Austin Audio Works

Austin Audio Works

The Black Swan


One word, RESOLUTION. This head amp is a real beast of beauty. The ability to set every sound in it without halo, yet still make it all into a whole is fantastic. I’ve tried to break it again and again and I can’t. I love it over what I have now. This is one of those things you almost don’t want to know the specs, as it SOUNDS so right.

Galen Garies, Audiophile and Engineer

Black swan

A sonically exquisite Phono Preamplifier featuring the lowest-noise which reveals the most refined resolution and detail.  The Black Swan’s extraordinary front panel cartridge loading technology permits the personalization of cartridge performance and the ability to explore the full character of the turntable to cartridge interactions.

The Black Swan’s gain stages offer a very fast and clear yet neutral sonic image featuring passive RIAA equalization and no global feedback thus rendering incredible resolution without the sonic confinement found generally in most RIAA Equalized head-amplifiers.

The Black Swan’s cartridge loading technology permits control of the timbre of the cartridge allowing the ‘tweaking’ of its performance. This provides control of the subtle cartridge mechanical interactions with the record groove walls for individual record mastering and pressing characteristics and variations. See our white paper, "Get Your Cartridge Loaded For Better Listening" for a more in-depth explanation. This is all about the soulful experience of music, the ‘eargasm’ is why you love the music you listen to.

Performance Keys

Low Noiseis more of an issue than just background ‘hiss’. A reasonably quiet pre-amp front end creates less noise than does the cartridge playing nothing, which is the sound between tracks in the lead in grooves. But that noise, because it is happening in the first stage of amplification, is added to the very fine low energy signals that make up the fine harmonics of the music you are listening to that give the music Timbre. Low noise is not enough, one has to go a step further to what we call Ultra-low noise to let the harmonic structure of the music come through without coloration or masking.
Low Distortionmeans that the amplifier is not creating new noises or signals based on the music and then adding them back into the music content. The NOISE plus the DISTORTION created in the first stage of the preamp is not coherent with the music energy and when added to the music creates a ‘veiled’ or masking sound to the listener. The veiling reduces the ability of your ear to resolve the intended musical passage, to individually resolve the instruments, ensembles, and complexity of the music. Again the timbre of the music produced is unreal, not intended, and in the way of the true musical presentation the artist offers.
Cartridge Loadingis the final element in the triad of Performance Keys. The loading of the cartridge - that is the resistance and capacity the cartridge sees in the pre-amp front-end is reflected back into the cartridge. The whole dynamic system, that is moving groove wall, stylus, cantilever, suspension and coil/magnet transducer, is selectively damped and loaded. Energy patterns (music) then taken out of this system and amplified by the preamplifier is more accurate and exacting. Truly representative of what the grooves are doing on the disc. Cartridge loading lets you adjust or tweak this coloring reflection to get the Timbre of the music accurate, more real, and more pleasurable, and far more soul-satisfyingly personal. After all, it’s your music.
The combination of these three errors disturbs the perceived sound space of the recording. These errors confuse your ears and auditory system with ‘stuff’ that was not there in the recording process.

Black Swan Specifications

  Mode of use    
Specification Moving Coil Moving magnet  
(+10dB) 46dB (58 dB Balanced) 32dB (52 dB Balanced) 1 kHz
+20 62dB (68 dB Bal) 42dB (48dB Bal) "
+30 72dB (78 dB Bal) 52dB (58dB Bal) "
+40 82dB (88 dB Bal) 52dB (58dB Bal) "
+50 92dB (98 dB Bal) 62dB (68dB Bal) "
+60 100dB (106 dB Bal) 72dB (78dB Bal) "
RIAA Response 0.1 dB 20 Hz - 20 kHz 0.1 dB 20 Hz - 20 kHz  
Inputs 2 2  
Noise Floor dBV +10 dB) -92 dBv (25 uVRMS) -72 dBv (250 uVRMS) Shorted input
Unweighted Dymanic Range 95 dB 80dB Shorted input
Distortion <0.001% THD <0.01%THD  
Input Impedance unloaded 34 pF 34 pF  
Capacity loading     Step
Resistance Loading 30 kOhms to 130 kOhms 20 Ohms to 1020 Ohms Continuous
Maximum Output 6.8 VRMS (13.6 VRMS Bal) 6.8 VRMS (13.6 VRMS Bal)  

Home | Sitemap

Copyright © Austin Audio Works. All Rights Reserved.