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RMAF 2011: YG, Veloce

I’ve seen Veloce at Axpona and somewhere else and each time have been impressed with the look, feel, and the sound — with all their associated gear. At Axpona, the $18k Veloce LS-1 linestage fronted a YG Anat — here at RMAF 2011, I found the more modest (ahem) $49k YG Kipod II Signatures receiving the business end of the signal path. I think this was the last, of six, rooms I found various YG speakers in; quite frankly, I was a little taken aback at running into the brand over and over. But sometimes that’s what it takes, because by the end of RMAF, I counted myself a fan of the sound that the metal beasts were capable of putting out. But the best of YG at RMAF was here, in the Veloce room.

Veloce, for those of you that don’t know, is a battery-and-tube brand, doing their manufacturing right outside of Philadelphia, PA. Quite recently, Veloce has switched from Sealed-Lead-Acid batteries to a Lithium-based one. The new batteries deliver far more current and do it faster than the old SLABs, are good for an astonishing 100 hours or so of playback on their linestage and have an expected life of nearly double the old. Tons of power and no AC-line grunge? Sounds like a winner to me.

Unlike some, Veloce isn’t a “full” battery-powered solution. Lose power, and the Veloce system won’t work. Sorry, no tailgating with Veloce. Most of the internals are powered from battery, yes — including everything that actually touches the audio signal path. But non-essentials are still derived from the wall, including logic boards in the preamp and tube heaters in the amp and the pre. This is, at least in part, how Veloce gets their gear to last for so long on a charge. Very clever!

What’s new? How about the V-6 monoblocks? Rated the same at 400wpc into 8 or 4ohms, these amps feature a tube driver stage and are transformer coupled to a Hypex bridged Class D output module. On their batteries, they should be good for 40 hours or so. They’re expected to run about $14k when they’re finally ready for release sometime around New Years 2012.

Veloce Audio’s Vytas Viesulas & Mark Conti

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