René van Es was visiting for us in Münich a number of manufacturers to talk about their past, present and future. Not every manufacturer was visited and interviewed, but at least the result is 3 great reports. Rene describes his conversations with Audia Flight (Italy), Copland (Denmark) and Stein Music (Germany) and hopefully there will be more interviews of this kind from his hand, possibly followed by experiences of users of these products. Rene thanks for your extensive efforts.
Audia Flight in a nutshell
The second manufacturer I spoke with at the Münich High End Show 2012, Audia Flight, was represented by the two owners of the Italian company, Marzi Massimiliano and Andrea Nardini. Unfortunately there was no possibility for them to demo their products, only the eye was gratified with polished aluminum. I am myself a proud owner of the “pure class A” power amplifier of this brand, which is playing every day at my home. The two men were for sure more techie than smooth talkers, something that for an interviewer is not really easy. With some difficulty I got some words out of them, while enjoying an excellent espresso they knew to prepare on the spot.
How long does the brand Audia Flight exist now?
The company was founded in 1996 and before that we were already developing products. It took a few years before we could enter the market with our FL 100 amplifier. We both come from the professional electronics industry and together we had a chance to realize our dream. Still, Audia Flight is 100% Italian and we make our products in Civitavecchia, about 80 kilometers away from Rome.
What does the current product range consist of?
There are three series in our programm. The Three Series, consisting of a CD player and integrated amplifier. The Classic Series, in which you can find a phono preamp, two CD players, two integrated amplifiers, a line amplifier, two amplifiers and a 3-channel amplifier. The topline is Strumento Series consisting of the amplifier Strumento No.4 and the Strumento No. 1 line preamp. In the pipeline is a D / A converter with Class A headphone circuit and USB and S / PDIF inputs, expected to get a selling price below 2000 Euro.
You have won in particular with the phono preamp, quite a bit of awards.
Yes, that model has been quite successful, but that does not mean that we were not successful in the market with the other products. Our markets include Europe, the USA and the Far East. Especially the integrated amplifiers and CD players are a significant portion of our sales, especially when we look at the Benelux.
What makes an Audia Flight a particular product?
Our development takes much time, both the design and listening of what we build. Our method makes it impossible to quickly introduce a device on the market. Strumento The amplifier has cost three years of development before we were satisfied with it. The amplifiers use instead of voltage feedback, which almost everyone does, current feedback, so our amplifiers show an almost linear source of power. The feedback stops just before the power transistors. The result shows a wide bandwidth and very high rise times, resulting in a “fast” amplifier which follows the music signal with ease. Also to other things we give much attention, the power supply for example. The 3000 VA transformer in the No. Strumento. 4 power amp weighs 50 kilos and that is the main part of the total 90 kilos which the amp scales.
Class A is widely used in Audia Flight?
A true class A amplifier is not to improve with a different technique. It is inefficient and a source of heat, while at the same time with a musical result if built well. It is also limited in power. The Strumento works up to 20 watts per channel in pure class A, after that into class B. Also we are bound by EU standards in terms of power consumption and we guess that one day pure class A will be even banned. Already now we need to make the power consumption in standby very small. Our flashing logo can thus no longer ….
Fortunately, because on my FL 50 it is sometimes annoying.
Other customers told us already, so it’s not so bad (Smile).
Are all amplifiers built balanced?
No, the circuits of the FL 50, 100 and 3,100 are not balanced, but have balanced inputs to make the amplifiers compatible with balanced preamplifiers. The Strumento No. 4 is really built fully balanced.
With all possible love they made me a second espresso and they wanted to pose for me for the photo, but more information than you found above, I could not get out of them. I think they prefer to let their products speak for themselves instead of putting themselves in the spotlight. So, up to the store and listen if an Audia Flight pleases you as good as it pleases me.