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CONDUCTOR

13.950,00

Michael Wright, The StereoTimes (01/2010) Most Wanted Component 2009:
“…hot on the heels of last year’s biggest surprise, the Audio Valve Eklipse, comes their new flagship preamplifier, the Conductor. To state it simply, the Conductor performs on another level from most preamplifiers that I have heard in my system. It’s a vacuum tube preamplifier that is detailed, fast, dynamic, and possesses bass power with extension and impact. The Conductor elevated the performance of every component I hooked up to it. Eklipse owners beware: The Conductor is not just a better version of the Eklipse, but instead, is a totally different animal that provides a higher level of the music enjoyment experience…”

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:::   full – symetrical reference preamplifier masterpiece   :::

The AudioValve team is proud to present – just before the end of 2007 – a further superlative product, the CONDUCTOR.

Besides ASSISTENT 50, CONDUCTOR is the second product rolled out by AudioValve within a year. The quality of this new and unique product reflects the confidence of our customers and importers alike, without whose innovative contributions this product could not have been realized. Our special thanks go to all of you.

Experience of two decades forms the constructive background of CONDUCTOR. A whole range of innovations and features of the valve and processor age can be found in CONDUCTOR and manifest in a symbiosis of traditional and modern technology unique musical qualities while setting new highlights.

CONDUCTOR is not for John Q. Public; CONDUCTOR is for all those, who, believing in a change of their equipment in search for even better music reproduction, found – CONDUCTOR.

CONDUCTOR becomes the zeitgeist of the elite, who always had high demands – even in music.

  CONDUCTOR combines the elements of consequent signal processing in a completely new fully symmetrical circuitry design und never loses sight of a sophisticated outfit.

As for all AudioValve products, the chief himself has had a hand in CONSTRUCTOR’S PCBs. The complex designs of the circuit boards took nearly 12 months and followed strictly the design optimization for signal and live conductor paths. The complex double-sided circuit boards come per unit close to 30 dm2. In this way highly constant DC voltage as well as signals arrive straight at the valves via a few centimeters of circuit conductors and contribute to a homogeneous and balanced music reproduction.

 

 

The casing design is also revolutionary new. A blue lit three-dimensional clear acrylic plate with logo and lettering allows a view on the master board with the valves und creates a fascinating and unique atmosphere in a darkened room, without emitting a single sound.

Surely – this kind of design has its price, but we found the best just being good enough for you, which sets us once again apart from the competition, and sends a signal of what you can expect from the market. Don’t be satisfied with less.

The amplifier is separated in three components: signal component, power supply and micro-controller. Signal and power supply components come in separate casings while the controller is part of the amplifier display and handles all tasks in terms of control. Left and right channels are strictly designed as dual mono, within the power supply as well as the signal component.

 

The power supply features for the anode potential alone nearly 10,000µF/400VDC (!!!) and for the heater component 100,000µF see to the necessary DC voltage on a 30x30cm circuit board.

An oversized toroidal transformer with static and magnetic shielding supplies a total of 8 conductor paths, four for the production of the anode potential and four for the heat production. On the side of the power supply everything is done to be completely safe from any kind of power failures. In keeping the paths to the valves as short as possible the voltage stabilizers are located right next to amplifier paths.

They are accompanied by polypropylene condensers as “RF – blockers”. These voltages reach 8 highly constant low-resistance voltage regulators, which take the last bit of ripple out of the heater as well as the anode potential and supply an amazingly clean supply voltage, no matter how the mains power supply may be.

 

 

 

As with AudioValve’s Eklipse also with CONDUCTOR the volume is only controlled behind the first amplifier stage. Thus the first stage can fully develop its “tubal” tonal dynamic freedom and supply the output drivers via the volume control.

In this way the signals keep their unlimited authenticity, the signal to noise ratio in the CONDUCTOR concept is by far better compared with traditional volume control.

Digital volume control was for quality reasons not considered. An analog potentiometer with six sections is used, four of which control the signals and the remaining are used for potentiometer servo control, which not only store the volumes of each channel, but also update when switching to a different channel. A graphic bar on the color display informs about the potentiometer angle of rotation and/or volume setting. An awesome design – typical AudioValve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As with AudioValve’s Eklipse also with CONDUCTOR the volume is only controlled behind the first amplifier stage. Thus the first stage can fully develop its “tubal” tonal dynamic freedom and supply the output drivers via the volume control.

In this way the signals keep their unlimited authenticity, the signal to noise ratio in the CONDUCTOR concept is by far better compared with traditional volume control.

Digital volume control was for quality reasons not considered. An analog potentiometer with six sections is used, four of which control the signals and the remaining are used for potentiometer servo control, which not only store the volumes of each channel, but also update when switching to a different channel. A graphic bar on the color display informs about the potentiometer angle of rotation and/or volume setting. An awesome design – typical AudioValve.

All these are conditions for perfect sound, even though the amplifier is the most important component for music reproduction. The special problem with fully symmetric amplifiers is the fact that for the right as well as for the left channel two amplifier paths each are required for processing of positive and negative signal waves. This fact alone requires for valve amplifiers an enormous circuit complexity. But there are also a lot of stories around signal processing, some of them quite new.

As complex as we designed the power supply, as complex is the signal component. Altogether 8 valves provide the generation of the +/- phases of the right and left channels. Two of the 6922 type see to the differentiation of the input signals for the plus/minus phases of each channel, two more of the 6N6P type see to the low-resistance output of the signals to the output connectors. The amplifier paths have no “global feedback loop” and deliver the signals phase-correct to two reversible outputs. Selected, according to strict criteria developed components as well in the power supply as in the signal component, round off the musical result of CONDUCTOR. AudioValve went through the pain of having own condensers developed, all of which carry the AudioValve logo – as proof for the authenticity of our products and underscoring the special quality of CONDUCTOR.

More than 12 months the technicians were busy with design and construction of this amplifier. Again and again the circuitry was fine-tuned during sound tests to finally present a brilliant masterpiece, the CONDUCTOR – for you.

 

AudioValve also said goodbye to traditional single or dual row displays and offers a well-arranged graphic display – controlled by a micro controller – showing the equipment status at one glance.

You don’t have to click through long-winding menus before being able to read or set the desired information – no, for the CONDUCTOR the display transmits all important information at a single glance.

Operating the unit is child’s play and the features will inspire you.

Surely you knew that AudioValve is a family operation. But what is new is that now besides the man and the woman in charge also the junior is in business.

The “HiFi bug” has got him. A bit distressing that Alexander, that is his name, would rather bolt together with us the mountains of equipment – instead he will become the “accountant” for our company, so finally someone is taking charge of the figures :-). He is not too happy about this.

 

Enough puff pieces, time for you to listen. AudioValve invites you to a special pleasure.

Listen to CONDUCTOR and the position of your speakers gets lost in a room full of sound, your living room seems of gigantic scale and fills the complete room – a dream.


Introduction 

Having owned a wide range of hi-end preamplifiers over many years, I recently purchased the very latest version (2017) of Audio-valve Conductor preamplifier to alternate with my Tidal Preos. I have not made this decision because I am unhappy with the Tidal, but I wanted to add a high quality valve preamplifier into the mix of my system, to replace my Audio Research Reference 5 SE, which was very good, but there were a few compatibility issues.

The focus of this review, however, is not to offer a head to head comparative evaluation of different preamplifiers, but rather to share my initial impressions of the Conductor (at 50 hours burn in) within the context of my system.

Design and Construction

The Conductor is different in concept, appearance and execution from other preamplifiers I have owned. It is beautifully constructed from sheet steel and polycarbonate to minimise EMI and RFI, with a large see through central front window that provides a clear view of the high quality components on its superbly engineered circuit boards. It has a very well thought out boot up software programme that is easy to understand and intriguing to observe in action. IMHO the more uniform lines of the 2017 version of Conductor are more aesthetically pleasing than before.

The controls of Conductor are silky smooth, yet robustly engineered, conveying reassuring confidence that they will last a very long time. It is endowed with distinctive personality, individuality and class, which I find refreshingly appealing. The head unit is linked to a substantial external linear power supply with its anode potential alone being nearly 10,000µF/400VDC and 100,000µF for the heater section.

Sound

The Conductor is spookily quiet with a very black background. It is dynamic with an organic texture that is very musically satisfying. It is punchy and explosive, yet delicate with accurate timbre in accordance with the demands of all genres of music. It conveys how good or bad a recording really is without rendering any piece of music unlistenable.

As I listen to a lot of jazz and opera with female vocals, I place musicality and emotion very high on my list of sonic priorities.  However, I also love a high level of detail retrieval and resolution, but not at a cost of losing the heart and soul of music.

The Conductor is incredibly transparent, without the slightest hint of glare or edge. It delivers its magic consistently with lots of emotion and sensuous involvement. Sound stage depth, breadth and the ability to place instruments in their correct position within the stage…. with top to bottom dynamics and engaging tonality are among the best I’ve heard.

When consideration is given to the Conductor’s exceptional value for money, evolutionary upgradability and longevity (the basic design concept of Conductor has undergone progressive development and refinement throughout the past 10 years), it will be very difficult to find a preamplifier that performs with such holistic brilliance at anywhere near its price.  It’s really that good across the board.

In conclusion…the Conductor just sounds real, natural and effortless with spectacular refinement, coherence and cohesion…. nothing seems exaggerated or diminished.

Bravo to Mr Helmut Becker and his Team…Your latest version of Conductor is an amazing achievement.

The AudioValve team is proud to present – just before the end of 2007 – a further superlative product, the CONDUCTOR.

Besides ASSISTENT 50, CONDUCTOR is the second product rolled out by AudioValve within a year. The quality of this new and unique product reflects the confidence of our customers and importers alike, without whose innovative contributions this product could not have been realized. Our special thanks go to all of you.

Experience of two decades forms the constructive background of CONDUCTOR. A whole range of innovations and features of the valve and processor age can be found in CONDUCTOR and manifest in a symbiosis of traditional and modern technology unique musical qualities while setting new highlights.

CONDUCTOR is not for John Q. Public; CONDUCTOR is for all those, who, believing in a change of their equipment in search for even better music reproduction, found – CONDUCTOR.

CONDUCTOR becomes the zeitgeist of the elite, who always had high demands – even in music.

 

CONDUCTOR combines the elements of consequent signal processing in a completely new fully symmetrical circuitry design und never loses sight of a sophisticated outfit.

As for all AudioValve products, the chief himself has had a hand in CONSTRUCTOR’S PCBs. The complex designs of the circuit boards took nearly 12 months and followed strictly the design optimization for signal and live conductor paths. The complex double-sided circuit boards come per unit close to 30 dm2. In this way highly constant DC voltage as well as signals arrive straight at the valves via a few centimeters of circuit conductors and contribute to a homogeneous and balanced music reproduction.

 

The casing design is also revolutionary new. A blue lit three-dimensional clear acrylic plate with logo and lettering allows a view on the master board with the valves und creates a fascinating and unique atmosphere in a darkened room, without emitting a single sound.

Surely – this kind of design has its price, but we found the best just being good enough for you, which sets us once again apart from the competition, and sends a signal of what you can expect from the market. Don’t be satisfied with less.

The amplifier is separated in three components: signal component, power supply and micro-controller. Signal and power supply components come in separate casings while the controller is part of the amplifier display and handles all tasks in terms of control. Left and right channels are strictly designed as dual mono, within the power supply as well as the signal component.

 

The power supply features for the anode potential alone nearly 10,000µF/400VDC (!!!) and for the heater component 100,000µF see to the necessary DC voltage on a 30x30cm circuit board.

An oversized toroidal transformer with static and magnetic shielding supplies a total of 8 conductor paths, four for the production of the anode potential and four for the heat production. On the side of the power supply everything is done to be completely safe from any kind of power failures. In keeping the paths to the valves as short as possible the voltage stabilizers are located right next to amplifier paths.

They are accompanied by polypropylene condensers as “RF – blockers”. These voltages reach 8 highly constant low-resistance voltage regulators, which take the last bit of ripple out of the heater as well as the anode potential and supply an amazingly clean supply voltage, no matter how the mains power supply may be.

As with AudioValve’s Eklipse also with CONDUCTOR the volume is only controlled behind the first amplifier stage. Thus the first stage can fully develop its “tubal” tonal dynamic freedom and supply the output drivers via the volume control.

In this way the signals keep their unlimited authenticity, the signal to noise ratio in the CONDUCTOR concept is by far better compared with traditional volume control.

Digital volume control was for quality reasons not considered. An analog potentiometer with six sections is used, four of which control the signals and the remaining are used for potentiometer servo control, which not only store the volumes of each channel, but also update when switching to a different channel. A graphic bar on the color display informs about the potentiometer angle of rotation and/or volume setting. An awesome design – typical AudioValve.

 

As with AudioValve’s Eklipse also with CONDUCTOR the volume is only controlled behind the first amplifier stage. Thus the first stage can fully develop its “tubal” tonal dynamic freedom and supply the output drivers via the volume control.

In this way the signals keep their unlimited authenticity, the signal to noise ratio in the CONDUCTOR concept is by far better compared with traditional volume control.

Digital volume control was for quality reasons not considered. An analog potentiometer with six sections is used, four of which control the signals and the remaining are used for potentiometer servo control, which not only store the volumes of each channel, but also update when switching to a different channel. A graphic bar on the color display informs about the potentiometer angle of rotation and/or volume setting. An awesome design – typical AudioValve.

All these are conditions for perfect sound, even though the amplifier is the most important component for music reproduction. The special problem with fully symmetric amplifiers is the fact that for the right as well as for the left channel two amplifier paths each are required for processing of positive and negative signal waves. This fact alone requires for valve amplifiers an enormous circuit complexity. But there are also a lot of stories around signal processing, some of them quite new.

As complex as we designed the power supply, as complex is the signal component. Altogether 8 valves provide the generation of the +/- phases of the right and left channels. Two of the 6N1P type see to the differentiation of the input signals for the plus/minus phases of each channel, two more of the 6N6P type see to the low-resistance output of the signals to the output connectors. The amplifier paths have no “global feedback loop” and deliver the signals phase-correct to two reversible outputs. Selected, according to strict criteria developed components as well in the power supply as in the signal component, round off the musical result of CONDUCTOR. AudioValve went through the pain of having own condensers developed, all of which carry the AudioValve logo – as proof for the authenticity of our products and underscoring the special quality of CONDUCTOR.

More than 12 months the technicians were busy with design and construction of this amplifier. Again and again the circuitry was fine-tuned during sound tests to finally present a brilliant masterpiece, the CONDUCTOR – for you.

AudioValve also said goodbye to traditional single or dual row displays and offers a well-arranged graphic display – controlled by a micro controller – showing the equipment status at one glance.

You don’t have to click through long-winding menus before being able to read or set the desired information – no, for the CONDUCTOR the display transmits all important information at a single glance.

Operating the unit is child’s play and the features will inspire you.

Via the connectors on the rear of the power supply the voltage is passed on via cables to the amplifier. The already “clean and sifted voltage” arrives in the amplifier again at 8 “high accurate voltage regulators”, stabilizing the voltage in a way, otherwise only known from batteries.

Naturally, you can operate CONDUCTOR on the unit or via remote control. The remote control is milled from solid material and is available in aluminum, black or silver.

Surely you knew that AudioValve is a family operation. But what is new is that now besides the man and the woman in charge also the junior is in business.

The “HiFi bug” has got him. A bit distressing that Alexander, that is his name, would rather bolt together with us the mountains of equipment – instead he will become the “accountant” for our company, so finally someone is taking charge of the figures :-). He is not too happy about this.

Enough puff pieces, time for you to listen. AudioValve invites you to a special pleasure.

Listen to CONDUCTOR and the position of your speakers gets lost in a room full of sound, your living room seems of gigantic scale and fills the complete room – a dream.

 

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Specs

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Technical Specifications

–         dual chassis with separate power supply
–         dual mono circuit design, including power supply
–         real symmetric input/output for negative/positive signal phase for both channels
–         no feedback loop
–         input impedance 47kOhm
–         output impedance 300 Ohm
–         bandwidth 5Hz – 200kHz
–         gain 14dB
–         input connectors: 2 x 6 XLR and 2 x 6 RCA terminals
–         output connectors: 2 x 2 XLR and 2 x 2 RCA terminals
–         valves: 2 x 6N6P and 6 x 6N1P
–         manual operation and remote control
–         mute and standby functions
–         memory volume control for each input with 6-section analog potentiometer
–         microprocessor-controlled with 2.1” color graphic display
–         power consumption: 150VA
–         dimensions amplifier: 480 x 140 x 380 mm
–         dimensions power supply: 480 x 80 x 380 mm
–         weight: 25 kg (combined)
–         optical edition: black/gold or chrome or silver/chrome

Micro Controller Display
–         AVS: “automatic volume setting” for each indivual input channel
–         warm-up phase with analog bar graph
–         counter operation hours
–         analog volume bar graph
–         selected source mode
–         selected output mode
–         standby mode
–         mute mode
–         and more …

 

 

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Awards

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Hifi magazines

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We audio writers have our niches. Mikey loves analog, Artie likes to play with horn speakers and assorted oddball British kit, and I really enjoy reviewing affordable speakers. There’s something exciting about hearing the fruits of the labors of a creative designer who’s applied his talents to meet a stringent price point and created a speaker that can entice into our hobby the financially challenged music lover.image: https://www.stereophile.com/images/archivesart/709avc.1.jpg

But I have another passion: expensive tube gear. I so enjoyed my time reviewing the Audio Research Reference 110 amplifier that I bought the review sample (see my review in the August 2007 issue), and when ARC’s William Z. Johnson insisted that I listen to the Reference 110 together with ARC’s Reference 3 line stage, I got a kick out of comparing the Ref 3 with my own reference line stage, the Audio Valve Eclipse.

Although I was stunned by the refined level of musical realism of the Reference 3 ($10,000), I was also surprised that the Eclipse ($4200) held its own, despite being less than half the ARC’s price. In fact, I was so surprised that, when the ARC went back home to Minnesota, I was quite happy to keep on listening to the Audio Valve. Still, I was scratching my head: If the Eclipse is this good, what would a cost-no-object line stage from Audio Valve’s Helmut Becker sound like?

Turned out I’d be given an opportunity to find out. I later received a call from Audio Valve’s US distributor, Ray Lombardi of Ray of Sound, who told me that AV had designed a “statement” line-stage preamplifier, the Conductor, which would cost $13,995 in the US. Would I be interested in hearing it?

As I dashed off a quick e-mail to John Atkinson—”Please? Please!? Please?!?”—my hands were trembling.

The design is fascinating
A conversation with Heike Becker, Helmut’s business partner, revealed the Conductor’s origins. It seems that Audio Valve’s German dealers and overseas distributors were clamoring for a line-stage preamp that could be paired with AV’s top-of-the-line Baldur 300 and Challenger 400 monoblock amplifiers. Designer Becker began with a clean sheet of paper and three requirements: The new preamp needed to be a completely balanced design with fully symmetrical circuitry, to have an outboard power supply with massive storage, and to be completely dual-mono, even down to the power supply. Becker then proceeded to make the finest preamp he could.

The Conductor operates in full class-A with no feedback. Its balanced preamplification circuit, which provides 14dB of gain to all line inputs, uses four 6922 tubes to amplify each phase of each channel, followed by a motorized ALPS potentiometer, followed by four 6N6P (6H30) tubes in the second amplification stage. There are two outputs and six line-level inputs, each of which can be balanced or single-ended. The elegant but minimalist remote control enables switching of all but one of the inputs, as well as volume, mute, and power. One nice feature is that a microprocessor remembers the volume setting for each input, to minimize the risk of blasts of high-volume blasts when switching among sources with various output levels. There’s also a usage meter, calibrated in hours, accessible only via the front panel.

The separate power supply provides 100,000µF of capacitance for the filament circuits, and an additional 10,000µF for the anode circuits. The large toroidal transformer is shielded from static and magnetic effects and supplies eight separate conductor paths: four each for the filaments and anode circuits. The power supply also includes polypropylene capacitors as RF blockers, as well as eight low-resistance voltage regulators to remove ripple from the filament circuit and supply clean voltage.

image: https://www.stereophile.com/images/archivesart/709avc.redboard.jpg

All capacitors in preamp and power supply are proprietary designs made exclusively for Audio Valve. The units communicate via two umbilicals terminated with printer-style connectors. Although the preamp is designed to sit atop the power supply, Audio Valve and Ray of Sound will provide umbilicals of any length for those who want to separate them.

As the Conductor operates in class-A, which usually generates a lot of heat, Becker suggests that neither power supply nor preamp be placed on a thick carpet, and that the top of the preamp be given adequate ventilation. The units are each 20″ wide, which will be too wide for many component racks.

I admire Helmut Becker for designing the best model he could with no concession to any expectations his customers might have had of how a preamp should look. Stacked atop its outboard power supply, the Conductor is unusually large and heavy—far more so than my ARC Reference 110 power amp. The preamp’s physical appearance is striking, impressive, and eccentric. I think it’s gorgeous, though not every visiting audiophile agreed.

Available in light gray with silver accents or black with gold accents, it sports a central window through which the tubes and circuit boards are visible. The volume pot is to the right; to the left, a color TFT screen displays various types of input, volume, and other data. The Conductor doesn’t look mass-produced but handmade—akin to the product of a brilliant, wealthy, mad scientist who has spared no expense.

My only complaint about the Conductor’s physical layout is that the display (about as large as a cell-phone’s) wasn’t easily read by this bifocals wearer unless I stood right in front of the preamp and bent over to peer at it. Other than seeing which input is engaged and looking at the bargraph that shows the selected volume, it’s not critical to be able to read the display, but it would be nice if it were a bit larger.

The turn-on procedure has four steps. Flipping on a switch on the preamp section’s rear panel puts it into Sleep mode: “Conductor” appears in red on the power supply, while the word remains dark on the preamp itself. Hitting the On/Off button on the remote, one of the toggle switches on the front panel, or the center of the display puts the preamp in Mute mode. On both power supply and preamp, “Conductor” then turns from red to dark blue. The display shows a picture of a tube and a thermometer that changes from black to red to yellow as the filaments heat up. When the thermometer reaches 75%, the tubes’ plate voltage of the tubes is applied. When the thermometer reaches 100%, the preamp switches itself to Operate mode and the screen displays the input selected. It sounds complicated, but it’s simple, and cool to watch.

The Conductor operated flawlessly during its tenure here, as I would have expected: my Audio Valve Eclipse has proved to be the most reliable piece of audio electronics I’ve ever owned.The hearing is believing
As I fired up the Conductor for the first time, I had a thought. Given this preamp’s lofty price, it would be nice to be able to say that it was completely uncolored, and had no sonic shortcomings whatsoever.A few days of listening later, it had become clear that, without equivocation, I could say just that. Three months of listening later, having found no flaws whatsoever in the Conductor’s sound, I thought I’d focus on what it did unusually well.If you read my Follow-Up on the Audio Valve Eclipse preamp in the June 2008 issue, you might recall that I was very impressed with its quick, uncolored, kick-slamming, solid-state–like bass performance. The Conductor shared that trait in the bottom end, but seemed capable of even more. I have known every component in my reference system for many years, and it seemed that, with the Conductor in place, my system was capable of far deeper bass than I’d ever realized it was. I don’t necessarily mean some technical lower-limit extension per se. It just seemed that with every well-engineered recording I played that had significant bass content, every instrument seemed to have a more authoritative presence below 60Hz that suggested live music.image: https://www.stereophile.com/images/archivesart/709avc.bac.jpgI listened to Jon Hassell’s latest album, Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street (CD, ECM 2077), one week after I’d heard the entire CD performed by Hassell and his group at Carnegie Hall. This quintet, consisting of electronically manipulated trumpet, violin, and bass guitar, as well two musicians retrieving sampled sounds from laptops, create delicately atmospheric yet powerful soundscapes that are both intellectually challenging and accessible. On “Time and Place,” the lower register of Peter Freeman’s bass as it filled Carnegie Hall created an “air of thunder” more reminiscent of pipe-organ pedal notes in a great cathedral. The Conductor perfectly reproduced this effect from the CD, with a sound so arresting I held back a bit on the volume—I was worried about damaging the woofers of my Alón Circe speakers.What you might expect from a preamp with such a massive—some might say overengineered—power supply is impressive dynamic range. This was indeed one of the Conductor’s greatest strengths, best illustrated by Helmuth Rilling and the Oregon Bach Festival’s recording of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Credo, a blockbuster work for chorus and orchestra (CD, Hänssler Classic 09.311). When, in the opening passage—very difficult to reproduce accurately—the full-throated chorus breaks out, there was no hint of congestion or coagulation, no trace of distortion. I flinched when the bass drum kicked me in the face, and lower-level passages were equally impressive. When bass Thomas Quasthoff entered in Credo in Unum Deum, his holographically reproduced body appeared midstage, and it was easy to “see” his vocal phrasing technique.The Conductor brought out every little subtlety in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival performance of Tomiko Kohjiba’s The Transmigration of the Soul, from Festival (CD, Stereophile STPH007-2). In the opening passage, I could hear clearly when the melodic lines of soprano Kendra Colton and flutist Carol Wincenc “de-linked.” I could also clearly follow the slightly enhanced downstrokes of cellist Peter Wyrick’s bowing. From my notes: “pinpoint staging, gobs of space and air, flawless timpani, shattering dynamics.”

The Conductor’s dynamic range was so wide that I sometimes had trouble deciding where to set the volume control. I began “Mansour’s Gift,” from my jazz quartet Attention Screen’s Live at Merkin Hall (CD, Stereophile STPH018-2), at a level at which I could comfortably follow every subtle, low-level electronic effect in bassist Chris Jones’s introduction, while marveling at the subtle dynamic envelope of Mark Flynn’s Korean tuk drum. At this level, however, the crashing fortissimo in the descending passage for piano, bass, and drums near the end of the track was so loud that my wife demanded I turn the volume down.

That’s not to say that the Conductor didn’t excel at delicate jazz passages. “Tears Transforming,” from the Tord Gustavsen Trio’s The Ground (CD, ECM 1892), enveloped me in a warm, delicate bath of liquid piano sound. On “Original Faubus Fables,” from Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus (LP, Candid 9005), the Conductor presented Mingus’s warm bass lines as a clearly defined bedrock for trumpeter Ted Curson’s biting, brassy, burnished solo.

I also cued up the great rockabilly version of Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” from Santo and Johnny’s eponymous first album (LP, Canadian American CALP 1001, footnote 1). As I noted how tightly and tunefully the uncredited studio bassist and drummer churned through this tune, I was able to study every lick of Santo Farina’s (then a teenager) masterful upper-register lap-steel solo, as the Conductor reproduced every nuance with pristine splendor.

The Conductor’s upper-register purity went hand in hand with its rapid and undistorted transient abilities to make it a spectacular showcase for percussion recordings. The wide, deep soundstage of Charles Wuorinen’s recording of his Ringing Changes for Percussion Ensemble (LP, Nonesuch H71263) placed every instrument in its appropriate space, each on its own bed of air. The entrancing low-level pianissimos leading into “barking and crashing” fortissimos presented a similar challenge in volume control to what I’d faced when playing the Attention Screen disc.

I won’t go into detail about the countless familiar recordings with which the Conductor’s resolution of inner detail let me hear, say, woodwind countermelodies under a dense orchestral passage, bassoons doubling choral baritones, or bass-synth countermelodies—none of which, at the risk of using an audiophile cliché, I’d ever heard before.

And don’t let the Conductor’s name fool you into thinking it’s only for lovers of classical and jazz. Playing the title track of Hole’s Celebrity Skin (CD, Geffen DGCD-25164) at about 97dB, as I twitched around the room to the slamming drum and kick-ass bass lines, I was still able to clearly follow the lyrics sung by the backing vocalists over the din of distorted guitar.

The comparing is revealing
I had no other preamps on hand that were anywhere near the Conductor’s price to do a fairer comparison, and it’s been some time since the Reference 3 was sent back to Audio Research. However, readers can refer to my comparison of the ARC and the Audio Valve Eclipse in my Follow-Up on the latter in the June 2008 issue.

It was fascinating to compare the Conductor with the Eclipse with a wide range of recordings. The two preamps, clearly cut from the same sonic cloth, both had ultra-low levels of coloration. However, there was a slight difference in their midrange perspectives. The Eclipse seemed a bit more forward, the Conductor a tad laid-back. With the latter, it was as if I’d moved 10 rows back in the orchestra section of a concert hall. Although one of the Eclipse’s greatest strengths was its tight, clean, deep, kick-ass bass, the Conductor, as mentioned above, seemed even better in this area. The high-frequency characteristics of the two preamps were virtually identical.

image: https://www.stereophile.com/images/archivesart/709avc.redcard.jpg

One area in which the Conductor bettered the Eclipse: No matter how densely modulated the music, the Conductor never sounded as if it was working hard to produce its effortless, pristine, crystal-clear sound. With some of the more demanding orchestral works and recordings, the Eclipse never sounded congealed or congested, but I sensed it was giving all it had to ensure a realistic reproduction of the music. By comparison, the Conductor always sounded effortless: for all it cared, it could have been reproducing a string quartet rather than an orchestra.

These characteristics were directly related to the preamps’ reproductions of soundstages. While the Eclipse presented detailed, pinpoint images on a wide, deep soundstage, the Conductor’s stage was even wider and deeper. But the differences went further than that. There was an openness to the Conductor’s soundstaging that I hadn’t heard before from a preamp. Although the Conductor’s superb presentation of detail rendered ambience and hall cues perfectly, I never had the sense that it was reproducing music that had been recorded in a confined space, as I felt with the Eclipse. It was a paradox: The Conductor sounded so open that it seemed to almost make the walls of concert halls disappear, while simultaneously rendering ambience cues that made it easier to hear those walls.

The Eclipse’s wide dynamic contrasts were bettered by the Conductor’s. A case in point: With the Eclipse hooked up, I cued up Attention Screen’s “Mansour’s Gift” and began listening at the same volume level as I had with the Conductor. But this time, when the cacophonous fortissimo crash came near the end of the piece, my wife did not tell me to turn the volume down. I could say that, while the Eclipse is capable of ppp/fff dynamic contrasts, the Conductor is capable of pppp/ffff.

While this comparison clearly revealed the superiority of the Conductor over the Eclipse, it also reaffirmed what a rare bargain the Eclipse is.

Sadly, the Conductor is leaving the podium
Without exception, the Audio Valve Conductor produced stunning, flawless sound during the three delightful months it spent in my house, and exceeded the performance of my Audio Valve Eclipse—no easy task. I unhesitatingly recommend its consideration to anyone able to spend $13,995 on a line stage. Unfortunately, I am not a member of that club, so it’s back to the Eclipse for me.

I also strongly recommend that, given the Conductor’s unusual size and appearance, you see the preamp in the flesh before buying—and take your significant other with you. But still—at no time during the Conductor’s tenure here did my wife comment on its appearance or the amount of space it occupied in our living room.

Well done, Herr Becker, and keep up the good work!


Handmade Refined Supercar

Germany`s AudioValve CONDUCTOR

Written by Liu Mingcheng

Audio Art Magazine

Reference Pre-amplifier

It adopts the design of two boxes of power splitters, and the dual-mono design beginning from the power supply, with full-balance amplification but without global feedback. Input impedance: 47kΩ; output impedance: 300kΩ; frequency response: 5Hz – 200kHz; gain: 14dB; input terminal: two sets of XLR and two sets of RCA; the used valve: 6N6P×2 and 6N1P×6. Dimension: 480×140×380mm (main unit) and 480×80×380mm (power supply), weight: 25kg. Import general agency: Dean-Lin (03-2127378).

In the past we always conducted the audition at the place of the audio dealers or the agents, but this time the audition arrangement is quite special in that it’s held at the home of a audio fan and the subject is not a very large machine but a two-piece pre-amplifier. Why we take so much effort to try a pre-amplifier only? Is there any problem to bring it to our place? Actually, there is no. But the question is that this new flagship AudioValve Conductor is truly of hot sale, so such products are always sold out just upon the arrival. It will take quite a long time to wait for the dealers to have some spare machine for display and audition. To convey the information about this machine to the readers as soon as possible, I have no other choice but to appreciate it in the user’s house.

Wait, how does the dealer sell it if no machine for display? That’s exact the interesting point. Almost all customers bought it without audition, just due to their confidence in the AudioValve brand. Another question is: what’s matter with this AudioValve company? Can it manufacture the machines at a faster pace, so the dealers are able to have some goods in stock? If you have studied its website, you must have the idea that this company is a “family handicraft” which is under the management of a couple for several years and recently their son has also been involved as an accountant. Think about this: how fast can a company with three people deliver goods to the whole world?

Charm of Blue-Ray Words

The first sight of the Conductor’s appearance makes you hard to believe it is manufactured by AudioValve. The glass panel in the center certainly attracts the focus of attention, because the frosted words AudioValve in the middle, as lighted by the beneath blue LED, turns to be blue words floating in the windows, embodying a quite innovative idea. What surprises me more is that on the right panel there is a color LED with quite high resolution.

Does AudioValve use advanced technologies like digital volume controls and digital logic operations? No.

The operation of Conductor is still an extremely “analog” task, because its volume control still relies on the left wheel, and the signal source switching and output switching are also achieved by lever-type switches. Well, is this beautiful screen merely a gimmick? I have thought so. Later during the audition I accidentally pressed the power switch of its remote control, and as the Conductor was rebooting, I found on the screen the heating status of the valve, with graphical representation showing the temperature increase. When the chart reached the peak, the equipment stepped into the normal operation state. This type of display is also different from those of all traditional valve equipments, from which we can see AudioValve is not a conservative manufacturer that uses only traditional technologies.

Co-existence of Technology and Tradition

Having the courage to embrace new technology, why it still manufactures all the audio-signal-related circuits of Conductor in so traditional way? For instance its volume control adopts the six-section variable resistor for attenuation, which is even installed directly behind the panel and through a long internal wire connected with the circuit board. Why not to use a connecting rod to shorten the signal path? AudioValve gives the following explanation: variable resistor is still the best volume attenuation method that is, in their opinion, of the best sound quality.

Highlights

Able to present the width of a large stage and the first-class sense of the scene.

Relaxing and charming, without the slightest pressing feeling even for the grand-scene music played in a large system.

Having the unique warm, stereo and thick features of valve equipments.

Neutral and non-rendered sounds.

Suggestion

There is still room for improvement in details and enhancement on the aspects like signal sources and wiring.

It’s better to work with the speakers with high resolution and open sounds.

It’s safe to work with large systems, without shrinking the sound.

Referenced software

Each album of The Chieftains has wonderful recording effect, often leading fever recommendation lists. This “Tears of Stone” is a result from their cooperation with quite a strong team of artists, with guest performers ranging from Joni Michelle, Bonnie Raitt, The Corrs, Diana Krall to Zhu Zheqin. It can also be seen from such a combination that The Chieftains has transcended the traditional Irish music, and integrated different music genres such as folk, rock, jazz and even world music. More valuable is that though each song is recorded in different conditions, it’s still of great acoustic effect. (BMG 09026-63442-2, Sony Music)

Illustration: Twenty Factors of Audio Equipments

01 Tone quality
02 Timbre
03 High frequency, sweetness of
04 Medium frequency, thickness of
03 Low frequency, solid degree of
06 Sound stage
07 Weight and Density of the sound
08 Transparency
09 Layering
10 Orientation of sound
11 Vitality of music
12 Imaging and dimension
13 Resolution
14 Speed and transient response
15 Strength contrast and dynamic contrast
16 Instrument sounds and human voices: proportion
17 Instrument sounds and human voices: texture and air sense
18 Reproduction of details
19 Sense of space
20 Overall equalization

The above is a kind of subjective moving index of the reviewer for a single equipment, and the indicated results will vary due to the coupled equipments, spatial conditions and the mental state of the reviewer. It will be biased to use this to compare two equipments.

Five-element Diagram for the Audio Equipment

Metal: open, lively, bright

Wood: warm, modest, amiable

Water: tender, neutral, mild

Fire: swift, passionate, striking

Earth: thick, full, solid

  1. The most distinctive feature of Conductor must be the 2.1-inch LCD control panel. Its left lever is responsible for the switch of signal sources, the right lever for output switching or mute operation, and the bottom panel for standby or shutdown switching. The scale of volume will be indicated on the topmost part too. On boot up the display will show the heating status of the filament of the valve. 2 Two gold-plated volume knobs are exclusively added for the special edition in Taiwan. On the back remains a traditional variable resistor, which is regarded by AudioValve the best way to improve sound quality. But you can use remote control and it can memorize the positions of each set of volume control. 3. The AudioValve trademark of the “window” on boot up will generate bright blue light, which seems to be floating in the glass. It is a pity that such special visual effect cannot be revealed from the photos here. 4. On the top left backplane there is written “Special Edition for Taiwan R.O.C”. This proves that the edition is specially augmented for Taiwan market. All the metal parts are gold-plated. Why there are two low-cost wires like computer cables on the right? They are used to connect the power supply case. Since the control circuit and amplifier use separate power supply, two cables are needed. 5. Only these components can be seen through the roof window. You can see although AudioValve is in heavy use of hand-made manufacturing, the circuit board layout is very beautiful, and assembly quality and cleanliness are very good. This reflects the essential skills that the high-class valve equipment is supposed to satisfy. AudioValve even customized its own dedicated capacitor for Conductor, so it can be said to be the most luxurious model since the foundation of AudioValve. 6. Baldur 300 now also uses a golden plate in its front, which further underlines the nobleness of the high-power valve equipment.

It is even a little bit more spacious than the house of Liu Ming Cheng, the consultant of our magazine. Genesis loudspeakers still can produce large and solid sounds. The charming of such a large system is what the most audio fans can hardly have a taste of.

The reason for the use of six-set control is: the equalization and amplification need four sets of volume controls, and the additional two sets are used in the server circuits, allowing Conductor to remember the volume of the input of each signal source, and to reach its position automatically after switching. How is the wiring? After the input of signals, Conductor first uses buffer to amplify them, and then apply volume attenuation, so the signal is strong enough to overcome the attenuation even if it traverses along a range of the wire.

Replacing FM Acoustics

The speaker used by this AV fan is Genesis I.1 and the signal sources are MBL 1611/1621 turnplate and digital analog converters. The power amplifier, certainly an AudioValve product, is the Baldur 300 I reported several years ago. I have evaluated some audio equipments before in this audition room, and at that time we also used this pair of speakers which impressed me deeply. The owner must love very much the sound characteristics of valves, because when I made the visit last time, what he used is a 300B valve equipment too. However, this time I saw again in the audition room other idle equipments, which even include the pre-amp and power-amp of FM Acoustics! Although the owner has famous Switzerland equipments, after hearing the news that AudioValve pre-amp and power-amp are introduced to the market, he decided to obtain them too. However, his major audio system has been based on AudioValve equipments, and the pre-amp and power-amp of FM Acoustics are used only when he is at the whim of the equipments. Does it mean the sound of AudioValve pre-amp and power-amp outperform those of FM Acoustics? No, I believe FM Acoustics definitely has its own charm, or it would not enjoy such a high position in the industry. However, it indicates at least that for this set of system AudioValve sound is more attractive and delightful than that of FM Acoustics.

Magnificent and Relaxing Momentum

What is my first impression on Conductor? It is a feeling of magnificence and relaxation. In the past I always thought the feeling of magnificence and relaxation can only be achieved by high-class crystal equipments. Particularly it will be very obvious that the equipment with the 4-set giant speakers cannot produce magnificent and relaxing sound. It’s quite amazing that Conductor can give me a sense of broad space and huge sound that is not bloated. How hard is it to achieve magnificence and relaxation? I can say that after appreciating audio equipments for so many years, I have never heard of any system capable of using inexpensive equipments to produce a characteristic of magnificence and relaxation. Many audio fans probably have no chance to hear in their lifetime so magnificent and relaxing sound I heard here, which is a realm only achievable by large speakers coupled with really expensive equipments, as well as careful adjustment.

Authentic and Rich Sound

At first I played my recent favorite album, “Tears of Stone” of The Chieftains. Its first song, a chorus on the background, has already been very charming, which precisely conveys the gentle stir of the group members and apparently it’s recorded differently from the foreground poem recitation, leading to a very clear expression of the front and rear levels. The second song, an electric guitar blues by Bonnie Raitt, with the company of bass, is also full of charm. The glissando of the pipe casing on his left-hand fingers brings out a strong feeling of metal friction, and the deep, low and plump bass sound is also extremely good. It was my first time to listen to the album in such a large system, and the impression of the huge and plump sound was “temporarily saved” in my mind for several days before I can get rid of it.

With the replacement of the album “Dialogues with Double Bass”, at the early beginning a cello and a double bass are staged on both sides, also having the huge audio effect. Even the finger movements, string wiping and the breathing of musicians during the performance are clear to hear. I originally had the concern about the imperfectness of a huge system in reproducing the sound of simple instruments, but at the end I found the set of system still performed quite well. Further play the New Moon Daughter of Cassandra Wilson. The drum at the beginning of its second track is not very low and deep, but it has a huge and flexible form, demonstrating that the sound of Conductor will not drag feet, and has very good transient response and impulsive force.

Co-existence of Truth and Beauty in the Sound

How about playing symphony? Try the selection of Pentatone. In the waltz segment of Tchaikovsky no. 6 as conducted by Seiji Ozawa, .when the string music flows out like a waterfall, beneath there is the demanding pizzicato performance of double bass. With the smooth and sleek playing of the string music, we feel the real proportion. The not particularly exaggerated pizzicato of the double bass is also of great flexibility and is not submerged in the playing of the bass string section. And then when the album is replaced with Leopold Stokowski’s “Rhapsody”, the orchestral unison at the beginning has a great sense of tone and luster, which also proves that Conductor can very vividly render the original recording. The more I listened to recordings, the more precious I found the natural and non-exaggerated qualities of Conductor. It can not only present the features of recordings in a real and direct way, but also is able to faithfully convey the intrinsic flavor of the music. Its performance capabilities of combining truth with beauty really makes itself live up to the honorable status of a flagship model.

Finally we played the new album “Quiet Nights” of Diana Krall. Since it sounds very plump and grand even in ordinary systems, will it be too huge to keep unbroken in such a system? Fortunately, what I heard was still the performance by a big orchestra, with the sound being very healthy and of a great spacious sense, while the layer and hierarchy of human voices and other instruments are kept with a good sense of separation, without any bloated effect. Many people do not agree with the huge sound, but I always remember what a president of a German manufacturer said to me: the least commendable equipments are those which make the sound shrunk when they are put in the audio system, just “like making people become a Mickey Mouse-like”. Please rest assured, Conductor definitely neither produces the “Mickey Mouse effect”, nor transforms all into the Hulk.

Be Rich and Patient

Preamplifiers of million-dollar price may be a fantasy a decade ago, but in nowadays audio equipment market, it is not really difficult to find pre-amp of this price level. Is the capability of AudioValve Conductor comparable to these fantastic equipments? I think it has no problem in performance, and in the preciseness of tone and sound quality it is also of a very high achievement. In particular, the characteristic of plump and warm medium frequencies possessed by the valve machine allows it to satisfy the requirement of pleasing sound at the same time achieve high performance, and avoid the issue of producing any annoying sounds. During the telephone conversation with the owner, he also believed that this set of equipment overthrows his traditional impression on valve machines and makes him discover such a valve machine can also achieve such high performance. Hereby he decided to keep it as the major system.

Conductor deserves to be called the flagship pre-amplifier of AudioValve. It has a special design, and implements many advanced technologies that will not adopted by a number of small factories, and produces comfortable and unrestraint sound which can work with huge systems. It’s like a handmade super sports car of AudioValve, the possession of which needs a bit more patience in addition to money and vision, because under its strategy of handmade manufacturing in original factories, the number of persons in the world who are lucky to own Conductor is for sure not too many!

 

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user manual

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FAQ

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remote handling

In case the remote doesn`t work, please follow the instructions:

– Make sure that the batteries are fitting tight at their place.

– On the back side of the remote through a little hole you can see a blue LED .Located on the PC board of the remote.

– Now press at the same time the volume up and down button together, untill the LED flashes, then stop doing so.

– If it flashes 1 time, the remote is for the CONDUCTOR
– 2 times for the EKLIPSE and 3 times for the ASSISTENT 50.

– You can change the program of the remote by pressing the buttons of the volume, untill the LED is flashing as much as you need to be the correct program.

Last update: 2014-02-05 19:24
Author: AudioValve, Helmut
Revision: 1.0

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2 reviews for CONDUCTOR

  1. admin

    Short review by Mr. D. 06/2017:
    Introduction
    Having owned a wide range of hi-end preamplifiers over many years, I recently purchased the very latest version (2017) of Audio-valve Conductor preamplifier to alternate with my Tidal Preos. I have not made this decision because I am unhappy with the Tidal, but I wanted to add a high quality valve preamplifier into the mix of my system, to replace my Audio Research Reference 5 SE, which was very good, but there were a few compatibility issues.
    The focus of this review, however, is not to offer a head to head comparative evaluation of different preamplifiers, but rather to share my initial impressions of the Conductor (at 50 hours burn in) within the context of my system.

    Design and Construction
    The Conductor is different in concept, appearance and execution from other preamplifiers I have owned. It is beautifully constructed from sheet steel and polycarbonate to minimise EMI and RFI, with a large see through central front window that provides a clear view of the high quality components on its superbly engineered circuit boards. It has a very well thought out boot up software program that is easy to understand and intriging to observe in action. IMHO the more uniform lines of the 2017 version of Conductor are more aesthetically pleasing than before.
    The controls of Conductor are silky smooth, yet robustly engineered, conveying reassuring confidence that they will last a very long time. It is endowed with distinctive personality, individuality and class, which I find refreshingly appealing. The head unit is linked to a substantial external linear power supply with its anode potential alone being nearly 10,000µF/400VDC and 100,000µF for the heater section.
    Sound
    The Conductor is spookily quiet with a very black background. It is dynamic with an organic texture that is very musically satisfying. It is punchy and explosive, yet delicate with accurate timbre in accordance with the demands of all genres of music. It conveys how good or bad a recording really is without rendering any piece of music unlistenable.

    As I listen to a lot of jazz and opera with female vocals, I place musicality and emotion very high on my list of sonic priorities. However, I also love a high level of detail retrieval and resolution, but not at a cost of losing the heart and soul of music.
    The Conductor is incredibly transparent, without the slightest hint of glare or edge. It delivers its magic consistently with lots of emotion and sensuous involvement. Sound stage depth, breadth and the ability to place instruments in their correct position within the stage…. with top to bottom dynamics and engaging tonality are among the best I’ve heard.
    When consideration is given to the Conductor’s exceptional value for money, evolutionary upgradability and longevity (the basic design concept of Conductor has undergone progressive development and refinement throughout the past 10 years), it will be very difficult to find a preamplifier that performs with such holistic brilliance at anywhere near its price. It’s really that good across the board.

    In conclusion…
    The Conductor just sounds real, natural and effortless with spectacular refinement, coherence and cohesion… nothing seems exaggerated or diminished. Bravo to Mr Helmut Becker and his Team…Your latest version of Conductor is an amazing achievement. —

    StereoTimes Most Wanted Component 2009

    Michael Wright, The StereoTimes (01/2010):
    “…hot on the heels of last year’s biggest surprise, the Audio Valve Eklipse, comes their new flagship preamplifier, the Conductor. To state it simply, the Conductor performs on another level from most preamplifiers that I have heard in my system. It’s a vacuum tube preamplifier that is detailed, fast, dynamic, and possesses bass power with extension and impact. The Conductor elevated the performance of every component I hooked up to it. Eklipse owners beware: The Conductor is not just a better version of the Eklipse, but instead, is a totally different animal that provides a higher level of the music enjoyment experience…”

    Michael Wright, The StereoTimes (06/2010) concluded:
    “…the Conductor was extremely well behaved during its time residing in my system. There were no pops, hums, nothing micro-phonic, no tube noise, and no transient thumps when I turned it or anything else in my listening room on or off….The Conductor made listening to music pure joy in my system. It has an uncanny ability to musically retrieve all of the information that’s loaded inside of your music media and make you feel that you’re at the recorded event. Because of those areas of performance I value that tube preamps provide, I felt that the Conductor outperformed my Klyne in most aspects of music that I tend to judge music by, though the Klyne wasn’t far off. Those virtues that tubes bring to the table caused me to feel I would give the edge to the Conductor. I also had access to an Audio Valve Eclipse, with NOS RCA “Clear Tops”, during the time I spent reviewing the Conductor. The Conductor is in a different class from the Eklipse, and it should at $7-8K more in cost. They are two entirely different preamps that have different topologies, different power supplies, different parts, and use different tubes. In my opinion, there are no tubes on the planet that you can put into the Eklipse that will allow it to perform as well as the Conductor. There is a reason why the Conductor costs more than the Eklipse and if you have the opportunity to compare the two, you’ll hear the sonic increases that I’m talking about. The Conductor compares favorably with the likes of preamps from Audio Research, Atma-Sphere and Convergent Audio based on what I have heard of these other fine preamps in other systems. I never felt the urge to try and change the tubes in the Conductor because I felt it was already sounding good with the factory tubes. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Conductor and was sad to see if go after it allowed me to enjoy and rediscover some of my musical treasures. The Audio Valve Conductor certainly gets my highest recommendation…”

  2. admin

    Lieber Herr Becker
    das Wiedersehen auf der HighEnd hat uns sehr gefreut! Unwahrscheinlich mit welcher Kraft und Energie die Dinge bei AudioValve vorangetrieben werden. Den Conductor hatten wir gut nach Hause gebracht und vergangene Tage sind wir zum Test im Zusammenspiel mit den Balduren 300 und unserer Triangle Grand Concert gekommen:

    Was für ein Gerät! Welche Opulenz, welch unwahrscheinlich große Klangräume, was für ein Musikfluss, welch ruhige, geschmeidige, detaillierte und doch kraftvolle Darbietung, eine wahrlich magische Musikmaschine! Der Klang ist so, wie das Gerät aussieht: Gelassen, erhaben, groß und mächtig, dabei trotzdem fein und nicht grobschlächtig.
    Hätten wir uns im Vorhinein einen Klang von unserer Anlage gewünscht, dann wäre es dieser. Dabei waren erst 22 Stunden am Betriebstundenzähler! Da müssen sich andere Hersteller entschuldigen, dass das Gerät noch nicht klingen kann…

    Damit ist unsere Suche nach der richtigen Elektronik für unsere Triangle Grand Concert nach sieben Jahren endlich beendet. Zirka 10 Endstufen und 5 Vorstufen wanderten ein und aus, nun ist mit AudioValve die Reise beendet. Parallel zum Concuctor durften wir auch eine Kondo G70 Vorstufe (UVP 32k€!) im Test direkt vergleichen. Letztere spielte zwar sehr, sehr sauber und schön, baute aber auf unserer Anlage nicht die Bühne auf, wie man sich das von einer grossen Anlage wünscht.

    Selbstverständlich ist das ein subjektiver Eindruck und er entbehrt jeder Sachlichkeit, so ist das mit Musik und Geschmack, aber wenn mehr Menschen Deine Geräte hören könnten, dann wären viele Besitzer von “Stereoanlagen” schneller am Ziel und müssten nicht solche Unsummen an Geld ausgeben, die in dieser Branche unverschämter Weise aufgerufen werden. Der letzte Besuch auf der HighEnd und jahrelanges Abhören von Anlagen bestätigte uns, dass viele Menschen in diesem Geschäft nicht die Musik in den Ohren, sondern nur das Dollarzeichen in den Augen haben.

    So, Ende der Berichterstattung, wir danken auf den Knien und freuen uns über diese Teststellung. Demzufolge würden wir das Gerät bitte gerne behalten. Ich würde bitten, dass Du mir die orangen LEDs zum Selbsteinbau zusendest und ich mir diese selber austausche, evtl. mit telefonischer Rückfrage.

    Also vielen, vielen herzlichen Dank, wir sind froh, glücklich und dankbar, dass wir auf Grund Deiner Arbeit und Deinem Fleiß zu so einmaligen Geräten gekommen sind!
    Herzliche Grüße aus den Bergen
    Fritz und Monika

    english version:
    Dear Mr. Becker
    The reunion on the Highend was very happy! Unlikely with what power and energy things are going at AudioValve. We had brought the Conductor home well and last days we came to the test in combination with the Balduren 300 and our Triangle Grand Concert:

    What a device! What opulence, what unbelievably large sound spaces, what a flow of music, what a quiet, lithe, detailed yet powerful performance, a truly magical music machine! The sound is what the device looks like: Serene, sublime, big and powerful, yet fine and not coarse.
    If we had wanted a sound from our system in advance, it would be this one. It was only 22 hours on the operating hours counter! Since other manufacturers have to apologize that the device can not sound yet …

    This is the end of our search for the right electronics for our Triangle Grand Concert after seven years. Approximately 10 power amplifiers and 5 preamplifiers wandered in and out, now the journey is over with AudioValve. Parallel to the Concuctor we were also allowed to directly compare a Kondo G70 precursor (RRP 32k €!) In the test. The latter played very, very clean and beautiful, but did not build the stage on our system, as one would expect from a large layout.

    Of course, this is a subjective impression and it lacks any objectivity, it is with music and taste, but if more people could hear your devices, then many owners of “stereos” would reach their destination faster and would not have to spend such huge sums of money be cheekily called in this industry. The last visit to the high end and years of listening to equipment confirmed to us that many people in this business have not the music in their ears, but only the dollar sign in the eyes.

    So, end of coverage, we thank on our knees and look forward to this test. Therefore, we would like to keep the device please. I would ask that you send me the orange LEDs for self installation and I exchange these myself, possibly with a telephone consultation.

    So many, many thanks, we are happy, happy and grateful that we have come because of your work and your diligence to such unique equipment!
    Greetings from the mountains
    Fritz and Monika

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