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Carot One Ernestolo Class D Tube Amplifier

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Quirky orange tube hybrid amplifier anyone?


As a relative newbie to this website I thought that this quirky Italian tube hybrid amp would interest readers.



The observant amongst you will have already spotted the line in and headphone out on the front panel. Side on, the casing is split to separate the pre and amplifier sections. Specifications are thus -


  Specification of the Amplifier Unit

  • Amp IC Tripath TA20424
  • Output power: 2x15W @4ohm, 2x6W @8ohm(RMS)
  • Headphone frequency response: 15 Hz - 100 kHz -1db
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)
  • Power Output: 3.0 Watts per channel on 33 Ohm
  • Input Impedance: 10k Ohms
  • Input Audio: CD IN RCA (Left/Right) x 1 [3Vpp max.]


Specification of the Pre-Amplifier

  • Vacuum Tube: 6DJ8/6922 series or 12AU7 series (exchangeable)
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): 92dB
  • THD + Noise: 0.05% @ 10k ohm 0.15% @ 33 ohm
  • Input Audio: CD IN RCA (Left/Right) x 1 [3Vpp max.]
  • Power Socket: (5.5mm/2.1mm) x 1
  • Output Audio: OUT 3.5mm x 1
  • Headphone: OUT (3.5mm) x 1
  • Knob Audio and power switch x 1: Power Indicator, (Blue LED under Tube Socket) x1, Volume Knob x 1
  • Power Supply: DC 12V-13V (max.)5A
  • Dimensions: (W)76mm x (H)60mm x (D)100mm

Despite an intensive web crawl I apologise for failing to locate the amp manufacturers website, although aloaudio and cyro-parts both stock this amp for $349. There is a precursory review online by an antipodean website and a short video interview with the company founder.


Hope that this whets your appetites and if any head-fi members own this bronzed beauty, PLEASE submit a review soonest.


Kind regards,




post #2 of 13

Yikes, 3 Watts per channel for a headphone output?!?

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I noticed that too, seems somewhat excessive, but could be fun if you're a head banger! 

post #4 of 13

That would fry most typical headphones, but would probabyl be good for those inefficient orthos. I'm surprised it puts out that much power in such a small package... I'm guessing the headphone output is just a resistor tap off the speaker outputs.

post #5 of 13

just got one, burning it in currently and its sounding amazing, auditioning speakers but haven't found anything promising, suggestions?

post #6 of 13

It appears the headphone is driven from the tube only, and not a tap from the speaker outputs.  The power supplies to the preamp and amp are separate, and the device even requires a mini to mini cable to connect to the preamp to the amp (strikes me as a bit silly, but whatever).  The pictures on ALO's website show the preamp and headphone amp as a single unit, with the amp an altogether different unit, which agrees with the manual.  The tube pre appears to drive a TI op amp of some sort - suspect this is why the headphone amp is so powerful.  


Zu speakers mate rather well with tripath amps - suggest you find a pair to try out.  They have some fantastic specials running right now!

post #7 of 13

Wow, 3Watt to power headphones.

I wonder if they where thinking of the rather inefficient HiFiman Headphones (edit, I looked it up - they are called HE-6 right?) when they did that. Anyone tried that combo?


Edited by bedlam inside - 1/8/13 at 2:31am
post #8 of 13

I have one on the way and expect it to arrive in-time for me to bring it to the upcoming meetin in Queens NY this weekend.

post #9 of 13
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

Yikes, 3 Watts per channel for a headphone output?!?


Hahaha, that was me three years ago... and now I have an HE-6 and I'm thinking "pfft, only 3 Watts?"

post #10 of 13

I really don't think ... strike that, I know for a fact it is not 3 watts; I think 0.3 watts is more like it but I wouldn't be surprised if it was 0.03 watts.  I think there was a typo in the specs and never questioned [instrument tested by a reviewer] or corrected by the manufacturer.  


This amp really can't drive the MadDogs very well, which should easily be in its wheelhouse at around 50 ohms, capable of handling 3 watts.  I have amps that I know for a fact are delivering a bit under 1 watt and the other a bit over 1 watt to it, and they drive the MadDog cleanly to deafening volumes.  This Ernestolo's driving ability  is a complete distorted mess at just a fraction of the acoustical output of those amps.  And if an amp is rated as being able to deliver 3 watts into 32 ohms it should easily be able to deliver 1.5 watts into 64 ohms, and more than that into 50 ohms.  There is no possible way the Ernestolo is doing that.


Out of all the headphones you see in my sig, the only one I have that is driven well, sounding great and reaching acoustical output I demand cleanly, is my Focal Spirit One.  The rest distort well before I'm happy with the acoustical output being put out.

post #11 of 13

That's really disappointing, and a bit surprising that it can't even drive headphones like an ESW9 or Pro500 since those are not difficult loads for an amp to drive.


Do you perchance have any of those recabled for balanced use off the speaker taps?

post #12 of 13

I really will have to get or make a 1/8" or 1/4" headphone to speaker adapter if anything for just the MadDog alone, cuz this Tube/Hybrid pre-amp + T-power-amp works great driving my Tannoy 8" monitors which I have 1 meter away from my ears.  [the legendary coax kind] -- granted I am crossing over the lows to a sub amp and speaker; tho I will bypass the x-over soon to know how that handles too.  I hope 50 ohms won't be too high to operate the T-amp.


I need to correct a misstatement; I forgot everything I had in my sig.  The ESW9 is broken where it connects to the headband so wasn't tried.  The Pro500 was tested and played and did sound nice at 'normal' listening levels and did get kinda loud, but low frequency authority at that level wasn't there as it is with my Fiio E17 or any of my other desktop amps, and what was there wasn't as well controlled either; and it distorted easily.  I attributed that to 16 ohms being too low for the pre-amp/headphone out section.

Edited by m8o - 11/12/13 at 3:03pm
post #13 of 13

I just received mine. Pretty little thing. I hope it sounds as good as it looks :biggrin:







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