THE AUDION DIFFERENCE
THE AUDION PRODUCT LINE
Audion has gone to incredible lengths to ensure their original philosophy of delivering the finest sonics for the best value in every one of their products.
COMPONENTS OF THE AUDION COMPONENTS
Transformers and chokes are designed and handmade by Audion - Mains, Chokes and Output Transformers
Superior quality parts are sourced from Europe or the US. Even the capacitors are made to Audion’s exacting specifications
Chassis’ are finished in-house. This includes powder coating and electroplating to ensure quality
Special voicing of Audion amplifiers requires every part be meticulously designed to meet their standards
Every component is hand built, usually point to point. Once burned in they listen again in case they are not satisfied before releasing each unit
AC heaters are used in many of their amps for ultimate sound quality
Pre-amps do not have gain stages ... read more here
No China-sourced parts are used anywhere in any of the products
AUDION DESIGNS SIMPLE CLEAN CIRCUITS WITH FEWEST COMPONENTS IN THE SIGNAL PATH
This allows the music to flow with spectacular ease
AUDION NEVER DEFAULTS TO INFERIOR TUBE TYPES IN THEIR CIRCUITS
That includes the brands of tubes they supply as standard with every unit. While others supply the cheapest Chinese or Russian tubes, Audion uses the more expensive and better sounding Electro Harmonix or JJ tubes or Tungsol. Usually this is the first upgrade customers have to budget for with other gear. Not so when they buy Audion
AUDION AMPS ALL HAVE VOLUME CONTROLS
In simple systems there is no need for a preamp. A very compelling offer to budget minded customers. Many people believe the best preamp is no preamp
AUDION AMPS ARE HAND MADE IN EUROPE
All Audion products are hand made by artisans in Audion France’s factory. The Audion tube amp factory is just a short distance from the Bordeaux Region. Like fine wines, Audion takes the same care and pride as the surrounding wineries in producing timeless products enjoyed and revered worldwide
Audion has a robust line of products that includes Stereo Amplifiers, Integrated Amplifiers, Mono Block Amplifiers, Preamplifiers and Phono Stage Preamplifiers - - including the legendary Quattro that was reviewed as the finest preamp ever made.
The Line offers 4 levels of design sophistication, starting with the Sterling Series and culminating in the Golden Dream Series, Audion's absolute reference line.
Standard Features and Options
Alll amplifiers include a volume attenuator, whether they are Streo Power amps or Monoblock amps.
This standard volume control feature essentially makes them "Integrated" amps, but in their basic versions they are "purist", and are thus delivered with one single-ended source input.
However, and in addition to the standard volume attenuator, all aforementioned amplifier types can be ordered with the following 2 options :
All Sterling and Silver Knight Series amplifiers : Optional Upgrade to 5 single-ended Inputs plus 1 Output
A very high quality European Remote Volume Control unit
Sterling Anniversary Series
Sterling products represent Audion’s best entry level products. They are priced very, very competitively and outperform anything at their price points. The Sterling Series includes 3 Stereo Amplifiers and 2 Monoblocks offering progressively higher power output, and designed respectively around the EL34, the KT88 and the KT120 tube types. All 3 Stereo Amplifiers are Class A types, featuring the implementation of the Ultralinear Output Topology, which offers the best of SE/Triode and PP approaches. The two Monoblock amplifiers are pure PP and PSE designs respectively.
Silver Night Series
Silver Night products represent Audion’s best intermediate level products. As is the case for all Audio products, they are priced very competitively and outperform anything at their price points. The Silver Night Series includes 4 Stereo Amplifiers and 2 Monoblocks offering progressively higher power output, and designed respectively around the 2A3, the PX25 and the 300B tube types. All 3 Stereo Amplifiers are SET Class A types. The two 300B Monoblock amplifiers are pure PP and PSE designs respectively.
Golden Night Series
Golden Night products represent Audion’s Top Level products. They are point to point 5-nine silver hard wired and include upgraded capacitors. These upgrades notwithstanding, they too are priced very competitively and outperform anything at their price points. The Golden Night Series includes 2 Monoblocks offering progressively higher power output, and designed respectively around the 300B and the 845 tube types. Both Monoblocks are SET Class A types.
Golden Dream Series
The Golden Dream product approach represents Audion’s Extreme Level product offering. This approach also integrates point to point 5-nine silver hard wiring and upgraded capacitors, whilst also implementing the very rare "self-cancelling" design topology. The 300B SCSE is Legendary with customers and press. While Golden Dream is the most expensive Audion product, it outperforms anything at its price points, in fact competitive products at 1.5 to 2x its price.
In 1986 David Chessel was technical director for Audio Innovations during a time when the company had an enviable reputation for sound quality. It was at this time, and during the few preceding years, that a friendship flourished between David, and Audio Innovation’s initiator and one of Europe’s top audio designers Mr. Erik Anderson. Together they joined forces to form Audion.
Audion was then established in 1987 by David Chessel and Erik Anderson. Audio Innovations then changed hands, and the original owner of Audio Innovations went on to buy into Audio Note Japan ... becoming Audio Note UK. The concept for Audion in those early days was to allow people to get an insight into audiophile high end without sacrificing their home or bank balance. This overall picture still holds true today for most of the current production with just a few bespoke built and designed products entering the upper echelons. During these first vital years of 1987 - 1990, Europe saw the release of the 1st and 2nd audio triode amplifiers, the first of its kind from a western manufacturer designed by Erik and produced under the direction of David. Unbelievably, this was to set the trend throughout the world for triode amplifiers of the highest sonic quality. Audion was first to market with many new products and won many awards for doing so.
1992, a re-launched copy of the 300B by Golden Dragon enabled Audion with their base in the UK, to enable a superior amplifier to be designed and distributed around the world. The first joint product was the infamous “Audion Silver Night” mono-blocks, and Noel Keywood provided us a frontpage debut in Hi-Fi World with an “educational” review with regard to sound quality and technical specifications for a no-feedback design. This level of excellence fired the imaginations of many audiophiles and promoted the company into the limelight as one of the world’s innovators once again. The worldwide acclaim that followed elevated Audion to the greatest heights.
The following years saw the introduction of many new products, most of which are contained within this site and are world beaters in many areas including best sound, best audio art, and most innovative product together with professional high build quality and reliability, at competitive prices.
Erik now lives in Sweden, but still works very closely with us delivering new products and world-class designs. A result of this most recently has been the DUO dual 300B/2A3 power amplifiers in our latest design chassis, adding to the world famous Audion range to keep us at the forefront of high-end audio design.
Graeme Holland, the owner of Audion since 2000 spearheads the company. He brings a unique flair and presence to Audion. His innovative approach and industry insight allows Audion, its products and people to remain at the cutting edge of technological advancements and to excel in the cut throat industry of modern tube technologies. And now having celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a bevy of new products to boot. Graeme Holland, takes the company from Strength to strength.
AUDION CLEAN WATTS
... or, when a Watt is not a WATT
One spec you will notice right off is Audion products have lower power ratings. Anywhere from 2.5W - 45W. Don’t be fooled by how other brands measure their watts per channel. Most brands know people relate to power and when they test their products they regularly use methods that will give them the highest watts. Not actual clean usable watts. Most watt ratings are done by driving the amps into total distortion and measuring the maximum watts. Or playing games with the load.
Audion is extremely conservative with their Watt ratings and regularly under reports their watt claims. Every watt per channel spec you see in these pages is not only guaranteed clean usable watts, but if based on the same test as other brands their ratings would be 1.5 - 2x what is claimed. Audion watts are pure power watts.
Below is how Audion measures their equipment:
Audion Rates its power levels “Clean watts” into an 8 ohm load at full power until clipping occurs to +/- 3db down. Many amp manufacturers will rate their amps into 4 ohm or even 2 ohm loads, thus on paper doubling the power output. So for example we rate our Silver Night 300B power amplifier at 240V AC power input, with a 1khz sine wave input into an 8 ohm dummy load and measure the voltage output across the load until we see the distortion (clipping) reach the 3db level on both channels at the same time. So this rates the amp at 7.9 Watts, we conservatively rate this as 7 Watts at 8 ohms. Other manufacturers may rate this as 16 watts or even 32 watts for a single ended tube amp. Most manufacturers measure into a 4 or 6 ohm load and only one channel at a time or not true RMS values but prefer peak power or distortion at anything up to 10% THD
A tube amplifier can be pushed well beyond it’s limits without sounding bad. in actual fact most SET amps can easily be driven to 9 or even 12db (10% THD) into distortion as the main distortion is second order which is not too unpleasant to this level. Amplifiers that push further into odd harmonic distortion do not sound good. Admittedly once clipping the amp will not sound good, thankfully the slippage into clipping with a tube amp is quite slow. The key here with low power SET amps is not power, its more about selecting the right components in a system.
Basically a tube is a voltage amplifier; a small change in voltage at the grid produces a large change in voltage at the plate. Since a speaker is a lowimpedance device, typically 8 ohms which is why a tube needs an output transformer to convert the large voltage change to a large current change. This is why we build and design our own output transformers.. To get the most and best quality out of the tube.”
So let your ears be the judge and don’t be fooled by spurious specs. We are listing recommended speaker efficiency on each product. You’ll be amazed at the drive these units have compared to your other brands. The drive also provides superior sonics and musicality