the ikarus

 
 
 
 
 
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Overview

The Ikarus started it’s life as an “integrated” amplifier 35 years ago, then evolved into a concert monitoring amplifier. Alongside my [modified] 3 Stellavox SM8 Tape machines , it was constantly being refined so I could easily hear what I was doing with microphone placement relative to the performers in a live concert. It needed to be holographic.

 
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Ikarus’ speed and low-noise, allow it to be phase-perfect to well over 100kHz [the limit of the B&K 4135 1/4” capsule microphones I was using at the time]. Sporting our signature construction - sculptured massive CNC machined aluminium case , highest quality connectors, milspec double-sided oxygen-free copper PC Board, it uses a complete dual mono approach in power supplies with separate individual high-speed rectifier diodes with almost 40,000uF of filtering supplies. A high quality [Grayhill] rotary switch and potentiometer [ALPS Blue Velvet ] are the only components the signal encounters on its way to the ultra-high-speed amplifier circuits, allowing an incredible wealth of fine musical nuance to pass directly through to the loudspeaker.

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Specifications

FREQUENCY RESPONSE: DC - 5.0MHz (-3dB)
POWER OUTPUT: 50WRMS per channel into 8 Ohms with no more than 0.05% T.H.D.
DAMPING FACTOR: Greater than 500 wide band
SLEW RATE: Greater than 1000V/us small and large signal
T.H.D.: Less than 0.05% 20Hz-20KHz
I.M.D.(S.M.P.T.E.): Less than 0.05%
SIGNAL/NOISE: -117DBV unweighted input shorted
SENSITIVITY: 0.5VRMS in for 50WRMS out (35dB)
INPUT IMPEDANCE: 100kOhms in parallel with 11pF

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The heart

The heart of the IKARUS is an easily accessible amplifier module on 2 x 9 pin DIN connectors which resides under a 3mm thick, CNC-machined module cover.

By isolating the heart of the amplifier in this way, we can very easily improve and refine the sound quality as we experiment with passive components - newer, faster or lower noise transistors, resistors, capacitors, printed circuit board dielectrics using purer copper [or silver] tracks.

This makes your IKARUS future-proof.

 
 
 
 
 
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the making of an ikarus

These videos trace the creative and manufacturing process of an IKARUS.

 

The full process

Case modelling and printed circuit board design

CNC machining of the case from a solid block of aluminium

Glass-bead blasting surface finishing before anodising or automotive painting