Interview of Eon Art; An industry partner of Burson Audio in France – 6moons

Eon Art: the French Class D knight  I recently met the founder of Eon Art Stéphane Hautcoeur, one of the last newcomers to the French high-end audio scene. It was not however the very first time I met Stéphane. Three years ago I was introduced to him during an exhibition of JLA Acoustique loudspeakers. Since the very beginning, Stéphane had demonstrated being a very hard-to-please audiophile. He showed an immodest interest in very challenging music, especially church organ recordings. But in those early days, Eon Art was still a mere project. Today it has become reality. More than being one of the latest high-end adventurers produced by our wine and cheese country, Stéphane Hautcoeur is also one of the last medieval knights to protect the old Avignon battlements. His coat of arm Plutôt mourir que périr—Better to Die than Perish—illustrates his passion and rejection of compromise quite well. A sense of bravery seems to be a way of life for this French manufacturer and his quest for sound perfection could be considered a modern-day variant on King Arthur's vision. Of course, everyone will admit that while faith is important to birth a project, it's not the only necessary ingredient for making superior amps. Fortunately, Eon Art’s team has a very respectable background in electronics and acoustics and Stéphane (managing another company specialized in data farm server designs) applies his own managerial experience to creating strong partnerships between certain key providers. While common wisdom rightly holds that assembling class D amps from prefab modules does not require huge technical skills, Stéphane Hautcoeur demonstrates how it is nonetheless vital to go beyond available chip sets. Hypex or ICEpower are mere starting points, not achievements.What then is the exact purpose of this new French sound crusader? Eon Art’s purpose is mainly on the manufacture of amplification devices but the small French company also designs digital to analog converters. As most newcomers to the amplifier business, Eon Art chose to explore class D technology. Contrary to many other players, they decided to focus straightaway on the most ambitious range of products. How to make class D amps competitive with the best references in the the present high-end segment is Stéphane’s Grail quest. To achieve this very ambitious goal, the French startup focuses upon the complex alliance between hi-tech class D and vintage vacuum tubes.Products:The current list of products I had a chance to audition at Mr. Stéphane’s home included these four components:• an integrated 100wpc amplifier called Quark Bleu• a 150wpc stereo power amp called the CL42• the PRE5 preamplifier• and the DAC-1 digital-to-analog converter Technology:The technology used in Eon Art's preamplification stages is pure tube. Various triodes with low gain and high transconductance may be rolled and the most convincing results thus far came from 6922s and 6H23NEBs. High voltage conversion and regulation also harnesses valves.Eon Art’s class D amplifiers are designed around Hypex OEM modules which allow better integration with the French product line because their proprietary class A input stage can [...]