Friday, September 18, 2020

AGD Audion Monoblock Power Amplifier

Introduction

AGD Productions Inc is the new kid on the high-end audio block. The brainchild of Alberto Guerra, AGC Productions Inc produces products that are distinctive and different from the competition.

For one, their amplifiers use their proprietary GaNTubeTM technology. A friend of mine mentioned, "It looks like a tube, lights up like a tube, and sounds like a tube". The photo of the GaNTubeTM below shows that a transistor based circuit housed in a vacuum tube like envelope. From the octal base, to the getter flashing on top, this looks like a typical 6550 or KT88 tube.



The GaNTubeTM is a class D circuit, utilising Gallium Nitride MOSFET transistors in lieu of conventional silicon transistors. Gallium Nitride is being touted as the next big thing in semiconductor manufacturing, boasting superior performance in more compact packages. They are superior in terms of power efficiency, thermal stability, RF production and immunity. 

Alberto Guerra enjoyed a long and illustrious career in companies like Infineon and more than knows his way around Gallium Nitride technology, holding ten patents to his name (including two in Gallium Nitride know-how).

Description

The Audion comes in a really big Pelican case. Opening the case reveals the the pair of monoblocks, product literature and a pair of power cords. The amplifiers are compact and light at 2.5 kg each. In fact, the Pelican case feels heavier than the amplifier. 

Finishing is of high quality, with a solid indestructible feel. You can opt for the brushed finish, or a chrome finish for a premium. My review sample came with the brushed finish. The company logo is engraved into the front panel, while all inputs and the power inlet is located at the rear. The excellent speaker binding posts (a pair of WBT Nexgen 5-way posts) are located on the top of the amplifier, behind the GaNTubeTM. If you are using spade terminated speaker cables, this all fits very nicely. However, if you are using banana plug terminations like me, your cables will arch gracefully (like my flexible speaker cables), or suspend your Audion amplifier in mid-air in a worst-case scenario.

The power switch is located directly above the IEC inlet and will be partially blocked by monstrous power plugs that ship with any serious garden hose. 

Otherwise operation is event-free. The GaNTube glows orange like a vacuum tube except very little heat is produced. I demonstrated this to a visiting audiophile by resting my finger on the GaNTube in the middle of a listening session. No start-up noises or power-down thumps - excellent manners for this house guest. 
 

To be continued ...

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