• Intro

    Welcome to Black by Bel Canto, the Ultimate Amplification System.

    winner badge md Black is like no other audio system in the world. It communicates the musical experience completely, staying true to the recorded event and conveying the passion the artist intended. Achieving this level of detailed playback required rethinking the way signal travels through the many stages of the electronics system. This was the challenge behind Black and the reason we took a different approach, designing a 3 chassis integrated hybrid system.

    Beautifully constructed from solid high grade billet aluminum, the modern look and feel of Black connects to all sources offering the highest level of flexibility and ease of use. Black creates an authentically present and naturally dimensional musical experience that will captivate you.

  • System

    The System

    Our integrated hybrid approach has 2 distinct functions. First, the ASC1 (Asynchronous System Controller) isolates noise and sends a pure optical digital audio signal to each MPS1 mono block without loss or degradation. Second, each MPS1 receives the digital signal from the ASC1, re-clocks the data, converts the signal to analog (Mono DAC) and amplifies the signal (Mono Amplifier).

    There are many unique advantages to the Black system architecture. Critical to its performance is the proximity of the DAC to the amplifier, set only 3cm apart and isolated within the MPS1. This eliminates the need for added I/O circuitry, preserves signal accuracy and creates a more synergistic system. BLACK is a radical approach to integration, combining the best analog, digital, optical and mechanical elements to achieve the best playback possible.

    new system tech header

    BLACK System Architecture

    BLACK is comprised of 3 critical elements working together:
    The Asynchronous System Controller - ASC1
    Mono DAC/Power Amplifiers - MPS1 (x2)
    High Speed Optical Interconnects

    The BLACK system architecture incorporates numerous Bel Canto developed electronic and mechanical design solutions aimed at preserving the delicate audio signals. Digital processing and asynchronous interfaces driven from our Ultra Low Noise Master Clock circuitry ensures external noise from sources cannot corrupt, modify or color the original signal. Bel Canto’s ST fiber interconnect electrically isolates the ASC1 from the rest of the system, preventing random external noise from impacting sensitive analog stages in the MPS1 mono blocks. This eliminates ground loops and electrical noise pickup from environmental RF noise sources ranging from WiFi, Bluetooth, computers, cell phones or any other noise sources. Black is void of extraneous electrical noise; you only hear the music.

  • ASC1

    ASC1 - Asynchronous Stream Controller

    ASC1 top

    The ASC1 is the heart of the BLACK system. The ASC1 is not a digital to analog converter; it is a Master Clock/Controller and the only one of its kind. It could be described as the digital preamplifier, with analog and digital inputs and digital output. The easy to read programmable display allows you to select the best view or turn it completely off.

    asc1 top knob

    The volume control and input selector is controlled from the multi-function rotating wheel on the top of the ASC1, you can also use the IR custom remote control, or your iPhone/iPad and the custom iOS app. The master control is always ready to adjust volume, press it once and rotate to enter input, or press and hold to enter the menu, where you can set the system up that best meets your needs.

    asc1 foot

    The ASC1 is an all-digital asynchronous controller with galvanic isolated inputs that eliminate the potential for noise to corrupt the fine audio signal from digital, networked and analog sources. The ASC1’s 64 bit DSP processor core controls system function, 32-bit volume and custom FIR Filters retains the highest level of accuracy. And at the heart of the ASC1 is the custom ULN Master clock circuit, ultra-low phase noise clocks with independent power supplies measure below 40 Femtoseconds, keeping phase noise and jitter to extremely low levels, ensuring pure sonic performance.

    asc1 back system

    The ASC1 handles all audio inputs, ranging from a networked audio UPnP Ethernet, USB2, a suite of SPDIF/AES digital inputs and an Analog line input that is digitized with a high performance 24/192 ADC 2cm from the input connector. All DSP based control and filter functions are contained within the ASC1 with each FIR filter allowing you to set the tonal balance that best meets your personal preference. Just as a high performance analog preamplifier is critical to the performance of a traditional audio system the ASC1 is critical to the superior musical performance of the BLACK system making sure the signal is ready for digital optical transmission to the MPS1 monoblocks.

  • MPS1

    MPS1 - Mono PowerStream

    MPS1 top

    The MPS1 is a unique monoblock design with Ultra low noise Clocking, Digital to Analog conversion, Bel Canto's class A amplifier stages, and custom 1200 Watt Power Buffer in an optimized environment.

    mps1 button

    The digital signal from the ASC1 is asynchronously re-timed before conversion in the advanced segment fully balanced mono DAC, that combines the best of Multi-Bit and delta sigma technologies measuring below 0.0005% distortion and 130dB of dynamic range. The high current output from the DAC is coupled directly into the I/V stage and within 3 cm into Bel Canto custom amplification.

    The buffer stage is a discrete, low gain, low noise buffer that can drive 40A peaks into a 2-ohm load. It adds virtually no noise or distortion to the voltage amplifier output resulting in an extremely transparent audio power stage using only 4 high current output MOSFET power devices operating in an efficient self-oscillating analog switching architecture adding neither coloration nor distortion. The chassis design isolates these critical analog stages within a controlled, optimized environment, ensuring maximum performance under real-world system conditions.

    mps1 back system

    The BLACK system achieves a greater level of resolution by creating a greater synergy between technologies eliminating potential signal loss, so you hear everything as it was originally recorded in incredible detail, speed and musicality.

  • Tech

    The Ingenuity of Black by Bel Canto

    Black is a highly-optimized audio system that communicates the most subtle detail in a recording. Black has the synergy of integration and the optimization of separates, creating one system to bring out the clarity and naturalness in music. Designed and manufactured by Bel Canto in Minneapolis Minnesota, the Black system delivers an unparalleled level of sonic realism. We invite you to take a look inside. new system tech header

    The Technology of Black

    The Black system architecture incorporates the most advanced digital and analog audio technologies and a series of unique electronic and mechanical design solutions aimed at preserving the delicate audio signals. Black’s bold design isolates source and DSP processing in the ASC1, creating an ideal signal transfer to the MPS1 monoblocks where digital conversion and amplification takes place in an optimized environment. Each innovation in Black adds up to create an audible experience that is simply remarkable.

    black tech cutaway

    Bel Canto's Ultra-Low Noise (ULN) Masterclock Circuitry

    The mission of Black’s ULN Masterclock circuitry is to flawlessly re-time the digital audio signal, removing any jitter related digital noise before being sent to the MPS1s for final conversion to analog. In order to take full advantage of 35 Femtosecond clocks great care is taken in the physical layout of each technology that plays a critical role in overall signal performance. Each input is extremely close in proximity to the DSP core, Masterclock and power devices creating very short signal paths to the output, and maintaining the ultimate signal integrity.

    ULN Masterclock

    Bel Canto’s ULN Masterclocks circuit push the limits of low phase noise and jitter. Our research has shown that lowering the noise levels well beyond previous limits provides the absolute transparency and musicality that defines the true potential of digital audio. The phase noise levels of our ULN Clocks are below 35 Femtoseconds from 100Hz to 1MHz, with a clock noise floor of -170dB we are virtually equivalent to the noise floor of 24 bit PCM audio limit. While difficult to measure, the sonic superiority of our ULN Master Clocks is easily heard.

    divider2

    High Speed 64 bit Modular Audio Processor Core

    Processor core

    The ASC1’s 64 bit Digital Signal Processor Core provides complete control over all signal processing functions with optimal control of volume, balance, input selection, custom FIR filters, and all asynchronous interfaces without computational compromise. Using a powerful dedicated signal processor provides the most versatile and accurate way to handle system functions.

    Custom Asynchronous Interfaces

    asynch interface

    Asynchronous Interfaces are used on all of ASC1 Controller inputs. This allows the ULN Masterlock to strip any jitter and noise from the digital signal before it is sent to the MPS1 monoblocks. Black uses dedicated asynchronous processors for the USB2.0, Ethernet UPnP/DLNA, and unique asynchronous circuitry for the AES/SPDIF/ST Fiber and TOSLINK inputs to ensure optimum performance from all inputs.

    divider2

    Proprietary FIR Filters

    Bel Canto FIR filters provide subtle sound contours for a truly natural sound quality. This is critical for 16/44.1 CD playback. CD playback is remarkably engaging and competes with any high resolution source when played through the Black system.

    FIR-filter-graphs

    There are 3 selectable custom filters that allow the listener to control playback to their tastes, using last octave roll-off to create a more natural decay. These subtle filters adjust the shape of the waveform to more accurately mimic the natural sonic structure of music. Black is designed to bring recordings to life, the design process being constantly informed by regular experience with live music.

    Filter 1: minimum phase filter- flat to 20Khz with minimal pre-ringing
    Filter 2: minimum phase filter- -3dB at 20Khz with less pre-ringing
    Filter 3: minimum phase filter- -9dB at 20Khz with least pre-ringing

    divider2

    High Performance Asynchronous Audio Renderer

    audio renderer

    Black also provides the best possible Networked audio experience.

    Black’s unique UPnP/DLNA Ethernet Interface is a superior Asynchronous implementation, receiving the critical audio clocks derived from the Bel Canto ULN Masterclock circuit. This ensures the best sound quality from a Networked Audio System. The custom software is running on a powerful Analog Devices Blackfin processor that provides a reliable interface without the use of internal computers. The IP addressable input is easy to setup and seamlessly decodes DSD and PCM to 24/192 for the highest quality audio streaming.

    StreamLink High Speed Glass Fiber Interconnects

    stream link cable

    The Black system uses a unique ST glass fiber interface between the ASC1 and the MPS1 monoblocks, completely eliminating any electrical connection between the front end sources and the sensitive analog processing. This high-speed, no-loss, no-noise signal transfer is non-interactive and completely eliminates ground loops and noise artifacts that can occur in cables and I/O circuitry. This provides maximum flexibility for component placement. Whether the cable is 1 meter or 1000 meters, there is no signal degradation. The StreamLink digital connection is the perfect path from the ASC1 to the MPS1 monoblocks.

    divider2

    True High Dynamic Range to the Speaker

    The MPS1 monoblocks are highly integrated mono DACs and amplifiers creating the ideal digital conversion and the shortest analog path to the loudspeaker maintaining true high dynamic range.

    We achieve this with the following:
    Asynchronous Interface with Bel Canto Ultra-Low Phase Noise (ULN) Masterclock
    Custom Bel Canto Discrete Analog Stages
    Ultra-Low Distortion High Drive 250mA Gain Stage
    Ultra-Low Noise High Speed Current to Voltage Stage
    No Capacitors in the signal path
    Ultra-Low Noise, Ultra-Low Distortion Bel Canto Custom nCore Power Buffer Stage
    128dB Dynamic Range, <0.001% Distortion

    divider2

    Asynchronous Interface and ULN Masterclock

    mps1 clock

    Each MPS1 monoblock has a final asynchronous interface with its own ULN Masterclock located adjacent to the DAC. This ensures that the DAC Masterclock maintains its pristine quality. No clock noise means no analog signal compromise.

    Bel Canto Discrete Analog Stages

    discrete analog

    Bel Canto High Speed Discrete Analog conversion stages convert the current output from the dual mono DACs. This stage is optimized for low distortion and noise. Each of these stages is fully balanced with the finest custom bulk metal foil resistors. Our Discrete analog stages provide highly dynamic music playback.

    divider2

    Custom Discrete NCORE Power Stage

    n core

    The final stage before the loudspeaker output is a custom fully discrete NCORE low-gain power buffer built to Bel Canto specifications. This delivers up to 1200 watts into the speaker without adding noise or distortion.

    This stage can deliver 40 amps peak. Black’s high purity, vibration isolated WBT NextGen speaker connectors complete the delivery of pristine audio to the Black’s loudspeaker output.

    divider2

    Solid Billet, Constrained-Layer Chassis

    chassis-inside

    Vibration and energy control is always a concern with high performance audio. Black’s solid billet high-grade aluminum chassis with constrained layer damping design coverts energy into heat, dissipating it into the aluminum body while maintaining a constant internal temperature optimal for the high precision clocks and devices within. This unique design maintains low noise within the audio playback environment. The custom adjustable Delrin isolation/mounting feet provide optimum stability and low energy transfer.

    Optimized AC Power Pre-conditioner

    power conditioner

    AC power noise could easily compromise an audio system. We designed Black with AC power pre-conditioning circuitry that delivers clean, high-energy DC power to the main power supply circuitry. The main supply provides a higher level of conditioning and isolation from home electrical noise. High energy storage, low noise, and high isolation from AC effects means Black can achieve the best performance under various power conditions.

    Interface – Remote, Control Wheel, iOS

    interface

    The Black System can be controlled by the ASC1's multi-function control wheel on top of the chassis. This allows you to control volume and input as well as access the programmable menu. You can also use the custom metal IR remote for full system control, or use the iOS downloadable app for a visual display on your phone or tablet with full system control. This is ideal for controlling your system without line of sight.

  • Specs

    ASC1 Specifications

    Maximum Data Input Rates:

    24bit Data at 192KS/s: AES XLR, SPDIF 1/2, ST Fiber, TOSLINK
    24bits at 384KS/s and DSD64: UPnP/DLNA Ethernet
    ULN Master Clock Phase Noise: <40femtoSeconds RMS, 100Hz-1Mhz

    FIR Filter Options:

    Filter OFF: Standard Linear Phase
    Filter 1: Minimum Phase Apodizing Flat to 20Khz
    Filter 2: Minimum Phase Apodizing -3dB at 20Khz
    Filter 3: Minimum Phase Apodizing -9dB at 20Khz

    Analog Input:

    Maximum Input: 2.5 Vrms RCA
    Input Impedance: 12K ohms RCA
    THD+N: 0.003%, 2.5Vrms in, 1KHz
    Dynamic Range: 106dB, A-weighted 20Hz-20KHz

    General:

    Control Interfaces: IR, Rotary Encoder, RF
    Power Usage On: 8W
    Power Usage Off: 0.0W
    Power Requirement: 100-120VAC, 220-240VAC 50/60 Hz
    Dimensions: 19" W x 12" D x 3.8" H (483 mm x 305 mm x 97 mm)
    Weight: 40lbs. (18.2 kg)

    MPS1 Specifications

    Output Section:

    Maximum Power Output: 1200W-2ohm, 600W-4ohm, 300W-8ohm
    Minimum Load: 2 ohms
    Peak Output Current: 40 amperes
    Frequency Response: -3 dB 0Hz-50KHz, all loads
    Output connections: 1-pair WBT Nextgen 5-way binding posts

    Input Section:

    Input Connections: Stream ST Fiber or Analog balanced XLR
    Dynamic Range Stream Input: 128dB
    Dynamic Range Analog Inputs: 108 dB
    Balanced input impedance: 20Kohms
    Analog Input Voltage gain: 21 dB
    Analog Input Voltage for Max Output: 5 Vrms

    Performance:

    THD+N: <0.001% 1W, 1KHz, 4 ohms
    IMD (CCIF): <0.001%, 1W, 18.5:19.5KHz 1:1, 4 ohms

    General:

    Power Usage On: 37W
    Standby Power Usage: 0.4W
    Internally Set Operating Voltages: 100-120VAC, 220-240VAC 50/60 Hz
    Dimensions: 19" W x 14" D x 3.8" H (483 mm x 356 mm x 97 mm)
    Weight: 45lbs. (20.5 kg)

    Features and specifications are subject to improvements and changes without prior notice.

Menu