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Soraya CB105
Power Amplifier

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SORAYA CB105 - Retail Only

Soraya CB105 with top cover removed

The Soraya CB105 is the flagship power amplifier from Aspen, newly redeveloped for 2009, and delivering even more spectacular performance. This bipolar transistor, Class AB power amplifier is the distillation of more than 12 years of painstaking R&D to produce a man/machine interface of resounding clarity. The Soraya delivers an audiophile experience of profound musical intensity, crossing the threshold of tube 'warmth' to a new domain of sonic intimacy. Every detail of the recording is heard in its complete, authentic environment, the noise performance is vanishingly low and the presentation so natural that the realism is palpable and wholly convincing.

The Soraya delivers 105 watts RMS into an 8 ohm load and 195 watts into a 4 ohm load. The amplifier possesses effortless load tolerance, driving electrostatic loudspeakers with consummate ease down to 2.5 ohms. Input sensitivity for 100W output into 8R is 940mVrms into 33K. The Soraya uses a unique front end topology which drives the feedback with unerring accuracy, and has a closed loop gain of 29.6dB, with 3dB points at 12Hz and 35Khz, limited at the top end solely by a low pass filter. Global negative feedback is limited to 14dB and with special circuitry rendered extremely accurate. Distortion is primarily second and third harmonic, and measures less than 0.012% at 50W into 8R, at all frequencies from 20Hz to 20Khz. What is not obvious from these figures is the extraordinary bass performance, which is powerful, precise and articulate, and the vivid, highly detailed midrange and top end.


The listening experience of the Soraya somehow combines extraordinary resolution with a smooth, refined and intense musicality. Music is vivid, and real. Any hint of a surgical, sharp presentation so common with solid state is completely eliminated with this amplifier. Imaging is rock solid and accurate, clearly exhibited with large orchestral music. Measured specification is one thing, but it belies the intangible qualities of musicality and 'thereness', which rank with the finest solid state Class A devices for resolution, whilst rivalling the very best single ended triodes for engagement.

The Soraya, which debuted at RMAF Denver in October 2007, is named after the designer's daughter, a feisty, well educated young woman. The amplifier was developed specifically to overcome the problems of semiconductors operating in transconductance mode using the problematic common emitter configuration. Common emitter configuration is normally used for the voltage amplification stage (VAS), but suffers from Miller capacitance and Early effect, well known parasitic problems related to this solid state topology. Together with the Bode/Nyquist criteria for stability, these parasitics combine to create distortion artefacts which are extremely difficult to eliminate in conventional designs. Traditionally high feedback factors have been used to ameliorate, but never completely eliminate, these distortions.

The Soraya is something very special. All who hear this amplifier are transfixed with the sound quality. This is not something easy to miss; it is vividly apparent on first listening, and still brings a smile to audiophiles after months of listening. Delivering this level of satisfaction is a reward to designer and purchaser alike.

 

 

 

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