Various people have asked me for some information on this new model, so here we go:
Starting point for the development of the ROCK was to bring a small stationary amplifier that is well within the reach of a small pocket. There are already many portable “cheap” amplifiers on the market but the choice in stationary amps is still relatively limited.
To achieve this goal the amp comes without crossfeed and without digital volume control. Power comes from a built-in switching supply and low/high gain can not be set by a switch but by simple post-shunts (accessible from the outside of the amp).
There are no compromises toward mechanical quality though. The 27 millimeter ALPS potentiometer may not really sound better than a decent 9 millimeter version but mechanically it certainly will hold much longer. The enclosure is from aluminum and the headphone socket comes from NEUTRIK.
Sound is always a matter of taste, but personally I was very surprised what could be achieved by proper selection of the various parts and by some little tricks. This amplifier sounds very mature and powerful (300 mA output current/channel at 40 Ohm, up to 40 mA in class-A!) and is close to a JAZZ or a CLASSIC.
The exact production costs are not known yet, but I hope to keep the price below USD 200,-. No promises though!