Starkrimson® Technology / Specs

Why GaN?

Gallium nitride (GaN) provides the following audio sonic/sound quality benefits over traditional silicon transistors:
— Less harshness
— Cleaner highs
— Better transparency
— Higher detail
This is because GaN transistors have much better characteristics than their silicon counterparts:
— Increased slew rate
— Reduced ringing
— Faster switching
— Faster overload recovery
Amplifier performance is improved by the use of GaN technology:
— Decreased noise
— Less distortion
— Better transient response
— Higher bandwidth

Read my article on this topic in compound semiconductor here:
https://compoundsemiconductor.net/article/114332/Audiophile_amplification_gains_from_GaN

An analog amp!!!

Starkrimson Ultra Module Top View

You read that right. Starkrimson is an analog switching audio power amplifier. The “d” in class d does not mean “digital.”

The pulse-width modulation (PWM) is performed completely in the analog domain and is then amplified by the GaN power stages.

This sets Starkrimson apart from its counterparts that use digital modulation techniques using FPGAs, DSPs, and processors.

Why does it sound so good?

Starkrimson Block Diagram

Starkrimson amplifiers use my proprietary DC-coupled, fully balanced dual feedback modulator. This allows the amplifier to be completely balanced from input to output, through the use of bridged GaN power stages.

GaN technology enables Starkrimson to switch at ~800kHz which is 2-3 times faster than traditional class d amplifiers using silicon transistors. This very fast switching allows for the use of a simple LC (inductor and capacitor) filter, which allows the amplifier to have practically no phase shift from DC (0Hz) to 30kHz.

The filter is a very important part of a class d amplifier. Starkrimson uses oversized very high-quality, oxygen-free copper (OFC) inductors and a very high-grade film capacitor.

Having high-quality components will only get you so far; Starkrimson’s 4-layer PCB is state-of-the-art. It uses a custom stack-up with high-end dielectric (insulating) material and ENIG (gold) finish.

Specifications

Starkrimson (150W)

  • Gain: 16.8dB
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): 121dB (A-weighted, 22kHz BW) 
  • Residual Noise: 32uV (A-weighted, 22kHz BW) 
  • THD* @ 10W: <0.0003% (-110dB) for 1kHz into 8Ω
  • THD @ 0.25W: <0.0030% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 8Ω
  • THD @ 10W: <0.0013% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 8Ω
  • THD @ 75W: <0.0050% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 8Ω
  • THD @ 150W: <0.015% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 8Ω
  • THD @ 10W: <0.0004% (-108dB) for 1kHz into 4Ω
  • THD @ 0.25W: <0.0030% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 4Ω
  • THD @ 10W: <0.0025% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 4Ω
  • THD @ 75W: <0.0092% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 4Ω
  • THD @ 150W: <0.015% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 4Ω
  • SINAD** @ 5W 1kHz: 107dB into 8Ω
  • SINAD @ 5W 1kHz: 105dB into 4Ω
  • Frequency Response: DC – 80kHz+
  • Sensitivity: 5Vin for 150W into 8Ω
  • Sensitivity: 3.5Vin for 150W into 4Ω
  • Balanced Input Impedance: 44kΩ
  • Output Power (16Ω): 75WRMS (150Wpeak)
  • Output Power (8Ω): 150WRMS (300Wpeak)
  • Output Power (4Ω): 150WRMS (300Wpeak)
  • Damping Factor: >550 @ 1kHz
  • Module Size: 3.64″ (9.25cm) x 3.3″ (8.38cm) x 1.0″ (2.54cm)  
  • Power Supply Input Voltage (module): 45.6 to 58.8 VDC
  • Power Supply Input Voltage (mono amp): 90 to 264 VAC

Starkrimson Ultra (500W)

  • Gain Balanced Input: 19.05dB
  • Gain Single-Ended Input: 25.05dB
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): 120dB (A-weighted, 22kHz BW)
  • Residual Noise: 44.72uV (A-weighted, 22kHz BW)
  • THD* @ 10W: <0.0004% (-108dB) for 1kHz into 8Ω
  • THD @ 0.25W: <0.0016% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 8Ω
  • THD @ 10W: <0.0006% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 8Ω
  • THD @ 62.5W: <0.001% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 8Ω
  • THD @ 250W: <0.016% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 8Ω
  • THD @ 10W: <0.0005% (-106dB) for 1kHz into 4Ω
  • THD @ 0.25W: <0.0021% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 4Ω
  • THD @ 10W: <0.0007% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 4Ω
  • THD @ 125W: <0.0018% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 4Ω
  • THD @ 500W: <0.08% for 20Hz – 20kHz into 4Ω
  • SINAD** @ 5W 1kHz: 102.5dB into 16Ω
  • SINAD @ 5W 1kHz: 100dB into 8Ω
  • SINAD @ 5W 1kHz: 97dB into 4Ω
  • Frequency Response: DC – 80kHz+
  • Sensitivity Balanced Input: 5Vin for 250W into 8Ω 
  • Sensitivity Balanced Input: 5Vin for 500W into 4Ω
  • Sensitivity SE Input: 2.5Vin for 250W into 8Ω 
  • Sensitivity SE Input: 2.5Vin for 500W into 4Ω
  • Balanced Input Impedance: 44kΩ
  • SE Input Impedance: 22kΩ
  • Output Power (16Ω): 125WRMS (250WPEAK)
  • Output Power (8Ω): 250WRMS (500WPEAK)
  • Output Power (4Ω): 500WRMS (1000WPEAK)
  • Damping Factor: >700 @ 1kHz
  • Module Size:  4.95″ (125.7mm) x 3.75″ (95.3mm) x 1.45″ (36.8mm) 
  • Module Weight: 8.75oz (248g)
  • Power Supply Input Voltages (modules): 
    • +/-36V (+/-30 to 43.4V) – Amplifier Power Rails
    • +15V (11 to 16V) – MOSFET Driver Supply – Referenced to -36V rail – 100mA minimum
    • +/-18V (+/-15 to 22V) – Analog Supplies – 100mA per supply minimum
  • Power Supply Input Voltages (stereo amp):
    • 110/120VAC
    • 220/240VAC

*THD – Total Harmonic Distortion
**SINAD – Signal-To-Noise And Distortion Ratio

Starkrimson (150W) Test Results


Starkrimson Ultra Test Results

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