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.

Audio Note is one company that has never needed to cloud its philosophy in marketing double-talk. Their premise has always been rather simple — directly heated triodes in single-ended mode with no global feedback. They feel, and much of the audio industry agrees, that transistor based amplifiers are fundamentally flawed because they are a semi-conductor yet live music is a linear sonic event.
Simplicity is at the heart of every Audio Note amplifier. They pay homage to the idea that every component exerts an influence on the sound, so they must each be of the very best possible quality. It is a powerful concept achieved through visionary engineering, extensive research and development.
Refinement is the central theme to every Audio Note Amplifier. They do not believe in applying bigger, louder or more complex solutions to their products. Instead they seek to establish greater value through better sound. They look for solutions in technology, techniques, parts, materials and amplifying devices that can be shown to provide better low level behaviour, as they believe these are the most important aspects.

About Audio Note Conqueror

The Conqueror is a classic Audio Note design, which follows many of the criteria that they have always championed. It is a stereo single-ended triode (SET) power amp built using the venerable 300B tube.
It features a Copper topped chassis and a zero feedback single ended  300B output stage which is driven via a paper in oil capacitor coupled 6SN7.  The power supply uses choke smoothed valve rectification (a 5U4G).
This amp is capable of sheer magic. It imbues the proceedings with a palpable air of realism; the resulting soundscapes are beautifully detailed and with well recorded pieces, there is a reach-out-and-touch quality to the way instruments are delineated and projected. Its natural mates are Audio Note AN-J’s or AN-E’s. The Conqueror Silver is a great upgrade.
There are six different versions of the Conqueror available. It comes with either a silver aluminium or black acrylic fascia. There is a low gain version available for each model these are especially recommended for use with active pre amplifiers or efficient speakers, where the high gain of the standard version is too much and where noise needs to be reduced to a minimum. There is no difference in price between the High and Low gain versions.
Audio Note Conqueror integrated amplifier.
Audio Note Conqueror Low Gain integrated amplifier.
Audio Note Conqueror Silver integrated amplifier.
Audio Note Conqueror Silver Low Gain integrated amplifier.
Audio Note Conqueror Silver Signature integrated amplifier.
Audio Note Conqueror Silver Signature Low Gain integrated amplifier.
The Silver and Silver Signature version have higher quality parts including resistors, capacitors and wiring.

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.”

 

To read the full review of the Audio Note Quest in Stereo Times please click here

 To read another review of the Audio Note Quest in tnt-audio please click here