Specialist UK Distributor Sound Design Distribution Ltd has signed a UK distribution deal with Mola-Mola. Mola-Mola is the brainchild of Bruno Putzeys, “he wunderkind of Class-D technology” originator of Universal class-D (UcD) in 2001 while at Phillips and as chief tech guru at Hypex, responsible for the development of its game-changing NCore Class-D amplifier technology.
Presented in strikingly distinctive rippled all-aluminium enclosures the ‘Makua’ Control Amplifier, complete with modular DAC and phono options, and ‘Kaluga’ Monoblock power amplifiers will be the first Mola-Mola designs to be made available to UK audiophiles through Sound Design Distribution Ltd.
The Makua is a fully balanced gain stage and routing matrix, accommodating optional DAC and phono stage modules and programmable via a dedicated App through USB or Bluetooth to access any combination of channel, processing and routing. Via the phono stage option for instance, vinyl-lovers can connect up to five turntables and program the settings individually for each. All five inputs are switchable between XLR and floating RCA connections, and all can be assigned as either phono or line.
All stages in the Makua employ discrete amplifier modules using a little known topology called “single-ended driven differential”, which prevents noise from propagating all the way through to the outputs (paralleled for bi-amping). The relay-based volume control directly controls the gain of the output stage.
- 5 balanced and 5 unbalanced inputs, all routable through optional processor boards like the phono stage and DAC
- 2 parallel outputs for bi-amping
- 4 programmable trigger outputs
- Distortion at maximum signal level (THD, IMD): negligible – estimated around -150dB
- Bandwidth >200 kHz
- Dimensions: 420mm(W) x 110mm (H) x 345mm (D). Depth includes volume knob and connectors
- Weight: 11kg
Based on Bruno Putzeys’ Ncore technology the Kaluga amplifier uses a circuit from Mola-Mola derived from the Hypex NC1200 amplifier, featuring an audiophile layout of short, isolated signal paths and eliminating board-to-board connectors in favour of star-quad cables soldered directly to the circuit board. The input stage on a separate circuit board uses the same discrete buffers as those found in the Makua pre-amplifier. The redesigned output filter uses monolithic capacitors.
- Output power: 400 W/8 ohm; 700W/4 ohm; 1200W/2 ohm
- Unweighted Signal/Noise Ratio: 128 dB
- Distortion (THD, IMD): <0.003 % (all frequencies and power levels)
- Bandwidth: >50 kHz
- Balanced and unbalanced input
- 2 pairs of Furutech binding posts, bi-wired directly to the amplifier PCB using Kubala·Sosna cable
- Dimensions: 200mm (W) x 110mm (H) x 335mm (D). Depth includes speaker terminals
- Weight: 7kg
The DAC from Moma-Mola has been designed from the ground up using circuits and digital algorithms developed entirely in house. The converter is a three board stack that fits in one of the option slots in the MAKUA preamp. On the first board, all incoming digital audio is upsampled to 3.125MHz/32 bits and converted to noise shaped PWM. The two remaining boards are mono DACs, in which a discrete 32-stage FIR DAC and a single-stage 4th order filtering I/V converter convert the PWM into analogue with a 140dB SNR. This is near the theoretical limit for 24-bit files and far beyond that of even quad-speed DSD.
- Inputs: XLR, Optical, USB and Bluetooth (A2DP)
- Supported formats: PCM up to 384 kHz /32 bits (>192 kHz and >24 bits only via USB); DSD up to quad speed (DDSD and up only via USB)
- Performance: Signal to Noise Ratio: 140 dB (standalone version), 130dB (preamp option board); THD, IMD: negligible – estimated around -150dB.
- Bandwidth: Up to 80 kHz. Choice of sharp or slow upsampling filters, minimum or linear phase.
- Integrated jitter: <1 ps from 10 Hz upwards, <300 fs from 1 kHz upwards.
- Jitter rejection: >80 dB at 1 Hz after 20 seconds of lock.
A standalone version of the Mola-Mola DAC is in the final stages of development
The RIAA add-on for the MAKUA Preamp has MC/MM input stages are optimised for current noise and voltage noise respectively.
Unlike the more common arrangement of MC head-amp feeding the MM stage, the two stages are fully independent, realising an equally short signal path for both. Input gain is switchable in 5dB steps over a 40dB range. Input resistance and capacitance are individually switchable. Available EQ settings cover practically all known cutting curves ever used, including most 78RPM.
UK retail price (inc VAT):
Makua – £7,299; Kaluga (each) – £4,999; DAC board for Makua – £3,999; Phono stage for Makua – £1,699
Availability: September 2016