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Inspiration Series Stereo 1.0

Our original goal when we founded Constellation Audio was to apply the talents of our “dream team” of top engineers and designers to creating the finest components the audio world has ever seen.

Brand: Constellation
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Our original goal when we founded Constellation Audio was to apply the talents of our “dream team” of top engineers and designers to creating the finest components the audio world has ever seen.

  • Inputs -    1 Constellation Direct XLR, 1 standard balanced XLR, 1 unbalanced RCA
  • Outputs -    metal binding posts
  • Power output per channel, -  8Ω (1 kHz @ 1% THD+N)   200 watts
  • Power output per channel, - 4Ω (1 kHz @ 1% THD+N)   400 watts
  • Frequency response  - 10 Hz to 80 kHz, +0/-0.5 dB
  • Gain -  14dB Constellation Direct, 26 dB Balanced & RCA
  • THD+N -  (1 kHz @ up to 90% of rated power)   <0.05%
  • Output impedance  - 0.1Ω
  • Damping factor - (8Ω load)   80
  • Input impedance -  20KΩ Constellation Direct, 10KΩ RCA unbalanced, 20KΩ XLR balanced
  • Siganl-to-noise ratio -  >-95 dB, A-weighted
  • Output noise -    <70 µV, 500 kHz BW, -116 dB @ 250 watts
  • Weight -    80 lbs / 36.3 kg
  • Dimensions  -  17 x 8.5 x 19 in (whd)

43.2 x 21.6 x 48.3 cm (whd)

Our original goal when we founded Constellation Audio was to apply the talents of our “dream team” of top engineers and designers to creating the finest components the audio world has ever seen. According to many noted experts, we've done just that. With this goal accomplished, we decided to see if we could bring the same concepts, the same care … and even the same audio circuits … to demanding audiophiles who crave the state of the art at a more modest cost.
The Inspiration STEREO 1.0 amplifier perfectly embodies this aesthetic. It's not exactly the same as our Hercules and Centaur stereo amplifiers, but one must look carefully to discover the differences.

As with all Constellation Audio amplifiers, the heart of the Inspiration STEREO 1.0 is our unique Balanced Bridged circuit topology, which combines multiple single-ended amplifier modules in a fully balanced design.

Our Balanced Bridged topology uses only N-type output transistors, so the two halves of the audio signal are always perfectly balanced. In most fully balanced amplifiers, the schematics for the positive and negative halves of the amplifier circuit are mirrored, but one half uses N-type transistors and the other half uses P-type transistors. Thus, a perfectly balanced output can never be achieved.

Achieving a perfect balance between the two halves of an audio signal is possible only when the incoming signal is itself perfectly balanced. This is why the Inspiration STEREO 1.0 uses the same Line Stage Gain Module circuit found in all Constellation Audio products. The Line Stage Gain Module's servo circuits assure that both halves of an incoming signal are perfectly balanced, no matter what the source.But if the source is a Constellation Audio preamp -- which of course has its own Line Stage Gain Module -- then so much the better. Because you can then use the Constellation Direct balanced input, which bypasses the Inspiration STEREO 1.0's input stage for the best possible fidelity.
Thus, the core amplifier circuits in the Inspiration STEREO 1.0 are essentially the same as in the Hercules and Centaur. Most of the parts are, in fact, identical. The main difference is that the input and gain stages are on the same circuit board, instead of being separated as in the larger amplifiers. Thus, while the Inspiration cannot quite equal the dynamics of its much larger brethren, the character of its sound -- or, perhaps more accurately, the lack of character of its sound -- is the same.

Given its conservatively rated 200 watts per channel, though, you are highly unlikely to exhaust the Inspiration STEREO 1.0's dynamic reserves. A custom-wound toroidal transformer, feeding a total of 24 capacitors yielding a combined 240,000 microfarads of storage, assures that the Inspiration STEREO 1.0's output stages always receive the clean, ample voltage and current needed to achieve maximum musicality and sonic transparency. Massive heat sinks, ventilated through hundreds of ventilation ports in Constellation Audio's trademark machined-aluminum side panels, assure cool, reliable operation.
The Inspiration STEREO 1.0 is the very essence of the Reference-series Hercules and Performance-series Centaur amplifiers, distilled into a more compact and affordable package.
200 watts per channel into 8 ohms
With power output conservatively rated at 0.2% total harmonic distortion plus noise, doubling to 400 watts into 4 ohms, the Inspiration STEREO 1.0 has enough power to drive practically any speaker to maximum volume without audible distortion.
Balanced bridged design from Hercules and Centaur
The Inspiration STEREO 1.0 uses a modular, fully balanced design with only N-type output transistors, instead of half N-type and half P-type as found in almost all other solid-state amplifiers. Thus, the positive and negative halves of the audio signal are maintained in ideal balance and the subtlest of musical details are preserved.

Line Stage Gain Module
Incoming signals are treated to our Line Stage Gain Module circuitry, which uses servo circuits to achieve essentially perfect balance between the positive and negative haves of the audio signal. If a Constellation Audio preamplifier is used, this input stage may be bypassed through use of the Inspiration STEREO 1.0's Constellation Direct balanced input.

Fully discrete circuitry
As with our other amplifiers, we use only discrete components in the Inspiration STEREO 1.0’s audio circuits.

Ultra-smooth, high-current power supply
A large, custom-wound toroidal transformer feeds a bank of 24 capacitors rated at 10,000 microfarads each, assuring that the Inspiration STEREO 1.0's output stages have more than enough current to deliver their rated power with ease -- and enough dynamic output to achieve concert-sound levels, if your speakers are up to it.

No output filters required
The inherent stability of our Balanced Bridged design allows us to dispense with the Zobel output filter network many amplifiers require to maintain reliable operation.

Shortest possible signal path
By placing the transformer at the front of the Inspiration STEREO 1.0 and moving the output stages to the rear, we ensure the shortest possible signal path and very low output impedance.
Shielded enclosure for power supply
To minimize interaction of the transformer's electromagnetic fields with the audio circuits, we place the transformer in its own enclosure and shield it with thick aluminum plates. A special shielded channel carries the AC voltage from the power input to the power supply enclosure.

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.