Octave Audio: From Industrial Transformers to Audio Components

Audiomania has expanded its range of high-end audio amplifiers from the German manufacturer Octave Audio. For us, this is a reason to tell a little about the company, which next year will celebrate its 40th anniversary since its foundation.

Today, Octave Audio is well known as a developer and manufacturer of high-quality tube amplifiers and high-end preamplifiers, but in the late 60s transformers were its main focus.

Then the father of the current head of Andreas Hofmann, Mr. Hofmann Sr., was at the helm.

Photo of Max Pixel / CC BY-ND

At the time of the opening, Andreas was still a child, but he made his first contribution to the development of the company and its strategic transition to the production of audio components in 1975, when he was not even 20 years old. He presented his first transistor and tube amplifying elements.

Andreas was seriously influenced by the training under the leadership of the father of an electrical engineer and his interest in the audio industry. As a result, he began his leadership in 2000 with a clear position : “I like perfect products.” He still bears full responsibility for every element his company produces in the German Carlsbad.

Forty years ago, Andreas Hofmann adopted a fundamental approach to the distribution of his products in niches. He is sure that the optimal design of the tube amplifier does not require processing, and the improvements should be focused on the power supply units and various input and output stages, which are coordinated as precisely as possible for working with various signal sources.

The top designs of Octave Audio engineers are traditionally concentrated in the exclusive Jubilee series. It was born in 1998 on the basis of such successful models as the HP 500, HP 500 MK2 and V 50. The first Jubilee preamp was not only the embodiment of Andreas' dream, but also the “ best sound preamp in the world” of that time. Dear Audio magazine called Jubilee "a real work of art."

Piece production

To this day, Octave is guided by an important rule: new items do not come out very often, but only as the development of truly outstanding products.

The brand does not pursue the breadth of the range, focusing on the quality of components and assembly. Andreas prefers materials from European manufacturers, which also affects the characteristics of the devices.

The composition of the top models began to form in the late 90s - early 2000s. The special version of the debut HP 500 - HP 500 SE - was launched on the occasion of the 25th anniversary. It turned out to be so popular that a new limited edition was initially provided for each country. Improving the successful mono power amplifier MRE 120 led to the creation of an extremely stable MRE 130.

In 2009, the V 40 gets a worthy successor - the V 40 SE. The set of characteristics of the amplifier immediately became the reference product in its class. In 2010, the V 70 SE won the title of “one of the most flawless” on the market. In addition to new models, there are additional modules for amplifiers.

In 2017, Octave pleased fans with a Class A single-ended compact amplifier - V 16 Single Ended. It features a high-quality headphone amplifier and the ability to connect additional blocks of storage capacitors and install a motherboard with Pre Out, which is important for biamping or connecting an active subwoofer.

Products released from the Karlsbad production are equipped with Power management schemes. They provide a "soft" start and shutdown. This has a positive effect on the life of the lamps and the stability of their characteristics. Another “lean technology” is the bias current adjustment for each lamp. For convenience, the panels provide a visual indication.

An important feature of Octave Audio amplifiers is the ability to customize or upgrade called Tube Rolling. This allows you to change the lamp of one type to another, to get a slightly different character sound amplifier without replacing it.

The modular basis of devices opens the way to constant improvements. For example, users speak highly of Black Box technology integration to improve the stability of the power source in the case of the MRE 220 model. Octave also has a Super Black Box, a technology that, according to one of the authors of the publication Stereophile, improves the sound of the V 80 SE.

Unlike most competitors, Octave Audio independently produces one of the most important components of any amplifier - transformers. This is both a tribute to the history of the company, which began its journey with their production, and a pledge of a successful brand strategy.

Audiomania, becoming the exclusive distributor of the brand’s products, provides Octave Audio direct deliveries to Russia, as well as technical support and advice on all issues of operation and configuration.

What else do we talk about on GT:

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/407781/

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