Archive for the ‘Hephaestus Audio’ Category

Audiophilia Harpocrates Review

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Audiophilia Review

A review of our new Harpocrates amplifier!  We are proud to receive the Audiophilia Star Component Award!

Star Component Award

From Audiophilia’s Martin Appel:

“My first impression was the distinct clarity and separation these new amps offered. The key thing was that it achieved this without resorting to hyper edginess that some equipment exhibit but by pouring forth detail in a natural, easy, uncluttered way making the music more accessible. The ‘lifting of veils’ or the ‘removal of grundge’ are expressions we’ve all used and experienced in the description of this phenomena of increased openness and resolution. In this case, it was wonderfully true.”

Many thanks to Martin Appel and Anthony Kershaw of Audiophilia for their ongoing encouragement and support.  Also, I would like to thank Mike Levy and Karl Sigman who were very active with associated equipment (i.e. Mike Levy’s FRM-1 loudspeaker) and with listening evaluations.  The wonderful people and the honest, straightforward style have served to make Audiophilia my favorite audiophile publication!

The Olympus

Friday, May 6th, 2011


The newest member of the Hephaestus Monaural Amplifier series is now available:  The “Olympus“!  The name is a reflection of the position the Olympus takes at the top of the HMA series.  It is also at the top of the audiophile amplifier world I believe, but my opinion toward both my children and my amplifiers is somewhat biased.  🙂

The Olympus boasts an impressive 2000 Wrms into 4O while still maintaining the miniscule 3.5 pound package of the HMA series.  It also makes use of the premium chassis and connectors of the Keledones.  Best and most important of all though, it maintains the amazing sound of the HMA series, so there’s no worry of sacrificing warmth and beauty for power and headroom.

The Forge page has been updated to better call out the differences between the members of the HMA series.  The naming convention has been simplified too – moving away from engineering-inspired names, such as the “HMA-1000”, toward, well, more name-like names!  The series now consists of the “Hephaestus”, “Aphrodite”, “Keledones” and “Olympus”.

Aphrodite Edition

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

After a little encouragement from Aphrodite, Hephaestus has decided to offer a version of the HMA-1000 that is aesthetically enhanced: The HMA-1000 Aphrodite Edition™!  Now the coveted sound of the HMA-1000 is available with an aesthetic design that may better lend itself to certain audio systems.

The Aphrodite Edition™ is available immediately, however every chassis is custom machined so please allow two weeks from the time of order for shipping.  An upgrade option is available for HMA-1000 owners for the difference in cost between the HMA-1000 and the HMA-1000 AE ($500) – please email if interested.

Gratuitous Self Promotion

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

A review of the HMA-1000 from Audiophilia!

From Audiophilia’s Martin Appel:

“Another preconception these amplifiers dispel is that digital means a non-musical presentation — an analytical edginess to the sound. Sorry, not here. The HMA-1000’s are smooth and non-fatiguing, yet replete with inner texture and detail giving them wonderful resolving power greater then my current amplifiers (which are no slouches in that area). And they do all this with an ease and naturalness that says music, not electronics. Voices are more realistically portrayed with more body, texture and intimacy than I’ve heard before. Choose your favorite singer and be prepared to hear them more clearly and with greater presence then you’ve been accustomed to. The HMA-1000’s bring you another step closer to the real thing.”

Many thanks to both Martin Appel and Anthony Kershaw of Audiophilia.  I have enjoyed working with them so much that I’ve decided to become one of their sponsors – here’s to many happy and fruitful years to come!

Gratuitous Self Promotion

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

A review of the HMA-1000 from the Stereo Times!!!

From Stereo Times’ Clement Perry:

“Interestingly, the first thing I noticed was the quality of the high-frequencies: something most Class-D detesters swear would never improve. Yet, I could hear improved subtleties in Billy Higgins’ ride cymbal on the track entitled Mr. Kenyatta from Lee Morgan’s explorative and excellent “Search for the New Land.” This was something I did not expect. Yeah, I expected the high power HMA-1000s to increase contrast and dynamics: which it did without a blush. I also expected the soundstage to increase both laterally and front-to-back because of all that power, control and grip. What I did not expect, however, was the improved resolution, sense of focus and added extension to the highs.”

From Stereo Times’ Carlos Sanchez:

“Who would buy this amp? Me, and anyone else who just so happens to enjoy their music collection more than the electronics that drive them. In essence, the HMA-1000s forces you to forget about what’s driving the music. In short order, the HMA-1000s have proven to be ultra-musical while packing a powerful bang for the buck. Don’t be fooled by its small foot-print and utilitarian look. In fact, I think its minimalist design has a lot to do with its unusually high levels of transparency coupled by quick and nimble starts and stops (transient speed) bass grip and control. They more than lived up to the praise CP spoke of before having ever heard of them. In the end, the Hephaestus HMA-100s won me out by providing a bigger more natural sound than my beloved Bel Cantos in an even smaller package. Surprised? Yeah, you bet.”

I’ve been very fortunate to have this opportunity to work with Clement Perry.  He asks great questions and has great observations – observations that have been very helpful in the development of my little amplifier.  Thanks Clement!


Thursday, May 6th, 2010

The word “green” is being thrown around an awful lot these days.  Its excessive use is nearly as bad as the word “audiophile”.  Regardless of the overuse and overmarketing of it though, it represents an important trend: efficient use of our resources.  There’s nothing wrong with using resources, lot’s and lot’s of them even, as long as the use is efficient.  There should be some sort of utility gained thereby.  If it’s just being burned, then it’s not efficient.

Hephaestus Audio’s products clearly fit the definition of “green”.  They use a minimum of energy while delivering maximum utility (i.e. they are very efficient).  However, we strive to go beyond simply developing products that are efficient.  At Hephaestus Audio we currently derive part of the energy needed for operations from wind energy.  A goal for this summer is to provide an additional portion of the operating energy from solar energy.

Why are we doing this?  Is it to “save the environment” or to “do our fair share”?  No.  It’s simply to maximize the availability and utility of electricity.  The environmental and social benefits are wonderful side effects when this amazing resource is used responsibly.  “Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless.” — Thomas Edison

My Latest Creation

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

No, not an amplifier this time!  It’s my new little girl: Kilmeny Arianwen – born February 22nd, 2010.  Mother and daughter are happy and healthy!

Gratuitous Self Promotion

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

We received the Stereomojo 2009 Products of the Year award: Power Amplifier of the Year!

From Bill Schuchard of Stereomojo:

“The Hephaestus Audio HMA-1000 is a great monoblock amplifier. It sounds fast, clean, transparent, open, and airy with powerful but neutral bass and massive headroom. It worked well with a variety of speakers and sources, takes up very little shelf space, and produces quite a bit amount of power efficiently (1,000 watts per side). Those looking for a big shiny bauble with a fancy name to show off may be perturbed by the utilitarian look and understated size and miss out on some amazing sound. The $4900 list price per pair is a tough pill to swallow from a relatively unknown company; especially for those who are frugal like myself. The spoonful of sugar that makes the pill slip down is the sound. I am very pleased to announce my new reference amplifier; the Hephaestus Audio HMA-1000 monoblocks.”

Not only is Mr. Schuchard a wonderful reviewer, but also a wonderful customer!

I Built Your Amplifier

Thursday, January 28th, 2010


Interest is picking up so this evening I am spending time soldering some new amplifiers!  I couldn’t help but think, “Gee, if I outsourced assembly of the PC boards, then I could just worry about final assembly and have some extra time…”

Is this how it has started for companies in the past?  It’s so easy to fall into the trap of offloading some of the more tedious tasks to somebody else – somebody who doesn’t know or care about your customers – somebody who is only doing a good job because you are paying them to do so.  There’s not a chance I’m going to do this!  Big amplifier manufacturers may scrap more units then I will ever build, but I’m not going to change how I’m doing it.  I like to know that my customers will receive something I have created with my mind and built with my hands.

Needless to say, when you purchase an amplifier from Hephaestus Audio, you may count on the fact that I built it for you – even if I occasionally toy with the idea of doing it another way.  Maybe it was just the solder fumes going to my head?  🙂

Gratuitous Self Promotion

Monday, January 4th, 2010

We received the Stereo Times Publisher’s Choice Most Wanted Components award for 2009!

Publishers Choice Most Wanted Components

From Clement Perry, publisher of the Stereo Times:

“What immediately impressed me right out of the box was the improved dimensionality and the enriched harmonic overtones. This, from a kilo-watt powerhouse no less. Don’t let the small size of these dynamos (3.5 lbs) fool you either because they really do pack a punch!”

Mr. Perry is wonderful to work with.  He gave me real-world feedback early on in the life of the HMA-1000 that was instrumental to steering it in the right direction.  I’m thrilled to receive this recognition from the Stereo Times!