RMAF12: Getting in the mood with Audio Power Labs and Leonardo

Just in case you were thinking that KR Audio has settled, once and for all, who has the biggest tubes in audio’s high-end, along comes Audio Power Labs. Using the monster 833c, their flagship amp is the 833TNT, and at an eye-watering $175k/pair, these are the most expensive tube amps to hit the scene in my memory. 200wpc with a shocking 53dB of system gain, these art deco statements will certainly catch the eye and turn the head, especially if you light the room just-so. And yes, the APL team certainly knows how to set the mood.

A huge new panel speaker from Leonardo was a surprise for me — I thought these were Analysis panels, like the ones here. Whoops. Specs are pretty impressive: 20Hz-100kHz, 93dB sensitivity and a 4ohm nominal impedance. The speakers feature a pure ribbon for the highs and a “ribbon-planar” for the rest:

We have decided to use the push-pull technology, not very common in planar woofer design, to have the same sensitivity as the true ribbon used for the higher frequencies and to have lower distortion related to magnetic field non-linearity.
The push-pull design is made with magnets on both sides of the diaphragm, symmetrically positioned, so they are in opposition (S pole in front of S pole and N pole in front of N pole).

The result, they say, is a planar loudspeaker that can be driven with an SET. Of course, the 833TNT is hardly any ol’ SET, but I think you get the point.

A pair of Silver Circle power conditioners sat in the racks. Like the Tchaik 6’s I found upstairs, there was no reason for the overkill here other than aesthetic balance to the room — one of those Pure Power devices could easily have handled the entire room.

Another oddity here — did you catch the big bronze gong sitting square in the middle of the display? Apparently, this is an acoustical device? Hmm. Well, sure, I’ve been seeing the “resonator technology” here and there for years, but this thing is huge.

  • Laufer Teknik Memory Player 64 Ultimate digital music player: $27,950
  • Leonardo Speakers  Model 8 loudspeaker: $65,000/pair
  • Audio Power Labs 833TNT monoblock power amplifier: $175,000/pair
  • Silver Circle Audio Pure Power One 5.0 power conditioner: $5,500
  • HighEnd Novum Premium Passive Multivocal Resonator (PMR) Mk 2: $2,320

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    • Gavin:

      We keep records of the specs for each tube that is used in our amps so that we can supply individual tubes if one were to fail and need replacement. An individual 833C, tested and matched to it’s mate in the amp is $175.

      Dana Earl
      Audio Power Labs

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