Audio Note Conqueror Power Amplifier
About Audio Note Amplifiers
Audio Note manufacture a complete range of valve amplifiers. Though their name may be synonymous with the likes of the Onkagu, they start from very reasonable prices. An Integrated OTO starts from £1,900, an M-Zero Pre-amp from £1,050 and a Vindicator Power- Amp from £2,400.
About Audio Note Conqueror
Audio Note Conqueror Reviews
Note this review is for the Quest, the larger version of the Conqueror.
“Similar to Audio Note’s best amplifier products, such as the $60,000 Ongaku (Japanese for music or sound & joy) and the $95,000 Gaku-On (more music!), the subject of this review, the Quest, features six AN technical criteria. They are “zero feedback, pure class A, single-ended, direct-heated triode output stage, valve rectification and materials and component quality.”
Each Quest monoblock features one 300B output tube, driven by one half of a triode 6SN7WGTA tube, with the other half acting as the input stage, and a choked coupled 5U4G tube for power supply rectification. The amplifier is hard-wired throughout, using AN’s copper foil paper-in-oil signal capacitors, and an IE cored transformer with high quality silicon steel laminations, wound with OFC wire. Frequency response for this transformer is 20Hz to 40kHz within 1.5dB.
Only RCA inputs are provided with detachable power cords and three metallic 3-way speaker binding posts for negative, 8ohms and 4ohms impedance. A tube cage is not available. At only 23lbs each, a Quest is easily carried around. The very narrow and long chassis enables side-by-side placement.
The Quest represents the lowest-priced Audio Note “Level 3” single-ended monoblocks utilizing the 300B output tubes. The lower model is the Conqueror 300B stereo amplifier, while a pair of Conquest monoblocks surpasses the Quest with two 300B tubes on each amplifier doubling the output to 18 watts in parallel single-ended configuration.
Upgrade of Quest’s 300B tubes from the Chinese stock to Western Electric’s costs $500 for the pair. A $4,000 “Silver” upgrade adds proprietary tantalum resistors, copper foil signal capacitors, Black Gate electrolytic capacitors and High B copper wired C-core output transformers. “Silver Signature” upgrade of the Quest’s utilizes more Black Gate’s, with Audio Note silver wiring and copper wired thin lamination Radiometal 36 C-core transformers, for another $5,600.”