Audio Experience A1 Preamplifiers

5/5 (2 Reviews) MSRP : $800.00

Product Description

Audio Experience Balanced A1 Full Balanced Tube Line Preamplifier.

After more than two years of research, testing, and development, we are proud to announce the arrival of our flagship preamplifier:
The Audio Experiences Balanced A1. A fully balanced tube preamp, the A1 is the latest design from the labs of world-renowned Mr. Chui Yat Sang. As a professional designer of premium audio products with over {{x}} years in development, Mr. Chui incorporates a hand-wired, point-to-point manufacturing philosophy into every high-end audio component that we offer. The Balanced A1 is by no means an exception.


Innovative problem solving in the Balanced A1’s Class A, + wave auto-balance circuitry offers wonderfully realistic, dynamic, open-sounding music that will please the ears and stir the soul of even the most discerning listener. The gain stage of the main circuit is a fully balanced design, each channel using one 12AT7 and one 12AU7 vacuum tube to form zero negative feedback (0 NFB). The A1 line stage employs specialized tubes to project a clean, fresh soundstage while effectively preventing RF and vibration interference. The low impedance output stage is defining yet truthful to each note.

The Balanced A1’s application of a highly efficient solid-state regulator in the HVB+ power supply produces a sonic quality that is completely stable, lively, and rhythmically true to its source. At the heart is an extremely quiet power supply comprised of a fast, large current, R-core transformer. The shortest possible cable connections inside are the signature of the Mr. Chui ’s master craftsmanship.

Simply put, this preamp is perfect for people who love music. Only the ultimate components are included (Dale, Philips resistors, Wima caps) ensuring the most neutral sounding music and a truly extraordinary listening experience. No need to hesitate. Bring a home a sonic paradise with the Audio Experiences Balanced A1.

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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Hifi Music a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 5, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I previously owned a Symphony for a few years and was happy with it until upgrade fever took again. Though i did modified the Symphony with higher grade caps, I was in the mood for the A1 for few reasons, fully balanced circuit, 0 neg feedback, four all balanced and line level inputs. Since I had a balanced Dac and Balanced power amp and last i had good experience with the company with is good value for sound quality. So I wroted Nelson and went for a straight upgrade with Sonicap coupling caps for a few more bucks.Preamp comes with decent cheneese tubes.

After two weeks, I got the preamp at post office and was happy to go home for a listenig session. First evening I got a problem with one of the volume pot. The preamp was going from normal listening to full volume without any warning. This thing runs a Classe CA-101,at full volume, house was shaking and kids where hiding in the wardrob. There was also an issue with one of the line level input not playing on one side. After discussion with Nelson and fair bit of negociation, Nelson accepted to pay full transport back and forth for warranty service since i had problem from day one. So no cost for the problem.

Take two: Preamp came back and problems issue was over. Thanks for good customer support. For those of you fearing an issue, don't worry, the man is there behind is product. Now the sound; Set up, signal from a CEC cd transport to Wyred 4 sound DAC 1, through the A1 to Classe CA-101, to Jm Lab Focal Electra 915.1. All wired with excellent cables (Mogami 2364 quad flex) and plugs (Neutrik). Break in was not so long after a 50 hrs, sound was quiet stable. But the A1 needs to warm up before singing. After two hours, it comes to is best. With the Cheneese tubes you get a good overhaul balanced sound almost flat with a little emphasis on midrange, but I know that is part of the signature of the Electra and the room. I tried the A1 against a Classe CP-50 which is a very good ss pre. Playing mostly classic and jazz with acoustic instrument (personnal preference). Match was close The A1 is more open, less compressed sound with great dynamics under control, as deep in bass but with little less control, that's the price for more uncompressed sound (see tube review later) Sound of A1 get better imaging and soundstage, instrument placement is more 3D. A1 sounds more real, more tranparent. Voices are coming into the room and are a pure delight. Even my stepmother notice it when listening to Melody Gardot or Jacques Brel. She is astonished by the sound quality and the hearing of the voices into the room. I also tried the A1 against a Dynaco Pass 4, Pass 4 as more bass and punch but does not get the midrange lush, the openess and imaging of the A1. The A1 is more musical and refined, just the good amount of details without being to analytic. Very impressed for the money.

Take three: Tube rolling, The A1 as a pair of 12AU7 ECC 82 and a pair of 12AT7 ECC 81. and at this price there is still some money left for good tubes.
Cheneese tubes: Good overall sound, fair soudstage and imaging, quiet at rest.
Genalex Gold Lion both ECC 81 and 82. High output tubes, good bass and better control than the Chineese, soundstage is wide, deep and high, yes 3D, imaging and instrument placement is excellent. midrange is excellent but to the edge of becoming to much as presence (my speaker and room signature). So in an other system it might be fine. Strange thing, these are the most microphonic tubes i owned. Doesn't semm to impart on sound. Quiet tube at rest or low volume.
JJ Tesla ECC 82 with NOS Amperex, Blackburn series ECC81. Sound as solid state and there was a some white noise. I keep the JJ as spare tubes.
RCA used vintage ECC 82 with NOS Amperex, Blackburn series ECC81. Nice warm sound, good soundstage but not the best compared to Genalex,a little more compressed and less output than the Genalex but this is not a default, very casual setup for hours of pleasant listening. One of the RCA tubes started poping and test revealed a leak. to bad.
Genalex ECC 82 with NOS Amperex, Blackburn series ECC81. Voilà, all the benefit of the Genalex duo but with little more bass and control, less midrange, same huge soundstage, excellent imaging and instrument placement a little bit more compressed sound but still very lively, dynamic, tranparent and open.

Strenght: Sound for the money, openess, transparent uncompressed sound, good construction,hand made point to point except for input and output boards.

Cons: Service is a bit far

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Cheadle a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 14, 2010

Bottom Line:   
Superb pre-amp... Very quiet background. Excellent dynamics, expansive soundstage, deep tuneful bass, sweet, lush mids with a crystalline top end, not harsh at all. Used with a Glowmaster KT88 in balanced mode. Excellent value for money, compared very favourably with an expensive 2 box pre-amp.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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