MA-3 Mk. III.2

The MA-3 is the culmination of a massive project Atma-Sphere began in 1998 at the behest of one of their customers. It was 7 years in design, with 15 different chassis and 12 different circuit concept explorations. The goal: to build the largest OTL amplifier the world has ever seen, while at the same time retaining the qualities our amps have made famous.

There is clearly a need for such an amplifier that can make serious power while being completely transparent and musical; fortunately Atma-Sphere OTL technology is well-suited to the task. Since Atma-Sphere is not limited by issues that plague conventional amplifier designs, the MA-3 retains a wide bandwidth and low distortion simultaneously. No transformer-coupled amplifier can produce 200, yet alone 400 watts and get it right at every audio frequency; yet the MA-3 makes 500 watts easily, without electronic artifacts. It's high-power amplifier that is fast and truly musical!

The MA-3 has all of the features as the other models in the lineup, plus a few not seen in any other amplifier ever produced. It is class A, all-triode, and fully differential, with the patented direct-coupled output circuit and patented automatic bias control. There is only a single gain stage in the amp, so the signal path is very direct - something unknown in amps of this class. And with all it's customised components, including custom precision Caddock resistors and tailor-made filter capacitors, it is one of a kind inside and out.

The overall output power of the MA-3 can be varied by turning on or off banks of output tubes; the amp can operate on 1/3, 2/3, or all of the output tubes. This makes the amp very easy to live with! Of course, even at lower power levels, the MA-3 retains the innate authority and musical character that defines it as state-of-the-art.

Furthermore, the MA-3's power supply has a built-in AC line processor that regulates the line voltage coming into the amp! As a result, line voltage has no effect on the MA-3; it will make full power even if the AC line level has dropped to only 100 Volts.

Atma-Sphere included a very easy to use built-in tube tester (which can be used at any time the amp is on), allowing one to test the output tubes 'on-the-fly' in a matter of seconds. Bias and DC offset functions are automated, using an Atma-Sphere-patented method, with meters to monitor the tubes, output power, line voltage and other features.

Specifications

Output Power: 500 watts per channel, 2-16 Ω.

Impedance: 100 KΩ single-ended, 200 KΩ balanced, selectable to 600 ohms.

Input: 2.5V sensitivity (RCA and XLR true balanced input).

Tube Complement (per channel): 42 x 6AS7G output tube, 12 x 6SN7 driver tube.

Gain: 23dB (for 8 Ω).

Power Bandwidth: 2Hz-100KHz within ½ dB.

Frequency Response: (1 watt, open loop):

  • 20 Hz squarewave Tilt; unmeasurable
  • 1Hz-200KHz within 3 dB

Distortion:

  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) typically 0.5% at full power.
  • Intermodulation (IM) distortion typically under .004% at full power.
  • Phase shift less than 1° @ 20KHz.

Output Section Risetime: 600 V/µs.

Power Storage Capacity (per channel): 1/4 Farad.

Power Supply Weight (per chassis): 152 lbs (68.9 kg).

Power Supply Dimensions (per chassis): 34" deep x 21" wide x 12.5" tall (86 x 53 x 32 cm)

Amplifier Weight (per chassis): 80 lbs (36.3 kg).

Amplifier Dimensions (per chassis): 31.5" deep x 21" wide x 15" tall (80 x 53 x 38 cm).

Warranty: 3 year general coverage, 1 year for output tubes.

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