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Soulnote A-3 Integrated Amplifier – Impressive stereo integrated amplifier from Japan

The Japanese company Soulnote Inc. is now presenting a new stereo integrated amplifier, the new Soulnote A-3 Integrated Amplifier, which it sees as a particularly powerful solution and thus a worthy system of the Soulnote Series 3.

Story Highlights
  • A combination of Soulnote P3 and Soulnote M-3 is said to have served the developers of Soulnote Inc. as inspiration for the new stereo integrated amplifier Soulnote A-3 Integrated Amplifier.

The renowned Japanese company Soulnote Inc. describes the latest addition to the Soulnote Series 3, the Soulnote A-3 Integrated Amplifier, as the Soulnote P-3 Pre-Amplifier and two Soulnote M-3 Monoblocks packed into one housing without making any compromises.

The manufacturer is convinced that this is a powerful amplifier that will serve as the new flagship in the stereo integrated amplifier sector in view of the performance data offered here.

Preamplifier and mono block in one housing

Of course, Soulnote Inc. is not the only high-end HiFi manufacturer to rely on the concept of essentially combining several components in one, but the combination of the top models Soulnote P-3 and Soulnote M-3 as the inspiration and basis for the new Soulnote A-3 has been achieved without compromise in order to enable a consistently gripping, emotional performance with high power reserves.

Complete symmetry

A very important aspect of achieving this is the fully balanced design of the new Soulnote A-3 Integrated Amplifier. This starts with the inputs, where three balanced inputs plus a balanced Rec Out are available, although unbalanced connections are not completely omitted, so that there are also three unbalanced RCA pairs as inputs and a Rec Out, also unbalanced as a pair of RCA sockets.

Symmetry is also guaranteed by the complete separation of the left and right channels, each of which even has its own earth lead. In addition, by separating the control signals of the selector switch, volume, protection circuit and other relays with an opto-coupler, complete ground isolation is achieved, taking capacitive and inductive components into account, as the manufacturer explains.

Amplifier circuit with non-negative feedback

The manufacturer particularly emphasises the completely feedback-free operation of the new Soulnote A-3 Integrated Amplifier, which is referred to as non-negative feedback. The output stage uses a single-push-pull SEPP circuit equipped with a bipolar TO3 transistor to guarantee unadulterated reproduction with precise timing, as the manufacturer promises. If desired, the connection to the ground contact can be disconnected using a selector switch, for example to prevent ground loops when connecting multiple players.

The power supply is based on two 700 VA toroidal transformers, which are supported by film capacitors with a high dielectric strength and low capacitance of only 470 uF as rectifier capacitors. The rectifier diodes are SiC diodes of the latest specification with increased permissible inrush current, as the manufacturer states, so that an extremely powerful and fast power supply is achieved.

Massive use of materials with well thought-out details

A special feature of the new Soulnote A-3 Integrated Amplifier is also found in the housing, and this does not mean the solid aluminium and steel construction that forms a solid base.

For example, not all elements are firmly screwed in place; for acoustic reasons, a free structure is used here, such as the amplifier block, which relies on a lateral three-point sliding structure with titanium glides. According to the manufacturer, this minimises both the vibrations of the transformer and the natural vibrations of the amplifier.

The solid housing rests on three spikes, with a matching base plate included in the scope of delivery. Interestingly, this is made of birch wood, so it is quite intentional that the weight of the amplifier drives the spikes a few millimetres into the wood, so that a stable connection is guaranteed.

Key technical data of the Soulnote A-3 Integrated Amplifier

To summarise everything written so far in figures, the new Soulnote A-3 Integrated Amplifier delivers an output of twice 120 watts into 4 ohms according to the data sheet. With dimensions of 454 x 184 x 407 mm including spikes, it weighs an impressive 31 kg.

Prices and availability

The new Soulnote A-3 Integrated Amplifier should be available from specialist retailers these days, with a choice between a black and silver finish. Either way, it comes with a high-quality remote control, which is made in Austria from an exquisite combination of zinc and acrylic. The recommended retail price is listed at € 20.990,-.

Getting to the point

Soulnote Inc. calls the latest stereo integrated amplifier in the Soulnote 3 Series a worthy flagship, as it combines the Soulnote P-3 preamplifier and two Soulnote M-3 mono blocks, and, as it explicitly states, without making any compromises. The result should be a stereo integrated amplifier that guarantees a particularly emotional performance, as the Japanese High-end HiFi manufacturer expressly emphasises.

Price€ 20.990,-
HerstellerCSR Inc.
VertriebIAD GmbH
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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