Ars Sonum NEW Filarmonia-SK Integrated Amplifier – $4,495 Hand crafted optimized classic design made with very high quality parts, materials, (hand wound) transformers, and more – all lovingly put together by designer/engineer Ricardo Hernandez in Spain. The Filarmonia uses a special screen grid regulated pentode circuit and a low 6dB of feedback to deliver 30W/ch of glorious sound. The new (as of February 2016) Filarmonia SK is the latest version of this great amplifier (it replaces the Filarmonia SJ and optional V-Cap upgraded SXJ version which introduced a new DC coupled inter-stage configuration that removed a coupling capacitor from the signal path in each channel). The new Filarmonia SK incorporates two main improvements:
- The very popular (SXJ) V-Cap upgrade is now standard in all Filarmonia SK amplifiers. This upgrade provides improvements in clarity, liquidity and musicality and gives the Filarmonia a bit of the outstanding sound character that is found in the (much more expensive and powerful) Gran Filarmonia integrated amp.
- The RCA input/output jacks and how they mount to the chassis has been improved and upgraded. A higher quality chassis mount RCA jack is now used and the rear of the polished stainless steel chassis of the Filarmonia SK amplifier has been re-designed to work with them.
Other improvements, though not of significant sonic benefit, include include a improved power transformer design (which allows for better power supply operation at various world wide and USA AC line voltages), and a further sealing/potting process of the power transformer to further reduce mechanical noise of the transformer winding’s.
With the inclusion of the (expensive ) V-Cap Teflon coupling capacitors as a standard item (this was a $400 extra cost option on the Filarmonia SJ) and the improvements to the chassis and RCA jacks, the price of the amplifier is now $4,495. Effectively only a $100 price increase over the previous (V-Cap included) Filarmonia SXJ version.
As before the Filarmonia SK comes with thoroughly tested and matched JJ E34L output tubes, select NOS 5814A driver tubes, and a carefully screened (only about one out of four to five new tubes meet Ars Sonum’s spec’s for use in their amplifiers) low noise JJ E88CC gain/preamp tube for excellent performance right out of the box without any tweaking or tube-rolling necessary. Additionally, all signal path capacitors go through a 1,000 hour pre-burn in process before being installed in any Ars-Sonum amplifier. While the amplifier does require break-in to sound its best, the pre-burn in process minimizes the coupling capacitors effects during this period.
For the ultimate turn-key experience, the Filarmonia SK can be purchased with a optional Cardas Clear or Clear Beyond Power cord at a substantial savings. See the Ars-Sonum USA Product Summary & Price Guide linked to below for details. .