Soulution Audio 530 Integrated Amplifier with Phono! Like New $45k MSRP

$19,995

Relatively rare and incredibly made integrated from Swiss company Soulution Audio.

Unique design with integrated display and phono section.

Comes complete with the original box, manual, and remote.

LIKE NEW CONDITION!

Design:

The amplifier external design is the work of Greutmann Bolzern Designstudio from Zurich. The design received the "red dot design award 2012 Best of the Best" in the category "Entertainment technology and cameras". It will not appeal to everyone. The amplifier is massive and does not look like an audio component. Its faceplate is almost empty, except for the volume control knob, display and three buttons. So is the rear panel. We control the amp with a small remote control unit included with all pre-amps and SACD players from that manufacturer.

The device has been designed in such a way as to constitute a compact, rigid unit. It consists of aluminum plates on the outside, huge radiators on the sides and various screens inside, separating different sections from each other. The whole sits on specially designed feet. They feature two aluminum discs with three steel balls inserted between them – similar to CeraPuc feet from Finite Elemente. I am in favor of a rigid connection between individual components, just like one of my masters, Mr. Ken Ishigura, the owner of Acoustic Revive who I met last November at the Audio Show 2012 in Warsaw. Engineers from Soulution apparently think likewise.

The interior is divided into three horizontal sections. The top two house the preamplifier and power amplifiers, and the largest bottom section is the power supply. The preamplifier is mounted on one large printed circuit board, including both voltage controllers as well as line and phono sections. The circuit is built on Analog Devices AD797 and Burr Brown OPA627 (phono section), and transistors and Burr Brown OPA 627 (line section). Relay switches are used to select the active input from whence the signal is sent to a very sophisticated volume control system. This fully discreet system uses high-precision, low-noise metal foil resistors switched by reed relays – the best components of that kind, sadly, very rarely seen. They can also be found in McIntosh and ASR. They guarantee a long service life. To avoid switching noise, the system has been paralleled by the classical Burr Brown PGA2320 resistor ladder. At the time of volume level change the Burr Brown is switched in the signal path and the discrete circuit is used to select volume level in the "background". Ultra-purist design but it makes sense.

The circuit is coupled via capacitors. A prototype had used Mundorf M-CAM MKP but in the unit I received they were bypassed with beautiful Mundorf M-Cap Supreme Silver/Gold/Oil, in other words, oil capacitors. Phono preamp section looks equally impressive: it employs Evox capacitors and more Mundorf MKP as coupling capacitors. Pre-amp power supply section is very complex. DC power is regulated in the bottom section of the device housing the switched-mode power supply but the final rectification, filtering and stabilization takes place on the preamplifier main PCB. The power supply section employs Mundorf M-Lytic AG+ capacitors and discrete voltage controllers on the ON transistors.

Power amplifier section is placed directly below. It is a fully solid-state dual-mono design. Unfortunately, I was unable to get to it so I do not know exactly how it is built. What is known is that it uses five pairs of bipolar transistors per channel in the current amplification stage.

The bottom section houses four huge 600 W cutting-edge switched-mode power supply units, capable of delivering 2400 W. It is divided into two parts – voltage regulation and rectification and filtering. It seems that the preamplifier has a separate power supply, additionally shielded. The manufacturer quotes a total of nine power supply units in the 530, optimized for their specific functions. The power supplies for digital and audio circuits are electrically isolated from each other by optocouplers and transformers.

The unit is designed and built to work and sound the same in 10, 20 or more years. No expense was spared on passive components. The amplifier uses proprietary solutions which the Soulution engineers are convinced of: switched-mode power supplies, deep local negative feedback, signal coupling via capacitors and an interesting volume control system. With the 530 we not only get outstanding sound but equally outstanding performance.

Our Testing Process for Amplifiers (Solid State) at SkyFi:

We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure there are no signs of stress or aging. Capacitors are checked for telltale sings of bulging or leaking, resistors are checked for signs of overheating or cracking, and transistors are checked for signs of stress or damage.

We then power up the unit carefully and run a simple 1k sine wave while monitoring the output on an oscilloscope for signs of distortion or noise. Finally, we run the amplifier to its full rated power into the appropriate resistive load provided by our Sencore amplifier tester. If there is an issue, it will usually be noticeable at this point. If everything reads clean, we will often test for THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) measured by our Keithley distortion meter, and compare it against the original manufacturers specifications. The amplifier then remains powered on to "burn in" on our test bench for a few hours to make sure there are no heat related issues. If there are balanced inputs available they will be also be tested.

Final testing involves pushing actual music thorough the amplifier. We've learned over time that some issues are only noticeable to a trained ear while listening to familiar source material. Our test bench has reference vintage KEF speakers that we're very familiar with which quickly reveal any discrepancies. Some amplifiers will then move into our listening room where they are tested with our in-house reference speakers of choice.

Click here for a PDF copy of the Soulution Audio 530 INT / Integrated Amplifier Owner's Manual

Specifications

Mains
220 – 240 V (50 – 60 Hz)
100 – 120 V (50 – 60 Hz)

Power consumption
< 0.5 W Standby
idle 150 W
max 1600 W

Outputs
2 pairs Cu-terminal,
gold plated

Gain
– 31 dB bis + 42 dB

Power output
125 W @ 8 Ω
250 W @ 4 Ω
500 W @ 2 Ω

Pulse power
> 5,000 W

Frequency response (– 3 dB)
0 – 800 kHz

THD + N
< 0.001% at 50 W @ 4 Ω
(20 Hz – 20 kHz)

IM distortions
< 0.005 % SMPTE
< 0.0006 CCIR

Signal-to-noise ratio
> 120 dB (5 W @ 1 kHz)

Channel separation
> 110 dB @ 1 kHz

Damping factor
> 10 000

Output current max
45 A (limited)

Inputs
2 × balanced (XLR)
2 × unbalanced (RCA)
1 × Phono (RCA)

Input impedance
3 kΩ balanced (XLR)
3 kΩ unbalanced (RCA)
Phono configurable

Dimensions
(W × H × D)
17.5" x 13.8 x 17.7
442 × 350 × 448 mm

Weight
approx. 82 lbs. / 40 kg

LINK (remote turn-on)
12 V control signal

Please click here for detailed specifics regarding our specialized packing process that separates us from the rest.

Item

Included

Original Box

Yes

Manual

Yes

Remote

Yes

Cables

Yes - Power

Physical Condition

8

Working Condition

10

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