology where two quartets of transistors create a complementary pair (BQ = biquartet). We use such a pair in all voltage gain stages with balanced and unbalanced inputs. That creates a voltage amp based on a quad pair to become a BQVA or biquartet voltage amplifier. But, there's a difference between how we apply this between our pre and power amps. The latter's BQVA system works with a single set of complementary transistors, the preamp works with two. That creates a balanced signal even from the unbalanced inputs and enables the ASP-1000 to offer both XLR and RCA outputs.


"Given that a high-quality preamplifier should be characterized by low output impedance, we implemented a class A output buffer based on complementary Mosfet pairs. Each pair of output transistors is preceded by six transistors to define its bias point. A sufficiently high quiescent current in the output stage allows for maximum amplitude of the output signal even with a load resistance below 600Ω. A quad-gang Alps Blue Velvet potentiometer serves as true balanced volume control. This connects the BQVA gain stage and Mosfet output buffer. Such a solution maximizes the S/NR of the entire circuit. The voltage and current gain stages use separate DC-offset reduction circuits. To avoid overloading the BQVA input stage with high input signal, we added a damping system with 6/12dB of selectable gain cut. Without damping, the preamp's gain is 12dB or 18dB. With our solution, the max input amplitude can exceed 8Vrms. We also have a volume-control bypass enabled input called direct to use with home-theatre or surround-sound processors.




"The ASP-1000's regulated power supply sports a total filter capacitance of 30'000µF. Our custom-designed voltage stabilization keeps internal noise down to negligible levels. The analog circuit's power comes through pure 6N copper wiring. The boards for signal and power-related components use professional solutions like bolted connections with diffusion bonding instead of standard solder joints. This reduces contact resistance and eliminates additional silver or gold tin in the joint for a pure tin-free contact between board and flying leads.


"The ASP-1000 operates without a NFB loop and the signal path shuns all op-amps to champion discrete parts instead. In its construction we use select high-quality parts and materials. All RCA inputs are Rhodium plated, the XLR i/o and unbalanced outputs plus circuit-board traces are gold-plated. Our power supply filter capacitors are Elna Silmic II and from Nichicon's current KA audio range. We also use state-of-the-art Evox Rifa caps. The input transistors are selects pairs from Hitachi's 2SJ77/2SK214 series. All relays are exclusively sourced from the NAIS Panasonic low-signal TX2SA series. All functions of the ASP-1000 are run via micro controller. The front panel is made of high-quality 20mm thick aerospace aluminium alloy which was anodized after mechanical processing. Standard colors are silver and black. Custom color versions are also available."


For final hard specs, we get bandwidth of 3Hz to 375'000Hz at -3dB, SN/R of 107dB, max output voltage of 12Vrms, power consumption of 30 watts (<3.5w in standby), a ground-lift switch, pure class A bias for all signal-path circuitry and remote control over all functions. And here's a true anecdote. A Swiss friend asked about the equipment rack I'd shown in a photo of GigaWatt's exhibit in my Warsaw 2014 report. I asked Adam Schubert to learn that it was a one-up he'd built for the event. I reported as much to my friend. He then asked what other Polish equipment rack manufacturers I knew other than Audio Pro Bono. I mentioned Rogoz Audio. A few days later I had opportunity to meet my friend. He told me that he'd ordered a custom 3-tier 1.5m wide rack from Rogoz. Now I asked the obvious question. Why, in his query, had he specified a Polish vendor? How he put it was essentially that "Poland has become the East's Germany on productivity and quality but their prices are still a lot lower than Switzerland or Germany". Well put I thought; so well in fact that I included it here for the obvious reason.