Zero feedback integrated amplifier

20 years ago Audio Analogue introduced to the world the original Puccini integrated amplifier. It rapidly developed a reputation as one of the finest sounding and superb value amps on the market, delivering high-end performance at a fraction of the cost normally associated with such hi-fi components. It was Audio Analogue’s very first product; the Puccini launched the brand and put the company’s name firmly on the high-end audio map.

To celebrate this anniversary Audio Analogue have created the Puccini Anniversary, a genuine zero feedback design developed by the specialist AirTech R&D department within the Audio Analogue family.

The brief was to create the best Puccini ever – a product that would achieve another landmark turning point in Audio Analogue’s history and pave the way to future products: new, no-compromise designs that would marry analogue musicality with advanced technologies, while remaining true to Audio Analogue’s commitment to providing excellent value for money.

Zero feedback

AirTech designer and technical manager of the project, Andrea Puccini (yes, you read correctly – a pure coincidence) and his team spent tireless months during the first stages of R&D on the basic design. In many respects it was a case of intense experimentation based around the bold decision of the philosophy of zero feedback. Well-designed zero feedback amplifiers are acknowledged as having pure audiophile traits such as clarity and detail and a holographic, deep soundstage. The end result is a sound that is more musical and realistic in numerous aspects.

The advantages and disadvantages of feedback-based designs were contemplated in some detail. The elimination of global feedback to obtain optimum performance is not an easy thing to achieve, and so certain technical aspects of the Puccini Anniversary are unique to its design to deliver optimum performance within its zero feedback topology.

The Puccini Anniversary is a fully dual-mono design. The oversized 700VA transformer, together with three pairs of power transistors for each channel, enables it to effortlessly deliver 80W into 8 ohms, rising to 300W into 2 ohms, thus allowing the amp to drive even the most difficult of loads.

As a result of many hours of listening sessions during the product’s development, AirTech’s founder, Claudio Bertini, fine-tuned the Puccini Anniversary to realize the full potential of the design. Bertini selected solid 7N OCC copper wiring along with gold-plated pure copper binding posts. He minimized switching and contact noise by using relay-controlled inputs with gold-plated pure copper RCA sockets soldered directly onto the input circuit board. Separate boards are used for each stage of the amplifier with double-thickness gold-plated pure copper tracks for optimal current flow.

The Puccini Anniversary’s chassis is robust and solid, of practical dimensions and beautifully finished with a thick (14mm) brushed aluminium front panel. The elegantly minimalist design is further complemented by a single, recessed central control knob that serves a variety of functions: it has a push function for power and input selection, and also activates an encoder that communicates with four digital, high-precision potentiometers (two per channel) for the volume. A choice of four volume ‘curves’ are selectable according to the speaker sensitivity. To finish the elegant aesthetics, white dimmable LEDs were chosen for the indications, while a full remote control completes the package.

The Puccini Anniversary is a remarkable design that must surely be one of the finest amplification products available at its price and beyond, and one certain to keep the names Audio Analogue and Puccini firmly on the map.

Technical specifications

Sensitivity (70W @ 8Ω) = 370mV RMS
Max power (@ 1kHz) 8Ω = 83W
4Ω = 159W
2Ω = 288W
S/N 100dB (20Hz – 20kHz)
104dB (“A” weighted)
Weight 18kg
Dimensions 445 x 120 x 390mm (W x H x D)

Pricing & availability
Audio Analogue’s Puccini Anniversary amplifier is available now, in black or silver, priced at
£2,999 (inc. VAT).