Richness of detail, three-dimensionality, depth and an almost stoic composure, even with large dynamic variations - these are traditionally the virtues that Ultrasone identified to characterize the company's new high-end amplifier. As Ultrasone explains, this was the starting point for the Volcano project, which aimed to "excel with exuberant musicality and a completely fatigue-free listening experience." Believers and enthusiasts of carefully designed tube circuits, Ultrasone hand-picked all components, including the tubes and an oversized toroidal transformer, making sure the Volcano would deliver a strong combination of sound and power delivery (60 watts).
"Experienced developers know that every unnecessary component in the signal path has a negative effect on the sound quality. Uncompromising audio technology should therefore be limited to the absolutely necessary," the company states. The Volcano headphone amplifier from Ultrasone consistently implements this concept - where every single component is optimized for high quality sound and even the supplied high-end power cable is no exception. The rear panel houses a stereo input, which is equipped with unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR sockets, while the front is limited to the power switch, a large volume control and the headphone output. The headphone output is an unbalanced 1/4" jack, but balanced Pentaconn and XLR connectors are also provided. And all headphone outputs can be used in parallel.
The Ultrasone Volcano headphone amplifier is able to support any type of headphones with an output impedance from 32 – 600 Ohms, and was also designed to perfectly match the reference Edition 15 headphones, and not only in terms of sound. Like Ultrasone's reference headphones, the Volcano uses selected materials from sustainable, local suppliers, with a craftsmanship of the very highest level. The headphone amplifier is even delivered in a wooden box, matching the wood selection used for the side panels.
"This amplifier stands for everything that has distinguished Ultrasone over the last 30 years. Our factory at Gut Raucherberg, not far from Lake Starnberg, focuses on a maximum longevity of its products, and enables reparability even long after the purchase. Ultrasone underlines this quality standard with long-term guarantees on all manufactured products," says Michael Willberg, CEO of Ultrasone AG. With the Volcano, however, the Bavarian manufacturer went even further and offers a lifetime warranty on the headphone amplifier. Not surprising considering the Volcano is built to order and prices start at 19.000,00 Euros (approx. $20,000 USD).
Ultrasone has set up a special webpage for the Volcano headphone amplifier, which can be found here.