About the CR Series
Audio Wave Ltd designed and built is first amplifier models in 2007 called the CR-200, CR-200X and CR-400 and are still in current production to this day, 14 years later we have just released the new versions of the CR amplifiers CR-201, CR-201X and CR-401.
The sound that the amplifier produces is natural and effortless even with difficult speaker loads, It is impossible to explain how realistic the music is played back on the CR amplifiers as you would have to experience it for yourself!
As with all our amplifiers each one is hand crafted and tested one at a time. The design of the new CR range shares some of the older version’s layout and components, in fact the chassis are exactly same. The new versions have had changes made to the amplifier input stage and main power supply.
The components that are used are all matched if possible, and the majority of resistors are the Hi End Takman metal film type that are none magnetic. WBT RCA input connector, Nichicon Gold Tune and Audio Wave capacitors are also used throughout the range. Every amplifier is hand soldered with a high content silver type solder. The PCB’s are all 3 ounce copper and fully gold plated that are made in England. The amplifiers are very labour intensive to build and can take from three to six weeks to build each one and therefore I can only build a limited quantity per year.
The input stage now has one RCA input connector and not two like the older versions. There are two input signal options available to drive the amplifier, the first option is to use the op amp in conjunction with the Alps gain pot, the gain can be increased by +15dB, the second option is to bypass the op amp circuit and go directly into the amplifier circuit by using a switch. There is another switch on the input section that is used for inverting the signal and can only be used with the op amp circuit enabled, this inverted signal is used for bridging two amplifiers together. The output stage is a class A/B design with three pairs of ON Semi MJL transistors and has another three smaller transistors mounted to the main heatsink for thermal bias tracking. If the amplifier starts to overheat the output stage will automatically reduce power to protect the output devices. As the amplifier cools the output will return to normal full output power ratings.
The power supply has a double core toroid transformer that is individually wound and built-in house. We also hand craft all our inline coils to meet the strict quality control. Each power supply has high current Mosfets and half bridge diode rectifiers to deliver high current DC voltages to the main power amplifier.
Another design change to the power supply has helped stabilised the input DC voltages to cope with the demanding voltage swings from 9 – 16V especially with modern hybrid and electric vehicles. The optimal voltages should be 12 – 14.4V but at least the amplifiers will not cut out with lower voltages than 10V as before. The op amp circuit has a regulated power supply and is stable regardless of the main power allowable input voltages.
All the CR amplifiers are mono block based and the CR-401 has two mono blocks (CR-201) in one chassis. The CR-201X has a larger capacitor bank that is placed between the main power supply and power amplifier PCB, this helps with high demanding bass frequencies and improves dynamics.
The power and speaker connectors are designed to be removed if required to connect the cables that run through the bottom of the chassis. I also moved the WBT RCA connector further back on the amplifiers PCB to give more room for the signal cable to bend, this will make it easier to connect and put less strain on the cable.
Each amplifier is supplied with a CNC machined LED module. Unlike the first versions of the CR amplifiers that required the LED module to be connected to the amplifier to operate, the new CR amps don’t need the LED modules to be connected to make them work so they are an option.
One of the main design features on the CR amplifiers are our unique heatsink that are made up of copper rods, this design helps dissipate heat very efficiently. The rods are machined one at a time and then polished, brushed then nickel plated. They are plated to stop the copper corroding and some customers have even requested the rods and lid to be gold plated as well.