|Centaur Mono / Monoblock Power Amplifier / Overview
For those who demand a musical presentation free of concerns about dynamics and distortion, yet with all the delicacy and detail that a single-ended tube amp delivers, we present the Centaur Mono. The Centaur Mono incorporates all of Constellation Audio's groundbreaking amplifier technologies in a package that is, shall we say, a bit more living-room-friendly than our 275-pound-each Hercules monoblock.
Centaur Mono Power Amplifier
Each Centaur Mono delivers 500 watts per channel continuous power into 8 ohms. This is sufficient to drive any speaker ever made to maximum performance with power left to spare. When you own the Centaur Mono, there can be no doubt that your amplifier is delivering all the dynamics in whatever music you choose to play. Such extraordinary power also essentially eliminates concerns about amplifier distortion.
Only Constellation Audio's “dream team” of engineers and designers could have come up with the radical modular design of the Centaur Mono. Most high-powered amplifiers are just bulked-up versions of smaller amplifiers-and as bulk is added,musicality is all too often lost. Instead of following this predictable and unsatisfactory approach, our engineers created a modular design, in which multiple 125-watt amplifiers are combined to achieve the Centaur Mono's 500-watt power rating. The sound is exactly the same as the smaller amp, but vastly more powerful.
Along with the Hercules and the Centaur stereo amplifier, the Centaur Mono is one of the few amplifiers in the world that deliver true, fully balanced performance. Almost all amplifiers use N-type transistors for the positive half of the audio signal, and P-type transistors for the negative half of the signal. Thus, the two halves of the signal are not perfectly matched.
The Centaur Mono instead uses Constellation Audio's exclusive Balanced Bridged design, which employs matched single-ended amplifier modules using only N-type output transistors. This arrangement achieves the truly balanced output that all fully complementary amplifiers strive for but only Constellation Audio achieves.
Centaur Mono Rear View
Those who own a Constellation Altair or Virgo preamp can use the Centaur Mono's Constellation Direct balanced input, which bypasses the amplifier's input stage for better fidelity. For use with other brands of preamps, we provide a standard XLR balanced input that connects to one of our Line Stage Gain Modules. The Line Stage Gain Module, a circuit used throughout the Constellation Audio line, uses servo circuits and hand-selected, ultra-low-noise FETs to produce a signal that is in essence perfectly balanced. The perfectly balanced signal (already available from the outputs of the Altair and Virgo) allows Centaur Mono's Balanced Bridged amplifier design to achieve optimum performance.
To assure that the Centaur Mono never fails to exceed expectations, we gave it a potent power supply: a 1,600-watt toroidal transformer, numerous large storage capacitors, and fully regulated output for small-signal circuits. Huge heat sinks that run nearly the full height and depth of the amplifier assure proper cooling and reliability.
The Centaur Mono delivers everything an audiophile could want: incredible power and incomparable finesse, in a chassis compact enough for easy installation in most listening rooms.