Q#5: Most other amps seem to require lots of power and use a giant desktop PC style power cord, perhaps to have a heavy enough gauge and shielding in order to avoid noise and interference. What is the technology that enables the pro to avoid these issues/requirements and use a small cord and wallwart (a great thing by the way)?
Small correction, the iCAN Pro does not use a ‘wall-wart,’ but a 15V/3.5A (52.5W) external power ‘brick’ instead and it can actually be powered with any DC voltage from 9V to a maximum of 16V (18V will activate protection circuitry).
Internally the iCAN Pro uses latest high frequency mosfet technology to power the system. The incoming voltage uses a 1.2MHz converter to create a low voltage DC bus that can provide up to 44 Watt power. A separate 1.2MHz converter creates the 6V needed to heat the Tubes.
This DC Bus voltage supplies a bank of further converters also operating at 1.2MHz that produce the high voltage for the tube (or solid-state) circuit which operates from 60V. More converters produce the power supplies for the power output stage at +/-16V. All output voltages are then filtered with multiple inductor/capacitor filters to remove any noise.
Separate supplies exist for left & right channels, so a total of six converters produce the actual audio power supply voltages.
The iCAN Pro Power Supply Section.
By operating at 1.2MHz instead of 50/60Hz, in the power supply we can use radically smaller size parts. As the operation is literally 20,000 times faster, only 1/20,000th of the size of traditional power supplies is needed for identical performance. These high frequencies can represent challenges, we have taken great care in the mechanical and electronic design to address these challenges.
As you can see, with the greatest respect, AMR/iFi is different compared to most. As we have digital, analogue, signal and power technology ‘pillars.’ What looks small and unassuming on the outside beneath is a wealth of hi-tech. We also ask our customers to look inside and learn for themselves to arrive at their own conclusions. Rest assured, our gear is ground-up and is far from ‘run of the mill.’