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 Preamp 1.0


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Constellation Audio


Inputs:      3 XLR stereo, 3 RCA stereo, USB (for control)

Outputs:   2 XLR stereo, 2 RCA stereo, 12-volt trigger

Frequency response:  10 Hz to 100 kHz, ±0.5 dB

Signal-to-noise ratio:   >-105 dB, A-weighted

Input impedance (balanced):  20 KΩ

Input impedance (unbalanced): 10 KΩ

Volume control resolution:  0.5dB from 0dB to -90 dBFS

Weight: 11.3 kg

Dimensions (W x H x D): 17” x 5.25” x 15”  43.2 cm x 13.3 cm x 38.1 cm




It's remarkable how much of the technology from the Altair II and Performance series Virgo II preamplifiers is preserved in the Inspiration PREAMP 1.0. The core audio circuits are the same. The power supply retains its triple-transformer design. The dual mono design is there, too. The chassis is built from CNC-machined aluminum slabs, crafted in the same metal shop that builds the enclosures for the Reference and Performance series components.


We like to say the Inspiration PREAMP 1.0 is distilled, not diluted. It embodies the essence of our earlier work while retaining the subjective musicality and objective performance that won so much acclaim for our previous preamps.

The most vital technology in our preamps is the Line Stage Gain Module, a fully balanced amplification circuit that uses servos to maintain a pristine balance between the positive and negative halves of the audio signal. The Line Stage Gain module in the Inspiration uses the same schematic as our other preamps, and almost all of the same parts, too.

The Inspiration includes the Constellation Direct interface, which bypasses the input stage of Constellation Audio amplifiers to create a more direct signal path.

At first glance, the Inspiration PREAMP 1.0 looks very much like the Altair II. And at second and third glance, too. This is because the key components that form the Inspiration's chassis are CNC-machined from aluminum, just as with our more expensive preamps. A unique joinery system, combining stiff steel buttresses with a system of notches that work much like the tongue-in-groove joints used in fine woodwork, assures a chassis that is almost as robust and vibration-resistant as if it were machined entirely from solid aluminum. The thick aluminum chassis walls also help shield the Inspiration PREAMP 1.0's audio circuits from electromagnetic and radio-frequency interference.

As has become our tradition, the Inspiration is controlled through a convenient front touchscreen or through a machined aluminum remote. A polysilicon resistor array provides precise volume control, with none of the channel imbalance and taper inconsistency found in almost all potentiometer-type controls.

Of course, the Inspiration PREAMP 1.0's most important characteristic is its sound, which in every way lives up to the reputation established by the Altair II and Virgo II. The slightest subtleties in every musical performance come through unaltered. No conventional balanced-topology preamplifier can equal the detail retrieval, delicacy and musicality the Inspiration PREAMP 1.0 effortlessly achieves. The gear disappears, and all that's left is you and your music.