The 1ET7040SA is the new class D amplifier module from Purifi Audio, a Denmark company founded by some of the best audio inventors and engineers on the recent years. Do you want the names? Go ahead and you will find everything you are looking for. We already talked about Purifi a few months ago with the 1ET400A module test and today we are here, probably in a world preview, thanks to the Italian Rouge Audio Design, to test the new module, 1ET7040SA which promises even more interesting performances than its younger brother.
Despite the limited time available for listening, we will try to give you all the possible information about this Purifi 1ET7040SA and the first information we want to give you is that it is an OEM module.
“What does OEM mean?”
Very simple, it is a module reserved for audio manufacturer, while you could even buy the previous Purifi 1ET400A on Amazon, in this case it will not be possible. Friends DIY-ers be warned: “you will not be able to play with the new modules, but only listen to them in some realizations”. We have tried one of the first product on the market based on this amplifier board: the Studio N8 by Rouge AudioDesign.
With the Purifi 1ET7040SA you will have almost infinite power and driving capacity enclosed at your disposal in a small chassis (430x300x80mm) that spends little more energy than a light bulb thanks to its very high efficiency. This is the dream of every audiophile and of many audiophile wives who rant about the monoliths destined to drive our speakers. You could almost put this Rouge Audio Design Studio N8 in your home without anyone noticing!
Lots of power and low distortion
The Purifi 1ET7040SA is a power amplifier capable of delivering a power of 250 Watts into 8ohm -500 Watts into 4 ohms and 950 Watts into 2 ohms. All with a very high efficiency (94% @ 500W, 4Ω,1kHz), managing to deliver a current of 40A. A fundamental aspect in Hi-Fi is the low distortion and also in this case the plate data are at record levels (THD + N: <0.00035% @ 200W, 4Ω, 1kHz). As for the power supply, the hyper-proven switching power supply of Hypex SMPS1200A400 was used in the realization of Rouge Audio Design but obviously it is not the only possible choice. Many will already be thinking of a linear power supply, but if you want to keep costs down and keep the overall dimensions small, the choice of the Hypex SMPS1200A400 seemed a good compromise to us, so that it’s capable of giving a very good performance. A very important aspect of these amplifiers is the buffer stage.
During the test of the Purifi 1ET400A we had fun doing several experiments, thanks to the Rouge NCX2 board that offers the user the options to roll the operational amplifiers and voltage regulators. In this case we will use the Purifi evaluation board. The reason of this choice is very simple: this is a new module and before going to perform any tuning on the sound performance it is good to know how the “base” of this amplifier sounds, moreover the evaluation board is equipped with the OPA1612, one of the best op-amps we have tested.
The two Purifi modules, the 1ET400A and the 1ET7040SA
The DEMO unit of the STUDIO N8 we have here is very simple: on the back you will find Neutrik XLR connectors for the signal input cables, an on/off switch button near the IEC socket and two high quality speaker binding posts. Warning: if you decide to use RCA cables, Rouge Audio Design recommends adding an internal board called RCB (Rouge Connection Board) which allows you to have double XLR and RCA inputs. It is a passive module made with quality components, designed to use these amplifiers in RCA without mortifying the audio performance.
The frontplate of the amplifier features a stand-by button and nothing more. The dimensions and weight are very similar to those of Rouge Audio’s Studio N10 and, as per the tradition of these amplifiers, they are extremely compact. Compared to a Krell KSA 250, the difference in size, weight and above all consumption is really impressive.
Inside the chassis, the two mono 1ET7040SA boards and the two PSU have a well-designed layout and excellent EMC screened wiring. The AC cables are all screened with the screen linked on the star ground. We emphasize that the wiring is very important in a class D amplifier and this is really well done. The Purifi 1ET7040Sa is protected against overloads and failures by means of various protection circuits. All systems are always in operation when the amplifier is powered and running.
The modules inside the cabinet are well spaced from each other, but the optimum would be to put each amp board with its power supply inside a single cabinet, in order to improve the thermal dissipation and to reduce the crosstalk. This configuration is available on order for those who want two mono-block and have a higher budget available.
Listening to Purifi 1ET7040SA
The STUDIO N8 arrived in a flightcase by courier. Once unpacked, we used RME’s ADI-2 FS as a preamplifier/dac, using the Argon Audio streamer and Audiolab 6000 CDT as a sources. As far as the speakers are concerned, we tried to put under some sort of stress this amplifier by using a pair of old Infinity9K, a pair of Bowers & Wilkins 802 and a pair of Wharfedale Linton Heritage.
The STUDIO N8 arrived here with several hours of work and therefore without the need of other burn in. Once powered on, I suggest to let it run for about twenty minutes before the listening session. Whether it’s the tough Infinity or the easier and more modern Wharfedale, this Purifi never breaks down while maintaining an impressive focus. At a very high volume, this amplifier continues to give power with incredible bass control, you’ll find everything you need: control, articulation and extension.
Do you know the helicopter from The Wall? It passes over our heads wandering around the room and offering an impressive feeling of realism. They are hot summer days and the desire to dance is great, so we decide to put on Around The World by Daftpunk and Can We live by Jestofunk (how many memories!). We turned up the volume and in the most complex passages at high volumes we were amazed at how much power this amplifier can deliver. We were there, there to turn the volume up further with the Infinities when the homeowner beckons us to turn it down, we were really exaggerating! The Purifi 1ET7040SA continues its work undeterred while maintaining unchanged parameters such as control, focus and high range which is extended and transparent.
We let ourselves be carried away by passing through Iron Maiden and AC / DC and whatever the speaker is put under the fun is guaranteed. The Purifi starts to heat up, certainly not like the Krell at its side, but we still recommend that you leave some air around it.
Not only power but also elegance
Diana Krall, in The Look Of Love, is reproduced with depth and extension, giving authority and cleanliness to the sound message. For the male voices we have instead chosen Sam McLain and the great extension of his voice from the lowest to the highest notes is reproduced in great detail. Our amplifier also does not forget the instruments behind the singer such as the Hammond organ. Compared to the 1ET400A, this Purifi 1ET7040SA marks a big step forward, in addition to greater power, the sound seems to have acquired a soul: now it is richer and more harmonious.
Talking about sensations is always very relative but with this new implementation the module in question seems to have filled that small flaw that we had reported with the previous model. We took the opportunity to also insert it in a multichannel setup and enjoy the first historical “Top Gun” and also in this case the behavior was more than excellent. In a multichannel application, a series of this kind of amplifiers could solve the problems of space, power and consumption of many enthusiasts.
We can summarize the performance of this amplifier as follows:
• Virtually inaudible distortion (THD + N: <0.00035% @ 200W, 4Ω, 1kHz)
• Virtually no background noise
• Response that does not change even on difficult loads
• High efficiency characterized by low consumption and almost non-existent losses (94% @500W, 4Ω, 1kHz)
Pricing and availability of Studio N8 Rouge Audio Design
The prices of the Rouge Audio Studio N8 start at 1,870 Euros excluding VAT and vary according to the customizations. For example, you can choose the type of connectors, cabinet customizations and much more. One last curiosity about the white and red colors that reflect the livery of the Purifi logo as the amp was born as a demo of the 1ET7040SA modules. Considering the performance and the equipment, the price seems extremely competitive. Bruno Putzeys, Claus Neesgaard, Lars Risbo, Peter Lyngdorf (of whom we spoke in the LyngdorfTDAI1120 test) and all the Purifi staff, have marked a new step forward with regard to class D amplifications. But know that the competition is certainly not watching and news are also coming from Hypex and IcePower, the two main competitors of Purifi. In short, if there are no further hitches regarding the supply of components, this winter we will have some good news. We, as always, book ourselves to listen. Good music to all!
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