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Starkrimson™ Integrated Stereo Amplifier Launched

orchardaudio

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#1
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IMG_1502_WB_SLIM.jpg


I am proud to announce the launch of Starkrimson™ Integrated. This integrated amplifier combines Orchard Audio’s existing BOSC™ amplification and PecanPi® DAC technologies into a single enclosure. The inputs are either USB or S/PDIF. Just add speakers.

Starkrimson is one of a few integrated amplifiers on the market which uses gallium nitride (GaN) technology. GaN transistors provide the following sonic/sound benefits over their traditional silicon counterparts: less harshness; cleaner highs; better transparency; and higher detail. This is because GaN transistors have increased slew rate, reduced ringing, faster switching, and faster overload recovery.

What is unique about this integrated amplifier is that it provides access to both the DAC outputs and amplifier inputs; this enables the connection of devices like digital signal processors (DSPs) and preamps between the two.

Starkrimson is currently available with introductory pricing at $1995. MSRP is set at $2495.

A treasure trove of specifications, photos, and measurements awaits at www.orchardaudio.com/starkrimson

Images:
IMG_1493_WB_slim.jpg IMG_1495_WB_slim.jpg IMG_1498_WB_slim.jpg


All measurements below are for 8-ohm load with a 22.4kHz bandwidth except for frequency response and wideband FFT.

Note:
0 dBRA = 34.6Vrms or 150W into 8ohm.


























Since the amplifier is DC coupled here it is showing DC offset on the output.
 
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orchardaudio

orchardaudio

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Thread Starter #3
With a name like that I'm disappointed it's just an integrated amp and not an interstellar battleship...:)
FYI...Starkrimson is a type of pear. For those who are not familiar Orchard Audio's products are named after items that grow in orchards.
 

Ron Texas

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Kind of interesting, USB in, 150 Watts of clean power out, low profile. I imagine there are lot of DAC/Power amp combos for $2k to choose from which are just as clean.
 

Matias

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Can you please describe the volume control used? Analog pot, digital volume, or something else?
 
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orchardaudio

orchardaudio

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Leo, a minor suggestion: if you put up measurements with dBRA as the units (rather than, say, dBV), it might be nice to specify what "A" is.
0 dBRA = 34.6Vrms or 150W into 8ohm. I also added this info to my post above.
 
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orchardaudio

orchardaudio

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Can you please describe the volume control used? Analog pot, digital volume, or something else?
It is digital volume control, with the feel of an analog pot.
The range of volume control is from 0 to -80dB in 0.5dB steps.

It is completely disabled when the pot is turned fully clockwise allowing you to control volume over USB or S/PDIF.
It is also muted when the pot is turned fully counter-clockwise.
 
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orchardaudio

orchardaudio

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Thread Starter #11
Will I send it to Amir to measure it?
If you purchase one you can do what you like...

I think you are asking if I would send it.

I am happy to provide you with any other measurement that you think is missing. How many other manufacturers will do this?
 

restorer-john

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orchardaudio

orchardaudio

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Vini darko

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Very impressive preformace that's closing in on benchmark for a lot less money. That giant peak at 850khz is kinda amusing for a audio amp o_O
 

restorer-john

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That giant peak at 850khz is kinda amusing for a audio amp
If he shifts it to 882KHz, it'll nicely block out an AM radio station I've never liked. (4BH). ;)
 

jhaider

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View attachment 71995

I am proud to announce the launch of Starkrimson™ Integrated. This integrated amplifier combines Orchard Audio’s existing BOSC™ amplification and PecanPi® DAC technologies into a single enclosure. The inputs are either USB or S/PDIF. Just add speakers.
...
What is unique about this integrated amplifier is that it provides access to both the DAC outputs and amplifier inputs; this enables the connection of devices like digital signal processors (DSPs) and preamps between the two.
"Unique" I'm not sure. McIntosh has done pre-out -> amp-in for some time, and I have seen others as well. Regardless of outright uniqueness, it is a very good idea. This simple feature makes your product relevant in modern systems, unlike most 2.0-channel integrateds, because external bass management and room correction can be added without losing any functionality. The balanced jumpers are a nice touch for use with external processors, too.
 

anmpr1

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GaN transistors provide the following sonic/sound benefits over their traditional silicon counterparts: less harshness; cleaner highs; better transparency; and higher detail.
It looks like a pretty nice barebones system for a PC. I typically ignore marketing shtick, since it's marketing. But you appear to be going for the 'audio science' technically oriented market. With that in mind I'd ask:

How much less harshness?
How much cleaner are the highs?
How much better is the transparency?
How much higher is the detail?

Than what?

I'm not trying to be a crank but when you make these sorts of subjective claims, along with objective data-driven charts and graphs, I think the questions are appropriate. Anyhow, like I said, the product appears to be a pretty nice barebones system for an all digital PC based front end. Not exactly cheap, considering the industrial 'screwed together in my basement' look, but there are more expensive options out there that probably offer less, so we have to keep it in context.
 
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orchardaudio

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Thread Starter #18
It looks like a pretty nice barebones system for a PC. I typically ignore marketing shtick, since it's marketing. But you appear to be going for the 'audio science' technically oriented market. With that in mind I'd ask:

How much less harshness?
How much cleaner are the highs?
How much better is the transparency?
How much higher is the detail?

Than what?

I'm not trying to be a crank but when you make these sorts of subjective claims, along with objective data-driven charts and graphs, I think the questions are appropriate.
These things are very difficult to quantify as to exactly how much. There are many articles explaining the benefits of GaN over traditional silicon transistors.

GaN transistors allow you to have a much smaller dead time, this increases THD performance because the amplifier has control of the output a larger percentage of the time.

GaN transistors are also capable of switching much faster, in the case of my amps ~750kHz vs 300 to 400kHz for traditional silicon transistors. This gives the amplifier a higher bandwidth and allows for a filter design that does not encroach into the audio band.

GaN transistors have no reverse-recovery charge (Qrr), this leads to much better SNR performance.

There are other benefits to GaN as well, like increased efficiency which leads to lower temperatures and therefore less thermal noise.

To provide a quantifiable number one would have to make two amplifiers one with GaN transistors and one with traditional silicon ones, with everything else being equal. This is not so simple a task. I would say this is not even possible. For example, I would not be able to replace the GaN transistors in my amp with silicon ones the amp would not function.
 

Head_Unit

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#19
...where it contains a specification unfamiliar to me: "Frequncy Reponse"
;)
I like the use of gallium nitride, it's interesting, I remember that from way back. So many people think transistors or even amps are just these magic black boxes that perform simple functions but the devil is in the details. I do agree the front panel shouldn't have visible screws, it does look home-brewed which is fine for some but a LOT of this hobby is about appearance and aesthetics and the pleasure derived thereof, which surely by affecting perception influences the sound as well (not physically mind you, but psychologically). Good luck!
 
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patate91

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#20
[QUOTE="anmpr1, post: 449152, member:

I'm not trying to be a crank but when you make these sorts of subjective claims, along with objective data-driven charts and graphs, I think the questions are appropriate. [/QUOTE]

Amir is doing it in almost every review?
 

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