Classic Audio by Michael Fidler

FAQ - Classic Audio Limited by Michael Fidler


Page created January 2023. To be expanded upon further over the course of the year...

Do you ship worldwide?

Yes. So far units have been shipped all the way to Australia, India and Europe, with the USA being next on the list for January 2023. The orders page will soon be updated with definitive prices in USD, GBP, and EUR for respective countries. Power supplies for NEMA, Euro, and British plug types will be supplied. While every effort will be made to minimise import liabilities, overseas customers are advised to check import and customs duties for their countries.

What's your returns policy?

Variable! For UK customers, returns are accepted within 14 days of delivery, as per consumer rights law. For overseas customers returns are accepted only for faulty or damaged units, due to import duties paid upon return. This will change once the company is VAT registered.

Do you offer a PSU upgrade?

No. This question seems to appear perennially as a result of the dubious marketing strategies of other companies, seemingly designed to wring as much cash out of buyers with little regard to evidence of benefit. Customers are happily informed that the 'standard wall-wart' supplies offered with all units are entirely optimised and there is no benefit to be obtained by using different, more expensive units. In fact, quite the opposite, as I have yet to see a transformer-based power supply that offers as low an idle power consumption and capacitive isolation from the mains as the types supplied.

Supplied PSUs are linear types as standard, and while they are contained within 'wall-wart' enclosures, giving the initial impression of low-cost design choices, they are a world apart from the cheap switching PSUs that are unfortunately so often included with modern audio equipment. Swapping them out for other types is highly discouraged as doing so can potentially overload the product's internal rails, cause the regulators to drop out, or inject excess noise. I don't believe in wasting my own, or customer's time making sub-optimal products. Customers are advised to spend their excess cash on records!

Can I customise cartridge loading?

Absolutely not. This rather tricky subject is soon to be covered in a series of articles on moving magnet and coil input circuitry, but it has been revealed through quite extensive research that variable loading is quite undesirable for 99% of applications. Variable loading inevitably deviates away from optimal rejection of radio frequency interference, increased insertion loss in moving coil inputs, and can increase noise and seriously distort the high frequency response of moving magnet cartridges. For the latter, my phonostages are optimised for a total input capacitance agreeable to virtually all MM cartridges on the market once tonearm and cable capacitance are taken into account.

Will you make a power amplifier?

Probably not for a good while. Generally being a fan of active speakers, I'm not very keen on standalone power amplifiers, which is why I will be including balanced outputs on all line pre-amplifiers. I've made a fair few power amps in my relatively short time and don't really see how I could offer very much to the market that isn't already there...