Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sutherland Engineering N1 preamplifier with phono stage

Ron Sutherland of Sutherland Engineering was bubbling with enthusiasm as he showed his new N1 preamplifier with phono stage.

The N1, which sells for $10,000 is a unique dual-mono design. Each board contains each channel of the phono and preamp stages. Obviously, both boards have to be indentical. Sutherland stressed that the phono stage is "serious and good" it takes up about two-thirds of the space on each board!

The other nifty feature is the use of  nixie tubs for the display. You can think of these tubes as the precursor to digital displays. The tubes, which show glowing numbers on "layers" (as a result, 1 is slightly ahead of 2, and 2 is ahead of 3, and so on . . . ), came to market in the '50s, but were so expensive at the time that they were basically only used for industrial and military applications. Here it is now 2011, and we see them in a high-end preamp-phono stage.