Orchard Audio Launches Kickstarter Campaign for BOSC Monoblock GaN Audio Amplifier

September 24 2019, 00:40
There is a very interesting new audio project being promoted on Kickstarter. Coming from Orchard Audio, the BOSC is a well engineered hi-fi monoblock audio amplifier that explores the latest gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology to achieve ultra-high performance in a small package. This compact and affordable 150 watt amplifier shows a lot of potential, with an impressive circuit design and high-quality sound, and is available in 3-4Ω (13.8dB gain) or 6-8Ω (16.8dB gain) versions.

The work of Leonid (Leo) Ayzenshtat, all products launched by Orchard Audio have been interesting experiments in combining the latest available technologies and components with new affordable designs and form-factors. Prior to founding Orchard Audio, Leo Ayzenshtat worked with NASA, Lockheed Martin, L3 Technologies, Siemens, and as a consultant to multiple audio brands. He currently holds multiple U.S. and international patents. With its new venture, founded in 2017, Leo Ayzenshtat aims to leverage emerging technologies to create high-quality solutions that could be affordable to the majority of consumers.

Traditionally, audio amplifiers are large devices that can be difficult to handle. Orchard Audio previously experimented with different designs, and tested existing platforms prior to designing the BOSC, which explores the latest gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology. Gallium Nitride transistors are better for Class D output stages than MOSFETs, increasing the slew rate, reducing the ringing with fast input signals when loaded into reactive speakers, with faster overload recovery time - which is what defines amplifiers that sound better.

GaN-based Class-D monoblock amplifiers are usually very expensive, starting at $10,000 per pair. In 2015, Panasonic generated headlines when it decided to reintroduce its Technics brand, including an amplifier that explored the use of eGaN FETs with super-low resistance, and generated awareness for a technology that for some time has been promising to disrupt several industries.

Leo Ayzenshtat at Orchard Audio spent a tremendous amount of time researching a variety of designs to develop a small amplifier that explores GaN semiconductors and produces an impressive sound. According to the company, the BOSC monoblock amplifier is designed and manufactured in the United States and is DC coupled for response down to 0 Hz, with no bass phase shift. An energy-efficient design, BOSC features ultra-low distortion and a high damping factor for crystal clear sound and precise speaker control.

Typically, emerging technologies cost a premium, but BOSC uses the latest in GaN technology and does not break the bank. To raise funds for development, the company decided to resort to a crowdfunding campaign, allowing contributors to pre-order the BOSC monoblocks and enjoy a low, early-bird pricing of just $1,099 per pair (26% off the estimated $1499 MSRP.) This makes the new Orchard Audio monoblock amplifier the most affordable GaN option on the market by far.

This is achieved by using out of the box thinking and packaging techniques that are easy to manufacture and deliver the best performance to cost ratio. According to Leo, “I created this amplifier after realizing a huge need on the market for a quality device without the large size and price tag. The BOSC amplifier was developed utilizing advanced technologies and I can’t wait for users to experience the quality firsthand.” 

As the company founder explains, all of Orchard Audio's products are "named after things that grow in orchards. The new GaN amplifier was named after BOSC the pear."

Using its experience in the audio and engineering field, Orchard Audio designed the first prototype units completely in-house, using a form factor that also complements its previous product, the compact PecanPi streamer. This ultra-high fidelity, plug-and-play, high-resolution music streamer allows users to control music using their phone, tablet or computer, creating a complete music solution that is ideal for a home environment. The streamer will be available with the Volumio, moOde Audio, piCorePlayer and Roon end-point as software options.

The BOSC monoblock audio amplifier ships in pairs, each one with its own AC/DC external power supply. The crowdfunding campaign is scheduled to start shipping in December 2019.

For more information on BOSC, visit the Kickstarter campaign here
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