THD+N = 0.0006% @ 1kHz and a power bandwidth of
5MHz. Near perfect reproduction of 125kHz square wave.
The P-20 Preamplifier’s elegantly sculpted aluminum case encloses a
number of significant advances over the preamp’s award-winning P-9
predecessor in several key areas, especially with respect to volume
control. A preamp’s volume-control capabilities are among its most
critical features. In practical terms, we saw room for improvement over
the already excellent P-9’s volume control within the areas of
transparency and noise.
The P-20’s numerically controlled, switched-resistor ladder network
features the last word in thin-film technology. In order to improve
precision and lower the noise floor to the vanishing point, we’ve
implemented a single thin-film, ultra-low-noise resistor in the signal
path for each of the volume control’s 0.5dB gain settings, thus
permitting the listener to achieve the desired volume level in precise
0.5dB steps. As a further benefit, the listener is able to adjust any
input’s level to exactly correspond with any other, thereby simplifying
the matching of source-component volume levels.
The heart of the P-20 boasts an all-discrete, fastidiously precise
amplifier module. Because speed is of paramount significance, we’ve
reduced capacitive loading on the final voltage amp with the
implementation of ultra-low-noise, monolithic dual JFETs, specially
selected VMOS FETs, and extremely flat hFE bipolar transistors in a dual
cascode configuration, all of which are combined within a driven-shield
arrangement. The P-20 offers a 5MHz power bandwidth, an S/N ratio
exceeding 100dB, and a dynamic range in excess of 120 dB. There are no
capacitors or DC-servos in the inherently stable P-20’s gain circuit.
And, in keeping with these advances, we’ve paid a great deal of
attention to isolation. We’ve covered the amplifier modules with thermal
insulation along with heavy copper shields in order to avoid thermal
drift or signal-degrading heating effects. Each amp module’s
self-contained shunt regulator further assists in isolation from power
supplies. A similarly isolated floating-current source supply feeds each
module to insure separation from ground-system noise.
Since all control functions are powered by discrete power supplies, the
P-20’s design prevents any logic circuitry clock-signal noise from ever
contaminating the analog section's low-level signals. In keeping with
the P-20’s state-of-the-art features, we include a delightfully
convenient, custom-designed remote control. In sum, the P-20’s
near-to-molecular clarity offers the last word in utterly transparent,
organic sound – in effect, a stress-free listening experience as close
to live as audio permits. Better still, these features can be activated
by a 12V trigger signal enabling system integration without the need for
manual intervention. All that's required is a processor or receiver with
a common 12V trigger connection.