Newport 2012: Veloce, YG, Audio Aero

AC power delivery is monster under the bed. Everyone is terrified of it, which is why power conditioners sell so well. Managing this “last mile” (or at least the last 10′ of it) is rather important, then, and I think the sheer variety of solutions on offer is rather interesting.

One such solution — screw that last 10′. In fact, forget that entire chain and run the whole thing on battery. This, arguably, eliminates all the issues with electrical feeds, the variability, the noise, the ground, hell, all of it. All you need your mains for, then, is to charge the battery.

I think this is pretty clever — and Veloce Audio has a clever battery-powered solution.

Veloce has recently upgraded their battery technology to support lithium powered-delivery, increasing the instantaneous current available, increasing the time-between-charges, all that stuff. In their words:

Rather than use the AC mains to feed a conventional power supply, we have designed a hybrid battery/AC system for our LS1 linestage. In this design, no AC mains power, converted, filtered or transformed, touches the audio circuits. This high-voltage battery supply essentially eliminates a multitude of problems with traditional supplies, leaving the musical signal pure, unsullied by the hash and noise of dirty AC power. We call this design Hybrid Clean Power™. Also unique, our battery power management system, SmartSupply™, switches between charge and operate modes seamlessly and without any user intervention. The playtime of the unit (without recharging) is over 100 hours!

As I mentioned at NYAV, the LS-1 Linestage is all-new for 2012. Using the Russian “supertube”, the 6H30, the Vytas Viesulas, Veloce’s Technical Director, says that this tube is more linear and more extended than the outgoing tubes, and the design uses them less harshly, which makes them more reliable, have a longer life, and in this new implementation, just sound better. The tubes are implemented with

a unique biasing system for the tube-based gain stage, which we call UltraBias™. This active biasing method works in concert with our Hybrid Clean Power™ supply to provide the tube cathodes with an electron-rich voltage source. This bias current automatically adjusts for changing battery conditions and reduces distortion by significant margins.

Here again were the still-to-be-released V6 monoblocks. Vytas mentioned that the target release date is still coming, but will feature a slight variation in the aesthetic to bring them more in line with the LS-1. Shown here with 400wpc of solid-state output and Class A tube input, these battery-powered monsters can play for 40 hours between charges.

The $19k YG Carmel poured itself a cup of coffee while it made small talk. Handsome and elegant in a svelte matte-black, brushed-aluminum dress, the Carmel is quite a looker. The Carmel uses “heavily modified” Scanspeak drivers, including a ring-radiator tweeter and a 7″ Revelator mid/bass unit.

While I thought the sound in here to be refined, with good bass extension and treble clarity, in the YG lineup, I have to say that my favorite is still the $49k Kipod Signature II that Veloce showed with back at NYAV. Of course, the difference in price is … ah … oh, hell, it’s a lot, okay? Given that disparity, the Carmel comes off as a bargain in that equation. And given the craftsmanship and obvious parts-quality of the build, I’m not puzzled at the MSRP of any of the speakers in the YG lineup.

Hey, anybody seen the Lotto Fairy lately? She said she had something for me. Anyone?

The $44,000 La Source from Audio Aero is “based on a DSP 32 bits/384 kHz with 2 channel Asynchronous Sample rate converter” and includes an Esoteric VRDS-NEO / VMK 5 transport mechanism for playing CDs and SACDs. A 24bit/192kHz asynchronous USB connection is included.