Classic Audio releases SPARTAN 15 phono stage

Kent-based company Classic Audio has released its SPARTAN 15, a re-design of its double-stage moving-magnet SPARTAN 10 phono stage – which was launched as the company’s first product in 2021. Hand made using all through-hole technology, the company explains: “The ultra-quiet classic Japanese 2068 amplifier ICs are specially chosen to match up to MM cartridge impedances, yielding a signal-to-noise ratio of 78dB. Hyper-accurate RIAA equalisation to 0.1dB has been implemented using 1 percent tolerance film capacitors to eliminate the colouration and channel balance issues of more common designs based on 5 percent parts, resulting in a perfectly balanced tonal character with great imaging.”

Like its predecessor, special gain structuring is used to share the burden of amplifying the tiny cartridge signal by 110 times at 1kHz (40.8dB). The company reveals that: “By making up the final 10.7dB of gain in the second stage, the input stage only does a third of the work compared with a single stage design, producing less than 0.0006 percent THD from 40Hz to 22kHz, for a listening experience completely free from grain and harshness.

“A maximum input of 95mV at 1kHz, rising 900mV at 20kHz thanks to the active equalisation, makes overload impossible with standard MM carts, keeping transients sharp and clear even at diabolical levels. At the other end, the socketed ICs can drive over 10V RMS into three standard 10kohm line loads in parallel without loss of linearity, due to the extra headroom afforded by the upgraded ±17V internal power supply rails. Using a split double rail design also keeps distortion-causing non-linear amplifier power currents out of the ground path.” The SPARTAN 15 comes in a sandblasted anodised aluminium enclosure in black and silver case styles.

Available to buy now for £330, you can find out more about the Classic Audio SPARTAN 15 here.

Classic Audio