Audio Hungary Qualiton Phono Pre. Called Transcendent by Audio Beatnik
Now at True Audiophile
We're constantly searching for gear that makes us look smart for carrying it. We promote ourselves as analog experts. We work hard at it and believe we know more and more that creates wonderful analog experiences. Going through everything is of course an excellent Phono Stage. We believe we carry some of the finest at prices us mortals can afford. The Audio Hungary Qualiton Phono Preamp is quite special. There is nothing at or near its price that sounds as glorious. -- True Audiophile quick review
"Transcend the Electronic Listening Experience. I think the best thing I can say about the Qualiton Phono is that It’s all about experiencing the sounds and emotions of music. It has a way of playing vinyl that allowed me to transcend the electronic listening experience. The Qualiton Phono is an easy recommendation to those looking for a great phono preamp." -- Jack @ The Audio Beatnik Read the Full Review Here
The Qualiton Phono as “A premium category vacuum tube phono stage with extremely low noise and distortion level, made for complementing the series Qualiton. On its input, the appliance can receive low-level signals coming from moving magnet cartridges. Optionally at extra charge, with the help of the changeable card at the rear panel, the circuit can be re-configured in this way, the appliance will be able to process signals coming from moving coil cartridges.
In the signal transmitting circuit, signal processing is done by NOS Tungsram ECC83 as well as Tesla E88CC double triodes. The standard RIAA correction is realized by a classic passive network between the amplifying stages. In this case, we did not use any negative feedback. The nominal input sensitivity of the appliance is 5 mV. In response to an input signal with an effective value like this, at the output ports, an effective output signal value of the nominal 500 mV can be measured. In order to achieve the lowest possible noise level, they designed an external, stabilized power supply unit that uses high capacity filter capacitors and high-quality connectors.”
As with all Qualiton A series components, the housing for the Qualiton Phono is made from mirror-polished stainless steel. This gives both the phono preamp and the power supply units a distinguished, high-end appearance. When the tubes start to glow gently through the vented ports on the top cover, the unit looks even more ‘come hither.’ It comes standard with a moving magnet card installed. If you need the moving coil card, it costs extra. There is a slot on the back of the main unit’s chassis that offers an easy exchange of the moving magnet and moving coil cards. The cards can easily be swapped by unscrewing four screws, removing the module and inserting the other card into the connector inside of the Phono. When the card is locked, you just tighten it with the screws.
The interior of the Phono has a unique thermal design for optimal cooling and the shortest signal path. It uses a dual mono structure for the left and right channel operation. Both the power transformer and the step up transformers for moving coil cartridges are made in Audio Hungary’s own factory. The step-up transformer uses the 30-year old lacquered copper wire we talked about in our interview. It was left in the factory by Audio Hungary’s former company. I could not believe the bobbins in the step-up transformers are made from bakelite. I have no idea if this makes a sonic difference, but I think it’s way cool. They only use tubes in the signal path, and Audio Hungary has chosen to provide the Phono with premium NOS Tungsram ECC83 and Tungsram tubes from their huge stock of NOS tubes.
Warranty: 2 Years. Tubes 6 Months.
|Nominal output level||500 mV|
|Input sensitivity - with MM card||5 mV, to nominal output level|
|Input sensitivity - with MC card||0.4 mV, to nominal output level|
|Number of input ports||1 MM-level input per channel, or optionally 1 MC-level input per channel|
|Number of output ports||1 line level output per channel, with 500 mV nominal output level|
|Max. input signal - with MM card||100 mV|
|Max. input signal - with MC card||2 mV|
|Gain - with MM card||+40 dB, (f = 1 kHz)|
|Gain - with MC card||+62 dB, (f = 1 kHz)|
|Total harmonic distortion - with MM card||< 0.07%, (f = 1 kHz, input level: 5 mV)|
|Total harmonic distortion - with MC card||< 0.2%, (f = 1 kHz, input level: 0.4 mV)|
|Frequency response||20 Hz - 20 kHz, (-0.3 dB)|
|Input impedance - with MM card||6 kOhm - 270 kOhm (variable), default: 47 kOhm|
|Input impedance - with MC card||18,3 Ohm - 837 Ohm, default: 145 Ohm|
|Signal-to-noise ratio - with MM card||> 70 dB|
|Signal-to-noise ratio - with MC card||> 65 dB|
|Tubes required||4 x ECC83; 2 x E88CC|
|Dimensions||35 x 8 x 30 cm|