As we surge ahead, focused on the latest breakthrough, it is easy to lose sight of prior art. The N1 design reaches back to incorporate the latest technology of 1955. That would be the Nixie tube, the first numeric display.
The design then moves forward to mine other historical treasures.
In the 60s, 70s and 80s, all preamps were full-featured. That is, they included a phono stage, a line stage and a power supply all in one box. There are significant advantages in going that way. The installation is simpler, the cabling requirements are simpler – it has a feeling of concentrated purpose.
All preamps of that era had single-ended circuit topology. That was the standard and had the very significant advantage of simplicity of the signal path. More recent marketing efforts promote balanced connectivity. Balanced topology imposes twice the circuitry into the signal path. Abandoning single-ended is not an advancement.
AND playing vinyl (or should I say records?) was how we accessed our music. The advantages and enjoyment of vinyl are more treasured now than ever before.
The N1 also includes what we would expect from a modern design. It has remote control of volume, input and mute. Each component is carefully selected to bring you closer to your music. AND it uniquely incorporates Sutherland circuitry derived from the cost-no-object Destination series.
To fully appreciate the heart-felt passion that went into every detail of the N1, you also need to study the thoughtful, meticulous layout inside the case. Every detail makes for ‘pride of ownership’. The machined aluminum front panel, the tempered glass display window, the understated minimalism — all speak of old fashioned pride of craftsmanship.
That’s the N1 story. But the true appreciation and enjoyment of the N1 is really based on direct experience.
Retail Price: $8,000