Model 88 - a legend in amplification

Think about an amplifier. Any one.

Now read carefully about its history – reviews, awards, “best of the shows”, passionate declarations of its owners. Year after year.

Finally, compare the results with the amazing history of success of the Model 88. Probably only at this moment you will have the exact dimension of the real revolution that it represents for the high-end audio market and will recognize that it is a unique case, with no parallels.

Its exclusive Timbre Lock® feature was recognized with the “Best Valve Amplifier Innovation” award from Hi-Fi News, the most traditional audiophile magazine of the United Kingdom and was described as "...a near genius application that works pure and simple". It was also for seven years (a record itself) on the “Recommended Component List” of the Stereophile Magazine (all the time as “Class A” component) and still is a reference for this publication. It received the first edition of the ”6Moons Blue Moon Award” due its "Engineering Brilliance & Massively Musical Success".

See below some of the comments about the Model 88:

An unusual success story

The Model 88 has been refered as “a legend in its his own time”. It is a 30W monoblock single-ended power amplifier designed to be the most revealing and musical piece of electronic equipment currently available. It has evolved from years of intense research on how amplifiers interface with speakers while actually playing music. Unlike any other amplifier known to us, it exists solely to bring to you the full range of emotions previously unavailable from your music. This was the product that introduced Timbre Lock® as a feature. It has received so many enthusiastic comments from reviewers, owners and Hi-Fi show attendees. Timbre Lock® gives you the ability to dial-in and fine-tune amplifier behavior that will be best for the entire system, not just for the amplifier.

Essentially, you can adjust your system to deliver your preference for bass definition and tone. You can bring vocalists into the room in a more intimate and vividly compelling manner, all at your command. Choose your level of musical articulation, combined with your specific requirements in terms of high frequency smoothness and extension, and how relaxed you like your music. The Model88 has been in the prestigious list of Stereophile Class A Recommended Components for more than 6 years. It also won several awards all over the world, including the Hi-Fi News Industry Award for Best Valve Amplifier Innovation. The third generation was released with the largest set of improvements and options that reinforce its recognized differential.

See below some of the comments about the Model 88:

The generation "A4"

The Model 88 as you've never heard

How to further improve an amplifier that has been the dream of countless music lovers around the world? The whole team Audiopax was dedicated for four years to this challenge, which required a dive even deeper into the concepts that guide its revolutionary topology and creating specific components for our goal. So we generated the best Model 88 has produced an amplifier that, together with our product line Maggiore , associated like no other (regardless of cost) the magic of valves control, length and strength of solid-state amplifiers.

This new generation is an evolution not only of our consecrated version "A3" (its third generation) but also on the amazing special editions ("SE") created on it, as we move forward not only in choosing and the use of the best available components in the audio market, but also in developing new output transformers and the production of specific items for Model 88 as the exclusive coupling capacitors used, which are the outcome of two years of working with one of the most reputable companies in this market (Jupiter Condenser Co.).

New source, new components, review of all circuits and transformers. The result of all these changes has been brilliantly summarized by Srajan Ebaen, the 6Moons editor, hearing the first prototype of this series in a presentation in Munich: "Spectacular" .

And you've schedule an audition? We guarantee that you will be amazed.

The Model 88 in Reviews, Awards and High-End Shows

The Model 88 A4 was first demonstrated at the show "DeLuxe HiFi" of Munich in 2014, where we received the "Gold Show Award - Best Sound" granted by AV Showrooms. In addition we were also considered by the 6Moons as the best of the show room!

"For my kind of music I thought the sound spectacular. And yes, Jacob George's Indian speakers sound best when driven from superior valve gear. Whilst my Nelson Pass SIT amps measure and behave very much like single-ended triodes indeed—their circuit is actually simpler still and lacks an output transformer—sonically they didn't quite get the same magic…".
[Srajan Ebaen, 6Moons]

The unique feature Timbre Lock® , which was first implemented in the Model 88, won the top prize awarded by the most prestigious British publication dedicated to audiofilia, the Hi-Fi News . The "Hi-Fi News Industry Award" was delivered in London the designer Eduardo Lima and the feature is described as "an ingenious application that works quite simply."
[Hi-Fi News]

The 6Moons is now one of the most respected audiofilia sites in the world and its editor made a long and enthusiastic review of the Model 88 , giving him the prize "Blue Moon Award - Brilliance for Engineering & Massively Musical Success "in the category of tube amplifiers:
"In closing, in my ongoing career as audiophile and music fiend -- blundering would-be philosopher a tame third to curtail the excessive behavior of the first two maniacs -- I haven't come across another amplifier yet whose potent virtues speak to me with this particular brand of seduction, brains and sheer believability..."
[Srajan Ebaen, 6Moons]

The Model 88 was present at the recommended equipment list Stereophile Class A since 2003, staying in this position for the entire period in which the Audiopax maintained distribution in the United States (one premise of this publication), or for 7 years. This is so unusual that the Stereophile indicates a star added next to the name when a machine can the feat to stay for 3 consecutive issues in the lists.

"When I try to get a handle on the sound of a component, my approach at first is always holistic rather than an attempt to focus on any specific sonic attribute. Does the sound resemble live music? Does the component allow the music played through it to reach me at an emotional level? Can I listen for long periods without feeling like I want to do something else? In the case of the Audiopax Model 88, the answer to all these questions was a resounding "Yes." The music just seemed to be there, the amplifier (and the rest of the system) getting out of the way. The most striking aspect of the Model 88's contribution to the system's sound was that it seemed to reduce much of the harshness and edgy quality that I'd assumed was simply a characteristic of certain recordings. …but when I changed over to the Audiopax, Idina [Menzel] just seeme more in the room, and the recording sounded less like a recording and more live.To put this difference in context: The Audiopax does this better than any amplifier of my experience”.
[Robert Deutsch, Stereophile]

O The Model 88 was the cover of Hi Fi + English, highlighting the title "Bias: Brazilian all-star Audiopax Model 88 moves the goalposts tube". See More!

"The Model 88s never put a foot wrong. No matter how deconstructed proceedings get, everything stays locked, perfectly in place. Musically it’s a technically demanding tour de force, and the fact that the amps reveal that so clearly and with so little apparent effort is testament to their musical integrity. In many respects, the Audiopax amps perfectly match my musical preferences and demands. As a long time Jadis JA30 user, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the Model 88s so readily embrace the same musical strengths (and vices). There again, the very nature of the beast is its adaptability. Just how easily they might embrace your personal desires only trial can tell. Consider them as possessing the virtues of a low-powered, single-ended triode, yet absent the limitations at frequency extremes and incorporating a dial-a-focus facility and you’re beginning to get the picture."
[Roy Gregory, HiFi+] review do Model 88

” The Model 88 is masterful and a truly "Midas": everything he touches turns to gold ... the feeling that comes is that it "refines" the "harmonic envelope" in a way that the entire musical event is refreshed and its sonic signature its fully redeemed. Even if you don’t understand anything from my desperate attempt to explain what I can’t, listen to it ... you will have a lovely, solid listening of both silence and music. It has become impossible to live without it.”

[Fernando Andrette, CAVI]

"Industry Awards for Best Valve Amplifier Innovation": "... Audiopax demonstrate [Timbre Lock®] as the 'first (and only) tuning optimization of the interaction between amplifiers and speakers'. It's subtle but audible enough to cause changes that alter the performance to accommodate - in my system - speakers as different as the Quad ESL-57s, BBC LS3 / 5As and Wilson WATT Puppy System 7 ... is an ingenious aplication that it works; pure and simple. "
[Srajan Ebaen, 6Moons]

Before founding the 6Moons Srajan Ebaen did review the Model 88 to the site "Enjoy the Music". Here we see for the first time, a reference to the term "once in a blue moon," which today gives its name to the main prize of 6Moons (an inspiration ...?):
"With the speakers I had on hand adjusting the Timbre Lock acted like dialing a high-resolution lens for bull’s eye focus on a gnat's ass. Depending on how copacetic the starting-out setting was, the sound morphed from good or great to truly special in every single instance. If my experience and exposure level are to be trusted for a semi-cloudy crystal ball prediction, the Audiopax Model 88s should turn out to be one of those once-in-a-blue-moon component occurrences that reviewers live for to discover."
[Srajan Ebaen, 6Moons]

"... What is most intriguing is the claim that these amplifiers can reduce the overall distortion of the system. One of those miraculous ointments? Not really. In numerical terms the system distortion is usually dominated by the distortion of the boxes, which can be minimized with the use of high output impedance amplifiers. The impedance of most amplifiers "Single Ended" is not high enough to ensure this effect (also resulting in a frequency response out of control). The alternative proposal Audiopax indicates that this distortion can be "adjusted" to a minimum resulting point lower than that of the speakers themselves alone ... "
[Jonathan Black, HiFi Choice]

“Starting in the bottom octaves, the Stereo 88 combines excellent linearity with a surprising amount of control. I'd liken this aspect of performance to a cut of fine aged Filet Mignon… Like a good Crème Brûlée, the Stereo 88 produces a treble that has just the right amount of sweetness on the pallet complimented with the occasional bite of reality -never in excess and always in proper balance. Well, if the early octaves produced by the Stereo 88 are aged Filet Mignon, then the midrange that follows would best be described as a Maitre d'Hotel butter: Rich and flavorful but with not so much as a hint of personality to be anything but the perfect extension of theme. It has one of the cleanest, most transparent and musically accurate midranges I've ever used."
[John Potis, 6Moons] review do Stereo 88

"... I start with the conclusion: Stereo 88 retains all the magic and music of monoblock Model 88 that are one of the most emotionally engaging amplifiers I've heard in my entire life. They were present the same absolute silence that made me upset with candybar. Also present was the astonishingly real reconstruction of the harmonic envelope. The clear and extensive acute hovering in the air like clouds in the morning of a beautiful spring day. Average - ah, average. Is not fair!! This aspect is enough to send the designer to jail. But maybe not ... it could have much free time and could come up with something more. The average were as real and organic podeia I realize effortlessly every intention of musicians, no matter how subtle they were. This is so hard to express ... "
[Fernando Andrette, CAVI] review do Stereo 88

"The first thing you hear when you turn on the Stereo Eighty Eight is, well, nothing. It’s as silent as a tomb! When the music starts, it’s immediately obvious the Stereo Eighty Eight is blessed with a sweet tonal palette. Instrumental and vocal harmonics are rich and textured. Strings, in particular, are lush and full-bodied. Was this is a euphonic effect, or just a very accurate depiction of string tone? Whichever the case, it’s gorgeous. I urge you to take a listen to this beautiful -- and beautiful-sounding -- amplifier."
[Vade Forrester, Soundstage]

O Model 88 in Internacional Shows...

The Model 88 was present at numerous shows where Audiopax reached the indication of "Best of the Show" by critics - in fact he just received this statement in all international shows that took part. Here are some of the comments on his performance:

"I spent a long time listening to music in the Audiopax room, where Eduardo de Lima explained the various and extensive changes made to his range of high end electronics... The sound was amongst the very best at the show, and it is clear music comes first in this Brazilian company.”
[Phil Gold, Enjoy the Music]

Of all the rooms I visited, I can't remember one that was more musical. The Audiopax Model 88 single-ended tube amps were driving a pair of Audiopax Ref 100 speakers. Also in attendance was the new Zanden CD transport. The music drew me in with its effortless quality. The midband was palpable and the highs extended. The bass was solid. The speakers threw an immense soundstage and imaged as well as any minimonitors.
[Bill Brooks, Soundstage]

"The room that epitomized my central quality of spiritual energetics to utmost perfection was the Audiopax/Zanden/Grand Prix Audio/Z-Cable/Lindsay Cable/BPT system. It gets my vote for personal favorite of CES 2004 and thus takes pride of place on this opening page. Two notable speaker design houses, one by way of a technical engineer from a veritable conglomerate, congratulated Eduardo in no uncertain terms on his new speaker. The engineer was ready to place an order for the novel midrange driver, something its Brazilian inventor politely but resolutely declined. To get the low-down on this tube-optimized speaker design with its 11-ohm nominal impedance, our own Jules Coleman will do the honors with an in-depth review. Meanwhile, David Chesky returned to this room multiple times, spending more than an hour during one visit which is a very rare, blue-moon-kind of occurrence indeed. Why? I saw David barely last through one of his self-mastered Chesky tracks in multiple other rooms. Plus, I have myself been subject to his intense on-the-spot evaluation while still manning active exhibits for manufacturers in the past. David knows his recordings and only needs seconds to determine how closely playback mimics the live studio experience."
[Srajan Ebaen, 6Moons]

When my soul needed nourishment, I found myself returning to three rooms at the CES. There was a magic in these rooms, a naturalness of sound, an ease of presentation in which barriers between sound and music, between hearing and feeling, between passively listening and actively experiencing were largely -- and occasionally entirely -- removed. In no particular order (and referring to the rooms by the names of the speakers for simplicity) I touched and was touched by the soul of music in the Audiopax, Duevel and FJ rooms. Music in the Audiopax room was more detailed, subtle, nuanced and enthralling than anywhere else in Las Vegas. In the four times I returned to this room, I never once saw someone stand up and leave in the middle of a song. I never once heard distracting conversations. People listened, deeply drawn into the music. On the one hand, the sound was subtle and seductive; on the other hand, it was powerful and musically right. The Audiopax speaker was the most outstanding new product I heard at the show."
[Srajan Ebaen, 6Moons]

"My favorite room of the show was without a doubt was Audiopax room. The highlight of the room was the Audiopax Ref 100 speaker. This listening session provided the best audition of a full-range loudspeaker I can recall. The musical detail, the subtlety and the micro dynamics were astonishing. The tone and timbre of instruments was very close to live. It is hard to imagine being more a part of the performance than I felt in this room. At $13k for the pair I would try to find a way to purchase these if someone would assure me that they would sound this good in my room. Accompanying electronics played their part I am sure. Audiopax Model 5 preamp, Audiopax Model 88 mono block amps went a long way toward providing this very seamless system and the attendant sound."
[XXX, Sensible Sound]

”The sound in this room? Elegant, refined, married to the very essence of music. Positive Feedback's Clark Johnson raved about it in the elevator as a must-hear attraction. He was somewhat disappointed that not only had I already been to it but actually "discovered" Audiopax many years ago.”
[Srajan Ebaen, 6Moons]

"My favorite high-end audio exhibit demonstrated just how intimate and expressive properly matched SET amplifiers and horn loudspeakers can be. Avantgarde USA, the US distributor of the famous German horn loudspeakers, now handles an excellent line of vacuum tube amplifiers and preamps designed by Dr. Eduardo de Lima and manufactured by Audiopax of Brazil. The demonstration combined a pair of Audiopax Model 88, SET monoblocs with a pair of Avantgarde Duos. The combination was stunning, not just by reproducing music in a convincing manner, but by allowing the listener to experience every nuance, to feel completely involved, and to be totally enveloped in the music. Becoming entranced by the sound of this system was easy. Prying oneself away and escaping to see more of the show was not. "
[Richard & Deborah George, TNT-Audio]

"Audiopax surprised many people this year by introducing a new single-ended solid state monoblock amplifier. Yes, you read it right – solid state! Rated at 30 watts per channel in pure Class A, the new Model 55 still has Audiopax’s patented “Timbre Lock” controls and come finished in classy chrome with lacquered wood sides. The look reminds me of their flagship Model 88s and the sound was eerily similar too! Partnered with their own Model 5 preamp and driving the new Ref 150 speakers – a design that incorporates an adjustable tweeter module for time alignment, the combination produced one of the sweetest-sounding and most musically satisfying sounds of the show. Eduardo de Lima, Audiopax’s chief designer, explained to me that the Model 55 was produced to suit those who love the Audiopax sound but for one reason or other, cannot (or will not) own tube amps in their system. I personally think it is an excellent idea, as the sound quality is what actually matters, not whether the technology is solid state or tube, push-pull or single-ended.
[Cecil Tan, HiFi.com.sg]

". ...I Recently had one of those magical moments ... In the last CES Show I heard many statements, some good, some interesting. Near the end, David Chesky pulled me to listen to some rooms that I had missed ... including the Audiopax. Seconds after the start I was totally immersed in music ... David then asked me to pay attention to a particular detail of the recording and remember the feeling of being torn from somewhere kilometers away to do so. As soon as I answered it, I relaxed and I was transported again. The system showed a huge response, soundstage, treble silk, natural tones, stunning resolution, etc.? I really do not know. At that moment, in that room, I was unable to listen analytically, I could just respond musically. The question is how to create this "ability to carry" in our equipment and recordings "?
[Paul Stubblebine]