There are so many reasons to recommend this amplifier: fabulous sonics, world-class build-quality, a manufacturer that seems to really care about what it is doing, how it is doing it, and has its customers’ best interests at heart, and yes, overall coolness. More? Ayon electronics are manufactured to EU standards, in the EU—Austria, in fact— so you can be pretty sure that the workers earn a living wage and the environment gets a break. Given a suitable pair of loudspeakers, decent upstream electronics, and, of course, good recorded material, the Orion II is a reminder that vacuum- tube amplification is an excellent way to do the job. Ignoring other factors such as cost, weight, size, flexibility, efficiency, maintenance requirements, and durability, tubes may even be the best way.
My friend Carl was smitten by the Orion II after hearing it at my home after a dinner party. “How can I convince my wife that it is worth the price?” he asked, hoping that I could feed him some good ammunition for the argument soon to take place. To his dismay, knowing he had two kids in college, I told him that he most likely could not convince her but that, yes, the Orion II was definitely worth it. Absolutely worth it.
Start saving, Carl.
SPECS & PRICING
Output power: 60Wpc pentode, 40Wpc triode
Tube complement: Four KT88, three 12AU7
Frequency response: 27Hz–40kHz +/-0.5 dB
Transformer taps: 4 and 8 ohms
Nominal voltage gain: 40dB
Input sensitivity (full power): 1V
Input impedance: 100k Ohm
S/N ratio: 85dB (2mV)
Dimensions: 18" x 14" x 10"
Weight: 62 lbs.
Ayon Audio USA (U.S. Distributor)
8390 E. Via De Ventura
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
NAD C325BEE integrated amplifier; Kenwood KT-8300 AM-FM tuner; Rotel RDD- 980 CD disc drive; Meridian 203 DAC; Dell Inspiron 530 PC running Windows Vista, J River Media Center 15; Hegel HD2 USB DAC; Thorens TD309 turntable; Dual CS 5000 turntable (78s Only); TP 92 tonearm; AudioTechnica AT-95B cartridge; Ortofon OMB 78 cartridge; Bellari VP129 phonostage; Snell EII and Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grand loudspeakers; Kimber Kable PBJ interconnects; Kimber Kable KWIK-12 loudspeaker cable; Staples 5 meter USB cable; Have Canare DigiFlex Gold coaxial digital cable