Airtight has released a new phono preamplifier – based on tubes – the ATE-3011. High-end with a hefty price tag, but hey: you do have something special!
The new Airtight ATE-3011 features five selectable equalization curves: RIAA, NAB, AES, FFRR, and FLAT. The required circuit is also constructed with tubes, in the form of a so-called NF-CR filter. Where NF stands for Turnover and CR for Roll-Off. The fact that Airtight uses tubes in this unit is not so strange: the company builds just about everything with these parts.
The three essential tubes in the ATE-3011 – 12AX7 (double triodes) – are further protected from external damage by an internal shield.
By means of rotary knobs you control all settings, where the display shows them. The product feels very retro on the one hand and modern on the other. In terms of inputs, you have three phono inputs (MM) at your disposal. A separate step-up converter is required for MC elements.
In terms of connections, we also see RCA, a double phono output and more. Airtight claims to have worked on the development of the ATE-3011 for more than three years. Furthermore, everything is soldered by hand, in Japan. Both facts explain the price, to actually get your hands on the device you have to pay €22,500.