Thank you! I am approaching the deisgn of this integrated as a TRUE ACT OF LOVE AND PASSION! I have been SO SLAMMED with end of year demand, pending CES and other issues that I have not made as much progress as I would like, but the chassis design, input circtuitry, power supply demands and choice of output devices have all been determined - at least for prototyping. I also have a sample 1300VA power transforer (14Kg!).
I am shooting for end of Q2 for soonest release, but to be honest, it will NOT be released until I am certain that it is RIGHT.
I was uncertain how to approach this area of integrated products, vs. separates. My initial intent was a $4K-$5K product that would essentially be a combination of our LS 100/KWA 100 design but hybrid, with tube input stage. I soon found that the hybrid design - done RIGHT - would add more cost than expected, i.e. transformer coupled, no capacitors in signal path, zero negative feedback, for purest signal path. I also feel that the design should be min. 200W into 8 ohms and I plan to offer integral DAC for maximum integration. Chassis will necessarily be very rigid to accmodate oversided power transformer. Ultimately, this will be a more expensive and higher-end product than initially anticipated. It will be designed to be EXCEPTIONAL and the price will be determined by our end build cost. I am not indicating that this will be a COST NOT OBJECT design with stratospheric retail price, just that it will be in a different price-point than our current 100 series products.
I plan for it to be not so much of an integrated amp as a central music playback piece, requiring only ONE pair of HIGH QUALITY speaker cables, ONW digital cable or pair of analog interconnects, ONE HIGH QUALITY power cord, and a great pair of speakers. The DAC will allow for multiple digital inputs, including USB, SPDIF and AES/EBU(XLR). There will also of course be line-inputs for phono and other analog sources, but the principle will be to simplify, integrate and provide the shortest signal path with the absolute purest and most musical sound possible.
Aesthetics will be EXEPTIONAL and WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) will be very high. Not to mention the lack of cabling and multiple boxes will please the wife also. In its simplest form, the integrated amp could be fed digital from a central music server and you have at your fingertips, a library of potentially an unlimited library of music!
Thanks for all of your feedback and I will certainly contact beta testers when complete - and not JUST in the U.S.!
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.www.modwright.com