AUDIO VALVE Eclipse: The Ultimate HiFi Amplifier

Introduction

In the world of audio enthusiasts, the pursuit of high-quality sound amplification is a never-ending quest. The right amplifier can make all the difference in bringing out the true essence and beauty of music. Today, we delve into the realm of hifi sound amplification with the “AUDIO VALVE Eclipse” amplifier.

The AUDIO VALVE Eclipse is a product from AudioValve, a renowned German audio brand with over three decades of history and a dedicated following worldwide. Specializing in high-end tube amplifiers, AudioValve has gained recognition for their commitment to craftsmanship and attention to detail.

The Eclipse is a stereo preamplifier that embodies 15 years of experience and expertise in tube amplifier design by AudioValve. It was created with a primary focus on shielding against radio frequency interference and unwanted noise that could compromise signal purity. The chassis, made from 4mm steel, provides complete shielding for the four 12AU7/6189 tubes. The signal and power circuits are separated, and careful component placement minimizes signal path length and reduces cross-talk and noise.

One notable feature of the Eclipse is its seven linear inputs, with only two of them lacking amplification. The remaining five inputs offer varying levels of gain (ranging from 15 to 26 decibels), allowing users to optimize each connected component individually. Additionally, there are slight differences between the CD1 and CD2 inputs.

With its audiophile-grade power supply unit, divided into filter and regulating sections, the Eclipse ensures stable voltage delivery regardless of fluctuations in the power grid. The amplifier also boasts a high-quality motorized ALPS volume control for precise adjustments. Every element used in this amplifier is carefully selected for identical performance between the left and right channels.

Now let us dive deeper into this captivating amplifier’s technical specifications, design, functionality, sound characteristics, performance, advantages, value for money proposition, and conclude our review with final thoughts.

Technical Specifications

The AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier is a high-end stereo preamplifier that offers impressive technical specifications. With a power consumption of 40 watts and a standby power consumption of 5 watts, this amplifier strikes a balance between performance and energy efficiency.

In terms of sound quality, the Eclipse boasts an excellent signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 87.5 dB, ensuring minimal background noise and a clean audio experience. Additionally, its low total harmonic distortion (THD) of 0.1% guarantees accurate reproduction of audio signals without any noticeable distortion.

The Eclipse features seven RCA inputs, allowing you to connect multiple audio sources such as CD players, turntables, or media players. It also includes one XLR analog output for connecting to power amplifiers or active speakers. While it does not have built-in support for digital inputs or USB playback, the Eclipse offers versatile connectivity options for traditional analog setups.

With a frequency response range from 4 Hz to 45 kHz, the Eclipse delivers exceptional clarity across the entire audible spectrum, capturing even the subtlest nuances in music. It is designed to work with various speaker impedance levels and provides flexibility in matching with different types of speakers or headphones.

Although lacking features such as Wi-Fi, AirPlay, or internet radio connectivity, the presence of Bluetooth allows for convenient wireless streaming from compatible devices. This capability adds versatility to the amplifier’s functionality and enhances the overall user experience.

Overall, the technical specifications of the AUDIO VALVE Eclipse demonstrate its commitment to delivering high-quality sound reproduction and providing sufficient connectivity options for audiophiles seeking a premium analog listening experience.

Design and Construction

The AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier boasts an elegant and sleek design that is sure to catch the eye of any audio enthusiast. The amplifier features a black and silver color scheme, exuding a sense of sophistication and class. The build quality of the Eclipse is exceptional, as it is meticulously handcrafted in Germany by the renowned audio brand, AudioValve.

One notable aspect of the amplifier’s construction is its sturdy chassis, which is made from 4mm thick steel. This not only ensures durability but also provides effective shielding against radio frequency interference. The careful placement of components and separation of signal and power circuits further minimizes cross-talk and noise, resulting in a cleaner and more accurate audio reproduction.

The connectors and switches on the Eclipse are of high quality, reflecting the attention to detail that AudioValve puts into their products. The RCA inputs are robust and securely hold cables in place, ensuring a stable connection. Additionally, the amplifier features a bridge mode for those who prefer a mono setup, allowing for even greater flexibility in system configuration.

Efficient cooling is crucial for maintaining optimal performance, and the Eclipse excels in this aspect as well. It utilizes a well-designed ventilation system that allows for effective heat dissipation while keeping internal components cool during extended listening sessions. This ensures consistent performance without any risk of overheating.

Overall, the design and construction of the AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier showcase AudioValve’s commitment to creating products that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also built to last. The attention to detail in its construction, efficient cooling mechanisms, and high-quality connectors contribute to an amplifier that not only looks impressive but also delivers exceptional audio performance.

Functionality

The AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier offers a wide range of functionality to cater to different audio sources and preferences. With its seven linear RCA inputs, users can easily connect various devices such as CD players, computers, smartphones, and more. This versatility allows for seamless integration into any audio setup.

One notable feature of the Eclipse is its balance controls, which enable users to fine-tune the audio output according to their listening preferences. Additionally, tone adjustments are available to further enhance the sound characteristics. These controls provide a personalized listening experience, allowing users to tailor the sound to their liking.

In terms of operating modes, the Eclipse amplifier offers a bridge mode option. This mode combines the power output of both channels, resulting in increased amplification capabilities for those who require higher levels of power. This feature is particularly useful for driving demanding speakers or when a larger soundstage is desired.

Furthermore, the Eclipse amplifier does not compromise on connectivity options. It includes multiple analog outputs such as an XLR output and an RCA output, allowing users to connect additional audio components or external amplifiers. However, it does not have built-in features like a USB player, Ethernet connectivity, or internet radio support.

Overall, the functionality of the AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier caters to a variety of audio sources and provides ample customization options. Whether you’re a music enthusiast looking to connect your favorite devices or an audiophile seeking precise control over your audio setup, this amplifier offers the necessary features for an enhanced listening experience.

Sound Characteristics

The AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier delivers an exceptional sound quality that will impress even the most discerning audiophiles. The attention to detail in its design and construction translates into a remarkable audio performance.

One of the standout features of the Eclipse is its ability to provide a three-dimensional soundstage with excellent instrument separation. When listening to music, you’ll feel as if you’re right in the middle of the performance, with each instrument occupying its own space in the soundstage. This level of clarity and separation allows for a truly immersive listening experience.

The bass response of the Eclipse is tight, controlled, and impactful. It reproduces low frequencies with precision and depth, adding a solid foundation to the overall sound presentation. Whether you’re listening to electronic beats or orchestral compositions, the Eclipse ensures that every bass note is reproduced accurately and with authority.

On the other end of the frequency spectrum, the treble clarity of the Eclipse is simply stunning. It captures every delicate nuance and detail in high-frequency sounds, resulting in crystal-clear highs that are never harsh or fatiguing. The amplifier’s ability to reproduce treble frequencies with such finesse adds an extra layer of realism and immersion to your listening experience.

The overall sound presentation of the Eclipse is characterized by its warm and transparent tonality. It strikes a perfect balance between accuracy and musicality, allowing you to enjoy your favorite tracks with an incredible level of detail while still maintaining a natural and pleasing sound signature.

Regardless of your preferred music genre, the Eclipse excels at enhancing the sound quality across various styles. From classical symphonies to rock anthems, this amplifier brings out the best in every genre by faithfully reproducing each musical element with precision and authenticity.

In conclusion, the AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier offers exceptional sound characteristics that will captivate any audiophile. With its impressive instrument separation, tight bass response, clear treble clarity, and overall balanced sound presentation, this amplifier ensures a truly immersive and enjoyable listening experience across a wide range of music genres.

Sound Performance

The AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier delivers an exceptional sound performance that will captivate even the most discerning audiophiles. Its ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals is truly remarkable, creating an immersive auditory experience that transports the listener into a world of pure musical bliss.

One of the standout qualities of the Eclipse is its clarity. The amplifier effortlessly unveils intricate details and nuances within the music, allowing the listener to discover hidden layers and textures that were previously unheard. Instruments are beautifully rendered with a lifelike presence, creating a three-dimensional soundstage that brings the music to life.

The dynamics of the Eclipse are simply breathtaking. It effortlessly handles both delicate passages and explosive crescendos with finesse and precision. The amplifier’s ability to convey the full range of dynamics ensures that every note is delivered with impact and emotion, making for an incredibly engaging listening experience.

Tonal balance is another area where the Eclipse excels. The amplifier strikes a perfect equilibrium across different frequency ranges, ensuring that no part of the audio spectrum is overshadowed or overemphasized. The bass is tight and controlled, providing a solid foundation to the music without overpowering other elements. The midrange is rich and textured, allowing vocals and instruments to shine with natural warmth and clarity. The highs are detailed and extended, adding sparkle and airiness to the overall sound signature.

Whether you’re listening to acoustic guitar melodies, complex orchestral compositions, or enchanting female vocals, the Eclipse reproduces them with astonishing accuracy and realism. It unveils the true essence of each recording, allowing you to appreciate every nuance and subtlety in the music.

In conclusion, the AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier delivers an extraordinary sound performance that will leave you in awe. Its ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals with exceptional clarity, dynamics, and tonal balance sets it apart from its competitors. If you’re searching for an amplifier that can bring your music collection to life and provide an immersive listening experience, the Eclipse is undoubtedly a top contender.

Advantages

The AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier offers several notable advantages that set it apart from its competitors. Firstly, its meticulous design and construction ensure exceptional build quality and durability. The chassis, made of 4mm steel, effectively shields the four 12AU7/6189 tubes from radio frequency interference and unwanted noise, resulting in a clean and pure signal.

One of the standout features of the Eclipse is its flexibility and versatility. With a total of seven linear inputs, including two non-amplified inputs, users have the freedom to optimize each connected component according to their preferences. This level of customization allows for a truly personalized listening experience.

Additionally, the stabilizing power supply unit contributes to the overall performance of the Eclipse. Divided into two sections – a filter and a regulating circuit – it ensures a stable voltage supply to the amplifier, independent of fluctuations in the power grid. This attention to detail results in consistent and reliable performance.

Comparing the Eclipse to other models in its price range, it stands out for its exceptional sound quality. The amplifier delivers a warm and transparent sound with remarkable dynamics. The soundstage is immersive, with instruments being precisely placed within a three-dimensional space. The Eclipse reveals previously unnoticed details in music, providing an enhanced listening experience.

Furthermore, the inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity adds modern convenience to this high-end amplifier. Users can easily connect their devices wirelessly and enjoy their favorite music with ease.

In terms of value for money, the AUDIO VALVE Eclipse offers an excellent proposition for audiophiles seeking pure analog sound reproduction at an attainable price point. Its superior build quality, versatile functionality, and outstanding sound performance make it a compelling choice compared to other amplifiers in its class.

Overall, the advantages of the AUDIO VALVE Eclipse lie in its meticulous design, flexible functionality, exceptional sound characteristics, and competitive pricing. It is an amplifier that caters to discerning audiophiles who prioritize both quality and affordability.

Value for Money

When it comes to evaluating the value for money of the AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier, it is important to consider its performance, features, and price. This amplifier offers a compelling proposition that makes it worth every penny.

In terms of performance, the Eclipse delivers exceptional sound quality with its warm and transparent audio reproduction. The amplifier’s ability to provide a three-dimensional localization of instruments and a dynamic soundstage truly impresses even the most discerning audiophiles. The Eclipse allows you to discover new details in your music that were previously unheard, adding a new level of depth and immersion to your listening experience.

The Eclipse also boasts an impressive set of features. With seven linear RCA inputs, including two non-amplified inputs, users have the flexibility to optimize each connected component individually. The stabilizing power supply ensures stable voltage delivery, minimizing any unwanted noise or interference. Additionally, the presence of a bridge mode allows for enhanced power output, catering to those who demand more from their audio setup.

Considering its technical specifications, design quality, and craftsmanship, the price of the AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier is justified. While it may not be the most affordable option on the market, its performance and features make it a worthwhile investment for serious audiophiles who seek uncompromising sound quality.

In conclusion, the AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier offers excellent value for money. Its outstanding sound characteristics, extensive functionality, and solid construction justify its price point. If you are passionate about high-fidelity audio and are willing to invest in a top-tier amplifier that will elevate your listening experience to new heights, the Eclipse is definitely worth considering.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier is a remarkable piece of audio equipment that delivers exceptional performance and quality. Its design and construction showcase the meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship that AudioValve is renowned for. With its emphasis on shielding against radio frequency interference and unwanted noise, the Eclipse ensures a clean and pure signal.

The functionality of the Eclipse is impressive, with seven linear inputs allowing for customization and optimization of each connected component. The stabilizing power supply further enhances the audio experience by providing stable voltage regardless of fluctuations in the power grid. The inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity adds convenience and versatility to the amplifier.

When it comes to sound characteristics, the Eclipse truly shines. It offers a three-dimensional soundstage, precise instrument localization, warm and transparent audio reproduction, and excellent dynamics. Even the most discerning listeners will be impressed by the level of detail revealed in their music.

In terms of value for money, the Eclipse may be considered an investment for serious audiophiles who prioritize superior sound quality. While it may not be the most budget-friendly option on the market, its performance justifies its price tag.

For potential buyers seeking a high-end amplifier that delivers a magical listening experience with exceptional clarity and depth, the AUDIO VALVE Eclipse is an excellent choice. However, those who are primarily focused on features such as built-in DACs or Wi-Fi connectivity may need to explore other options.

Overall, the AUDIO VALVE Eclipse amplifier proves to be an outstanding product that stays true to AudioValve’s commitment to producing top-notch tube amplifiers. With its impeccable design, functionality, and remarkable sound performance, it is sure to satisfy even the most demanding audiophiles.

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