AVID Pellar: A New Standard in Price and Performance
AVID is back with their most affordable phono stage yet. A distillation of all the information gleaned from making two outstanding phono stages, the Pellar is based on AVID’s truly exceptional Pulsus phono preamp. Featuring the same circuit topology, parts quality and solid construction as its big brothers, the Pellar offers an astonishingly high level of performance at a fraction of the price. Massive dynamic swings, astonishingly intimate, with a gorgeous tonal balance and incredibly deep imaging, AVID has once again drawn a line in the sand, challenging any manufacturer to deliver this level of performance at any price, much less one this surprisingly affordable.
"Background noise is a non-event. The Pellar is open, explicit and almost always entertaining. Details that can be lost in the overall mix are reproduced without seeming forced. Bass is deep and full of the texture that gives the necessary sense of realism to pieces. It's well built, flexible in terms of cartridge choice and has a genuinely appealing presentation that is an intelligent mix of enthusiasm and accuracy. AVID's most enticing phono stage yet."
– Ed Selley, Hi-Fi Choice, 5-Star Review
Long renowned as a high-end manufacturer, AVID is uncompromising in their dedication to making premium products, but the lower price of the Pellar required some judicious choices to shave costs. Right away it became obvious that an external power supply would be too expensive, so AVID engineered an all new internal regulated power supply; small enough to fit inside the Pellar’s compact dimensions, powerful enough to maintain rock-solid current delivery and quiet enough to keep the noise floor to a vanishingly low level.
Pellar offers three different gain settings, 48dB (MM), 60dB (MC Low) and 70dB (MC High). The lowest gain setting is ideal for MM and High Output MC cartridges. 60dB is sufficient for most MC cartridges over 0.4mV and 70dB will drive virtually every MC cartridge available. These gain settings are changed via DIP switches on the underbelly of the unit.
MC Loading Options
Complexity drives up cost and offering a wide variety of loading options for MC cartridges is complicated. To keep the circuit simple but retain ultimate flexibility, AVID chose to use the custom resistor load circuit from their reference Pulsare phono preamp. Included with Pellar are a pair of RCA plugs, each is preloaded with a 500Ω resistor. Simply plugging these RCA plugs into the top two black RCAs instantly loads Pellar to 500Ω. Should a different value be desired, a quick trip to the local Radio Shack will provide access to a near limitless selection of loading options. Simply unsolder the 500Ω resistor from each metal RCAs and swap it out for the desired value; e.g. 100Ω 1/4Watt resistor equals 100Ω cartridge loading, 1,000Ω resistor 1/4Watt resistor equals 1kΩ cartridge loading. Elegant, inexpensive and extremely effective.