Marking a natural step up from the vibrant Obelisk Si integrated, the Obelisk PRE is the “command centre” of the Obelisk of the seperates range, a thoroughbred analogue pre-amplifier with the option of using one or two of its inputs for digital-to-analogue conversion by add-on DAC or MM phono modules. It is a design that we’re convinced more than holds its own against many class-leading high-end competitors.
Although rather traditional in its basic topology, the circuit design of the Obelisk PRE represents the convergence of cutting edge ideas with highest-grade components. As opposed to many pre-amplifiers that have “dumbed-down” internal power supplies in order to present more dramatic sonic benefits with optional auxiliary power supply upgrades, the PRE has a sophisticated and generously sized on-board power supply that is based on a top-quality transformer and high-grade capacitors, custom made to Heed's own specifications.
Nevertheless, as with all things Heed - there is of course an upgrade available in the power supply department if required, as the last ounce of the PRE’s performance can be elicited by adding the Obelisk PX power supply. As with any seperate power supply upgrade - those wanting more performance without changing all components, can enhance the PRE with the PX. This simple upgrade opens up the extended dynamics of the PRE making presentation more three dimensional, with more depth and dexterity.
Supplied without the optional DAC or Phono cards the Pre has 5 dedicated line level inputs for analogue sources, 2 variable pre-outs and a dedicated 'tape out'. The two pre-out connections of the Obelisk PRE make various configurations possible. Beside traditional single power amplification, it is also possible to use two power amplifiers for bi-amping or active mode. The tape-out connection is also available for use with a recorder or possibly more importantly a headphone amplifier (such as the Canamp or Canalot for instance if you want to keep everything in line with the Heed stable).
The Obelisk PRE can have a maximum of 2 cards fitted. There are 2 DAC cards available (DAC 1.3 and DAC 2.3), and there is also Heed's favourite Vinyl MM card for the integration of high quality turntable playback.
Since DAC circuits are highly prone to interferences caused by analogue circuits integrated nearby on the PCB, Heed provided the on-board supply environment of the DAC module with two independent supply rails using a smart "unit within the unit” solution. Furthermore, all analogue amplifying stages (including the MM phono module) are built in dual-mono configuration and fed through no less than seven fully regulated voltage supply rails. Modules can be easily inserted into slots on the main PCB and dedicated by jumper settings. Using modules internally instead of stand-alone auxiliary units provides many advantages: absolute synergy, no external cables and plugs, shortest possible signal paths, saving unnecessary costs for external case and power supply, etc.
The Obelisk PRE is ultimately designed to be suited with their highly musical and decpetively punchy Obelisk PS stereo power amplifier to complete your pre and power combo. It can of course be paired with a host of alternate power amplifiers if required.Functions of the included remote control (again - standard functionality of input selection 'out of the box' is mechanical) include volume control, but pair the Obelisk PRE with the superb Obelisk DA (purpose built multi-input DAC) and the remote will control input selection of the Obelisk DA too, making the PRE a consummate command centre for the most 'integrated' and sublime acoustic experience.