Product Description - Model 1501 Preamplifier

Musical, dynamic and yet supremely accurate and transparent, the Model 1501 Preamplifier is intended to occupy center stage in the very best high end audio systems.

No compromises have been made in the design and execution of this preamplifier in pursuit of the highest levels of audio performance.

A simple, intuitive user interface, along with remote control, offer ease of use, simplicity and a touch of understated class to any listening environment.

Richard Bowles, reviewing the Model 1501 for HiFiWigwam had this to say “It has a really clean sound, a lovely tonal balance, an open feel and low background noise, even at very high gain” going on to add “The soft is beautifully soft, yet clean and tight, and the rise to the big crescendo fills the room. Really a ‘being there’ moment.”

The Ovation High Fidelity Model 1501 Preamplifier. Engineered for Art.

Product reviews

HiFi World Review – June 2017

‘Changing the input to the phono stage, the quality of the production on Mark Knopfler’s ‘Kill to Get Crimson’ was evident’

‘ . . the leading edge of guitar notes was bright and true but never harsh while the subtle rhythm section was projected tight between the loudspeakers’

‘ . . . excellent build allied to a smooth, detailed and rhythmic sound plus all the inputs you could need . . .’

“Right, let’s try the phono stage. Frequently a cue for disappointment, but not this time. ”

“An absolutely immersive sound that breathes life into recordings. The inbuilt phono is high quality, which alone removes potentially a serious cost for anyone looking at this price range . . . ”

“The overwhelming impression is again a superb soundstage and an immediacy that has me on the edge of the seat.”

” . . . Hartman’s voice on this record really is liquid gold. The rendition is excellent. It should flow like honey, and it does, but the detail is exquisite. Every little rasp of Coltrane’s sax, every feature of Hartman’s voice. Beautiful.”

“There is an impression of a lightning-fast response from both the pre and power amps. Every note has enormous impact and clarity . . . It feels effortless. ”

“Their ability to make Coltrane’s soft playing feel really ‘in the room’ and with stunning detail is something else. I have heard precious few bits of hardware perform better.”

“It seems sensible to finish off with something classical. Regardless of the damned Hovis advert, I have a soft spot for Dvořák’s 9th and the Vienna Philharmonic is a decent recording. This really shows the strengths of the Ovations. The soft is beautifully soft, yet clean and tight, and the rise to the big crescendo fills the room. Really a ‘being there’ moment. ”

You can read Richard Bowles full review here

The Model 1501 has five line inputs and a RIAA Moving Magnet (MM)phono input. Three of the line inputs are designed to accept digital source (e.g. DAC/CD/DAB) ~2 volt full scale inputs, while the AUX and REC inputs accept 250mV full scale inputs, thus catering for analogue source components.  A low distortion, buffered tape loop, selected by a front panel pushbutton switch, facilitates recording on legacy tape decks and DAT machines with a 250mV input requirement. A mute function is also provided and is activated via a front panel pushbutton switch or the remote control.

The Model 1501 features a dedicated very low distortion, wide bandwidth headphone amplifier capable of driving any 32 Ohm headphones, saving the on the expense and space of a separate high fidelity headphone amplifier.

Included in the Model 1501 is a high performance RIAA MM phono EQ amplifier. The overload capability, important if LP dynamic range is to be preserved, exceeds 32 dB ref 3mV input or 28dB ref 5mV input, while the S/N ratio approaches 80 dB ref 5mV input. RIAA equalization is exceedingly accurate at +-0.15 dB typical across the entire audio bandwidth . To cater for the potentially deleterious effects of arm resonance and warped or off-center vinyl discs, a rumble filter is provided which is selected via a pushbutton located on the rear panel of the preamplifier.

Careful attention to layout and decoupling, along with the selection and use of extremely low noise gain devices deliver a SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) of better than -100 dBV and distortion levels of well under 10 ppm across the audio band and at all signal levels up to 7 V RMS out. At 2V peak output, the distortion is typically 1~2 parts per million at 1 kHz (figures for line level inputs).

All signal selection and muting is accomplished through the use of precision, small signal relays rated for 1 million operations under the control of a microprocessor. Being fully sealed, the silver-palladium and gold plated relay contact assemblies will provide decades of trouble free, high performance switching ensuring low level signals cannot be compromised in anyway by atmospheric contaminants interacting with the contacts – an all to common problem when using conventional mechanical switches.

The Model 1501 does not have a conventional On/Off switch. Instead, to turn the unit on or off, simply depress and then release the input source select dial located on the left hand side of the front panel.

The Model 1501 provides both balanced and single ended outputs capable of driving a 600 Ohm load at the rated distortion levels.

See below for full product specifications

Designed, engineered and hand built in England. 5 year warranty on parts and labour.



Inputs CD, Tuner, Music Server, Recorder, Aux and Phono (See Phono section below for detailed specifications)
Gain - Line level Inputs +15 dB (5.7x) on Aux and Recorder Inputs; -2 dB on CD, Tuner, and Music Server
Input Sensitivity - Line Inputs for 1 V out at unbalanced output and 2 V out on balanced output Aux and Recorder 250mV; CD, Tuner, Music Server: 1.6 V
Input Impedance - all inputs except Phono 10k Ohms
Tape Loop Output for rated input sensitivity on all inputs 250 mV typical into 10 k Ohms
Frequency Response Line Inputs 20 Hz – 20 kHz +0 dB -0.1 dB; 2 Hz to 200 kHz +0 dB -3 dB
Distortion 20 Hz to 20 kHz Typically 10 parts per million at 2 V out into 10 kΩ; line inputs at 10 V out into 10 k Ω: Better than 10ppm (0.001%) Phono –better than 0.01%; typically 0.005%
Signal to Noise Ratio Ref 1 V output -115 dB; Better than -130 dB ref 10 V output
Output Impedance 50 Ohms (single ended); < 1 Ohm on balanced outputs
Headphone Amplifier 6 V into 32 Ohms; 20 Hz – 20 kHz +0 dB -0.1 dB; 0.008% distortion 1 V RMS into 30 Ohms at 1 kHz; Standard 6.35mm stereo phono jack
Power consumption 25 Watts maximum
Weight 10 kgs unit only; 14 kgs including packaging
Dimensions 450mm wide x 325mm deep x 110mm high
Remote control Volume, input select, mute, standby on/off; RC5 IR protocol; powered off 2 x AAA batteries
Moving Magnet Phono Input -
Input Sensitivity (measured at unbalanced output) 5 mV into 47 k Ohms for 0.5 V Output; 3 mV into 47 k Ohms for 300mV output
Overload Capability 20 Hz to 20 kHz 28 dB ref 5mV input; 32 dB ref 3mV input
RIAA conformance 20 Hz ro 20 kHz Typically ±0.15 dB; maximum ±0.25 dB
Distortion Better than 0.01% at 1 kHz at 0.5 V output
Signal to Noise Ratio 82 dB at 1 kHz ref 5 mV (input shorted); 75 dB with typical cartridge R = 400 Ohms and L = 500mH
Rumble Filter Switch selectable; -0.2 dB at 20 Hz; -18 dB at 8 Hz; -36 dB at 2 Hz (push button switch is located on rear panel)
Warranty 5 years parts and labour from date of purchase; Terms and conditions apply - see user manual for details, or click on 'Commercial' at the foot of this page for information

Ovation High Fidelity. Audio Equipment Engineered for Art.