Grand Pre X-1 Preamplifier
State of the Art Control Center. Reference Quality DAC.
The Grand Pre X-1 is a full featured state-of-the-art control center with cutting edge digital-to-analog conversion and digital connectivity designed for the modern day music listener. Featuring:
Useful Tip -
Press and hold the currently active input button to dim all of the LEDs on the Grand Pre X-1's faceplate for late night listening.
- 24/192 ESS 9018 Sabre32 DAC
- Asynchronous USB
- Coax, Optical, BNC
- Balanced/SE Line In and Out
- Bascom King Tube Buffer
- Headphone Amp
- 80Hz High Pass Filter
- Home Theater Bypass
- 3 Analog Inputs
The X1 upgrade uses an XMOS receiving chip. This makes high resolution audio easier for your computer to handle because 1) it requires no drivers for Mac OS and a very simple driver for Windows and 2) it uses less RAM, so your computer has more headroom and sounds better.
If you want to achieve the highest possible resolution for computer audio, streaming audio devices, or even your CD player, the Grand Pre X-1 will take those devices to a reference level of audio reproduction. When faced with the extremes of bad power supplies, grounding issues and high jitter, most preamps and DACs fail to deliver maximum performance. The Grand Pre X-1, on the other hand, was developed with these unique problems in mind.
Amarra works with your existing iTunes library and makes the music you love sound better than ever. All Amarra products are designed to optimize the handling and processing of digital audio in your Mac. For more information on the Amarra music player visit the Sonic Studio website.
The reasons it sounds so good . . .
- Reference ESS Sabre32 DAC knocks jitter down to < 1 picosecond for accurate sound reproduction
- Galvanic Isolation eliminates noise generated by switching power supplies in source components
- New asynchronous 24/192 USB input provides the best connection between computer and DAC
- VCA gain control for minimal noise and cross talk replaces the commonly used potentiometer
- New Bascom King tube buffer rejuvenates poor recordings and compressed audio
Most DACs on the market were developed to accept low-jitter devices like a good CD player. The heart of the Grand Pre X-1 is the top of the line ESS Sabre32 ES9018 Reference DAC, specialized for computers or other sources that deliver high levels of timing errors. The Sabre32 DAC's patented jitter-reduction circuit re-clocks the digital signal to less than one picosecond before passing it through its high-resolution processor.
The USB Input
The Peachtree USB is the highest quality connection possible for your computer. It is 24/192 capable, accepting 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192khz sampling rates, and uses the latest in asynchronous communication. Asynchronous allows the Grand Pre X-1's internal high-precision clock to control the flow of data coming from the computer. This method lowers incoming jitter so the Sabre32 DAC has fewer timing errors to re-clock. The galvanically isolated input eliminates noise generated by your computer's switching power supply and greatly improves the sound quality.
The preamplifier stage is designed to maintain the quality of the digital-to-analog conversion through a short signal path, avoiding noise and signal loss. A dual mono gain control is used, measuring .025db channel to channel - creating pinpoint imaging for a virtual 3D soundstage. The preamp's wide dynamics and black backgrounds are created by discrete class A output stages with up to 18V output.
The Tube Buffer
The Grand Pre X-1 employs a Bascom King hybrid tube design, using two musically legendary 12AU7s. The tube buffer will smooth the harsh digital edge found in poor recordings and compressed audio. A tube bypass button, found on the remote control, allows for solid state or hybrid tube listening modes. This is also possible when using the built-in high-performance headphone amplifier.
Grand Pre X-1 Specifications
Grand Pre X-1 Back Stage Pass
1) AC Power Cord Attachment & Fuse: Detachable.
2) Standby Switch: Turns mains on and off.
3) 12V Trigger: Turns on other 2-12V connected devices.
4) Digital Filter Slope: User selectable DAC filter slopes. Sharp measures better but slow is generally preferred.
5) BNC Digital Input: Professional 75ohm digital connection.
6 & 7) Coaxial Digital Input 1 & 2: Common on CD players, Sonos players, Slim Devices Squeezebox, and a host of other digital audio sources.
8 & 9) Optical Digital Input 1 & 2: Common on CD players, cable boxes, Apple products, and other digital audio sources.
10) Aux/HT Bypass Switch: HT bypass mode allows the user to integrate the Grand Pre into a Home Theater setup by making Aux1 a “throughput” for the surround processor.
11 & 12) Aux/HT Input & Aux 2 Analog Input: Line-level input suitable for tuners, phono stages, tape decks, etc.
13) Balanced XLR/Unbalanced RCA Switch: Allows the user to select between unbalanced input or balanced input Aux 2.
14) Balanced XLR Aux Input: Line-level input most often used with high-end CD players and other analog sources.
15) Voltage Switching: For international use.
16) USB Digital Input: Takes digital audio content off your computer and sends it to the Sabre DAC via asynchronous configuration.
17) Line Out: Fixed output to use Grand Pre X-1 as remote switching DAC into another preamp.
18) High Pass Pre Out: Operates full frequency when the High Pass switch isn’t activated. When the switch is activated, it outputs at 80Hz and above with a 12db/octave slope.
19) Pre Out: Connects to an external amplifier or a subwoofer.
20) Balanced XLR Pre Out: Variable balanced output used to connect to high-end amplifiers with balanced inputs.
Fixed line-level RCA stereo output: 2V rms, 448 ohms
Variable RCA stereo output: 8V rms /11.2V peak, 448 ohms
Variable Balanced stereo output: 18V rms/25V peak, 50 ohms
S/N at the variable analog output 104db
Jitter measured at the master clock < 1.0ps
Power supply: 69,000uf of filtering
CH/CH tracking: 0.025dB
Stereo separation: 96dB
Defeatable 80Hz high-pass output
Selectable Home Theater Bypass input
Independent discrete outputs
Dimensions: 4.8 x 17.5 x 16.5 (inches) Including feet, knob, and connectors
Weight: 24 lbs
Warranty: 3 years parts and labor 6 mo. tubes
Design and Final Assembly in U.S.A.
The full function remote control includes phase inversion and tube switching which allows you to customize your listening experience on the fly.
"... the experience was highly impressive as well as musically compelling."
Read the full review...
As part of their extensive review of the Grand Integrated, 6moons also does a thorough analysis of the preamplifier section - which the Grand Integrated and Grand Pre share.
Read more here...
I really like what these guys are doing with product convergence and there's a LOT of stuff to see/hear in their room. Kudos for the Peter Gabriel.
To my mind, Peachtree Audio is seizing the moment and looking to continue doing so for some time. Computer Audio is exciting. It's bringing new people into the hobby, bringing the idea of better sound quality out of the audiophile basement and down from the ivory tower into the light of plain as day. It's casting a net toward all of the Net music lovers and bringing them home to better sound.
It's the perfect name for a preamp, I thought. Grand Pre, if not Grand Prix, has a certain ring to it. The first upmarket product from the company that has made a name for itself with its high-performance iDecco, iNova, and iDac, the Grand Pre will be priced at $3000.
Every one at Peachtree was very happy with how the products turned out sonically and visually. I went into the show with high expectations from the new Grand Series of components. After the first few notes were played from a MacBook Pro (USB) through the Grand Integrated and Sonus Faber Elipsalink loudspeakers I was hooked.
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