:: you are here in the royal class ::
Srajan Ebaen, 6moons.com, April 2018 concluded:
“…the upshot is that it’s not just Audio Research, and VTL who serve this
particular market segment. The name AudioValve belongs on the very same list…”
in USA …
The world’s most ultra high-end performance class – a triode power amplifier with full automatic biasing. More power, more quality, more music enjoyment – the new Audio Valve Baldur 300 superior. Audio Valve has spared no pain and expense to provide you with this amazing delicacy of musical quality whose overwhelming sound and power will definitely impress you. Convince yourself! This highest-class product emphasizes the excellent basic properties of the original Baldur 300 even more.
Provided with a first class high capacitive condenser bank and a premium high accurate output multilayer transformer with access for 4, 6 and 8 ohms this unit is more than first – grade. The multiplicity of accesses offers new possibilities in the use of different speakers and provides an even bigger scope of musical space. The exorbitant high power breaks a new world with an unprecedented sound, quality and pleasure to the listener. More than 15 years of experience have leaded to this excellent product which trumps even the excellent functions of his predecessor, the Baldur 300. The distinguished technique is even more improved and filed. Only the best, expensive, highest quality components were used.
Who can claim to know the world of tube amplifiers, if they do not know the Audio Valve products! These unique music-technical jewels in tube technology, hand produced by Audio Valve, signify and prove, as hardly any other like product, that the technically viable in terms of quality and reproduction can be accomplished. Maximum effort combined with virtually unlimited investment in development reached its peak, the new design “BALDUR 300” in the BALDUR line.
As a result of this investment, Audio Valve offers an ultimately refined and unique state-of-the-art tube amplifier weighing of 45 kg which has a justifiable top position in the category “power triode class – tube amplifier”. But really, is there any other triode power amplifier in this top category apart from BALDUR 300 with an output of nearly 240 watt sinus at 1% distortion?
Sophisticated design and technology form a harmonious symbiosis which is reflected in its outstanding reproduction characteristics coupled with an incredibly high operational reliability for tube amplifiers.
Auto-Bias regulates, controls and safeguards protective circuits and a further 800 components in the amplifier thus making the BALDUR 300 virtually indestructible. The exchange of tubes or reconnection of loudspeakers during operation are things which only can be done with BALDUR – or have you ever tried to disconnect a loudspeaker from an amplifier during operation at a High-End trade fair and managed to leave the hall before the booth staff could kill you?
With BALDUR 300 the listener acquires a piece of German High End history written by a man who – as no other – has created his own ideas regarding tube amplifiers with untiring strength for decades in an unorthodox but brilliant, competent and qualified way, who promptly and ingeniously puts his experience gathered over decades into action in all product series made by AutoValve and in the BALDUR 300 of course.
BALDUR 300+ can handle more then 40 ampere on the speaker terminals …
A product which in every respect is totally committed to the principle “Made in Germany” and which you and your grandchildren will enjoy for decades. An encounter with BALDUR means feeling the difference – no ordinary tube amplifier boasts of being a relic of past times. An encounter with BALDUR is an encounter of a special kind. This encounter eliminates your fear of tubes and gives you the feeling of superior reliability, never ending power and endurance. Very soon you will begin to appreciate, love and enjoy the charismatic features and time after time be enchanted by the charm of BALDUR.
Even the Baldur 200 had legendary characteristics. BALDUR 300 with almost double the power will definitely continue this trend. With Baldur 300+ you play in the king class. When is your date with BALDUR?
This German brand famous for its “High Tech” creations surprises with this monophonic set of 240 W RMS. A high standing product, 100% “made in Germany”, produced in a limited number at a very competitive price. The German electronic AudioValves can be recognized by their esthetic signature out of the ordinary. They emphasize the tubes and components as in a rechnologic window. On most of the AudioValve models, the top of the chassis in transparent or smoked glass emphasizes the care brought to the wiring as well as the components quality. The Baldur series adopt on their side the principle of tubes mounting on top of the chassis from an important height, this architecture assures the tubes optimal ventilation, by avoiding the useless heating of components such as electrochemical condensers, those which the longevity depends more or less strongly from the service temperature.
Only one glance allow you to have an overview of the components, allowing at the same time to notice that Helmut Becker, thefounder of AudioValve Company, often puts to profit a patent invention, the ABR circuit with assisted polarization made to extract the best of a tube during its life spread out into grinding, cruising performances, and beginning of wear. Note on this purpose that this polarization automatic adjustment optimizes the value of the quiescent current with an important temporal inertia, so as to never interfere on the restitution of a musical signal in transient state. With its policy of progress in the continuity, AudioValve has been able to surprise us with its first class musical qualities as well as with its amazing measurement results, one of the examples has been the RKV MKII, undoubtedly the only one in the world delivering under 1 W a T.H.D rate of 0,002%
The Baldur 300: The big thing, with 240 W RMW.Commercialized in a limited number, the Baldur 300 monophonic blocks are listed among the very rare amplifiers with tubes delivering more than 200 W with exceptional musical qualities, without reaching inaccessible prices. The two Baldur 300 monophonic blocks are made 100% in Germany. Their weight reaches 110kg, the 240 W RMS on 8 Ώ being obtained from 10 tubes 6AS7G, double triodes famous for being extremely more efficient on the criteria of linearity and harmonic distortion than the very traditional tetrodes 6550. Each block has a style similar to this Baldur 70 tested in December 2005, in the number 302 of our review but under more imposing sizes, the unit weight going from 16 kg to 55 kg.The imposing chassis of 49 cm width and 53 cm depth has a 43 cm height. We can find the columns mounting principle, of painted metal plates, of the thick plate in cut metacrylate, the 14 seeable tubes on the top of the appliance being protected by a grey painted protective grille. As on the Baldur 70, the few 24 cm available under the chassis allow to place without heating risks, the output transformer, power transformer and the related circuits. The frontal startup orders are done in two steps (filaments heating, then high tension), back face including 2 sets of output speakers, one RCA entry and one XLR entry (de-symmetrize).
The best of 6AS7G, without usual limitsThe circuit is made of an entry floor with double triode ECC83, a Schmitt phase-converter floor charged by 2 x 33 kΏ, a symmetric follower floor charged by 2 x 39 kΏ, a low impedance attack floor with doubleRussian triode 6N6P (or similar American 6CG7). We find in output, such as on the Baldur 70, the double triodes 6 AS7G, appreciated for their linearity and their musical qualities. Set in quintuple push-pull, they allow to obtain a 240 W nominal power in A class with less than 1% of distortion at 1 kHz and almost 300 W at the chopping. Each triode section is coupled to the ABR circuit with patent automatic assisted polarization (meaning 20 ABR circuits by mono block), each circuit using an operational amplifier of 741 type, a PNP bipolar radio with BF 423 high tension, a thermistor and optional passive components. The double triode 6AS7G being favored by a 280 Ώ only internal impedance, the push-pullquintuple mounting make possible the use of an output transformer with low impedance, resulting into really weak insertion lost and to an optimal adaptation on 8Ώ charge. Considering its imposing size, it has been put in the chassis, such as the power transformer. The power circuits invest a large part of their printed circuit, in terms of one per push-pull plug, plus two extra stabilized for the entry floors. Jean Paul Hiraga
RECOMMENDATION OF USE
Can be associated to different high range speakers of the same class thanks to the large power stock.ZOOMING…The unique advantages of the very high nominal power (240 W RMS and 300 W peak) and the A class. A circuit not adopting the tetrodes but the double triodes 6AS7G combining the assets of the linearity and the low impedance.The back face: from simple to extremeThe entries on the big sockets are doubled to facilitate the double wiring. The entries are available in asymmetric RCA and XLR, this last being in fact de-symmetric.Doubles triodes 6AS7GThis double triodes with low impedance (280 Ώ of internal resistance) are famous for their musical qualities. AudioValve benefit here from the best part thanks to a quintuple push-pull floor polarized in A class followed by a transformer of low impedance output.
JEAN HIRAGAThe test of the Baldur 70 monophonic blocks done almost one year ago has pleased us, their price not being over 4000 € the pair, putting them in the leading group of best deals in amplifiers with tubes linking generous available power (80 W RMS) and musical qualities due to the optimal use of the double triodes 6AS7G. On this limited series, the beauty, the sounds refinement, as well as the natural of the stereophonic scene reaches even higher while referring to the same sonorous politic. The few 240 W RMS available bring on the voices, the piano as well as on the most various sounds a sonorous field, an even more valuable support, such as the Baldur 70 but better everywhere. The spectral balance appears very slightly decreasing towards the shrill is not a default. We get used to it so well that going back to common electrical seem to go towards an excessive luminosity. A complete success at a studied price which will charm the melanomists.
ROBERT LACRAMPEAt first look these mono blocks impress quite by their sizes, their weight, the calories that they release. But the divine surprise is revealed in the sonorous performance which top the work! It is – on my opinion – the best hearing of the year. I know that there is still the December edition but I am ready to put my hand in the fire of their tubes: these power units will not soon be dethroned. Which surprised methe most, was to find under the same cover the fruity of the tubes and the unlimited energy feeling usually provided by more powerful transistorized amplifiers. It is extremely rare to combine both! But it is not all: The AudioValve know how to restore the pianissimis with grace, fluidity, lightness that the stronger one of 1000 W do not have! Listening to a piano is delightful: the instrument is released in all its width and without the message being strike. An unforgettable listening… with one of some 300B.
Juan del Encina, “Battery Solo”, BNL 112848.J.H.The Baldur 300 are now showing us this time a sound capture more modern, full of details and micro-information, given to each battery a life, a specific follow-up, without ever going on to the over-detailed conter-musical.Acoustics feedbacks are of a fabulous realism.R.L.The three-dimensional stereophonic perspective is of an impressive stability. The backgrounds are full of acoustic feedbacks. Our speakers are such as transcended.
RESPONSE IN FREQUENCYApplause, percussion test. Test-disc NRDS nº10, track 14, 17 and 21.J.H.Applauses like in a concert, spatialized and individualized to perfection. Natural wonderful hit and beats on the small bells test. Impacts virility and sonorous matter of sublime hit skin on the large drum.R.L.The copied reel is very large without loss in ultimate base. The strength of the impacts and the solemn tension are a pleasure. Even the small bells are very active.
– FUSION OF THE TRANSPARENT RECORDSJohann Strauss, “Egyptian March” Op. 335, Das Mikroton, track 2, lign 17.J.H.We recognize here the unique qualities of the triodes. Desk of amazing cords, each well differentiated, easy to localize in a room full of people, translated such as, wide, high and deep, without wrong heat.R.L. The plenitude stays “in the air”. No softness in the desks distribution even on the parts the moststrongly modulated.
One reason for the excellent musical playback quality of the audioValve amplifiers is the fact that the output transformer is based on near perfect transmission characteristics. Audiovalve power amplifiers reproduce rectangles at 10 khz, which otherwise are only known from the theoretical ideal treatise on textbooks. Anyone attentively studying the American audio press has probably already found many of these images that are not nearly close to the theoretical ideal – just as AudioValve amplifiers do, so the success of the musical reproduction of AudioValve amplifiers is unstoppable and will prevail, everything only a matter of time.
New advanced features
The mono blocks of AudioValve have in the power supply so-called “main voltage phase finder“. On the main power socket inside a printed circuit board is soldered, which fulfills different tasks. On the one hand, an NTC reduces the max. inrush current as current limiter, if you turn on the amplifier, this is bridged as soon as all the required voltages are reached in the amplifier and on the other hand, there is a circuit on the pcb, which helps to locate the mains life phase. If the amplifier is switched on, the green LED on this pcb. should light up, then the phase is correctly fed. If the LED does not light up, turn the power plug and check the situation again. If the phase is fed in correctly, it also gives the best musical result.
Audio Valve Baldur 300 plus Valve Power AmplifierEquipment Review /Ming Cheng, Liu Spotlight.
The most fascinating resolution power and amazing layer undulation effect of its triode, coupledwith its multi-pipe parallel push-pull functionality and its huge power that enables loud soundwithout distortion, make it a nearly perfect power amplifier with pristine sound quality andsuitable for both dynamic and serene scenarios.The Use of Indirectly Heated Triodes for AmplificationBaldur comes from the name of a Germanic God who is specifically in charge of light. Baldur 100first appeared in 1985, and later evolved into Baldur 200. Until 2004 CES, it did not evolve into thelatest Baldur 300 or the Baldur 70 that has the same design but a smaller power. The poweramplifier of each Audio Valve series has its own special features in design and uses differentamplification approaches to accomplish breakthrough in sound. Baldur 300 can be regarded astheir flagship, which adopts a parallel push-pull design concept. Parallel push-pull is not quiteunusual, but Baldur 300 uses triodes at its power level, which makes it very exceptional! Its powertube is the indirectly heated single-ended triode 6AS7G. For each audio channel ten triodes areused, meaning a total of twenty 6AS7G triodes are equipped.Auto Bias RegulatorIn addition, Baldur 300 employs the proprietary R&D work of Audio Valve – Auto Bias Regulator(ABR) circuit. Through careful observation you can find the power tubes of Baldur 300 are alwayssurrounded by many small components, including ICs and a variety of active and passivecomponent circuits, which are separate regulator and bias circuits responsible for each powertube. Don’t ordinary valve equipments have such circuits? The answer is maybe no. But, do theyhave a set of fully identical circuit for each power tube? If then, there is only one manufacturerdoing so (All power amplifiers of Audio Valve are equipped with ABR circuits in their power tubes).The designer of Audio Valve must be a perfectionist to the extreme, therefore he/she consideredto employ a set of ABR circuit nearby each power tube and uses a total of 20 sets for a pair ofpower amplifiers.What’s the benefit of an ABR circuit? It enforces extremely strict controls over the power tubeoutput, so it can ensure the tube to work normally even if the tube is aging. Audio Valve claimsthat you can wait to replace it until the end of its life, without affecting the sound of Baldur 300 atall. It’s safe to say ABR exercises a kind of strict and indiscriminative equality. Even when using aninferior valve, you also do not have to worry about any trouble of the equipment or the speakers -isn’t this very fascinating? The designer Hulmet Becker even believes that it is really incredible thatnone of the typical valve equipments on the market has ABR circuits.So how do you know when to replace the valves? Next to each power tube there are several piecesof LEDs, which will light in the bypass mode and be turned off when the equipment is playing atstartup. With large power output, the ABR circuits will be active too (so that the power tube canwork more stably), and the LEDs will start flashing. If the LEDs light even at boot-up or when thereis nothing to play, it is time to replace the valve.As for the inputs and driver stages, Baldur 300 uses in its circuits four valves, three of which aredual triodes and conduct multi-stage amplification, and finally it uses 6N6P to drive the powertubes. Audio Valve added that the input drive level is actually the integrated amplifier circuits ofthe Assistent 20s (25W per channel) recommended by our chief editor.Pursuit of Excellent Linear DesignIt takes so much effort to manufacture the equipment of super power, and then why have triodes,generally recognized as a “dynamic-limited type”, been used as power tubes? The reason is quitesimple: the triode has a better linear performance than an average pentode power tube. If we cannot only overcome the instability of triodes that have excellent linear performance, but alsoachieve precise multiple-tube parallel push-pull (Please note that it must be ‘precise’, or the push-pull will still produce crossover distortion), then isn’t it the most perfect thing in the world? That isexactly the idea of Hulmet Becker. Our technical editor LU Yi-chang, at his first sight of the crazycircuits of Baldur 300, made his first review as follows: “It is definitely a work from the idea of thedesigner who challenges himself, because to finish this ‘highly difficult’ product the sense of accomplishment of the designer must be extraordinary. Like other Audio Valve equipments, Baldur300 also has the extreme cleanness of the circuit board and the first-class handcraft.Now we have finished the part of review on the accomplishment in design, and it’s time to movenext to the sound performance. The pre-amp used is Eklipse produced by the same factory andpraised highly of by our magazine, while the speaker is Dynavox 3.1 coming from the same agent,which is an uncommon and excellent speaker of horn design, with extremely high efficiency, andquite a lot of details. Cables used are mostly PAD Cable.Great Satisfaction in Large Dynamics The first thing I am concerning is whether Baldur 300 is able to give out loud music withoutdistortion but with vivid dynamics? I discover that the performance of Baldur 300 in the dynamicaspect cannot be simply measured by the general triodes, but should be comparable with thehigh-power valve amplifier of high quality. It can represent the magnificent scene without any fear,and can also reproduce the extremely low and abundant low-frequency section. Baldur 300’s performance in the extremely low frequency amazes me the most: it’s known thedamping factor of valve power amp is not high, which means its control over the speaker is notstrong enough, and therefore the low frequency quality of the valve amplifier has never been ouremphasis. However, the low frequency performance of Baldur 300 surprises me not only for thequality but also the quantity. For example, the meticulous and steady bass segments of the pipeorgan charms the listener with the feeling of limp and numb; not to mention the sound of thedouble bass which is of clear lines and also excellent bounding texture. As for Baldur 300, I can’tagree more with these opinions.Undulating Layers and Appealing DelicacyAll right, the tests on dynamics and low frequency have been passed. Next it’s the auditionprocess. I just purely enjoy the beautiful sound of Baldur 300. Why Baldur 300 is beautiful? I haveto say it makes all my CDs like SACD. The sense of layer and the delicate undulation exceeds myprevious experience about CD. The many small and broken sounds of the cymbal among the Jazzdrum hear like full of beautiful metallic shine. I can still hear the delicate undulation from therustling sound, making me moved as if listening to SACD at home. Baldur 300 makes me suddenlyrealize that CDs actually have so great potential. Just due to the lack of the excellent amplifierslike Baldur 300, we have made a mistake for a long time by saying their acoustic performance ismonotonous and lack of details. I have no idea what it would be if using Baldur 300 to listen to LPor SACD.Why Baldur 300 is beautiful? I have to say its resolution power is amazingly extraordinary, which isnot only displayed in the medium and high frequency, but also in the medium and low frequency.The pedal sound of piano performance is very low and deep, so it has always been the segment forme to use when testing the sound effect. However, through Baldur 300, it’s the first time for me tofind these pedal sounds are in the first place abundant in various changes, not just themonotonous sound I’ve felt in my previous experience. No matter what kind of software is used,Baldur 300 can all the time surprise me with its superior resolution power. It’s really a breath-taking amplifier. Why Baldur 300 is beautiful? I have to say its hierarchical undulation is of the highest level. Singingvoice even in the weakest segment is also filled with undulation and turn, making people deeplyimpressed by the solid singing skills and the abundant emotions of the singer. Natural realness and delicate textureWhy Baldur 300 is beautiful? I have to say it is like a stunning beauty who, even without make up,can still “launch a thousand ships” and look pretty in any way. The sound purity of Baldur 300 isvery high, enabling people to feel the delicate and pure sound no matter when it produces thesound of the piano or that of the violin, guitar or voice. Many valve amplifiers can reproduce asmooth sound that has no any jangle, but I think the sound, just like a skin covered by a thicklayer of make-up powder, gives me no sense of its original texture other than the smoothness. Thesound of Baldur 300 feels like a girl’s delicate skin without any make-up powder. She is pure andsoft, with fine hair clearly visible to your closer look, making you feel her brimming youthfulness.Well, if I continue saying like this, the space of the page will become insufficient and I will also lie under the suspicion of tout for the manufacturer. Baldur 300 has the top rated and mostfascinating performance. Certainly, other accompanying equipments absolutely have first-classquality too, so as to bring out the so amazing beauty of Baldur 300. Nevertheless, I have hadchances to know more or less about these accompanying equipments on various occasions, butthis time it’s my first time to regret not to hear it earlier, which shows how charming Baldur 300 is.One of the highest contemporary achievementsWhat if you like Baldur 300 but cannot afford it? Baldur 70 of the same series looks like a goodalternative. Baldur 70 employs the same design concept of Baldur 300 but its power and price areless than half of the latter, seemingly an excellent option for you. It is worth mentioning that theequipments imported by local agents are Taiwan special edition. In addition to the augmentedcapacity of capacitors and transformers, the power transformers are also specially tailored to meetthe local 110v voltage, rather than the general 100V or 120V transformer, so its performance inTaiwan will definitely not suffer from “land and water incompatibility”. Baldur 300 is absolutely one of the topmost power amplifiers I have heard in the world. Here, thewords “one of” mean that there are some other amplifiers in the world outperforming Baldur 300in dynamics and control force, so from the point of view of an impartial reviewer, these two wordscannot be omitted. However, as far as my preference is concerned, the sound of Baldur 300 makesmy heart beat fast and the words “one of” can be safely removed. If you are fortunate to have thisamount of budget to purchase an amplifier, since the amplifiers within this price range are in anycase not above five, I strongly recommend you to make the decision after listening to Baldur 300.
And then there was the PCB thing …
When I see this blown up crap today, which can be found in many competing – and also “well-known products”, which we were cobbled together by Max Grundig 70 years ago – and the man had no printed circuit board, so much to his apology – it just becomes easy for me just bad. Just because someone is too lazy, too stupid or simply unable to create a neat layout from a circuit can not be a serious reason to voluntarily return to wired products like those in the 50s. No, it is rather the reason to distract from my own inability, in the hope that nobody will notice it – that’s why I am now doing educational work here. Free wiring is a step backwards, as it cannot be offered worse, and completely distorts the engineering of the technology offered today. Even worse, one tries to make the consumer believable that all the salvation of technology is to be found in this context – what nonsense.
But let’s get back to the circuit board. I am known as a determined, busy and hard-working contemporary who tries to not only formulate my own claim based on what I have learned, but also to realize it. This can sometimes turn into a lot of work. For the PCB of the BALDUR 300 e.g. it took me about 12 months. That is a lot of time – I know, but today we have an exemplary masterpiece that we can reproduce over and over again – then just as today and always in perfect quality. And I’ve developed dozens of these boards over the course of my life …