Massive New Monoblocks from Boulder

by The Audio Beat | December 30, 2011

ipping the scales at 380 pounds and delivering 1500 watts of continuous power -- as well as 6000-watt peaks -- the Boulder 3050 mono amp ($195,000/pair) is certainly in the running for the title of most extreme amplifier available today. Each 3050 has five encapsulated and potted toroidal transformers, 48 filter capacitors and 120 bipolar output devices, yet the level of circuit damping may be its most extravagant feature. Every critical audio circuit board is framed in a custom-machined, aerospace-grade aluminum housing. Vibration-damping material is then sandwiched between the circuit board and the frame in order to eliminate even the tiniest mechanical resonances.

The amp's new 99H gain stage uses +/-38V rails to raise dynamic headroom to uncommon levels. The 99H circuitry is sealed in a machined, textured housing, then potted with a proprietary mineral-and-epoxy resin. The 3050's inputs and outputs are fully balanced, the former being an instrumentation-quality design. Improvements in the circuit layout originally developed for Boulder's 1008 phono stage have substantially improved the 3050's noise floor.

The 3050's massive chassis is CNC-machined from a single block of aluminum and there are no 90-degree angles anywhere. Each left-right pair of amplifiers shares no common exterior parts. Because of its enormous weight, each amp is shipped with a platform of alternating layers of black granite and polished steel that mirrors the size and unique angles of the chassis. According to Boulder, " This is no longer just an audio component, but art on a pedestal."

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