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Development of optimized board set and 2000W transformer for our new flagship MEGAschino Amplifier.  Muscular and Graceful sound.
Development of optimized board set and 2000W transformer for our new flagship MEGAschino Amplifier. Muscular and Graceful sound.
33 backers pledged $40,895 to help bring this project to life.

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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

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Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

The MEGAschino Amplifier (or simply "MEGA") is an audio power amp combining massive headroom with outstanding sonics.  The MEGA is offered in Stereo and MONO versions.

BRIEF 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 "me-too" module based 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.

Although the Maraschino's power delivery into 4Ω is an admirable 400W (with 60V 1kW power supply), what if you crave even more power with that signature super-clean-and-fast Maraschino sound? How about more than double the power?

CULMINATION

Enter the MEGAschino: 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. This graph shows sonic performance versus power output of the Cherry Classic, Maraschino, and new MEGAschino: 

Maraschino vs MEGAschino Graph
Maraschino vs MEGAschino Graph

About the Technology ---- How does this affect the SOUND?

The MEGA uses 12 output devices per channel, and the Maraschino uses 4. This is like comparing a V4 engine to a V12 engine. The result is essentially 3 times the current handling capability.

We also developed a superior method for removing spurs in the passband at low levels, thus allowing an even lower "spike free" noise floor than Maraschino.

The huge headroom and DC coupling of the MEGA deliver stunning bass with "hit you in the chest" transients. This amp can deliver serious current (peaks above 50A)! With a super strong toroidal transformer based power supply and ultra low output impedance into the upper registers, instruments and voices are rendered with unrivaled clarity on even power hungry speakers. It's like a bottomless pit of super clean power! Plus, the highs have a silkiness that allows the proper fade to cymbals, and super fast transients are no longer inhibited. The most surprising thing of all is the performance at low volumes. You don't need to crank it up to get refined focus and locked-in imaging.

The MEGA is capable of a feather touch as well as the brute force of previous "super amps".

The MEGAschino Upgrade !

Classic Cherry owners can upgrade their amps to MEGAschino level. We do this by replacing the boards. Everything else stays the same, including the transformer and connectors. With the MEGA's even lower output impedance and wider pulse differentials, you can get approximately 10% more power into your speakers from the same power supply. This gives you more "slam" for bass dynamics.

New MEGAschinos

New MEGAs come with black faceplates and 750W transformers.  That's per amp, so MEGA MONOs have one 750W transformer per channel while a Stereo MEGA drives two channels with a single 750W transformer.  Options include 1500W transformer upgrades and double or quadruple capacitance.  Note that quadruple capacitance is only available on the MONO MEGA.  We plan to offer a 2000W transformer upgrade in the near future.

Early Acclaim

Customers and reviewers have already praised the MEGA 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

The MEGA has similar sound quality to the Maraschino, with more authority and refinement.  There are many reviews of Maraschino and MEGAschino amplifiers HERE.

What's Inside?

The MEGAschino uses key parts of the Classic Cherry design, such as a large toroidal transformer and a built-like-a-tank 16 gauge steel chassis.

The MEGA board set consists of a motherboard and one or two channel boards.  The channel boards are oriented vertically.  Large power capacitors (up to 8) are mounted to the motherboard.

MEGAschino Stereo Top Open
MEGAschino Stereo Top Open

YOUR Speakers

The MEGA is designed to improve your audio system by driving the speakers you already own.  Owners of these speaker brands may be especially interested:

  • Magnepan
  • Martin Logan
  • Von Schweikert
  • JTR
  • GR Research
  • Legacy
  • KEF
  • B&W

MEGAschino Specifications

Gain: 26dB
SNR: 120dB
1W THD+N: 0.005%
Minimum Recommended Load: 2Ω
Size: 17.0" x 14.3" x 4.6" (including faceplate)
Power Stage Efficiency: 95%
Output Impedance: <0.03Ω
Sensitivity: 3.0Vin for 400Wout into 8Ω
Weight: 30-40 lbs (depending on version)
Input Impedance: 20kΩ true balanced
Frequency Response: 0Hz to 150kHz (DC coupled)
Output Power (standard 750W transformer):
    Stereo Version: 660Wpc into 4Ω, 400Wpc into 8Ω
    MONO Version: 720Wpc into 4Ω, 430Wpc into 8Ω
Output Power (1500W transformer):
    Stereo Version: 750Wpc into 4Ω, 440Wpc into 8Ω
    MONO Version: 850Wpc into 4Ω, 460Wpc into 8Ω
Output Power (2000W transformer, predicted):
    Stereo Version, Double Capacitance: 800Wpc into 4Ω, 460Wpc into 8Ω
    MONO Version, Quad Capacitance: 1000Wpc into 4Ω, 500Wpc into 8Ω
Protection: Thermal, Current, Voltage, Auto-Recovery
Output Connectors: WBT Gold Binding Posts
Input Connectors: Neutrik Gold XLR (RCA-to-XLR adapters included)
Idle Power Consumption:
    Stereo Version: 36W
    MONO Version: 20W
Sleep Mode Power Consumption:
    Stereo Version: 11W
    MONO Version: 8W
AC MAINS: 120VAC nominal, 230VAC upon request

MEGAschino Features

  • Auto-Sleep: Sleeps after 8 minutes of no audio and wakes up when audio returns
  • Beautiful Enclosure: Heavy Gauge Steel in Textured Black, 3/8" Thick Brushed Aluminum Black Faceplate (see below)
  • Power Supply: Massive Linear Transformer, separate channel power rails with stereo version
  • Remote Trigger: 2.5mm DC jack, 3V-12V
  • Ultra-High Sound Quality: Muscular and Graceful
 

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 MEGA from other high power 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 ---- 120dB SNR, 0.005% THD+N at low power
  • High power ---- MEGAschino channel boards are capable of comfortably driving up to 1000W into 4Ω and up to 2000W into 2Ω
  • Extended bandwidth ---- up to 150kHz
  • 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 module 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.

NEW PRODUCTS

We will be introducing two new products soon, and you will have the opportunity, through this Kickstarter, to get our newest equipment first, at early adopter prices.

  • DAC DAC 2 HS ---- With DC coupling, super short signal path, near-zero distortion, double-differential balanced outputs, and 130dB+ of Dynamic Range, you'd be hard pressed to attain a cleaner audio signal.  The DAC DAC 2 is identical on the outside to the original DAC DAC, but contains our new higher performance board.  Upgrades from DAC DAC to DAC DAC 2 HS are also available.
  • Digital Preamp (DPA) ---- This new product will feature 4 coax (SPDIF) digital inputs and 2 digital outputs.  Control the volume, select the input, and more.  Our DPA will feature "digital gain", remote control, HT pass-through mode, output rate selector, sub crossover, and possibly other capabilities, such as a headphone driver algorithm (perfect room simulator) that we've been working on.

More Information

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 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 !!!!

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 optimize the MEGAschino Cherry Amplifier board set because the modifications are minimal -- mostly parts placement. We successfully prototyped the boards for our previous Kickstarter project.

We are also confident in our ability to successfully develop a 2000W transformer to fit our existing chassis. Countermeasures are in place to accommodate a taller transformer by modifying the chassis lid if necessary. We recently built a 2000W prototype transformer that exceeded maximum internal height by less than 0.5". Worst case, we will get as close as possible to 2000W.

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 four successfully funded Kickstarter projects. We reached our funding goal on Day 1 of our two most recent Kickstarter projects.

CHALLENGES

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 design new boards for streamlined assembly and development of a 2000W transformer.

SUPPLY CHAIN / TIME LINE

The supply chain for the MEGAschino is already established through previous designs and prototyping of the original MEGAschino boards. We are using the Classic Cherry chassis, so wire harnesses, transformers, faceplates, and shipping containers have all been used in production amplifiers for several years.

The time line for delivery of the new transformer and board set is approximately 3 months.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    OFFICIAL SUPPORTER CERTIFICATE

    Show your support and get an official Audio Enthusiast Certificate via email. Thanks for being a part of our project!

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    CUSTOM

    Use this reward only if we sent you an official "custom reward" email.

    If you're interested in a reward that's not listed, please email us at Support@DigitalAmp.com.

    Thank you for your support.

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    DAC DAC Upgrade

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    We will convert your DAC DAC to our new 130dB+ DAC DAC 2 HS by replacing the board inside with our new higher performance board.

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See project text for more information about DAC DAC 2 HS. Thank you for your support.

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    DAC DAC 2 HS

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive our new 130dB+ Digital to Analog Converter! Looks like a DAC DAC from the outside, but uses our new higher performance board inside. If you have a DAC DAC already, check out our DAC DAC 2 Upgrade Reward.

    Add $90 (reg $150) for RCA adapters if you need single ended outputs.

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See project text for more information about DAC DAC 2 HS. Thank you for your support.

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    Stereo Maraschino

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive a Stereo Maraschino Amplifier ($1200 value). Includes a 48V Medical Grade Universal AC power supply and RCA-to-XLR adapters. Clement Perry of Stereo Times says "....it's hard to think an amplifier this small and light can create this level of sonic excellence." and "Stereo Maraschino boasts an incredibly small signal path that translates into a more transparent window into the very fabric of each performance." (http://v2.stereotimes.com/post/stereo-maraschino-amplifier).

    Add $150 (reg $300) for our custom 6-foot braded Speaker Snakes. They MEASURE lower distortion than "regular" 12-gauge speaker wire!

    To get to the next level, add just $400 for the KING version (reg $1700) -- A 60V 1kW Power Supply (same footprint as the amp, so they are "stackable"), an Ultra-Low Impedance DC_SNAKE (6-inch, 3-ft available upon request), and GOLD WBT posts.

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on the Stereo Maraschino. Thank you for your support.

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    Digital Preamp

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive our newest product, the Digital Preamp (DPA), which can be the control center for your high performance 2-channel system! It can also support the L/R channels in a home theater system with HT pass-through mode.

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See project text for more information about our DPA. Thank you for your support.

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    DEMO Desktop Maraschino PAIR

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    ONLY ONE PAIR AVAILABLE! You will receive a pair of DEMO Desktop Maraschino Amplifiers ($2500 value) transferred to a new case. Solid granite bases. DUAL Universal AC 48V Medical Grade Power Supplies, and RCA-to-XLR adapters are included. We will provide a selection of available cases in our new format.

    Add $150 (reg $300) for 6-foot (for both channels) ultra-low impedance red/black braided Speaker Snake banana plug speaker wires!

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information about Desktop Maraschino. Thank you for your support.

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    In-Line Maraschino PAIR

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive a pair of In-Line Maraschino Amplifiers ($1900 value). Dual 48V Medical Grade Universal AC power supplies and RCA-to-XLR adapters are included.

    Add $100 (reg $150) for our custom 4-inch banana plug speaker wires. Use these special cables to hang your In-Line Maraschinos from the speakers, effectively eliminating speaker wires for better realized damping factor.

    To get to the next level, add $700 for the KING version (reg $3100) -- DUAL 60V 1kW Power Supplies, DC_SNAKEs, GOLD WBT posts.

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on the In-Line Maraschino. Thank you for your support.

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    Red DEMO KING Desktop Maraschino PAIR

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    OLNY ONE PAIR AVAILABLE! You will receive a pair of DEMO Desktop Maraschino Amplifiers ($2900 value) in our initial version red enclosure. Posts are upgraded WBT GOLD (normally a $400 upgrade). These have red LEDs and are mounted on solid marble bases. DUAL 60V 1kW Power Supplies, standard DC cables, and RCA-to-XLR adapters are included.

    Add $150 (reg $300) for ultra-low impedance red/black braided DC_SNAKE cables instead of the standard DC cables.

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information about Desktop Maraschino. Thank you for your support.

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    "Bare Metal" Desktop Maraschino PAIR

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    This reward is EXTRA SPECIAL! You will receive a pair of Desktop Maraschino Amplifiers ($2900 value) in our beautiful "bare metal" case, with blue LEDs, on solid aluminum bases (normally a $400 upgrade). Dual 48V Medical Grade Universal AC power supplies and RCA-to-XLR adapters are included.

    To get to the next level, add $990 for the KING version (reg $4400!) -- DUAL 60V 1kW Power Supplies, DC_SNAKEs, GOLD WBT posts.

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on Desktop Maraschino. Thank you for your support.

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    Digital Audio Bundle

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive: a Cherry USB, a Cherry Digital Preamp (DPA), and a DAC DAC 2 HS. With this bundle, you will be able to connect up to 4 coax SPDIF digital audio sources, including one from a PC or Mac via Cherry USB (converts to SPDIF).

    Our DPA is currently under development, and we might include a USB input. In this case, your Digital Audio Bundle will consist of the DPA and DAC DAC 2 HS.

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on Cherry USB. See project text for more information about DAC DAC 2 HS and DPA. Thank you for your support.

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    Stereo Motherboard Upgrade

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive our Classic Stereo Cherry Motherboard Upgrade ($2900 Value)! Enjoy the new refined and powerful MEGAschino sound in your system. No need to choose between big power or big refinement anymore!

    For the Double Rail Capacitors Upgrade, add $490 ($600 value).

    When your new motherboard is ready, we will provide details about shipment of your Cherry Amplifier to us for the upgrade. Return shipping is charged separately.

    Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See project text for more information about our Motherboard Upgrades. Thank you for your support.

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    MONO PAIR Motherboard Upgrade

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive our Classic MONO Cherry Motherboard PAIR Upgrade ($3600 Value)! Enjoy the new refined and powerful MEGAschino sound in your system. No need to choose between big power or big refinement anymore!

    For the Double Rail Capacitors Upgrade, add $990 ($1200 value). For the Quadruple Rail Capacitors Upgrade, add $1590 ($2000 value).

    When your new motherboards are ready, we will provide details about shipment of your Cherry Amplifiers to us for the upgrade. Return shipping is charged separately.

    Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See project text for more information about our Motherboard Upgrades. Thank you for your support.

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    DEMO Black Golden Cherry Amps (blue LED)

    Only one pair available! You will receive a DEMO PAIR of Black Golden Cherry Maraschino Amplifiers with blue LEDs ($7100 value!). These are in perfect condition, gently used locally less than two years. They come with dual 60V 1kW power supplies, low impedance 3-foot DC_SNAKEs, and RCA-to-XLR adapters.

    The Golden Cherry is our top-of-the-line Desktop Maraschino with a triple capacitance modification and tweaked modulator circuit. These customized monoblocks are in black cases with blue LEDs.

    Add $150 for a PAIR of our custom low impedance 6-foot length braided Speaker Snake wires with banana plug terminations for an additional $150 (reg $300). Highly recommended.

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on the In-Line Maraschino. Thank you for your support.

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    Golden Cherry Amps (PAIR)

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive a PAIR of Golden Cherry Maraschino Amplifiers ($6900 value!). Dual 60V 1kW power supplies, low impedance 3-foot DC_SNAKEs, and RCA-to-XLR adapters are included.

    The Golden Cherry is our top-of-the-line Desktop Maraschino with a triple capacitance modification and tweaked modulator circuit. We have received accolades from the press:
    "....these GOLDEN CHERRY Digital Amp Co. gems may be the single most transparent, uncolored, and precise amplification experience...." – Jeremy Kipnis, Positive Feedback Online

    More importantly, our customers love the ultra-refined sound of the Golden Cherry:
    “….very transparent and "clean" sounding without any sound signature at all.” – John J, Freehold NJ

    Add $150 for a PAIR of our custom low impedance 6-foot length braided Speaker Snake wires with banana plug terminations for an additional $150 (reg $300). Highly recommended.

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on the In-Line Maraschino. Thank you for your support.

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    Stereo MEGAschino

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive our Stereo MEGAschino Amplifier ($6100 value)! Enjoy the new refined and powerful MEGAschino sound in your system. No need to choose between big power or big refinement anymore!

    Full specifications and features are listed in the project text. For the 1500W transformer upgrade, add $690 ($800 value). For the Double Rail Capacitors Upgrade, add $490 ($600 value).

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See project text for more information about the MEGAschino. Thank you for your support.

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    MONO MEGAschino PAIR

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive our MONO MEGAschino Amplifier PAIR ($9800 value)! Enjoy the new refined and powerful MEGAschino sound in your system. No need to choose between big power or big refinement anymore!

    Full specifications and features are listed in the project text. For the 1500W transformer upgrade, add $1290 ($1600 value). For the Double Rail Capacitors Upgrade, add $990 ($1200 value). For the Quadruple Rail Capacitors Upgrade, add $1590 ($2000 value).

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    See project text for more information about the MEGAschino. Thank you for your support.

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Funding period

- (30 days)