Welcome to the AudioShark Forums.
Results 1 to 28 of 28
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    The Matrix
    Posts
    1,118

    Constellation Inspiration Series

    It is a shame the Constellation line doesn't get that much love. Call me impressed.
    Marty

    Aurender N20 / SonicTransporter i7 / Roon
    MSB Premier
    Constellation Inspiration Preamp 1.0 / Mono 1.0
    Dynaudio Confidence 50 / SVS SB13 Ultra
    PS Audio Powerplant 15

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    18,706

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Agreed, current Constellation gear is pretty awesome.
    Fleetwood Deville by Oswald Mills Audio, Vienna Acoustics Haydn Jubilee, Wharfedale Linton w/ stands, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M.

    Job INTegrated. Luxman L-595aSE

    NAD C 658 streamer.

    First Watt SIT-3, Job 250 Monos, NuForce STA200, AkitikA GT-102 amp, ASL Wave monos, Dennis Had 45 monos. Absolute Audio Labs PCF 25 amp (improved First Watt F7 super clone)

    Topping D90, RME Audio ADI-2 DAC FS, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES.

    Burmester 948, McIntosh MCLK12, Kimber Kable, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    The Matrix
    Posts
    1,118

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Used preamp and dealer demo amp. I am not going to wax poetic about it. Amazing
    Marty

    Aurender N20 / SonicTransporter i7 / Roon
    MSB Premier
    Constellation Inspiration Preamp 1.0 / Mono 1.0
    Dynaudio Confidence 50 / SVS SB13 Ultra
    PS Audio Powerplant 15

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,574

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Constellation gear sounds terrific and looks great.
    _______________

    Mike

    Amplification: MBL 6010D, MBL 9008A Monos
    Analog: Kuzma R, Kuzma 4Point (11”), MSL Ultra Eminent EX
    Phono Pre: Pass XP-27
    Digital: Esoteric N01XD Esoteric K05
    Speakers: MBL 101E MKII
    Subwoofers: REL Carbon Specials
    Conditioner: Shunyata Triton 3
    Power Cables: Shunyata Sigma 1 & 2, Alpha 2, Delta and Venom
    ICs and SCs: Wireworld Platinum 8
    Rack: Artesania Exoteryc

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    2,483

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    I would love to hear the 1.0 power amp. Anyone dare to describe the Constellation sound or make a comparison to another brand?
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB,
    Mark Levinson #526, 532h, JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    Clarus Concerto & their Crimson cables

    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P6, Coda CSX, Artisan speakers

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,567

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    I've heard the Constellation gear a few months back. Both the Argo integrated and the Virgo preamp and Centaur monos. It's pretty amazing; I've love to own one of their integrateds.

    Speaking of Constellation, a buddy is lending me his Inspiration integrated amp to borrow for a while, so I'll have some impressions to post soon. Really looking forward to it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,567

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    I would love to hear the 1.0 power amp. Anyone dare to describe the Constellation sound or make a comparison to another brand?
    It is very, very transparent, quiet, and uncolored. It adds virtually no character of its own to the source. The Centaur amps have easy, relaxed power and will drive any speaker load. It also sounds the same from cold or "warmed up."

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    2,483

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    I'm interested in your impressions after getting some listening in. . Larry Greenhill reviewed the 1.0 for Stereophile, I like reading him as he is a Levinson guy and often used Salons which I'm familiar with,, He loved the mids/highs of the 1.0 but seemed to indicate the bass had less impact than a couple of his Levinson amps. But, one of the Levinson was the 534 at almost twice the price.

    I think the 1.0 will have to be heard for me. I like defined bass but need the visceral. Also, I like transparent but didn't find myself liking the former Boulder amps, they are good but something about the type of transparency I couldn't get into. So with that and ending up not liking the Coda 8 I need to be careful what Transparent sounds like to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    I've heard the Constellation gear a few months back. Both the Argo integrated and the Virgo preamp and Centaur monos. It's pretty amazing; I've love to own one of their integrateds.

    Speaking of Constellation, a buddy is lending me his Inspiration integrated amp to borrow for a while, so I'll have some impressions to post soon. Really looking forward to it.
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB,
    Mark Levinson #526, 532h, JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    Clarus Concerto & their Crimson cables

    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P6, Coda CSX, Artisan speakers

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Spain
    Posts
    521

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Magnificent amplifier. I've had it for four years until my move to Gryphon. Just one problem, your transformer is very sensitive to offset current and buzzes a lot. I think that this problem in the US is not so pronounced. The only way to avoid the hum was to use an Isotek Syncro cable, but it lost a lot compared to a Shunyata Sigma. In the end I got tired of that problem and bought Gryphon, but the sound was great.
    Francisco

    Aries Cerat Kassandra Ref. MKII / Taiko Extreme Server / Gryphon Essence Preamplifier and Stereo Amplifier / Rockport Atria I / REL S-812 (2) / Göbel XLR (2), Göbel Ethernet and USB Cables / Audio Quest Diamond Ethernet Cable / MIT Magnum MA Speakers Cables / Shunyata Everest 8000 / Shunyata Omega XC (1), Sigma NR V2 (4) and Alfa NR V1 (2) / Melco S-100 Pink Faun OCXO Upgraded / Paul Hynes SR7T Double Rail / Farad Super3 / Doepke DFS-2 40A / GigaWatt G-C16A 2P / Fuse module AHP 4Gi / Center Stage2 0.8, 1.0 and 1.5

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,567

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    So, the Constellation Inspiration integrated arrived today from the friend that is very kindly loaning it to me. My understanding from him is it's brand new with zero hours on it.

    Here's a quick piccie taken with the iPhone 12. Right now it's sitting on a rock maple board but once I finish up the CJ ART 150 amp review in the next day or so, I'll pull the First Sound preamp out of the main rack, and replace it with the Constellation Inspiration (then I can send the First Sound's dual external power supplies to Emmanuel for their CCI-X update. Woot! 👍 😀...but I digress).



    After reading the manual, I connected my Lampi Baltic 3 DAC as source, fed by the Aurender N20 that's in for review.

    First impression: very, very, very neutral and uncolored. Transparency and timbral resolution are pretty fab, as is the imaging. It's so clean and quiet it's kinda nuts. Zero hours on it, and just off the UPS truck, so it needs to settle and then rack up hours on the clock to open up to it's fullest extent. Stay tuned.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,567

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    I spent all last evening listening to the Constellation Inspiration One integrated.

    As it is literally brand-new with zero hours of burn-in on the clock, and as it was just off the UPS truck and had virtually no time to settle, for the first hour it was very clean and quiet, but a bit "closed-in" sounding with respect to imaging.

    Right off the bat, noise floor (quietness), transparency, and resolution are really excellent, and I expect will continue to get even better. Neutrality, resolution, and tonal accuracy are amongst the best I've ever heard.

    Over the course of the evening, the Inspiration started to open up and "clear it's voice". The soundstage is larger, more spacious, extended and airy and the ability to render subtlety of timbre and texture will give you goose-pimples. As a result, the presentation is more defined, complex, and most importantly, nuanced.

    As I'm literally finishing up writing the review of the ART150 amp today, this bad boy will be getting some serious hours on it to get it fully "on the cam" as we say in motor racing.

    Go ahead, Constellation Inspiration...twist my arm.

  12. #12

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Looking very forward to your impressions. I am looking at a top flight integrated as my next purchase and the Constellation just came onto my RADAR screen. Your initial thoughts seem quite positive.
    Kevin

    VPI Aries 3/Grado Reference3, and Aurender N200 > PS Audio DS DAC. Luxman L-595A integrated amp. Sonus Faber Elipsa SE speakers. PS Audio P5 and P10. Transparent Audio, Cardas and Audioquest cables.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,567

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Quote Originally Posted by 4N6 View Post
    Looking very forward to your impressions. I am looking at a top flight integrated as my next purchase and the Constellation just came onto my RADAR screen. Your initial thoughts seem quite positive.
    Hey, Kevin, I don't have extensive experience with integrateds, but its right up there with the best of the other integrated amps I have experience with, and that's DarTZeel and Viva. Both of those are sublime, and the Inspiration is right there with them.

    And, my impressions have only gotten more positive over the last day or so; the Inspiration is continuing to burn in and become more spacious and open-sounding as well as increasingly layered and articulated in the presentation. It's still exceedingly neutral, but it has a naturalness and as Hans Beekhuizen says, "relaxed" quality to it that makes it very engaging to listen to.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,567

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Quote Originally Posted by 4N6 View Post
    Looking very forward to your impressions. I am looking at a top flight integrated as my next purchase and the Constellation just came onto my RADAR screen. Your initial thoughts seem quite positive.
    Oh, and my understanding is that the Constellation gear is very stable and consistent when driving pretty much any loudspeaker impedance load.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    2,483

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    What speakers are you using? How do you find the bass and how are leading edges?

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Oh, and my understanding is that the Constellation gear is very stable and consistent when driving pretty much any loudspeaker impedance load.
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB,
    Mark Levinson #526, 532h, JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    Clarus Concerto & their Crimson cables

    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P6, Coda CSX, Artisan speakers

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,567

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    What speakers are you using? How do you find the bass and how are leading edges?
    Harbeth 30.2s with a REL sub.

    The bass is superb, and well, so is the Constellation Inspiration integrated, overall. I'm once again spending a wonderful evening completely enthralled by the Inspiration integrated amp.

    I've been running it in, as well. Now that its got more than 200 hours or so on it, I have to say the Constellation Inspiration is of one of 3 best integrated amps I've ever heard, the other two being the...Constellation Argo (no surprise there) and the mighty DarTZeel CTH-8550.

    There was a review of the Inspiration in TAS by Neil Gader in 2018, IIRC, and those comments were spot-on.
    Ref here: Constellation Inspiration Integrated 1.0 - The Absolute Sound

    I had a buddy over around Thanksgiving, and he was very impresssed, too. We spent the evening listening to a wide range of content on the Inspiration, and he said it had the finest reproduction and resoluton of vocal texture he had EVER heard.

    Anyhoo, I am very impressed with this integrated. I could live with it as the core component in my system, along with my Lampi Baltic 3 DAC, and a Rega P10 TT, forever and be a blissfully happy man.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    2,483

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Have you had the top off? I've seen some YouTube videos claiming that Constellation doesn't use top parts and over priced

    I don't put much stock in that type of thing, there seems to be more and more of that popping up, sort of ambush trashing products tomake something else look good.
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB,
    Mark Levinson #526, 532h, JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    Clarus Concerto & their Crimson cables

    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P6, Coda CSX, Artisan speakers

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    The Matrix
    Posts
    1,118

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Inspiration Integrated. People get butt hurt when it doesn’t look a certain way

    Marty

    Aurender N20 / SonicTransporter i7 / Roon
    MSB Premier
    Constellation Inspiration Preamp 1.0 / Mono 1.0
    Dynaudio Confidence 50 / SVS SB13 Ultra
    PS Audio Powerplant 15

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,567

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    Have you had the top off? I've seen some YouTube videos claiming that Constellation doesn't use top parts and over priced

    I don't put much stock in that type of thing, there seems to be more and more of that popping up, sort of ambush trashing products tomake something else look good.
    Hey Bryan,
    I haven't opened it up because I don't own it; it's on loan from a buddy, and out of respect for that, I'm not going break open something I don't own.

    Yeah, I've seen the griping from some folks about "part this, and parts that". I don't know about that first-hand.

    I see this likely as a "statistically significant" vs. "practically significant" kinda thing: "Should have used Miflex caps instead of Erse caps; Mills resistors instead of Vishay...blah, blah, blah." All those discussions are around what may be construed as "statistically significant", but in the REAL WORLD, all that matters is what is "practically significant".

    And from a practically sgnificant perspective, all I can say is that the Constellation products I've heard sound f***ing fantastic. So...there's that.

    Practically speaking, of course. 😉

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    The Matrix
    Posts
    1,118

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Difference between people who listened to caps/resistors vs music.


    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Hey Bryan,
    I haven't opened it up because I don't own it; it's on loan from a buddy, and out of respect for that, I'm not going break open something I don't own.

    Yeah, I've seen the griping from some folks about "part this, and parts that". I don't know about that first-hand.

    I see this likely as a "statistically significant" vs. "practically significant" kinda thing: "Should have used Miflex caps instead of Erse caps; Mills resistors instead of Vishay...blah, blah, blah." All those discussions are around what may be construed as "statistically significant", but in the REAL WORLD, all that matters is what is "practically significant".

    And from a practically sgnificant perspective, all I can say is that the Constellation products I've heard sound f***ing fantastic. So...there's that.

    Practically speaking, of course. 😉
    Marty

    Aurender N20 / SonicTransporter i7 / Roon
    MSB Premier
    Constellation Inspiration Preamp 1.0 / Mono 1.0
    Dynaudio Confidence 50 / SVS SB13 Ultra
    PS Audio Powerplant 15

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,567

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Quote Originally Posted by nc42acc View Post
    Inspiration Integrated. People get butt hurt when it doesn’t look a certain way
    Yep, and just to expand on that thought...

    I don't care what it looks like on the inside. As long as it works and doesn't break, it meets my requirements for durabilty.

    For example, here's a Benchmark AHB2 amp that is pretty complicated...


    and here's one of Nelson's First Watt F8s on the inside...


    I can tell you which one I'd rather have...the First Watt.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    The Matrix
    Posts
    1,118

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    I am sticking with the Inspiration Monos.


    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Yep, and just to expand on that thought...

    I don't care what it looks like on the inside. As long as it works and doesn't break, it meets my requirements for durabilty.

    For example, here's a Benchmark AHB2 amp that is pretty complicated...


    and here's one of Nelson's First Watt F8s on the inside...


    I can tell you which one I'd rather have...the First Watt.
    Marty

    Aurender N20 / SonicTransporter i7 / Roon
    MSB Premier
    Constellation Inspiration Preamp 1.0 / Mono 1.0
    Dynaudio Confidence 50 / SVS SB13 Ultra
    PS Audio Powerplant 15

  23. #23

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    Have you had the top off? I've seen some YouTube videos claiming that Constellation doesn't use top parts and over priced

    I don't put much stock in that type of thing, there seems to be more and more of that popping up, sort of ambush trashing products tomake something else look good.

    The same Individual that made those comments is a dealer for competing brands.

    Playback Designs is the BEST digital (his words) but, he is a dealer

    His DIY cables are better than Sigma V2 and 1/10 the price...Yeah ok

    You get the idea :-)

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,567

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Quote Originally Posted by nc42acc View Post
    I am sticking with the Inspiration Monos.
    And, I was lucky enough to have those, I would too.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,567

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Quote Originally Posted by mdp632 View Post
    The same Individual that made those comments is a dealer for competing brands.

    Playback Designs is the BEST digital (his words) but, he is a dealer

    His DIY cables are better than Sigma V2 and 1/10 the price...Yeah ok

    You get the idea :-)
    Yep, not surprising.
    I used to teach VOC, Voice of the Customer, for product development. One of the key principles of VOC is that there is almost always more than one way to design and develop products that best meet customer needs.

    And...the other key point is that all customer needs are equally valid. Understanding this principle is key to respect for the customer.

    And for me, the Constellation products sure as h*ll meet my needs.

  26. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    The Matrix
    Posts
    1,118

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Changing my thread photo since I went from stereo amp to mono amps. Pulled out the SL1200, have a new cartridge to try.

    Marty

    Aurender N20 / SonicTransporter i7 / Roon
    MSB Premier
    Constellation Inspiration Preamp 1.0 / Mono 1.0
    Dynaudio Confidence 50 / SVS SB13 Ultra
    PS Audio Powerplant 15

  27. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    565

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    It's really a beautiful piece of equipment. I like simple and modern, with a little bit of architectural appeal. This amp has that for sure. I'd love to find one to try out. Not necessarily the integrated, but the amp.
    Lumin X1 > Boulder 1161 > Scansonic MB3.5 B

    Interconnects: HiDiamond Genesis Big XLR
    Speaker Cable: Zu IBIS
    Ethernet: SOtM sNH-10G switch / Wireworld Platinum Starlight 8 Ethernet (Lumin L1) / Owens Corning OS2 SM Fiber (Lumin X1)
    Power Conditioning: Ayre L-5xe Line Filter (amp, X1) / Keces P3 LPS w/ Uptone Audio Saphire DC cable (L1) / SOtM sPS-500 (switch)
    Power Cables: Shunyata, Transparent
    Music Source: Lumin L1 NAS / Qobuz / Roon

    Tweaks: Artesania Audio damper | Shakti Air | Shakti Onlines | Synergistic Big MIG footers | Alto-extremo Lyd footers | Ginko Cloud 15 (X1) | IsoAcoustics Gaia II

  28. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,567

    Re: Constellation Inspiration Series

    Pic of the Inspiration Integrated I have here on-loan. Powered with a Shunyata Sigma NRv2 PC.


AudioShark - The Best High End Audio Discussion forum.

AudioShark forum is a leading forum site for High End Audio Discussion, Stereo System Discussion, Home Theater System Discussion, Best Home Stereo System Discussion, Home Theater Installation Discussion etc.

The AudioShark forum was created for sharing the passion of high-end Audio. We have Audiophiles from all over the world participating and sharing their knowledge. From novice to experts, you will find a friendly environment for discussing about High End Audio, Stereo System, Home Theater System, Home Stereo System, Home Theater Installation, Amplifiers, Speakers, Subwoofers, Integrated System, Acoustic treatments & Digital Room Corrections and many more.

At AudioShark, we also have incorporated an exciting Marketplace where members can peruse terrific buys on used gear, as well as meet dealers and discuss the purchase of new gear.

We are as crazy about this hobby as you are! So come on in and join us! Audioshark.org the Friendliest Audio Forum!

Industry Participation Disclosure : The owner and administrator of Audioshark is the owner of Suncoast Audio LLC in Sarasota Florida. Suncoast Audio has a full brick and mortar presence in Sarasota with several great show rooms with many world class brands. More information can be found at http://www.suncoastaudio.com

Audioshark is a community of like minded individuals. Audioshark welcomes participation from all manufacturers and owners of all brands and products. It is our belief that online forums provide a community of like minded audiophiles and music lovers to encourage the growth of this wonderful hobby.

Sincerely,
The Audioshark.org Team

Constellation Inspiration Series

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •