Our “dream team” of the world’s finest audio engineers was thrilled with the results they heard from our Reference Series Orion and Performance Series Perseus phono preamps. They loved the incomparable clarity and detail, as well as the flexibility these preamps gave them to get the best possible sound from their favorite cartridges.
They did, however, express the wish that more people could hear the results of their work. So when we talked about creating the Revelation line, we knew we should include a phono preamp. The result is Andromeda, a phono pre that distils the circuits, construction techniques and features we pioneered with Orion and Perseus into a model that is somewhat more accessible to a larger audience.
As before, our team started with an RIAA EQ circuit created by John Curl, the world’s best-known phono preamp designer. As before, we added a fully balanced output stage built with low-noise field-effect transistors (FETs). And as before, we used a dual-mono power supply in a separate chassis. The main differences are that Andromeda has fewer inputs and eliminates the EQ curve adjustments found on Orion and Perseus. It’s the ideal solution for those with simpler vinyl playback setups using only couple of tonearms or turntables.
Increasingly, vinyl enthusiasts are exploring a wider variety of cartridges – and also experimenting by going beyond the cartridge manufacturers – recommended settings. For these adventurous audiophiles, Andromeda will be a godsend.
For the most important cartridge loading adjustment – setting the load impedance of moving-coil cartridges – we have provided controls that allow settings with ultra-precise 1-ohm steps, from 0 to 999 ohms. Settings for each channel and each MC input can be seen and stored independently through Andromeda’s front LCD touchscreen.
Loading may also be adjusted for moving-magnet cartridges. Load impedance may be set to 10, 33 or 47 kilohms, and load capacitance to 0, 100 or 200 picofarads.
At Andromeda’s core is a phono EQ circuit engineered by John Curl, for decades famed as the world’s best phono preamp designer. We combined this musically refined circuit with a technically refined output stage based on the fully balanced Line Stage Gain Modules found in all of our award-winning line stage preamps. We build these circuits using FETs selected specifically for their outstanding, ultra-low-noise performance.
Thus, not only is the signal from the cartridge perfectly equalized, the exceptional transparency of our circuitry assures that even extreme low-level microdetails from the best pressings make it all the way from the stylus to your speakers.
Audio signals from moving-coil cartridges can be as low as 0.05 percent of what might be expected from a CD player or DAC. Because these signals are so low in level, they are especially susceptible to interference and vibration. Vibrations can create small fluctuations in the value of passive components, which produce microphonics – in which the vibration is turned into an audio signal that mixes with the music. In Andromeda, our “dream team” took great pains to prevent these problems from affecting what you hear.
Andromeda’s circuit boards mount on a thick metal plate that “floats” on a suspension made from soft, pliable material. This material damps any ground-borne vibration that makes it through the chassis. The chassis itself is built on heavy, machined aluminum slabs that are thick enough to block 50/60 Hz electromagnetic radiation as well as radio-frequency signals. Steel buttresses join the panels, locking them together using a system similar to the tongue-in-groove technique used in fine woodworking.
Andromeda’s power supply is one of the best ever used in a phono preamp. We build it into a completely separate chassis which, like the preamp section, is constructed using thick, machined aluminum panels to minimize interference. Inside the supply are individual R-core audio-grade transformers assigned to the left and right channels, plus an EI-type transformer to power Andromeda’s control circuits. The dual-mono supply prevents activity in one channel from affecting the other channel, and thus maintains all the stereo imaging and soundstaging in the original recording.
Dedicated vinylphiles can opt for the Revelation Series DC filter, which adds additional storage and filtration to the already impressive componentry in Andromeda’s stock power supply. The added components improve dynamics and reduce the noise floor from the power supply even further.
While Andromeda does omit a few features and inputs found on its brothers in the Reference and Performance Series, it retains what most vinyl enthusiasts demand: pristine, quiet, musical sound quality with enough flexibility to achieve maximum performance from their favorite cartridge, whatever it may be.
SoundStage HiFi gave Constellation’s Andromeda their Product of the Year Award 2019 for Outstanding Performance
The Absolute Sound granted a number of our components with their Editors Choice Award 2020, including:
Altair II. Argo. Centaur II, Hercules II/Hercules II Stereo, Inspiration 1.0, Inspiration Mono 1.0, Inspiration Preamp 1.0, Inspiration Stereo 1.0, Perseus, Andromeda, Pictor, Taurus Stereo, and Taurus Mono Amplifier.
Constellation Audio won multiple awards this year in The Absolute Sounds Editors’ Choice Awards 2021.
Constellation Audio won multiple awards this year in The Absolute Sounds Editors’ Choice Awards 2022.
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