Orchard Audio Launches Starkrimson 150W Stereo Integrated Amplifier

July 7 2020, 00:50
Orchard Audio announced the launch of the Starkrimson Integrated HiFi Stereo Amplifier, a concept that combines two-channels of the company's existing BOSC amplifiers (recently reviewed in audioXpress) and its popular PecanPi DAC into a single slim enclosure. The inputs are either balanced analog, USB or S/PDIF and it already ships with XLR jumpers to allow side-chaining external preamps or DSPs. An ideal system to bridge a streaming source and a Dirac Live processor. Just add speakers.

Orchard Audio’s founder, Leonid (Leo) Ayzenshtat, has built his career around designing products for several elite names in the industry, including NASA, Lockheed Martin, L3 Technologies, and Siemens, and holds multiple U.S. and international patents. Realizing the chasm between emerging technology and its availability to the majority of consumers, he set out to design products for the demanding audio enthusiasts, but at a much more attainable price point. And the formula is working reasonably well for him, with both the compact BOSC amplifier monoblock and the reasonably priced PecanPi USB DAC and headphone amplifier  receiving great reviews and being praised by happy owners. And Orchard Audio even supplies board-level, stripped-down versions for DIY audio enthusiast to build their own systems.

Following the BOSC monoblock amplifier launch, Orchard gained a well-deserved notoriety due to the combination of adopting cutting-edge gallium nitride (GaN) technology to achieve ultra-high performance, combined with cleanly designed state-of-the-art electronics. As Ayzenshtat found out, GaN transistors provide clear sound benefits, including less harshness, cleaner highs, better transparency, and higher detail, because of the increased slew rate, reduced ringing, faster switching, and faster overload recovery. And as audioXpress was able to demonstrate in Stuart Yaniger's review (audioXpress July 2020), it measures and sounds perfect!

By incorporating the BOSC amplifier design (2x), the new Orchard Starkrimson system becomes the only integrated amplifier on the market which uses gallium nitride (GaN) technology. And in a unique and nice touch, the integrated amplifier still provides access to both the DAC outputs and the amplifier inputs to enable the connection of devices like digital signal processors (DSPs) and preamps between the two.

The PecanPi DAC section will offer an extremely nice option to whatever exists inside a PC, laptop or phone (increasingly the most common sources for music), integrating advanced circuitry designed to extract the best possible sound from all digital sources. Twin Burr-Brown DACs are used in a dual differential configuration to cancel out noise and distortion while providing excellent stereo imaging. Through the USB connection, it will decode high-resolution data streams with up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution, ensuring that users of high-resolution streaming services or high-res media are able to hear them in all their glory. 
Starkrimson is currently available with an introductory pricing at $1995. MSRP is set at $2495. Full specifications and even measurements are available in the company's website.
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