One head amp for all magnetostatic and dynamic headphones
Earlier than expected the AUDIOVALVE Team is happy and proud to annouce the new headphone amp RKV MARK III. Based on the legendery RKV MARK II ( since 1982 ) Mr. Becker – the designer – has developed this new headphoneamp with unique new and interesting features. It will be launched by beginning of November. The below pictures are shown our also new ivory edition for all models, which are coming with a special high quality ivory colour chassis, special cables and some extra components.
Audio enthusiasts who listen to their music via headphones usually have more than one pair of headphones for their enjoyment. To take this into account, we have developed the new RKV Mark 3 headphone amplifier. This amplifier is designed to offer optimum performance for a variety of low to high impedance headphones. This amplifier will give hours of immersive fatigue free listening and works flawlessly over the entire frequency range. This amplifier is a must have for anyone searching to discover new depths in music and sounds via headphones. The new RKV MARK 3 headphone tube amplifier is a beauty. It’s ability to render fully believable, 3D images, replete with harmonic richness is unparalleled. That’s what it comes back to, again – music. Amid all the subjective observations and objective measurements that one can muster, the ineffable, emotional feel of the music is what many of us are seeking. And it will be so easy you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it. The RKV MARk 3 is simply such a stellar performer it doesn’t leave much left to be desired.
AudioValve puts most of our budget towards the sound quality of our design and components rather than all of the audio jewelry and marketable designs featured by some of the comparable sounding amplifiers on the market. We would say on sound alone it outclasses its price point, for design and fit and finish it fulfills our expectations of an established company in this price range. Sound wise this amplifier ticks all the boxes, great tonality, world class 3D sound stage, a noise floor on par with all but the very best valve based amplifiers, and macro and micro dynamics in spades. The sound quality of the RKV MARK 3 is of absolute top reference level for an OTL based headphone tube amplifier. The pros to this are rock very low noise floor, low distortions, high frequence range, high damping, very natural and musical tonality, wide impedance matching, perfect open soundstage and so on. This amp isn’t for the weak of heart – this is an audioholic’s . Highly recommended is an understatement, we can’t tell you how impressed we have been with the development of this headphone tube amplifer.
On the left side of the front aperture , the two jacks for headphones and three rotary switches. The headphone jacks are connected in parallel when using the 6.3 mm connectors. For the use of XLR connectors , take the lower bushing for the right ear and the top of the left ear .
Below the two headphone jacks is the Mode switch. Use it to select the mode with which you want to hear. Use the OTL mode if you have a high-impedance headphones (> 100 Ohms) , or benefit you if your headset has the IMP mode less than 100 ohms impedance , or if you intend to use speakers. Which musical impedance best suit with your headphones , you have to find out for yourself. Just turn on the IMPEDANCE switch. With the last of the three rotary switches on the left, select the source you want to listen to. Then a total of 45 ( 4 +1) RCA inputs for disposal . Input 1 + 2 are also equipped with XLR inputs.
Input 5 is occupied by the built-in phono module. Of these RCA phono jacks ( 5 ) you can pass the phono signal to other devices .
In the middle of the front panel you find the alps volume pot, right the balance control and left the power switch. When the unit is in operation, a green LED lights in the switch.
The excellent results the headphone amplifier RKV MARK 3 provides, aren´t only based on the sophisticated design of the circuit board. A perfect developed circuit design is only perfect when it is implemented in accordance with the practice. For all these products AudioValve theoretical and practical symboise is harmonious and coherent. This leads to a matchless musical reproduction of all sound sources. Also in RKV Mark 3 is a fully automatic biasing servo controller to use. In our new approach we have chosen a OPA134.
Months in ongoing testing of the Mark 3 was developed to perfection. In many updates over and over again the case, the circuit and PCB layout has been optimized. At the end of this long period, we got the perfect product in front of us.
and the 10 kHz squarewave is absolutely fast ( OTL – mode )
and here is the list up with the extra features, of the IVORY version of the RKV III, which includes of course all other models in IVORY version :
This all increases the musical authenticity and also the fine resolution of the tonal balance of both channels.
- Gold plated tubes socket contacts
- IC sockets with drilled contacts
- Prolypropylene condensers will be exchanged by very high quality WIMA
- Electrolyt condensors will be exchanged by the use of typ with a
higher temperature sector, with a lower ESR ( internal resistence )
- Silver solder for the handsoldering
- ALL componenets will be choosed and measured at their lowest tolerences
for both channels.
- all Plugs in NEUTRIK high quality
- Special IVORY high quality finsh of the chassis
- Feet and knobs in thicker better chrom or gold plated version
- Dust cover and wight cloves are coming with the amp.
Delievery time : min. 6 weeks after order, as these amps will be produced
out of the regular production, single piece selected handmade.
- consequence double mono design
- 2 * 0,15mm copper for top and bottom layer
- multi VIA layer grounding basis, pcb design is based on the theoretical principles of the “kelvin – wiring”
- heavy 3 mm laser cuted steel case – couted
- clipping indicator ( show you faulty tube or overload )
- 8 power tubes ( 4 per channel ) – ECL85
- full automatic DC / AC servo biasing
- multi match transfomers ( PIKATRON ) included
- power output mode selector – OTL / multi matching – transfomers
- ALPS volume control
- BALANCE pot. +/- 3dB
- 2 * NEUTRIK output combi headphone jackets – 6,3mm & XLR
- 5 * inputs; 2 * RCA & XLR; 2 * RCA only; 1* RCA phono MM out
- 1 * RCA – REC output, offer all connected soures and PHONO too for sec. line ( pre ) amps
- 1 * pair XLR jackets for “power out” for power amps ( OTL output ratio: 10:1 )
- 4 * isolated heavy gold plated stereo speaker terminals
- green illuminated main power switch for power ON mode
- heating and plate voltage “soft start” circuit
- headphone protector circuit
- reversible heating / plate current limiter
- installed OPA 134
- highly accurate implementated stereo MM phono modul – “old school design”
1 – case color: standard – black or silver –
2 – “limited EDITION ivory white colored case” – hand selected parts < 1% tolerances and a lot of more expensive specails
- power consumption: 120 watt
- weight: 10 kg
- size: 400*340*150mm
SPECS: OTL mode:
- same beasic construction like SOLARIS
- power output: 12 watt per channel – 220 ohm load – ( 1% THD )
- max. output voltage 100 VAC / 2kohms load
- bandwide: from 10 Hz up to – 1.2 Mhz ( 200 ohms )
- Ri: 0.01 ohm
- Damping: 1000 !
- loads: < 50 ohm up tp > 2000 ohms in OTL mode – < 8 ohms up to 100 ohms in IMP mode
- THD: configure – LM 351 – 3V – 1 kHz
- 100 ohm load 0,014%
- THD: configure – LM 351 – 3V – 10 kHz
- 100 ohm load 0,014%
- THD: configure – OPA134 – 3V – 1 kHz
- 100 ohm load 0,008%
- THD: configure – OPA134 – 1V – 10 kHz
- 100 ohm load 0,018%
- Gain: 23 dB
- s/n – ratio: 100 dB
SPECS: IMP ( transformer ) mode:
- THD: configure – OPA134 / 1 kHz / 8 ohm load
0.1 VAC – 0.015%
0.3 VAC – 0.015%
0.6 VAC – 0.02%
1.5 VAC – 0.1%
3.0 VAC – 0.3%
- all other higher impedances have a more and more lower THD
- match transformer supported impedances: 8 > 16 > 32 > 64 > 128 ohms load
SPECS: MM phono – section:
|output impedance: 450 ohm
input impedance: 47 kOhm
RIAA accuracy: (Referenz – 0,000dB – 1Khz:
100Hz – 0,07dB
10.000Hz – 0,04dB
20.000Hz – 0,02dB
30.000Hz – 0,02dB
distortion: 0,015% ( 1V rms output signal )
Following some graphics for technically interested people and show why this concept provides such good results
The setup in 2014 with OPA 134 in the headphone amp design clearly shows the added value of the signal quality
The lower picture shows the the hum and noise that the amplifier produces – nothing produces the amplifier, it is absolute quiet. (screen: 2mV/div.)
The picture below shows the rectangle in OTL mode at 10kHz – simply impeccable. The pixels are from memoryscope
The picture below shows you the max. Output voltage before soft clipping in OTL mode at 220 Ohm load per channel – at 50 Vrms are on each channel 11.3 watts