Audion Tube Amplifiers FAQ
How efficient do my speakers have to be for use with Audion Amps?
Audion amplifiers required 84dB efficient speakers and above. Most the SETs require 89dB and above. Each product lists the minimum efficiency of the speaker required.
Are Audion amplifiers only 'flea power'?
A big misperception with Audion is its only 1-8 watts. Untrue. Audion makes amplifiers from 4-45 watts. Since these are clean watts that means its equivalent to almost double the conservative Audion rating. There's an interesting article about phony watts you can read here.
Is the Audion moving magnet phono stage the same in all the Sterling products?
The 2.0 line/phono plus has a much larger choke loaded power supply with an extra 4 active power supplies. The MM stage is the same though the MM, 1.0 and 2.0.. The 2.0 however has the extra smooth power supply.
Why doesn't the Audion Quattro have a cartridge loading option with different impedances? Its been reviewed as the best phono stage ever made. What's up?
The Quattro is choke loaded and moving coil cartridge matching is not necessary with class A pre-amps. The main reason being that matching is needed is that most mc stages use passive step up transformers which is an impedance, inductive, capacitive and resistive load. There are many of these step ups available with many different loadings and impedances as well as step up ratios. Namely 5:1, 10:1. 15:1, 20:1 50:1 etc etc..
As every step up transformer is a wound component its characteristics change. A moving coil cartridge is also a wound component with the same internal passive loads which is why they need close matching.
Our Quattro is an active stage whereby the signal is fed straight to the input of the tube, negating the need to closely match two passive loads.. This makes for much easier loading as the tube is not very fussy about the cartridge it sees. That said an active stage will always beat a passive stage in terms of performance and sonic capabilities.
The reason people use step up transformers is threefold, firstly its generally cheaper than an active stage, secondly its easier to fit into a standard moving magnet stage and finally it doesn't add any tube noise that an active stage does (basically because its less dynamic).