Battery or AC Power Operation
The SuperNova II is a three-input phono preamp intended for use with more than one turntable or a turntable with more than one tonearm. It provides adjustable loading and gain for each of the inputs. The loading and gain is set via switches on the rear of the chassis.
Switching between the inputs does not actually switch the inputs and loading. Instead, the SuperNova II has three independent front ends, and the current source is switched to the one that will be active. The outputs are summed into the backend circuitry. In this way, no switching occurs in the signal path when not using the switched attenuator.
"The SuperNova’s distinction is that it has three selectable phono inputs each with its own load and gain settings, a front panel volume/gain control, and a remote power supply," notes Frank Alles in Stereo Times for November 2007.
Fully Dual Mono
For maximum performance, the SuperNova II is fully dual mono and is powered from a remote dual mono power supply.
An 11-position variable output switched attenuator allows direct connection of the SuperNova to a power amplifier.
Remote Power Supply with Battery Capability
The remote power supply supports NiMH rechargeable batteries but is designed to work perfectly without the batteries. The batteries allow the SuperNova to run completely isolated from the wall power for a period of three hours. There are four independent charging circuits for the four battery packs.
The charging circuits completely disconnect from the batteries when in battery mode. Optically coupled voltage monitors will wake up the processor to engage the charging of the batteries if the batteries are discharged enough. Positive and negative battery packs are charged separately in case there is different current usage between positive and negative power supplies. This prevents the repeated overcharging of one battery pack while undercharging the other. The batteries will be 'topped off' by putting the unit into charge mode if there is no activity for a week.
Most audio systems have far too much gain. The excess gain needs to reduced by setting an attenuator by a typical –30 dB. By fine tuning the SuperNova gain switches and using the Limited Attenuator, typical listening can be done with little or no excess gain. By reducing unneeded gain, the system does not need to work as hard, thereby achieving a more natural sound. The extra 25 dB gain equates to about 20 times more work -- imagine working 20 times harder than you need to.
The SuperNova's Limited Attenuator has a major advantage over a standard passive attenuator. A passive attenuator typically has significant output impedance creating sensitivity to the particular type of output cable. The SuperNova Attenuator has much lower output impedance.