Origins of the name
Dharma is a Sanskrit word which has many meanings among the religious communities of Western Asia. It can be translated as ‘Duty’, ‘Law’, ‘Cosmic Law’, ‘Natural Law’ or even ‘the way things are’. Ultimately the word Dharma represents what is consistent with the order of the universe, therefore truth and justice.
The monophonic integrated speakers, ‘DHARMA’, perfectly follow the natural path of sound. The choice of making them IMA allows to concentrate the resources where they are needed. The choice of monophonic units allows the complete separation of the PSUs with all the advantages that follow. The only stage of gain/driver compared to the 2A3 eliminates redundant and expensive line preamplifiers. As we’ve said before, we consider the preamp to be a useless and costly element below 8 Watts.
If everything is designed by the book (speakers of at least 94dB/w/m) then the results are astonishing.
Specifically, DHARMA benefits from single ended and fixed bias circuits. Obviously with no feedback whatsoever. The coupling between driver and power amp is carried out via custom Clinamen transformer with an extra-large ‘C’ nucleus, with extra fine lamination for the best dynamics and timbre neutrality. Of course the cabling is exposed end-to-end.
The driver tube is a pentode connected to a triode that we adore, the D3A; it is not the typical ECC81-82-82 (sadly 90% of the tubes used in the Hi end sector).
This ‘triode’ has a very high trans-conductance and if it is used properly it can achieve the vivid and dynamic sound characteristic of Clinamen’s music. The high trans-conductance gives gain and strength in driving the grid of the power amp. The downside is a drastic selection of the tubes in order to find a pair with the same technical features, but since Clinamen makes handcrafted products, this is not a problem.
The D3A benefits from a power supply tension stabilized ‘naturally’ thanks to the gas charged regulator oD3.
D3A Driver/ voltage gain tube and OD3 voltage stabilizer octal tube
The final tube in this pair of amplifiers is a 2 A 3 Emission Labs Mesh edition. Emission Labs is the only current tube producer with a true MESH plate. In the EML the plate is in true metallic mesh like in vintage tubes. What happens to the sound with mesh tubes is quite simple; it is a unique scenic reconstruction engineered to perfection in every detail, very high micro dynamic thanks to the absence of resonance of the plate. The low range is sleek and with no reverberation.We recommended too KR Audio 2A3
2A3-MESH Emission Labs
The anodic power supply of the DHARMAs if only made of polypropylene condensers: NO ELECTROLYTICS! This expensive and bulky choice is a foundation for us; the timbre neutrality and the speed in current supply of a unit to the plastic film are much bigger than an electrolytic capacitor. Furthermore the latter have a limited life span and their performance deteriorates with age.
Those who have listened to a Clinamen chain know the feeling of speed and lack of reverberations and resonances that can only be enjoyed with live music.
The DHARMA frames are woodwork masterpieces. The frames are made from 28mm thick solid Zebrano wood; the panel’s lining and the upper frame are made from 2.5mm carbon fiber. The Clinamen logo is carved with a pantograph and filled with black stucco.
Another gem of the DHARMA model is its lower plates made of real Italian slate, made with a water jet cutter and a G-clef frieze. This unique solution gives an extremely solid base to the amplifiers and ample muffling of vibrations. The spring feet are optional but are advisable.
20 mm thikness bottom covers slate plates, with G-clef frieze
The resting current of the final triodes is constantly monitored by the elegant instruments at the front with a blue backlight. The instrument indicates mVolts, but thanks to its calibration, the mV read corresponds to the mA of anodic current flowing between the cathode and the mesh plate. We have not used a milliameter purely for reasons of sound cleanliness; the milliameter, with its mobile reel, works in series with the signal. This is not the case of the millivoltmeter which works in parallel; thanks to its infinite input impedance it does not affect the signal. As you can see, nothing is left to chance.
Millivoltmeter for 2A3 current monitoring
On the back of the amplifiers we find the inputs for the two channels, output terminals for all speakers from 6 to 10 ohm and the socket for the domestic power supply with integrated fuse holder (500mA rit). Finally we have a switch to select the tension between 220 and 230 volt.
Rear panel with carbon fiber insert for easy connection to AC main supply and signal inputs
Below there are a few images of these amplifiers. You’re welcome to book your session to listen on the Natural Path of Sound.
- Integrated MOnoblock AMplifiers (IMA)
- 0 Feedback, output triode 2A3 Mesh Emission Labs or KR audio
- Only one voltage gain/driver with D3A high transconductance pentode, super triode connection.
- Fixed bias on both stages
- D3A transformer coupled to 2 A3 grid, with custom 1:1 bifilar Clinamen transformer
- Tubes for one channel: 1 x EML 2A3-mesh, 1 x D3A , 1 x OD3
- Electrolytic less technology: no electrolytic capacitor on the anode PSU, for better timber balance and fast transient response
- Driver stage voltage stabilized with gas tube
- Harmonic wood box ( zebrano ) with carbon fiber paneling
- 2.5 mm carbon fiber top plate
- 20 mm slate bottom plate with SOL key notch
- Milli Voltmeter in the front panel, for easy anode current monitor
- Inputs: two RCA unbalanced switchable input
- CMC socket ( bachelite isulator and CNC machined pin)
- Output Power: 3,5 watt RMS A1,class. 5,5 watt RMS A2 class
- Residual output noise: less of 1mV RMS
- AC connector: VDE with fuse
- Output Fuse: 500 mA , delayed, 5x20 mm
- Inner fuse : 100mA , delayed, 5x20 mm
- Dimension 330 x 330 x 240mm (h)
- Weight: 17 Kg each unit
- Decoupling spring feets strongly reccomended, with extra charge
- Price 11500 euro