Win Analog S & V Series Monoblocks

Note: This is NOT an contest; the name of the company profiled here is Win Analog.

One of the coolest-looking single-ended triode (SET) monoblock power amps I've seen in a long time comes from California-based Win Analog. Two versions are available—the S and V Series.

Both models are based on the mammoth RCA 833 vacuum tube—originally used in radio transmitters—for what the company calls its "very, very liquid sound." The S Series outputs a maximum of 100 watts of pure class-A power with a frequency response from 15Hz to 50kHz (±1dB), while the V Series ups that to 135W from 10Hz to 60kHz (±1dB). Both consume 500W of AC power, illustrating the inherent inefficiency of class-A amps.

With an chassis made of aluminum panels 0.375 inches thick, it's no wonder these amps tip the scales at 200 pounds each. It's also no wonder they're expensive—the S Series goes for $75,000/pair, and the V Series costs $110,000/pair. If you want the matching Z845 2-channel preamp, seen here between the amps, that'll be another $45,000, please. As Stephen Mejias wrote in his Stereophile report from the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest last October, "The amps were driving a pair of Rockport Technologies Mira Grand II loudspeakers. The system had a distant sort of sound with fine tonal color and a certain effortlessness, images blooming easily onto the stage."