THE internet holds many wonderful discoveries for those who would trawl its virtual realms. Twenty years ago, niche hi-fi companies from faraway lands were hard to trace; these days, all it takes is the great entity, Google. One of our recent sojourns took us to the site of Aries Cerat, a Cyprus-based manufacturer whose specialty is valve amplifiers.
The company’s raison d’être is rooted in the belief that tube amplification is the way of the true audiophile, and not just any old design – Aries Cerat holds firm that the design should be implemented sans compromise, across the board. It also states, as a matter of fact, that its amps eschew mainstream designs and tube types, which it says fall short of delivering the real sonic goods.
Aries Cerat uses only transformer coupling throughout the signal chain of its amps, and pays maximum attention to power supply design – this includes extensive choke regulation and polypropylene caps. All the electronics, comprising components of the highest grade, are proprietary designs, and built and tested in-house.
Additionally, Aries Cerat is also flexible in terms of customer needs, offering room-specific speakers (yes, it makes these, too) and matching electronics to drive them. It is also game to design a whole system in synergy, or ancillaries to matching existing systems. If you have what it takes ….
So why are we telling you this? Well, Aries Cerat has just released an awesome beast of a tube amp, the Contremo Monobloc, a product shaped by the demand for a powerful tube amp that can drive current hungry speakers and yet retain the sonic attributes of high-end SET amps. The Contremo is the result of this, a 250-watt per box combination that runs in true Class A throughout its power output range.
The technically-inclined should check out the Aries Cerat website to see how the company achieves this – others will be keen to know that each amp uses twin arrays of of 16 6c19p Svetlana tubes, with two E280F Siemens tubes in the driver stage. These are heavyweight amps in every sense, to the tune of 115kg per unit!
Aries Cerat says the Contremo is the company’s statement of how high-power amps should be built. Given the acres of glass powering each amp, the big American lads should worry.