In the heart of the First one resides completely analog board of the power amplifier. In this compartment First One develops 2 x 600 W at 4 ohm in a highly biased AB Class, with first few watts operating in pure class A.
With limited space Igor Kante and Andrej Lakner have decided to use non regulated switching power supply. Why non regulated switch power supply? As they introduce the least of its own character. At the end, Ubiq-Lab amplifier was given fully modified, dual mono, 3kW power supply for each channel.
Everybody knows that power supply is the the essential for any high-end audio amplifier and usually audio designers avoids switching power supplies. Well, not everyone. For example the Soulution uses similar, medical grade switching power supplies in their amplifiers.
As with the typical linear power supply, the one used within the First One is not regulated. Best approximate to the linear supply is un-regulated SMPS. This particular switching power supply work on 100khz compared to the 100hz with typical power supply. Thats translate to the ratio of 1000.
SMPS is thermally much more burdened compared to the linear power supply. Power transfer is the same, but as it comes with much more dense magnetic field special thermal solutions were needed. DC servo for example work in the sound spectrum around -70 dB and this is easily notable, so utmost care was needed when optimising the modules.
Every seasoned audio designer knows, that the help of electrolyte capacitors and decoupling capacitors you can shape the sound and Ubiq-Lab team wanted avoid the typical hubris.
In Ubiq-Lab amplifier the power supply is in serial with speaker output. Great care was taking when choosing the right capacitors and thats why we’re usubg Mundorf and Duelund capacitors for the best sonic result.
At Ubiq-Lab we have a world class listening room where each and every step is checked and refined even within few watts of power output. First one delivers 2.5 Mhz – 3dB and the full power bandwidth extends up to 100khz and its linear up to 1mhz.
FO module is result of more then two decades of painstaking work, R & D and dedicated effort to achieve something extraordinary. It represents the essence of Andrej Lakner’s experiences. All of his knowledge is concentrated in this unique and propriety module, that comes as a sum up the collective efforts of the DIY crowd, where few hundreds of people implemented modules in their amps.
Propriety FO module is result of more then two decades of painstaking work, R & D and dedicated effort to achieve something extraordinary. It represents the essence of Andrej Lakner’s lifetime experiences. All of his knowledge is concentrated in this unique and propriety module, that comes as a sum up the collective efforts of the DIY crowd, where few hundreds of people implemented modules in their amps and constantly report their findings thought the circular feedback.
Based on the collective feedback, thousands hours of listening and with his extended testing field all over the world (You can call it sort of a crowd testing) Andrej Lakner set the ground stone for the new module. The final results is the xxx generation of circuit, that had fundamentally embraced these attributes:
- compact and small footprint
- shortest signal paths
- best parts possible
- modern SMD technology
- best possible PCB boards
- no lead
- gold plated
- copper shielding
Crazy amount of time went to the layouts of the PCBs and general optimisation. This was a long quest for perfection and and endless task of evaluation, how to use each and every electronic part in the best way.
During the R & D we found how its impossible to make an amplifier with a small amount of the parts. All the steps and formulation were carefully designed and tested and on the small module there are more than whooping 170 elements per channel/module!
There were no quick and easy solutions implemented within the Ubiq-Lab FO module. Many unique approaches and conceptual design takes that are usually not used in typical high-end audio designs are hidden within FO Module’s heart, but for the sake of the industry IP protection not everything can be lay down. Nevertheless its both interesting and intriguing, how even the big players in high-end audio industry are not using some of the known, unexplored and sometimes exotic approaches.
Don’t be fooled by the small size of the modules. Its the beast in disguise. Schematic of typical power amplifier is explored around the enclosure, but despite small size of the FO modules there is more material within, then in typical icons like Phase Linear, Accuphase etc.
»There is no such thing as too much feedback.«
Of course it needs to be implement in the proper way and Andre Lakner has designed feedback loop, that is physical shorter then 10mm. The usual feedback loop usually extends across the amplifier innards. You can draw your own conclusions, what this means for the realms of speed, transparency etc.
Further on, in order to to avoid relays sonic imprint, the signal goes directly to the speakers output in absence of relays of Mosfet switchers, delivering the non-compromised sonic performance.