|Centaur / Stereo Power Amplifier / Overview
The Centaur is the only stereo amplifier in the world that can deliver the power of a large solid-state design with all the delicacy and detail of the finest single-ended triode tube amplifiers.
Centaur Stereo Power Amplifier
Rather than bulking up the Centaur by simply adding more transistorsand losing the delicious subtleties and microdynamics for which smaller, simpler amplifiers are treasuredConstellation Audio’s “dream team” of engineers decided on a different approach.First, we built a superb-sounding 125-watt single-ended amplifier. Then we designed it as a module so that we could achieve any desired power rating by simply adding more modules. The resulting 250-watt-per-channel stereo amplifier sounds exactly like that original 125-watt single-ended amplifier, just twice as powerful.
Like the Hercules, Constellation Audio’s top-of-the-line Reference series amplifier, the Centaur uses a balanced drive design, a unique, fully complementary circuit topology that achieves an essentially perfect balance between the positive and negative halves of an audio signal. Other fully complementary amplifiers use different types of transistors for the positive and negative halves of the signal, so they are never quite perfectly matched. The Centaur instead uses matched single-ended amplifier modules employing only N-type output transistors. Thus, an ideal balanceand the best possible fidelityis achieved.
Of course, the signal emerging from the Centaur can only be perfectly balanced if the incoming signal is perfectly balanced. This is why we condition incoming signals using the same Line Stage Gain Module found in the Virgo preamp. Thus, no matter what preamp you use, the signal that the Centaur provides to your speakers will be perfectly balanced. Customers who own a Virgo or Altair preamps, which already put out a perfectly balanced signal, may use the Constellation Link interface to bypass the Centaur’s gain module.
Centaur Rear View
The Centaur could only achieve its outstanding performance with a clean, abundant source of power. To this end, we have equipped it with a large toroidal transformer with separate windings for left and right channels, as well as massive storage capacitors and fully regulated supplies for line-level circuits.
We designed the Centaur to meet the needs of any and every audiophile, no matter what their tastes in music, what volume they prefer, what speaker they use, and what type of sound they like. It is the first stereo amplifier that simply leaves nothing to be desired.