Viola Audio Laboratories Is Now Shipping Its Crescendo Ultra-High-End Preamplifier/DAC, on Exhibit a
Viola Audio Laboratories Is Now Shipping Its Crescendo Ultra-High-End Preamplifier/DAC, on Exhibit at CES 2014
INTERNATIONAL CES, LAS VEGAS, NV, January 7, 2014 - Viola Audio Laboratories is now shipping its new Crescendo stereo preamplifier with built-in D/A converter, an ultra-high-end audio component that combines extraordinary sound quality with a striking minimalist appearance. The Crescendo is on display at CES 2014 at Viola's exhibit space, Venetian Tower - Suite 30-231, Las Vegas, NV (January 7 - 10, 2014).
One look will indicate that the Crescendo is no ordinary preamplifier. Its chassis is milled from a solid billet of aircraft-grade aluminum and is totally distinctive in design, with a front panel unencumbered by any control buttons - the preamp is operated via Wi-Fi remote control using an iPod Touch or iPad-based app. The front panel is accented by a trapezoidal touch-sensitive control surface housed in an angular center recess that continues across the top surface where it is flanked by a series of horizontal ribs. The Crescendo has a prism-cut machine finish with custom Viola satin silver-gray anodizing.
The Crescendo accommodates a variety of analog and digital sources including the direct digital audio output from a computer, thanks to the preamp's high-resolution USB DAC input that can accommodate up to 192kHz/24-bit data streams without the need for additional hardware, and its XLR balanced, RCA unbalanced and S/PDIF digital inputs. The Crescendo also includes an XLR balanced output, RCA fixed (tape) and variable-volume outputs, USB Master for software updates, RJ-45 ports for Viola Link Buss, +12 volt trigger and RS-232 connections that enable integrated operation with other A/V components and for system integrators to interface with larger touchscreen control panels (e.g. AMX/Crestron).
Viola is headed by Paul Jayson, who has been responsible for many of the world's finest high-end components for over more than 30 years. Viola's objective is to produce products that are sonically neutral, as their experience has shown that only through sonic neutrality can the listener experience the essential emotion that is at the heart of music.
To this end, the Crescendo employs a number of engineering refinements. The OPA-1 module used in the preamplifier is a discrete Class A operational amplifier. The first stage employs a low-noise FET input. This is followed by a differential voltage gain section. The preamp's output is a high-current, low output impedance voltage follower that is capable of driving the most demanding loads. The chassis' rigid unibody construction provides extremely low mechanical resonance. These design elements contribute to the Crescendo's open, fast and transparent sound and accurately proportioned soundstage.
The Viola Audio Laboratories Crescendo stereo preamplifier is currently available at a suggested retail price of $22,500.