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Product Description

We believe that great hi-fi has to start with great circuit design but when the inline attenuators were introduced in 2001 it soon became apparent that there are a huge number of amplifiers around which suffer from many design flaws, mostly too much gain, not least the majority of valve pre-amps. It's not unusual to find valve pre-amps which have 30dB gain. That amount of gain means the output of a CD player will be amplified to around 60 volts but since power amps can be driven to full power with typically less than 1 volt, what is the point of so much gain?

The other common problems with many valve pre-amps are excessively high output impedance and poor signal/noise ratio. So we decided to address these shortcomings and design a valve pre-amp suited to 21st century source components and power amps whilst retaining those intangible valve virtues of warmth and transparency which are so prized.

Having experimented with all manner of valve circuit topologies over the years we're well aware that complex circuitry can often lead to dissappointing sonic performance. For that reason the Auriga is based around a very simple circuit which uses only one active device per channel and has only one signal coupling capacitor per channel, yet despite the apparent simplicity of the circuit it has a very wide bandwidth extending to over 100kHz, has low enough output impedance to drive both valve and solid state power amps (and much lower impedance than most valve pre-amps available), has the right level of gain for modern source components, and sounds absolutely beautiful.

The whole concept of the Auriga has been to simplify and streamline the design from top to bottom to preserve the integrity of the music signal. The power supply for example uses multi-stage passive filtering instead of active regulation to achieve low noise. Yes, it's a low tech approach, but it works beautifully so why over complicate matters just to end up going backwards?

Having designed such an elegant circuit, we decided to produce it in an equally elegant visual guise with enclosed (though well ventilated) valves and an un-cluttered front panel with just the essential controls to hand. There are no non-essentials anywhere to degrade the sound quality, letting you get on with enjoying music.

Each Auriga is carefully assembled and wired by hand in our UK workshops using top quality components such as polypropylene capacitors and silver plated solid core OFC wire with PTFE insulation. Each front panel is precision engraved and hand finished on the premises. Yes, it's labour intensive and expensive but by having full control of production we can ensure the highest level of performance.


inputs 5 line + 1 tape

outputs 2 main + 1 tape

bandwidth 10Hz - 100kHz

gain 8dB

input impedance 250k

output impedance 1k7

valves 1 x ECC82 per channel


Rothwell Audio

Customer Reviews

Rothwell The Auriga valve pre-amp