The Blue Circle O22i. It is for me a thrilling product, one that brought my listening enjoyment to an entirely new level. And it may not surprise you to hear that shortly after auditioning it, my name was added to Gilbert Yeung's months-long backlog of orders. After hearing the O22i, there was no going back to anything else. Postive Feedback
BC 022i Reference-Quality Class AB solid-state stereo integrated amp
The BC022i uses much of the circuitry found in the BC 107 preamp and the BC1022 power amp.
It comes standard with separate power supply and stereo Shallco attenuator.
120 watts per channel into 8 ohms, 160 watts into 4 ohms
For those of you who have been following Gilbert Yeung’s audio creations for the last few decades, I think that you would agree that heis always exploring new things… his thinking and imagination never stand still. He also refuses to espouse any dogma or creed. He hasdesigned single-ended class A amps, and A/B amps. He has designed hybrid amps and he has designed breathtaking world-class amps using op-amps back when most designers scoffed at the idea. He has designed tube preamps, solid-state preamps, and recently he designed a cross-hybrid solid-state and tube preamp unlike anything available today. Gilbert follows his own path and is not really influenced by what others think, neither does he tend to pass judgment on others’ work either… each to their own.
Let’s start with a Blue Circle signature attribute, the massive power supply. Actually there are two power supplies: one for the input
stage and one for the output. Each one has their own optimized circuitry. Combined there are over 920,000 μF of filtering or just under a farad. This is unheard of in a mid-powered integrated amp. It is conservatively rated at 125 W into 8 Ω and 165 W into 4 Ω, but it sounds and plays so much bigger than the numbers would suggest. This is a very powerful amplifier.
Here are a few more details about the power supply. The transformers are installed using silicone bubble isolation mounting to
mechanically isolate the transformers from the chassis. The output stage transformer employs core band technology. There is a
special sheet of silicon metal (referred to as a core band) surrounding the core of the transformer. This prevents the electromagnetic energy produced by the transformer’s primary and secondary windings from radiating into the rest of the amplifier’s circuitry. This type of radiation is commonly referred to as electromagnetic interference or EMI. There is also a DC-blocking circuit upstream from both transformers, similar in design to our RPD-15, but optimized for the 022i. DC offset can cause a large transformer to produce a mechanical “growl” and it can also force a transformer to work in an unbalanced mode since the crossover point is no longer at 0 V. If the offset is great enough, it may even cause the core of the transformer to saturate. Toroids, specifically large toroids, are especially susceptible to DC offset problems. We are planning to add core bands and DC offset blocking circuitry to all future Blue Circle power amps.
Like the BC107, the front end of the 022i is fully differential and DC-coupled. Volume is controlled by a hand-built stereo Shallco
attenuator using hand-selected and matched mil-spec resistors. The amplifier section employs the same fully-balanced M2 output
stage as the $10k NSP power amp. It is our humble opinion that there is some very special synergy going on here.
As to the types of inputs… that is totally up to you. You can choose four single-ended inputs, one balanced and three SE, or two of
each at no extra cost. If you want more than two balanced inputs there is an extra charge. If you want a processor bypass loop or a
preamp out, they are also optional. And of course if you have some special request, just let us know and chances are we can make it happen.
.Here, we take on the challenge of creating unique products to satisfy your specific needs.
If you can conjure it up, then very likely, we can build it.
All of our products can be made in a variety of different finishes and colors.
If you have something in mind and don't see it as an option contact us.
The Custom Shop isn't limited to finishes. If you're looking for a unique combination of inputs/outputs and functions or want something brand new built from the ground up just let us know.
We enjoy the challenge of creating something unique for our customers.
I've listened to a lot of amps over the past 20 or so years. I've auditioned integrated amps and separates, tubes and solid-state, low-powered and high-powered. I've heard a few I liked a lot, and several I respected but had no great enthusiasm for. But in almost every case I can recall, I've been able to discern the designer's editorial hand at work. In other words, I can hear the calculation: rounding off the treble for a warm, "full-bodied" sound, or making the bottom end a little lean to increase perceived detail; going for a fast or a slow sound, an analytical or a musical one.
Blue Circle amps are different. There's something uncanny about them. They just have a natural organic purity. I don't hear the sound being shaped or manipulated. They don't all sound exactly the same, but they all share the same essential sense of musical rightness.
I've said this before in reviews, but it bears repeating here: When I read other writers' equipment reviews, I pay attention to the tone of what they say as much as I do to the actual content. We all use the same vocabulary to describe sound, and most products that reach market these days are competent or better than that. With so many products and companies courting such a small audience of audiophiles, there aren't that many bad products out there. The weak simply do not survive.
But at the same time, it is not hard to tell the difference between when a reviewer is offering sincere but somewhat perfunctory praise and when he is thrilled with a particular component. I know as a reader, my eyes begin to glaze over reviews that use all the usual words of praise, but don't seem to have any passion behind them.
I hope I have conveyed such passion re: the Blue Circle O22i. It is for me a thrilling product, one that brought my listening enjoyment to an entirely new level. And it may not surprise you to hear that shortly after auditioning it, my name was added to Gilbert Yeung's months-long backlog of orders. After hearing the O22i, there was no going back to anything else - Positive Feedback