Aavik Acoustics U-300 Class D Integrated Amplifier
In the high-end audio industry, the different audio components are commonly built as separate boxes: one box for the phono amplifier, another box for the digital to analog converter, a third box for the preamplifier section and one or more separate boxes for the output stage.
Therefore, one important concept behind the Aavik U-300 -“U” for Unity - was to unite state of the art functions and components into one single, compact, high performance unit. This new amplifier would allow you to enjoy high-end performance, without having to live with numerous, odd-sized boxes and a forever-growing cable snake pit. With the Aavik U-300, you get one unit that has it all. You do not just get an amplifier; you also get 3 analog line inputs, a truly unique performing phono RIAA section and a superb 24 bit/192 kHz DAC.
Another important reason why we chose “U” for “Unity” is because the Aavik U-300 is a joint project between the designer behind the multiple award-winning loudspeakers of Raidho Acoustics and the high performance cables of Ansuz Acoustics, Michael Borresen, and some of the best analog and digital designers that the world has to offer. This ensures that the Aavik U-300 is an integrated amplifier, which is in the top of its league!
In our opinion, sound cannot be explained – it should be heard.
The Aavik U-300 RIAA section is based on a discreet, floating, balanced, ultra-low noise, bipolar input circuit. By nature, the topology of a moving coil cartridge is a floating, balanced signal generator. We have kept this floating, balanced circuit topology throughout the phono stage. The floating input circuitry allows us to use ultra-low noise, bipolar transistors. By paralleling several transistor pairs, we have created a dead-quiet input section. The Aavik U-300 phono stage has a 62 dB gain, and the cartridge loading is adjustable from 50 ohm to 5 kOhm.
The phono section of the Aavik U-300 will let you explore the amazing details and musical depths of your vinyl collection!
The Aavik U-300 DAC section is designed around 5 digital inputs, which all excel in performance. The DAC performs without any digital signature, which makes any music sound "analog". The digital circuits are created with the best high frequency skills tools available and great care was embedded in the PCB design. We made a lot of effort to ensure we have a 100% equal treatment of the differential signals, with time-aligned, ultra-short, 4-layer PCB traces. The DAC's circuits are fitted with ultra-low jitter onboard clocks in order to minimize timing errors in the digital-to-analog conversion. In the Aavik U-300 all DAC circuits are isolated with 13 onboard, separate low-noise, high-PSSR voltage regulators each feeding only one stage of the signal handling.
The USB input is galvanic isolated to avoid noise pollution from the host. The digital signals from the 5 digital inputs are routed to an ASRC, where they are resampled and re-clocked to 200 kHz/24 bit PCM, feeding current output DAC chips. The current-to-voltage conversion is performed with a differential floating topology with virtual GND. This isolates the signal path from the potential GND noise and signal induced GND modulation.
Line Stage/Volume Control
The Aavik U-300 line stage uses a unique, inverted, virtual GND amplifier topology, which preserves the finest musical details on a dark, quiet, black background. The line stage gain can be adjusted between 0-6-12 dB – on the amplifier’s digital inputs the line stage gain can be adjusted 0-6 dB. These adjustments give you the opportunity to adjust individual levels of all inputs on the Aavik U-300 amplifier.
The volume control is realized with microprocessor-controlled resistor-ladder (R2R) circuit inside a virtual GND amplification stage. The volume control regulates from -80 dB to 0 dB in approx. 1 dB steps.
The Aavik U-300 design is typical Scandinavian, with a simplistic functionality and a minimalistic look. The cover is made of anodized aluminum, which gives it a stunning matte black finish. The only other colors seen on the front panel of the Aavik U-300 are small LED lights indicating your current volume/gain/source/cartridge settings and three silver buttons on the top panel. Adjusting the Aavik U-300 settings is easy, because all settings are controlled with the three buttons and a big rotating knob.
Aavik Acoustics U-300 Reviews - 2016
The Absolute Sound - September 2016
Hi-Fi+ - Issue 139