Boulder Amplifier 2108 Phono Preamplifier

Boulder Amplifiers continues to expand its product portfolio with the announcement and immediate launch of the new 2108 Phono Preamplifier, a reference-level component at the opposite end of the scale to the company’s recently-released 508 phono stage.

The 2108 two-box, fully balanced, dual mono phono stage is the new reference-level offering in the 2100 series and, as such, features the latest circuit technology from the high-end electronics specialist. The company claims “vast” improvements in performance due to significant refinements in circuit layout, grounding schemes and lowering of the static noise floor. Boulder owns its own SMD manufacturing machines and, therefore, the new 2108 features an improved layout topology available via increased surface-mount implementation.

In order to play back records from the widest possible range of eras, the 2018 features front-panel selectable EQ curves. Aside from the standard RIAA, the 2108 features FFRR, Columbia, and EMI EQ options. Low gain MC cartridges will now also enjoy 10dB of added gain (zero noise floor penalty) while Boulder’s own discrete and modular ‘995 gain stage’ which the company claims features “significantly reduced distortion and noise. This reduction results in substantial improvements in clarity and low-level information recovery.”

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The 2108 Phono Preamplifier features three XLR inputs for the possible connection of multiple arm/cartridge combinations or multiple turntables. “Personality Cards”, as Boulder refers to the small slot-in modules assignable to each input channel can be tailored to match resistive and capacitive loading requirements of specific phono cartridges. Dual XLR outputs are provided allowing the option of feeding a preamplifier or a recording device.

The 2108 Phono Preamplifier’s input Impedance for MC cartridges is 1000 ohms maximum and 47 kohms maximum for MM cartridges. Its output impedance is quoted as 100 ohms Balanced with a Maximum Output Level of 28 Vrms and a Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of 0.005%. Gain at 1 kHz for RIAA MC is 70 dB or 60 dB while for MM it has been specified as 50 dB or 40 dB. Frequency response is 20 Hz to 20 kHz RIAA with ±0.10 dB variation.

Regarding the 2108’s performance, Director of Sales and Marketing Rich Maez told SoundStage! Australia, “As you listen, you notice greater separation and a spacious soundstage. The 2108 has a tighter grip or dynamic or transient response and big transients are much faster. The increased grip and damping also means that textures in various tones are revealed that the 2008 seems to slightly blur. The lower noise floor of the 2108 also means that there's quite a bit of low-level detail that's revealed. Overall the 2108 make the 2008 sound a bit dark and slow. The one thing that the 2008 did better than anything else when it was available, and even after, was low frequency or bass power and slam. The 2108 still does this, though with an improvement in power and speed.”

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The Boulder Amplifiers 2108 Phono Preamplifier is available in Australia via specialist high-end dealers around Australia.

Boulder Amplifiers 2108 Phono Preamplifier
Price: AU$81,800

Australian Distributor: Absolute Hi End
+61 488 777 999
www.absolutehiend.com