21
Jan
13

The Kondo Ongaku – A Photo Essay

The legendary Ongaku integrated amplifier is such an iconic product that literally everyone in the audio circles associates Audio Note Japan with it, and vice versa – even though Audio Note Japan (or Kondo Labs as they are now called) make a whole range of extremely exotic audio equipment that many aspire to but only a few can afford.. Actually, that’s not such a bad thing at all as the Ongaku is a special product that comes only once a lifetime.

What makes it so special? Well, the Ongaku is one of the first audio products that popularises the use of pure silver in its circuitry, and it is also the one product that practically brought the single-ended amplifier genre into mainstream attention. In spite of its deceptively low power rating and poor frequency and distortion specifications, the sound was so sublime that once you hear it in a well set-up system with synergistic speakers, the memory of that sticks in your head for a very long time!

Apart from the legendary sound quality, the quality of workmanship on every aspect of tits chassis – from its lacquered copper top-plate, to the finely machined and polished knobs, to the high quality potted transformer caps, to its proprietary silver input connections and speaker terminals – clearly sets it apart as something very special. View the images below and you’ll understand what I mean!

Ongaku.01 Ongaku.02 Ongaku.03 Ongaku.04 Ongaku.05 Ongaku.06 Ongaku.07 Ongaku.08 Ongaku.09 Ongaku10

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