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2. Which is the better connection? The balanced or unbalanced one?
5. Which are the differences between Puccini Settanta and Puccini Settanta Rev 2.0?
6. My Maestro settanta REV2.0 sometimes switches off showing "DC offset" on the display. If I turn off
and turn on the unit everything seems to be ok and it properly works. It is damaged?
7. Which are differences between the Maestro CD 192/24 REV2.0 and its previous revision? Is possible to
update a Maestro CD Player 192/24 to the REV2.0? How?
8. Which are the main differences between the Enigma REV2.0 and the previous one?
9. Is possible to equalize the Enigma audio output?
10. What are the differences between the revisions of the Puccini SE and how can I recognize a revision from the other?
11. I would like to ask you, what's the function of a little hole below the cd door in the Paganini cd player? Thanks.
13. Is it possible to bridge the Donizetti stereo power amplifier to make it operating in mono mode?
14. Is it possible to use products from different manufacturers in combination with the Audio Analogue pre and power amps?
15. How the sound quality of the Audio Analogue products change depending on the style of music?
16. Is it possible to use the Audio Analogue amplifiers in combination with DVD-A and SACD sources?
17. Is it possible to upgrade a Puccini (Remote) into a Puccini S.E. (Remote)?
18. Is there a recommended power cord?
19. What are the differencies between the old and new versions of the Paganini and Maestro CD?
20. Is it possible to upgrade the Puccini and Puccini S.E. to their corresponding Remote versions?
21. Is it possible for the Audio Analogue amplifiers to drive 4 Ohm impedance loudspeakers?
22. What are the technical and sonic differencies between the Puccini, Puccini S.E., Puccini Remote and Puccini S.E. Remote?
23. Which loudspeakers and cables are best suited with the Audio Analogue products?
24. Is it possible to make the old and new CD players compatible with the HDCD?
25. Is it possible to change the operating mains voltage of the Audio Analogue products?
Don't you find what are you searching for? Propose your FAQ!
2. Is not easy to answer and also we can't give a definitive answer good for any case.
In fact the balanced connection is supposed to be better because reject the common mode noise on the connection while the unbalanced one can't.
But at the same time using the balanced connection usually requires the signal to pass a further stage.
This is because at the balanced input the difference of the two balanced signals (the in phase and the out of phase ones) is performed to reject immediately the common mode noise.
In some other architectures all the signal chain is doubled and the power stage is a bridge type.
Therefore the difference between the two balanced signal is performed at the loudspeaker level. This at a first view could appear as the perfect solution but instead is not! Or better generally is not.
In fact the two signal chain will hardly be equal especially for the power stage because of the components tolerances, the different tracks impedance caused by length mismatches, the different temperatures that can be spread on the board...
Theoretically two identical signal chain can be made but the involved parameters are really difficult to control.
As a result when the original common mode noise appears at the loudspeakers is not more "exactly" equal on the two in phase and out of phase (as it was at the input connection) and therefore the difference between the two signals can't effectively and completely reject it.
Instead the other approach, to make immediately the difference of the two balanced signals, is much more controllable! (Note)
Of course to double the signal chain and use a bridge power stage has its advantages but not that to better rejecting the common mode connection noise.
By the way also the balanced input design is not trivial if very good performances are required. We have to control the impedances and make the stage as "transparent" as possible.
The Maestro Duecento performs the difference between the balanced signal immediately to reject the common mode noise. The stage has been designed to not "touch" the audio signal but anyway the signal has to pass it.
Therefore we can say that both the connections have pro and contra.
Balanced Pro: the balanced connection reject the common mode noise.
Balanced Contra: the signal passes a further stage.
Unbalanced Pro: the audio signal reaches the integrated amplifier inner audio chain by the shortest path passing the lowest number of stages.
Unbalanced Contra: the signal is prone to be contaminate by common mode noise.
I would to point out that the common mode noise on the signal depends on the environment where the audio system is placed and on the audio system itself (how the different equipments are connected, how, which cables are used...) hence can't be predicted before the system is installed.
Sorry if I've been too much tedious but the subject is quite "intriguing"...
Then we can answer the original question.
If the signal is corrupted by common mode noise the balanced connection is better. If there is not common mode noise the unbalanced is preferable.
Because the common mode noise depends on the environment and system and the amount which causes one connection to be better than the other depends on the whole audio system and environment as well, we come back to the first answer: we can't give a definitive answer good for any case!
What the customer will have to do is to test its system in the different connections and listen to the differences (in fact I think the customer doesn't have a spectral analyzer to exactly measure the differences between the two connection). In such listening test, the starting point is to estimate the noise floor on the loudspeakers both at high and low frequencies. Remind to do the test with the same audio signal level, this not necessary requires to set the same volume level on the integrated amplifier because the level of the audio source is usually different between balanced and balanced output. Again use your ear to judge it. A phonometer can also be useful to measure the noise floor if one is around...
Then listen to a music track to compare the differences. This is usually harder to compare, if you don't listen large differences between the connections and you have concluded one to be the better in the "noise floor" test use the connection winning the "noise floor" test in the system.
Note: of course there are also other approaches such as a pre stage which could manage both the balanced and unablanced signals...
5. The new revision is based on the previous one. But we have introduced a lot of improvements and
innovations. This is a list of the main differences:
1) new input selection/volume section: the REV2.0 has a SMD input_selection/volume section to reduce
the crosstalk and interferences due to long tracks on the board. The topolgy is the typical Audio
Analogue structure to avoid the interferences from the digital parts.
2) new mono out: the REV2.0 has a mono output instead of a preamp one. By the Mono Out you can
directly drive an active subwoofer and easily use the integrated amplifier into an audio video
system setting the Puccini in bypass mode to drive the front channels.
3) new pre phono stage: the REV2.0 has a new improved phono stage realized on the main board in a
SMD technology to reduce the tracks lenght.
4) improved power supply: in the REV2.0 there are two 4700uF capaitor more for both positive and
negative voltage for both the channells ( so there are 4700u X 2 X 2 = 18800u more then in the
previuos revision!). This improves the power stage bass response.
5) main power supply switch: the REV2.0 has a main power supply switch on the back panel.
6) blue leds: is just a "look" difference performed according to the choise to use blue light in the
6. The Maestro Settanta REV2.0 and also its previuos revision, has many protections (against
shortcircuit, overcurrent...) including one which measures the DC voltage at the outptuts and
signals an allarm if that voltage is continuously higher than an estabilished value for more than an
Therefore the DC protection can turn on also for particular audio signals if the level is so high to
drive the Integrated amplifier into distortion.
In fact if the amplifier output is strongly distorted because of the too high level, the signal is
clipped and an istantaneous DC voltage is generated. If that DC voltage remains for a long the DC
protection will switch off the unit.
I remind you that the Maestro Settanta is an integrated amplifier designed and conceived to play
music at the best possible level, that is obviuously against using the amplifier in distorted mode!
Hence what you report is not a malfunctioning of the unit which is not damaged but is due to a too
high listening level which drives the amplfier in distortion and so outside the optimum listening
To avoid it is sufficient to slightly turn down the volume.
By the way the maestro settanta REV2.0 shows that the DC protection have turned on lighting the blue
Standby LED on the front panel. Therefore, if you see the front Led turning on while you are
listening, it means the integrated amplifier is distorting then it is necessary to reduce the
volume to not lose the details on the music peacks.
7. The Maestro CD 192/24 REV2.0 and its previous revision differ for the following aspects:
The Rev2.0 has a new CD mechanism the Teac CD5010A a CD ROM based mechanism specificatly developped
for high end audio application. It is a very stardy product and from a "sound" point of view its low
jitter output has improved the performance of the Player increasing the definition of the listening
stage. Of course this is what our listening tests and our testers have said, but we always suggest
our customer to test by themself...
With the new CD mechanism a new manager software has been developped. The new software can manage
the unit better then the previous one, more effectively and quickly.
With the REV2.0 a new dispaly has been introduced.
Is possibile to update the previous revision of the player to the REV2.0 one replacing the CD
mechanism, replacing the front board (mounting the new one with the display) and loading the
new software. Usually this procedure is performed by our distributor so, if you are going to do it
please contact your dealer.
8. Audio Performances (for further details see the introduction document at the link: http://www.audioanalogue.com/Download/EnigmaREV2.0Intro(Eng).pdf):
• New Preamp Section: the new Enigma Rev2.0 has really better audio quality compared to the previous one (both on the listening tests and technical tests, see the technical data for further details) and that is due mainly to the new Vacuum tube Preamplifier section. The new Pre-amp has been designed developing the Rossini CD Player Vacuum Tube output stage which shown to be astonishing musical. The stage has been modified to be used like a preamplifier stage further increasing the audio quality of the circuit
• New Digital to analog section: the Enigma REV2.0 has a new improved DA section based on a Burr Brown 192KHz/24bit Enhanced Multilevel sigma Delta DAC.
• Power stage: the new preamp section has remarkably improved the bass response of the product so we have tuned the power stage to improve the bass response capability of the power stage.
• Mono Out: the Enigma REV2.0 has a mono output to directly drive an active subwoofer
• Front In: the Enigma REV2.0 has a Line Input placed on the front panel to be easily connect to the Line output of an MP3 Player such as an iPod for example
Control: (see the user manual for details)
• No Pre StandBy: the previous revision had a pre standby procedure to let the vacuum tube get cold before the unit were switched on. The Enigma Rev2.0 doesn't have any pre standby procedure, and after the cable is plugged in and the main switch in the rear panels is turned off it is immediately ready to be switched on.
• Reduced Vacuum Tube heating time: in the new Enigma revision the vacuum tube power supply is different and because of that not only the pre standby has been eliminated but also the vacuum tube heating time has been reduced to 15 seconds only!
• Auto Play/Volume recall function: these function have been implemented to permit the user to automatically play a source with a particular audio level. That's say you have just to turn on the unit and after some seconds you will listen the music with no needs to send any command! In other words get into your home switch on the Enigma go in the bedroom to take off your shoes and the Enigma is playing! (see the user manual for details)
• Selectable volume scale: it is possible to select the volume scale of the unit to have the best match with the used loudspeakers (see the user manual at page for details)
• Balance function
• New front design to move the light on the product, let the light run on the whole front and create the illusion of a product composed by two ones. The upper part has been lighten reducing the number of switches, and the silkscreens have been placed to balance the vacuum tube window.
• New front grey background display with better contrast and brightness.
9. The Enigma as every Audio Analogue's products doesn't have an equalizer inside. In fact it would be
against the proper philosophy of an high end audio amplifier which must behave equally for every
frequency. In other words the aim of the high end audio amplifier must be to reproduce in the same
excellent way every frequency. Is not the audio amplifier's task to emphasize a particular
frequency range but is who record the music to decide it.
The use of an equalizer is often a characteristic of "cosumer" products which manipulate the audio
source signal to make up for a lower audio quality. But in that way they are corrupting the artistic
choise performed by who recorded and produced the music.
An other issue is when the equalizer is used to compensate some acoustic behaviours of the listening
enviroment but in such case is better, as first, to work on the listening enviroment itself(properly placing the loudspeakers and the listening point, attenuate the reverberations and the
10. There are three different model of the Audio Analogue Puccini SE.
The first was produced since the 1996 until the 2001 and you can recognize it because it has a mechaical input selector and it hasn't the remote.
The second revision (with 4.3 revision PCB) can be recognized by the serial number, it has a relè baesed input selection with a self-return switch on the knob, this revision also has the remote (Puccini SE Remote)
The third revision (with 5.0 revision of the PCB) also can be recognized by the serial number. Such as the second revision the third has a relè baesed input selection with a self-return switch on the knob, it has the remote and has a different preamplifier section based on a BJT stage (while the previous revision have a JFET based input stage). The third revision also has an improved power amplifier output section.
Below there are some examples about how to recognize the revision of the unit reading the serial number:
N99B1368R3E – First revision (R3E)
N01M1285R43S – Second revision with PCB REV .4.3 (R43S)
A02C0080R50S - Third revision with PCB REV. 5.0 (R50S)
11. The hole was set in the first units to implement a reset function in case new antycopy system would be introduced by the Audio CD producer company and could block the CD inside. In such case it was possible to mechanically open the try and rremove the CD.
Anyway since two years ago we use a new CD mechanism based on a CD Rom type but specifically developped for audio applications and we have also designed a complete high reliable software so the problem doesn't exist any more and the rest function is not more required .
13. The Donizetti Stereo is not suitable for bridged operation, thus it can’t work in mono mode. We suggest to choose the Donizetti Mono for increased power demands.
14. There are no drawbacks in using other manifacturers’ equipment with any Audio Analogue product.
15. Audio Analogue products, as every good hi-fi product, give their best with every music style, provided they are not overdriven.
16. Audio Analogue amps, thanks to their dynamic headroom and bandwidth, accept and amplify signals coming from high performaces sources like DVD-audio players and SACD players with no problems.
17. To change a Puccini Remote into a Puccini SE Remote is theoretically possible, but the cost of the operation is so high that we disencourage this choice.
18. Audio Analogue amps work at their best with the BCD Engineering power cord with four shielding levels.
19. The new Audio Analogue CD players are totally new compared to the old models. Differencies are noticeable: new transport, new 96kHz decoding section (the old one was 44.1kHz for the Paganini), new output stages, new supplies.
20. It’s not possible to add the remote control facility to Puccini and Puccini S.E. amps. Those who feel the need for a remote control are suggested to change to a Puccini Remote or a Puccini S.E. Remote.
21. Puccini and Puccini Remote can drive 4 Ohms speakers, provided their phase is near to zero. Puccini S.E. and Puccini S.E. Remote can easily drive 4 Ohms speakers. Maestro Integrated is designed to drive loads down to 2 Ohms, any phase
22. The integrated amplifiers in the “Compositors Series” fall into two categories, depending on the operating features: those without remote control capability and those remote controlled. The amplifiers without remote control (Puccini and Puccini Special Edition) feature a simple but refined circuit based on high-performance op-amps, whereas the “Remote” models feature a totally discrete components’ circuit. Both preamp section and power circuit of the latters show low feedback and large open-loop bandwidth. The output stage is common to both categories. Differencies between a “normal” model and a “Special Edition” one relate to power devices (two per channel in the base model, twice as much in the Special Edition model), and power transformers: one 150VA unit in the base model, two 200VA in the Special Edition. Besides, passive components’ quality is greater in Special Edition models (the value for some components in a S.E. amp is ten times as much that of same type components in the base model). Last, the Puccini Special Edition (and the new version Puccini Remote S.E.) are suitable for bi-wiring.
23. The Audio Analogue amplifiers are tuned up using a reference system composed, amongst the others by B&W Nautilus speakers model 802, 803 and 805, together with Kimber Select cables for both speakers and interconnects. Anyway, at the end of final tuning, the amps are tested against a large variety of speakers from many manifacturers, in order to proove the consistency of the best performance obtained.
24. The scarce spread of HDCD in the present record market suggested Audio Analogue not to implement this standard in her sources. Moreover, adopting HDCD would require technical constraints in the design, as only some DACs (most of them medium or low-quality) are able to decode HDCD.
25. It’s indeed possible to switch the operating mains voltage of any Audio Analogue product, for example from 230V to 115V or vice-versa. On the contrary, it’s not possible to switch from 110V to 115V, or from 230V to 240V. Anyway, any Audio Analogue product set for 230V operation should work fine with a mains voltage of 240V. We strongly suggest to let an authorized technician operate the modification. We recall this modification voids the warranty. Moreover, Audio Analogue is not responsible for damaged occured to people or objects due to this modification being done out of the factory.
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