DIVALDI: AMP-05 – dual mono headphone amplifier that sweeps (the more expensive ones too)

Hi-End headphone amplifier DIVALDI AMP has already had more than 8 years of development on its neck (but how time flies). It must have passed a few dead ends in the labs of the Krakow-based Mediam company, until it bumped into a smooth as a table highway. The device is now so good that it just needs a bit of marketing hype around it to make the world of headphoneophiles go crazy about it…. and this is still not the last word Mediam has to say about this amplifier.

[img:9]The appearance of the slogan “A harmonious couple!” in the background was quite coincidental, while Messrs.
Waldemar Luczkoś (left) and Vladimir Duval are definitely a harmonious couple (in the business sense).

Włodzimierz Duval and Waldemar Luczkoś (Mediam): We brought with us a headphone amplifier version five. Why the fifth? Because there was 1 and 2, then 3 and 4 as OEM versions for our foreign partners well, and it fell out that now there will be 5 🙂 The leap in quality of what we have fit inside is so great that even without these OEMs along the way it could also be called AMP-05.

[img:3]DIVALDI AMP-05

Włodzimierz Duval and Waldemar Luczkoś (Mediam): Changes, changes, changes. Now, in addition to the balanced XLR jack in the middle, we have a 4.4mm PENTACON and a large 6.3mm jack. The signal switches automatically between the jacks, depending on which one you plug your headphones into. The other new feature is adjustable balance.

WOW, adjustable balance in a headphone amplifier, something that on the one hand seems such an obvious need, and on the other hand no one does it (or very few do). In the population, few people can boast fully symmetrical hearing, just as few people have a completely symmetrical face. Of course, our brain compensates for this to some extent, but not 100%, and that’s why, for example, we prefer to talk on the phone with our left or right ear, depending on which one we have the dominant one. Great that this has been introduced. The adjustment is from underneath, and what’s out of sight is out of mind, and I forgot to take a picture of it 🙂


Włodzimierz Duval and Waldemar Luczkoś (Mediam): The third novelty is a Gain switch for changing sensitivity, which replaced the power supply’s power switch. In addition, two sets of RCA inputs have been converted to switchable RCA + mini jack at the request of customers. This is, so to speak, a side effect of inquiries about the possibility of placing a DAC inside. We are working on an EXTERNAL DAC, but there is no force that would force us to put it into a chassis housing two power supplies plus a hi-end dual mono amplifier working in class A and which plays great for that – this is not only my opinion. I ask myself, how would I squeeze a digital device in there without degrading the sound?

A word of commentary, because maybe not everyone catches the problem, and it’s a perennial concern of equipment designers (even full-size ones), where analog and digital circuits are separated both by power supply and spatially by 20-30 cm (as much as space allows) due to the destructive effect of the latter on the analog circuit. And in DIVALDI’s chassis it’s at most possible to settle 2-3 cm of distance, so the designers’ objections become obvious


Włodzimierz Duval and Waldemar Luczkoś (Mediam): And besides, if I put in a weak DAC, the whole amplifier will be weak, if a good one, the price will become prohibitive, and if in a year such a bone becomes obsolete (and it will – ed,) the whole amplifier becomes a vintage because of this. And yes, there you go, there is a socket and any DAC can be connected. It’s like with a turntable, when you have a high-quality mechanical part, and you can change the cartridge and thus change the sound.
As I mentioned we are already working in our lab on an external DAC to match the line, but I won’t promise when that will happen, because these are not simple things when you want to achieve really high quality. On the other hand, I will repeat once again that the DAC inside will not be there.

[img:8]In time, there will be three power supplies to choose

Włodzimierz Duval and Waldemar Luczkoś (Mediam): It’s a complete nut job, but we were able to produce a power supply with a transformer that would comply with current European regulations, which state that transformers are not allowed inside equipment unless they have a dedicated circuit breaker.
We already have a ready-made plug-in power supply with a switch that comes standard with the AMP-05, so not any inverter that might burble, but an honest piece of copper as befits audiophile equipment. There will also be a more powerful power supply with a toroidal transformer, and we are working in parallel on an R-Core high-frequency transformer with tremendous power supply linearity.


Włodzimierz Duval and Waldemar Luczkoś (Mediam): We have also introduced new case colors and want to assign them to specific headphone models, such as gold for current-demanding headphones. Copper, bronze or titanium will have their own groups.
This is the result of gathering experience over the years, when even very titled amplifiers do not work with every headphone – so we will tune our amplifiers for several different requirements. We have already tested with: SENNHEISER HD 600 / AKG Q701 / AUDEZE LCD-3 and LCD-4 / FINAL PANDORA / FINAL D8000 PRO / HI-FI MAN from AMANDA to SUNDAR and others.

[img:6]The interior is illuminated by LEDs, which looks interesting in the blackout


Włodzimierz Duval and Waldemar Luczkoś (Mediam): The housings are made of a solid piece of aluminum and provide a collective heat sink to dissipate heat for the entire device. To maintain stable operating conditions both stabilizers and power transistors work in identical thermal conditions, here it is not that there are several heat sinks and one works more efficiently than the other introducing disharmony – here we have collective heat dissipation.
Key parts like power transistors are paired and assembled by hand, while due to space limitations components with a negligible impact on color like resistors are surface mounted (SMD).
After three days of the fair, the feedback on us was unanimous that this was the first all-analog track, from turntable to headphones and without any digital inclusions, that worked.Next year we are going to Munich, to see how the world will react to our inventions 🙂

[img:2]The role of the analog source was played by NOTTINGHAM ANALOGUE ACE SPACEDECK

The longer our conversation went on, the more my appetite to finally listen to something grew. When I was finally given the opportunity to put the FINAL D8000 PRO on my head and fire up the CD…. I would say in short: “it’s g… true that the boys do not cry”. – all you need is a sound with the right saturation of emotion (not to be confused with the emotions articulated by your partner’s point acoustic source), well something wonderful… like painting with watercolors in the shade of a tree on a summer afternoon, when the zephyr muscles the rest of your hair and the cicadas around you feel like sex.

[img:7]Oh, my eyes glazed over quickly, all I needed was a pair of good headphones, a turntable (in the future, that announced DAC) and why would anyone need big speakers, when such a pickle for the desk, was able to provide me with the strongest sensations I experienced in the flesh during this year’s Audio Video Show



The article was written by the portal infoaudio.pl