mini MEGAschino™ Project Description:
We will finish development of our new "mini MEGAschino" stereo amplifier. This amplifier is designed to provide exceptional 2-channel audio performance in a well built, cost effective package.
For this product, we start with the MEGAschino amplifier design as a baseline and make changes to reduce cost.
See below for details about the mini MEGAschino!
Cherry Maraschino Module:
We have developed a module version of our proprietary Maraschino amplifier circuitry in a compact (less than 2" x 2" x 1/2") board-mounted format. We have already built and tested these modules, and they have been validated by use in non-Cherry amplifiers.
We learned from our experience with the Maraschino (non-module) and MEGAschino designs and plan to implement similar improvements in our new modules. In fact, these modules can be placed in sockets so they can easily be exchanged for newer versions in the future.
The Cherry Maraschino Module is based on the Cherry Maraschino amplifier board (roughly 3" x 4"). This board is now used in several products. However, it is too large to use in tight spaces and requires wire harnesses to operate in a product. We developed this board in several stages....
The Maraschino Amplifier Board has more hardware (power supplies on board) than the Cherry Maraschino Module. This allows the module version to be much smaller. The module is also fully double sided while the Maraschino board is single sided. This allows the module to be small enough for tight spaces. The Cherry Maraschino Module is also board mounted, so large capacitors and connectors can be placed on the supporting board wherever the end product needs them, and future upgrades are possible by socketing the module.
The following video shows prototype Cherry Maraschino Modules in action! A tablet PC (Dell Latitude) drives a large screen and is connected to a Cherry USB which drives a 130dB+ DAC DAC 2 HS which drives the amplifiers directly (no preamp needed).
We use a hand build fixture to test the modules independently. This allows us to see power supply consumption and measure audio performance as well as power efficiency.
We have designed a new version of the Cherry Maraschino Module to optimize audio performance and thermal characteristics. We use thermal imaging to find hot spots and track the effectiveness of our thermal solutions.
mini MEGAschino Details:
When we developed the MEGAschino motherboard, we included component placement options to allow use of Cherry Maraschino Modules on the same board. This means that with a simple Bill of Material change, the MEGAschino motherboard becomes the mini MEGAschino motherboard. This is a major design step that has already been accomplished.
Here are the changes to the MEGAschino Stereo amplifier to create the mini MEGAschino design:
- Power Transformer -- lower power transformer
- Rail Capacitors -- lower voltage rail capacitors
- Faceplate -- no faceplate (use adhesive brand markers)
- Binding Posts -- less expensive type
- Cherry Maraschino Modules -- instead of MEGAschino Channel boards
- Input Wire Harness -- needed to mate with alternate input connectors on the motherboard
These changes will lower material cost significantly. We will use the same enclosure as the MEGAschino Stereo amplifier. We are very confident, based on experience, that the mini MEGAschino design will come together with minimal issues.
Some Prototype Work Already Completed:
We have already built prototypes of the mini MEGAschino transformer and input wire harness. We have ordered prototype adhesive labels for the front panel.
Brief Company History:
We started producing the DAC4800A amplifier in 2006. It was a pro-sumer type product with a Run/Stand-By toggle button and Power/Clip/Protect/Run LEDs on the front.
We later put the LEDs inside (they shine through the lid vent holes) and added a red anodized 3/8" thick brushed aluminum faceplate. This was our first Cherry Amplifier ®. Later, we moved to a simple lineup: Stereo or MONO and Standard or ULTRA. Several faceplate options were added, like silver, black, and even cherry wood. We still make these amplifiers today. The ULTRA versions have 1500W transformers and GOLD WBT posts with improved output filters and double power supply capacitance on the MONO ULTRA version.
After years of successful production and great reviews, we introduced the Maraschino Amplifier. The Maraschino was a new circuit design able to reach 100kHz bandwidth with end-to-end DC coupling for response down to 0Hz and no bass phase shift. The ground of the amplifier is locked to the preamp (or DAC) ground to eliminate hum and ground noise. The result? Customers and pro reviewers alike praise the Maraschino for sonics that go way beyond today's cookie-cutter high-end amplifiers.
The Maraschino Amplifier product line grew to include Desktop Maraschino, a new shape for monoblock amplifiers, In-Line Maraschino, amplifiers so light, you can hang them from your speakers, yet so powerful, they can deliver up to 1000W into 1.8Ω, and Stereo Maraschino, an integrated amp with front and back inputs plus volume control and 120dB SNR.
The MEGAschino™ series:
The MEGAschino Amplifier (or simply "MEGA") is an audio power amp combining massive headroom with outstanding sonics. The MEGAschino is offered in Stereo and MONO versions.
The MEGAschino offers Maraschino sound with Classic Cherry power ....and so much more. This is the new level of amplification. We combined what we learned from the Maraschino with a few new ideas (years of R&D), allowing higher voltage plus higher current carrying capability. This was no easy feat. The result is simply amazing sound.
Customers and reviewers have already praised the MEGAschino for it's sound quality....
"Outrageous detail even at the lowest levels!" -- Nick M / Allentown PA
"Best Class-D I've ever heard and probably the best high power amp." -- Jack Roberts / The Audio Beatnik
"Nothing makes my Legacies sing like the MEGA. Amazing!" -- Brian F / New Port Richey FL
"....it sounded just perfect to me. Besides the point that I think the MEGAschino and the Tektons are a perfect match." -- John J / Freehold NJ
NOTE: We will add many more reviews here soon!
The mini MEGAschino is designed to improve your audio system by driving the speakers you already own. Owners of these speaker brands may be especially interested:
- Martin Logan
- Von Schweikert
- GR Research
mini MEGAschino Target Specifications:
- Power output: >400Wpc into 4Ω or >200Wpc into 8Ω
- SNR: >118dB
- THD+N at 10W: 0.002%
- Frequency Response: 0Hz to 100kHz
mini MEGAschino Product Description:
The mini MEGAschino will be a 2-channel amplifier component powered by external AC mains (120VAC or 240VAC). There will be inputs and outputs identical to the existing Stereo MEGAschino (see photo below). The design is DC coupled end-to-end, as in the Maraschino amplifier series and existing MEGAschino series. This means no bass phase shift and response down to 0Hz. We will use OPA1602 based input stages as in the Maraschino amplifier series and existing MEGAschino series for super low distortion and noise. We will use a large toroid transformer based linear power supply as in the existing MEGAschino series. The same circuit used in Maraschino and MEGAschino products will provide an automatic sleep mode (after 8 minutes of no audio and wakes up when audio returns). We will include RCA adapters with the mini MEGAschino in case the user only has single ended signals to drive the amp. As in Classic Cherry and MEGAschino amplifiers, we will include a remote trigger jack (2.5mm, 3V-12V) to override sleep mode in systems where an on/off control signal runs the system, although use of this is typically not necessary even when available.
Cherry Amplifier® Sound !!
Cherry Amplifiers have been praised for their sound quality. Although this is a subjective aspect, the effect Cherry Amps have on sound quality can be summarized by the following:
- Smooth, silky highs with no harshness
- Open sky imaging
- Rock solid bass
- Excellent transient delivery
mini MEGAschino Differentiating Factors:
Our innovation sets us apart. Same for our track record. More importantly, we are dedicated to world class Customer Service; but what differentiates the mini MEGAschino from other audio amplifiers?
- DC coupling end-to-end ---- response down to 0Hz and NO BASS PHASE SHIFT
- Low output impedance across the entire audio band ---- other amp manufacturers rate output impedance (or damping factor) only at 100Hz while we measure it at 100Hz, 1kHz, and 10kHz
- Optimized for SONICS above all else ---- we start with amazing bench specs, like 128dB SNR, then we tweak for sound AFTER that
- Black background and micro-dynamics ---- predicted >118dB SNR, 0.002% THD+N at low power
- High power ---- MEGAschino channel boards are capable of comfortably driving up to 1000W into 1.8Ω
- Extended bandwidth ---- up to 100kHz
- Patented and proprietary circuitry designed in-house ---- we are one of the few amp manufacturers that still designs circuits as opposed to dropping yet another off-the-shelf module (provided by some other company) into a fancy box
- No Heat Sinks ---- Our proprietary thermal design channels heat into the large steel chassis
- Experience ---- Our most important feature is experience. With more than 30-years of Class-D amplifier design experience, we stand ready to deliver the highest level of technology for truly state-of-the-art performance.
OTHER NEW PRODUCTS:
DAC DAC 2 HSV ---- The 130dB+ DAC DAC 2 HSV is a very unique DAC and features a natural feeling analog potentiometer that controls digital attenuation. This preserves the ultra-short analog signal path of the DAC DAC while allowing precise volume control. This DAC is especially suited for systems with a fixed volume digital source (such as a CD transport) to drive the amplifiers directly.
Digital Preamp (DPA) ---- We've made progress on this design which is now scheduled for Q2 2019 release.
We will be adding more information here based on your suggestions. Check out our website at CherryAmp.com for information on our current products.
Click HERE for our mini MEGAschino thread on Audio Circle, which contains lots of information and photos.Thanks for checking our project out. We hope you decide to support this Kickstarter.
CHECK OUR PROJECT UPDATES FOR MORE INFORMATION !
Most importantly, please make a pledge to support our project. Without you, we'd wouldn't be able to make such strides in audio.
THANK YOU FOR VISITING !!!!
Notes about Special Rewards:
The story behind our 10th Anniversary Special Signature Edition Classic Cherry Amp:
Back in February 2009, we made the first Cherry Amplifier Motherboard. This was a split design with the power circuits directly mounted to the motherboard and a plug-in driver board for each channel.
Before the Cherry Amplifier, there was the DAC4800A, a two channel “prosumer” amp. The DAC stood for Digital Amp Co, and the 4800A was just the next number in a list of prototypes. At one point, it was DAC1200, meaning 1200W total from a Stereo amp, but the numbers lost the watts correlation after that. At the time, we built brick shaped amplifier modules in steel cases. These “amplifier bricks” were originally designed for an OEM’s 7-ch home theater amp. After this design, we removed the steel outer casing for better heat dissipation, allowing us to run the amp at higher power. The next logical step was to move the module circuitry to the motherboard for fewer interconnects, higher current, and more reasonable total product cost.
So, we’re celebrating a DECADE of what’s now called the Classic Cherry Amplifier. The design has remained nearly identical over a decade!
To make our celebration even happier, we’ll be building some new-ish Classic Cherry Stereo Amps. New-ish because the boards were carefully preserved from MEGAschino upgrades, but the enclosure is new, as well as the transformer, connectors, all internal wiring, and the faceplate, which is the most beautiful RED version we’ve made to date (: They will be signed by the designer (me).
There are only two of these special signature edition stereo amps available, and they're only available through this Kickstarter!
Risks and challenges
RISKS ARE LOW
Digital Amplifier Company has a history of successfully amplifier designs spanning more than 20 years.
Confidence is very high that we will be able to finish the mini MEGAschino design in an effective manner. We have done most of the prototyping already, and our Cherry Maraschino Modules are already proven by use and testing. We successfully prototyped many boards for our previous Kickstarter projects. We have also prototyped the mini MEGAschino transformer, which is one of the longest lead time items in the product.
Our customer-first philosophy has led to a growing and loyal customer base, so we expect sufficient participation in this Kickstarter project. We also have a track record of five successfully funded Kickstarter projects. We reached our funding goal on Day 1 for two of our previous Kickstarter projects.
Our biggest challenges with this project are logistics and timing. This is common for any new product development where the technology is already proven.
HOW WE WILL USE THE MONEY
The funds will be used to prototype the front panel labels and build the new version of our Cherry Maraschino Modules. We will also finish the mini MEGAschino motherboard design by modifying our existing MEGAschino Bill of Materials and building prototypes.
SUPPLY CHAIN / TIME LINE
The supply chain for the mini MEGAschino is already established through previous designs. We are using the MEGAschino chassis, so wire harnesses (with the exception of the input harness which has already been prototyped successfully) are already proven. Even the shipping container for mini MEGAschino has been used with other production amplifiers for several years.
The time line for finishing development is about a month total, including the new motherboard.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)