CH Precision L1 Preamplifier (available to demo)


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Items marked (available to demo) are available in our store for audition. Please give us a call or email in advance for an appointment. L1 Dual Monaural Line-Stage   “Nothing strengthens... Read more

Size: L1 Stereo

  • L1 Stereo
  • L1 Mono (Pair)

Items marked (available to demo) are available in our store for audition. Please give us a call or email in advance for an appointment.

L1 Dual Monaural Line-Stage


“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.”
Leonardo da Vinci
On the face of it, all a line-stage has to do is allow you to
select between sources and set the system level. Sounds
simple? Yet, not only is the quality and performance of the
line-stage an absolutely key factor in determining overall
system performance, there are fewer contenders for state-
of-the-art line-stage honors than in any other product
category. Maybe designing the best possible line-stage isn’t
quite so simple after all...
Any great line-stage must possess transparency, ultra-low-
noise performance and absolute stability. It must anchor the
incoming signals and deliver them onwards, propelled from
a firm footing that ensures dynamic and musical authority.
It must pass the source signals in your system, without
limitation or disturbance, leaving no trace of itself on their
passage. Any great line-stage needs to be the next best
thing to sonically and musically invisible, the hi-fi equivalent
of effortlessly enacting its own audio super power.
Like all CH Precision products, the L1 uses fully discrete, balanced
and complementary design, ultra-short signal paths and
exactingly selected components. It is fed from heavily regulated
and filtered power supplies, is wide-bandwidth, high slew-rate
and DC coupled. But in this critical application, that’s not enough.
It’s one thing to eliminate unnecessary components from the
signal path and eliminate DC offset at the inputs, but the L1 takes
things much, much further than that. Completely separate left
and right channel circuit boards prevent crosstalk, while a super
sophisticated, software driven R-2R network for each channel
employs precision metal-film resistors and allows precise level
control in 0.5dB steps with the minimum possible number of
components. DC offset is monitored and eliminating not just
at the inputs but throughout the volume control ladder and at
multiple points throughout the entire circuit. That makes the
L1 not just one of the quietest line-stages ever built, it makes
it one of the quietest in operation too.
For a company that is renowned for the flexibility and
configurable nature of its products, it is ironic that one of our
most musically vital components is also our least adaptable.
Although the L1 line-stage has an inherently modular
topology, it offers only line-level inputs and comes fully
loaded as standard. But that doesn’t mean that the L1 isn’t
scalable and upgradable, with the option to add a second
chassis for true-monaural operation and one or two X1
external power supplies. Of course, the L1 is fully controllable
via the CH-Control App, its inputs can be labeled, you can set
overall gain as well as individual input offsets and you can
even select a DC blocking capacitor on any input if necessary.
But at heart, in terms of signal transfer the L1 is as stripped
down and purist as it can possibly be. You can hear that in
its performance; you will hear it in any system that’s built
around an L1, whether in one, two, three or four-box form.
As elegant in design as it is sophisticated in operation, as
musically commanding as it is unobtrusive, the L1 brings a
whole new sense to the motto, “We hide with pride!”

"The L1 goes calmly about its
business, the anchor to which
the system’s absolute spatial
and temporal stability are
tied, the root of its remarkably
low noise floor and sudden
dynamic response. In many
ways it’s the understated star
turn that sums up the whole

 Modularity Dual Monaural (Left & Right channels in a single enclosure), 8 inputs
True Monaural (one channel per enclosure), 8 or 16 inputs
Inputs and Outputs 8x line-level inputs (4x balanced XLR, 2x single-ended RCA, 2x single-ended
4x pre-amplifier outputs (2prs balanced XLR, 1pr single-ended RCA, 1pr
single-ended 75 Ohm BNC)
Volume Control 20bits R-2R ladder network
118dB range in 0.5dB steps, from -100dB to +18dB
Tight tolerance high-grade metal film resistors
Analog Signal Path
Power Supply Dedicated discrete regulated linear power supplies
Ultra low noise, high accuracy regulation
Shunt regulators for all audio stages
Can be powered from the X1 External Power Supply
Optional Hardware L1 Enclosure – the addition of a second L1 enclosure transforms the L1 into a
True Monaural line pre-amplification system, with separate enclosures for
each channel
Monaural Analog Preamplifier Board – in a True Monaural system (with two
enclosures), each enclosure is able to receive an extra preamplifier board. This
turns the L1 into a True Monaural Extended system, providing the preamplifier
with 16 as opposed to 8 inputs, if required

Balanced XLR, single-ended RCA & BNC inputs and outputs
Powerful discrete output buffer to drive long interconnects and/or multiple
Ultra-low-noise, high-bandwidth, high-slew-rate design
Pure class A, fully-symmetrical topology
Fully discrete, transistor based circuitry
Switchable absolute phase and mono settings

Technical Specifications

Max analog input and output levels
16V RMS balanced
8V RMS single-ended

Input impedance
94kΩ or 600Ω balanced
47kΩ or 300Ω single-ended

Frequency response
DC – 1MHz

Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise
Output 3V RMS, 22kHz BW
< 0.001%, 1kHz, unity gain

Signal to Noise Ratio
Maximum output
> 136dB, unity gain

440 x 440 x 133mm (W x D x H), 20kg

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