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Argo / Integrated Amplifier
Argo / Integrated Amplifier
Argo / Integrated Amplifier
Argo / Integrated Amplifier

Constellation

Argo / Integrated Amplifier

At Constellation Audio, musicality is always our primary concern-and our secondary and tertiary concern, too. But we do realize there are times when practicality is required.

Brand: Constellation
Product Type:  
Category:  

£31,998.00

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At Constellation Audio, musicality is always our primary concern-and our secondary and tertiary concern, too. But we do realize there are times when practicality is required.

  • Inputs   2 XLR, 2 RCA, USB (for service and control systems), 3.5mm jack for 12-volt trigger
  • Outputs   Argento Clamps speaker cable connectors, XLR balanced line-level, 1/4-inch/6.2mm headphone jack
  • Power output, 8Ω (1 kHz @ 1% THD+N)   125 watts
  • Power output, 4Ω (1 kHz @ 1% THD+N)   230 watts
  • Frequency response   10 Hz to 200 kHz, +0.5/-0.25 dB
  • Gain   38.6 dB
  • Volume control resolution 0.5 dB steps from 0 dB to -99.5 dBFS
  • THD+N (1 kHz @ 25W into 8Ω)   0.005%
  • Output impedance   0.08Ω
  • Damping factor (8Ω load)   100
  • Input impedance   20KΩ unbalanced, 40KΩ balanced
  • Output noise   -83 dB A-weighted
  • Weight   40 lbs / 18.1 kg
  • Dimensions   17 x 5.5 x 15.75 in (whd)

43.2 x 14 x 40 cm (whd)

At Constellation Audio, musicality is always our primary concern-and our secondary and tertiary concern, too. But we do realize there are times when practicality is required. This is exactly why we created the Performance Series Argo integrated amplifier.
The Argo combines the Line Stage Gain Module concept of our Altair II and Virgo II preamps; the balanced bridged modular concept used in our Hercules II and Centaur amplifiers; and convenience features found on no other Constellation Audio products (yet). The sum of these stellar parts is a 125-watt-per-channel integrated amplifier that delivers the musicality of our larger components, yet is surprisingly compact-and yes, quite practical.

With the addition of several new features and connections, the Argo is almost an entertainment system unto itself. It accommodates four analog audio sources (two XLR, two RCA). Two slots in the back accommodate optional USB digital-to-analog converter and phono preamp modules. Simply connect a pair of speakers and you have a complete music system. Or plug in a set of headphones and enjoy the sound of the Argo on a more intimate scale. All told, the Argo is something quite unprecedented in high-end audio: the incomparable quality of Constellation Audio, with the convenience of an A/V receiver.

It was especially important to us that the Argo, despite its compact design, deliver the musicality for which numerous publications worldwide have praised our other products as among the best-if not the best-on the planet.

To assure that the Argo would maintain the excellence of its forbears, we began with the same Line Stage Gain Module schematic that forms the basis of our Altair II and Virgo II preamps. This module is a fully complementary preamplifier circuit that uses servo circuits and hand-selected, ultra-low-noise field-effect transistors (FETs) to achieve essentially perfect balance between the positive and negative halves of the audio signal. With no musical details buried in an imperfectly balanced circuit, every tiniest sonic nuance is revealed.
Volume adjustment is accomplished through a digitally controlled resistive ladder. There are no potentiometers in the signal chain, thus none of the signal degradation and channel imbalance that even the best potentiometers can cause.

From the Line Stage Gain Module, we route the perfectly balanced signals into our balanced bridged modular amplifier, built using the same single-ended 125-watt circuit module used in our state-of-the-art, 1,000-watt Hercules II monoblock amplifiers. These modules receive an abundant supply of clean power from our custom-wound toroidal transformer and substantial storage capacitors. The same distinctive (and highly effective) passive ventilation system used on the Hercules II and Centaur amps provides ample cooling.

Even though the Argo packs a great deal of technology into its compact chassis, it maintains full dual-mono operation. Only the power supply transformer is shared. The amplifier and preamplifier circuits are laid out in a mirror-image arrangement that reduces interaction between the channels to a bare minimum.

As with our preamps, a 432 x 230-pixel high-contrast touchscreen provides a comfortable, intuitive method of control as well as detailed information about operating status and adjustments. A machined aluminum remote control provides quick access to the Argo's most-used functions.

Is the Argo the most meticulously designed, lavishly constructed integrated amplifier in the history of audio? Probably. Is it the only way to get the musicality of Constellation Audio in a compact, living-room-friendly component? Definitely.

Line Stage Gain Module
The Argo employs the same core preamplification circuit found in all other Constellation Audio products: our Line Stage Gain Module, which employs servo circuits and hand-selected field-effect transistors (FETs) to achieve an essentially perfect balance between the positive and negative halves of the audio signal. In the Argo, this signal travels directly into the power amplifier circuitry with no additional gain stage needed, just as in a system employing our separate amps and preamps. The result is musicality that is truly incredible not only for an integrated amplifier, but for any audio component.
Home theater bypass
We know that two-channel music systems sometimes have to serve as part of a home theater surround-sound system. The Argo's home theater bypass function allows it to serve as the amplifier for the front left and right speakers of a home theater system without compromising two-channel sound quality in any way.

Custom-wound toroidal transformer with dual-mono power supply filtration
The Argo's integral power supply starts with a custom-wound toroidal transformer. From there, AC power travels into separate storage capacitors, rectifiers and voltage regulators for each channel. Thus, heavy demands on one channel do not influence the performance of the other channel.

Exclusive balanced bridged amplifier circuitry
The Argo's power amplification is constructed from the same single-ended, 125-watt circuit schematic used for Constellation Audio's Hercules II and Centaur power amplifiers. While the Argo cannot match the power and dynamics of those larger amplifiers, its transparency, musicality and sound are fundamentally the same.

Optional USB DAC and phono preamp modules
Two ports in the back of the Argo accommodate optional digital-to-analog converter and phono preamp modules, making the Argo an all-in-one audio entertainment component. Just add speakers.

Thick 8.2mm metal components for superior shielding
Key chassis components in the Argo are machined from solid slabs of aluminum to a minimum thickness of 8.2mm, which is necessary to block 50/60 Hz electromagnetic interference from household wiring and appliances. With interference blocked, every smallest detail of the music is free to pass through.

Integral headphone amplifier
The Argo offers a feature as yet found in no other Constellation Audio component: a headphone amplifier capable of driving any dynamic or planar-magnetic headphone to live-concert levels without the slightest hint of dynamic compression-even with the most insensitive, hard-to-drive headphones.
XLR balanced line output
If you someday decide to upgrade to a larger amplifier, the Argo is ready-the back panel has a stereo XLR balanced output, suitable to driver the Constellation Audio Hercules II and Centaur amps (or any other high-quality power amp).

Front-panel touchscreen control system
Through a 432 x 230-pixel front touchscreen, the Argo provides instant access to its advanced features without cluttering up the unit with unneeded physical switches.

Machined aluminum remote control
The Argo's striking industrial design is complemented by an equally striking remote control, machined from aluminum to complement the Argo's looks. The remote's hefty feel and ergonomic design help make the Argo sheer pleasure to use..

Constellation Audio

Constellation Audio was founded on the premise that one cannot create something extraordinary through slavish adherence to established methods. When tradition is the best path, we embrace it. When new technology is necessary to achieve the performance we want, we invent it. When we find a radical circuit topology that delivers a substantial advance in sound quality, we use it.