Audio Analogue Maestro Anniversary

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Audio Analogue Maestro Anniversary
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Last year Audio Analogue celebrated its twentieth birthday with a new, contemporary edition of the company’s first ever product, the Puccini integrated amplifier. Now, the Italian brand has given another of its original models the ‘Anniversary’ treatment: the former flagship Maestro. “The new Maestro Anniversary was a natural and logical progression following on from, and building upon, the experience we gained in developing the Puccini Anniversary,” says Audio Analogue. The company’s design team spent tireless months on R&D for the latter, conducting intense exploration and experimentation around the concept of zero feedback. Therefore it made sense, following the success of the Puccini Anniversary, to apply that same learning to another proven Audio Analogue design, the Maestro – and to take it even further.

The basic design of the Maestro Anniversary is very similar to that of the Puccini but with two important differences. First, the amplification chain is fully balanced from input to the output stage, only becoming unbalanced to connect to the speakers. Second, while the Puccini does use feedback in the preamp stage, in the Maestro all stages are without global feedback. The Maestro Anniversary extends the ‘dual-mono’ design further to include the power supply: left and right channels not only have their own separate grounds but also their own dedicated 600 watt mains transformers.  The separate output stages use four pairs of power transistors per channel, enabling the amp to deliver 150 watts into 8 ohms, rising to 500 watts into 2 ohms.

The amp’s circuitry is highly refined, with military-standard resistors, custom-made polypropylene audio grade capacitors, 7N OCC copper internal wiring and pure copper output connectors. The routing of the PCB was carefully optimized, while the use of heavy pure copper tracks (double the standard thickness) enables improved power delivery. As with the power amp’s circuits, the preamplifier is also fully ‘dual-mono’. Immediately behind the input connectors, switching relays route the signal to a discrete buffer to isolate the amplifier from the source. The volume control is a resistor ladder, the preamp amplifies up to about 12dB. Each of the Maestro Anniversary’s three key elements - power supply, preamplifier and power amp - is housed on a separate board which to minimize interaction.

All in all, the new Maestro Anniversary is a unique amplifier and a fine addition to the Audio Analogue range. Its extraordinary driving skills are coupled with a refined musicality that is not commonly found in such a muscular amp. A muscular amp that comes in at £6,499.