The design is the result of our vision regarding space, music and the harmonics enveloping the two essential elements. This is why we designed the enclosure around the idea of transparency and void, shifting between space and music.
Visually, the alpha uses minimal lines to describe an apparatus engineered to be an instrument of harmony in every respect.
Along the way, we realized that building an instrument for musical reproduction it's not just a matter of precision engineering, but also an issue of aesthetics. Audiophile products are addressed to a discerning public that equally appreciates music and design. Knowing this, we begun developing the electronics and the technology almost at the same time we begun working on the design. Developing the functionality and the aesthetics in parallel, allowed us great creativity, the two grew into one another and the result resonates to form a unique headphone amplifier.
Alpha, through its amplification module, the continuum, powers headphones in a different way than classic amplifiers do. In this respect we developed a technique that adapts the amplifiers sound stage to the listeners headphone characteristics, resulting an accurate and uniform sound pressure regardless of your headphone impedance. This feature coupled with an unique system that precisely detects and enables the right amplification for every individual headphone, yields an unprecedented level of accuracy for a headphone amplifier. This is why we often refer to alpha as an instrument (a precision measuring instrument) rather than just a headphone amp.
Alpha lacks a three stage "impedance switch", as you normally find in classic headphone amplifiers. For several reasons: a physical switch is prone to human error (thus degrading the audio quality); the amount of sound stages the continuum module generates exceeds 200 making a switch impractical, and, to be honest, buttons and switches are generally unaesthetic.
The attention to detail is what defines the alpha. That is why we refused to take the easy way out and put our electronics in a square-shapped box. This raised a number of problems varying from space management to heat dissipation. Those issues were addressed by some ingenious yet simple solutions that allowed us to realize our goals without compromising the concept.
Alpha's enclosure is made out of an aluminum alloy (series 6000) precisely extruded and cut to match the clean shapes that form the device. The aluminum shields the components and cabling from electromagnetic interference and, at the same time, allows superior head dissipation. This coupled with an optimized airflow, based on natural convection principles, pushes away the heat from the components for cool operation.
Every bit counts
Any audio setup is as week as its weakest component. Knowing this we integrated our hi standards regarding digital to analog conversion into our DAC module the alpha quantum.
Alpha quantum is based on the ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC (ES9018), which we find to be the best solution for a non-compromise audio playback chain. The solution implements a proprietary high-speed digital receiver, digital XO reclocking system that strips jitter below 1 ps, a custom upsampler system to 384Khz at over 1000 taps to name just some features of alpha quantum.
Staying true to our initial minimalist concept, the features we implemented remain unseen, behind a clean user interface that resonates with the alpha's unique user experience. The quantum module takes this to the next level. Even the three digital inputs (USB, S/PDIF & Toslink) do not require any switching from the user/listener, the quantum automatically detects the input used and routes the digital audio signal accordingly.
The DAC module is not just a bit-perfect digital to analog convertor, but an intelligent component that enriches the experience of any audiophile not only through specs-sheet performance, but through a discreet presence that creates the prerequisite for the perfect musical hedonism.
The volume knob is the center piece of our design aesthetically as well as technically. More so the volume is the only control that is in contact with the listeners hand and directly controls the musical experience. In consequence we carefully thought about hearing protection, the tactile feedback the listener feels, and also the headphone protection. Those are just some of the features we implemented having in mind the audiophile experience.
The transparency of the headphone amplifier isn't just a formal feature, this is why we implemented the best technical solution for our design in order to bring you the best possible musical experience. Built for precision, the volume control sports a 24 stepped (low tolerance resistor) attenuator that brings clarity and coherence to a flawless amplification.
Alpha continuum is the incarnation of our vision that constantly drives us to seek perfection. In this respect we achieved a pure class A amplifier based on carefully paired MOSFET transistors. This problematic solution, for some, is not the easiest nor the cheapest one to develop and implement, but the benefits of our extensive efforts supersedes the characteristics of a classic amp.
The continuum module was developed having in mind the rigors of the most demanding audiophile purists for whom music reproduction through a perfect linear spectrum, free of coloration, is paramount. And our amp does just that, describing the full extent of the sound stage to the minute detail, thus bringing the listener closer to the artist, lifting the veil of ambiguity for a perfect immersion within the musical piece.
We seldom fell the same about a musical piece, but we all agree that music is a powerful form of expression that directly addresses our deepest inner self. This is why the alpha was conceived as the ultimate instrument of music reproduction, built around the individual and the unique experience each one of us feels when listening to music.
A headphone amplifier that redefines the boundaries of audiophile fidelity through perfect linearity and transparency, striving to bring the musical experience to an unprecedented level of intimacy and coherence.