Friday, March 18, 2011

Constellation Audio to perform first demos of new lower-cost Performance line at the Munich High End 2011 show

New products scheduled to be demoed at High End 2011 include the Vega line stage and Centaurus power amplifier. Prototypes of the Lyra phono stage and Cygnus digital music server/DAC will also be on display. These new Performance components employ many of the same revolutionary design concepts found in previous Constellation Audio designs, including circuit boards that float on elastomeric suspensions, level controls based on sonically transparent light-dependent resistors, and servo circuits and component choices that achieve essentially perfect balance of the positive and negative halves of an audio signal.

As with the Reference line, the circuit designs for the Performance line were created by a “dream team” of high-end audio product designers. No company in the history of audio has recruited so many celebrated engineers, including such names as John Curl, Bascom King, Peter Madnick and Demian Martin. Industrial design comes from Alex Rasmussen at Neal Feay Company, the same man responsible for the styling of the Reference series and of countless other high-end audio brands. All Constellation Audio products are manufactured in the company’s facility in Newbury Park, CA.

Specific prices and shipping dates for the Performance line products have yet to be set, but Murugasu predicted that shipping is likely to commence in early summer of this year.

Here are brief descriptions of the new Performance line products:

Vega line stage: The Vega is based on Constellation Audio’s Line Stage Gain Module, the first preamp circuit to achieve perfect balancing of the positive and negative halves of the audio signal. An integrated power supply and gorgeous design make the Vega compact and living-room-friendly.

Centaurus stereo power amplifier: This stereo amplifier employs Constellation Audio’s unique balanced bridged topology, which combines 125-watt single-ended amplifier modules into two 250-watt channels. It’s the best of both worlds: the musicality of a single-ended triode tube amplifier with the power needed to deliver maximum performance and low distortion.

Lyra phono preamp: The Lyra is the latest phono preamp created by John Curl, the legendary engineer widely regarded as the audio industry’s greatest master of phono preamp design. Meticulous attention to circuit-board isolation preserves the fidelity of delicate, low-level signals from MC phono cartridges.

Cygnus digital music server/DAC: Combining convenience with state-of-the-art sound, the Cygnus connects to USB hard drives, memory sticks and traditional digital source devices such as CD players. The listener can easily browse content on a connected hard drive or memory stick using handheld mobile devices such as the Apple® iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch®.

The Vega and Centaurus will be demonstrated live at High End 2011, using the Tidal T1, a $322,000-per-pair statement tower speaker with matching tower subwoofers. “We think showgoers will have a hard time recalling any system that ever sounded this good,” Murugasu said. “The fact that we’re demonstrating our new electronics through one of the world’s most revealing speakers says a lot about our confidence in the Performance line.”