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Physical Geography, Geology
a sharp rugged mountain ridge, produced by glaciation.
For those that find
tube amps a little too... tubey? - we present the Arête. Sharing
it's DNA and output stage, the Arête can be viewed as the solid-state brother
of the Peak.
The Arête uses a single-ended discrete JFET gain stage (whose gain is stabilized by a modest amount of local feedback), followed by the same single-ended MOSFET output stage used in the Peak. The result is an amplifier with lower distortion than the Peak, while retaining some "harmonic richness" that a typical class-AB solid-state headphone amp does not have.
Three inputs, selected by a front panel switch, and a line output (which is automatically muted when you plug in your headphones) are provided, so you can use the Arête both as a headphone amplifier and a pre-amp for a loudspeaker system. Relays are used to keep the signal path short and direct.
The standard Arête is powered by an external switching power supply. For ultimate fidelity, the Volcano, an optional linear power supply is available that matches the amplifier in appearance and performance. The Volcano uses a low-noise toroidal transformer and a massive bank of filter capacitors to provide high peak currents without significant voltage drop.
Unique design and quality parts combine to give the Arête optimum sound at an affordable price. Unlike many so-called "high-end" audio components, the Peak is not just a prettied-up marginal design implemented with poor-quality parts from third-world nations. It is proudly hand-built in the USA.
Click on the photos for a full resolution version
quick look at Inner
Measurements and Specifications
NOTE: Please read the page about headphone & amp specs!
Values are typical. Measured using the standard switching power supply.
Max output level into 150 ohms @ 1kHz: 7.4V RMS / 21V P-P / 360mW
Max output level into 33 ohms @ 1kHz: 4.7V RMS / 13V P-P / 670mW
Peak output current: 220mA
Input impedance: 50k ohms
Output impedance: 1.0 ohm
THD+N 1V 1kHz 150 ohms: 0.08%
THD+N 1V 1kHz 33 ohms: 0.06%
FR: 20-20kHz +/- 1dB
FR: -3dB 15Hz – 45kHz
Noise 400Hz-30kHz: 70uV
Max gain (Headphone out) 1kHz: 21dB
Max gain (line out) 1kHz: 15dB
DC Offset: +/- 10mV
Power: 120 or 240 VAC, 50-60Hz, 45 watts max.
Dimensions: 8.3" W x 10.3" D x 2" tall
FFT: 1V RMS @ 1kHz into 33 ohms:
FFT: 1V RMS @ 1kHz into 150 ohms:
THD+N vs. frequency
THD+N vs. output voltage (1kHz into 33 ohms):
THD+N vs. output voltage (1kHz into 150 ohms):