CERES - Hybrid Tube Amp
Ceres is a High-Quality, Hybrid Tube Amplifier, Delivering Fantastic Audiophile Level Sound in a Beautiful and Easy to Use Package.
Ceres is designed around a Classic Sound, Single Tube Architecture. The Dual-Triode tube amplifies the incoming signal which is then routed to the Class-A Solid State buffer to provide the proper power to drive a wide variety of headphones.
User selectable attenuation and output impedance insure the best sound possible with virtually any headphones. Ceres can also be used as a line amplifier/buffer between low drive power sources (such as smart phones, music players, LP record players, etc) and your existing stereo system.
- Ipod and other Music Players
- Laptops & PC's
- Any Device with RCA output
An important feature of Ceres is the two levels of selectable attenuation. High attenuation is ideal when using Ceres as a line amp or buffer for a smartphone or other low drive power source. Low attenuation insures Ceres delivers the proper level of output voltage (up to 6V RMS) needed for high impedance headphones. Having both options insures Ceres will be fully optimized to your listening environment.
Volume Control and Knob
A high quality, low noise, ALPS Volume Control is used to adjust the signal level into Ceres to let you control the mood. The beautiful machined aluminum knob gives the volume control a solid, smooth feel.
Selectable Output Impedance
A three-position slide switch lets you choose the output impedance of Ceres for an optimal match to your headphone impedance. Selectable between 0, 47 and 100 ohms, this feature insures you can deliver the proper amount of power to virtually almost any headphone, without added distortion due to under or over driving.
- Individual Bias Adjustments
The left and right halves of the Dual Triode in Ceres each have their own individual Bias adjustment trimpot. This allows us to correctly set the bias for each side at the factory, while providing a mechanism for you to adjust to your liking. This is critical as tubes can often be several dB’s out of balance between the two halves. Compared to some designs that force a preset bias level, or use some form of auto bias, this achieves the lowest possible distortion level for each Ceres. This is essential for tube rolling.
Roll your own Tubes
Ceres includes a jumper to select between 6.3V and 12V tubes. Combined with the individual bias adjustments, this allows you to swap the factory included tube with virtually any dual triode tube to roll the sound to your preference. And since there is only one tube, rolling is inexpensive, easy and fun! Please note that not all tubes perform well with the 24V plate voltage used on Ceres. Contact us for some ideas on what we have tested with.
Ceres Block Diagram
502HTA - Raspberry Pi Version
Using the wildly popular Raspberry Pi (2 or 3), the 502HTA delivers the full, lush sound of a classic Dual Triode Tube Amp to all your favorite music. Turn your Pi into a wireless audio streaming music server. Place it on your night stand, or at your office desk, or anywhere you listen to your headphones. The selectable Attenuation Switch lets you also use the 502HTA to drive powered bookshelf speakers or your existing stereo system.
Development from 503HTA to the 502HTA
After the great success of our 503HTA we did a complete, ground up redesign, resulting in the 502HTA. This new design improves upon the 503HTA in several ways:
- Full size makes the 502HTA easier to integrate into a case with the Pi
- The new size also creates a larger, lower noise ground plane
- New, lower profile Heatsinks improve thermal performance and lower overall height
- Filtered 5V rail significantly reduces noise when powering the Pi
- Ability to isolate the Pi 5V rail, thus reducing noise even further
- Fully enclosed clear acrylic case shows off the beauty of the design
Risks and challenges
CERES and the 502HTA have already passed the beta stage and are ready to enter limited production now. They will be 100% ready for full production once the campaign ends.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)