Anyone entering the esoteric circles of ‘extreme hi-fi’, as we like to call it, will be familiar with the concept of making the external appearance of high-end audio equipment an exotic match for its superlative performance – to make it look as good as it sounds, basically – and this is certainly true of the Goldmund Telos 3500 mono power amplifier.
The younger sibling of the benchmark, limited-edition Telos 5000 (of which a scant 20 pairs were made), the 3500 amp houses a further evolution of Goldmund’s 30-year-old circuit, having benefitted from the intervening years of technological advancement. So much so, in fact, that it has supplanted the 5000 model to take pride of place in the Swiss manufacturer’s line-up, including in their own description of it being “the best and most spectacular” amp in the portfolio.
At $US151,250 per unit, the Telos 3500 commands a premium price –and you’ll be needing two of them for stereo, of course – but very much looks the part. The nameplate and fittings are cast in solid brass, there’s a large LED panel front and centre that displays stark orange text to let you know what’s going on, and the metal-covered aluminium enclosure is finished in a dazzling polar white.
“The Telos 3500 is both incredibly powerful and a work of art in its own right, making it our most luxurious-oriented product,“ says Anne-Karine Agius of Goldmund International from the company’s administrative headquarters in the tiny haven of designer brands, extravagant yachts, and zero income tax that is Monaco.
The eponymous power delivery comes courtesy of 12 separate transformers, with a continuous output of 3500 watts into 8 ohms, at a total harmonic distortion rate that Goldmund claims is the lowest ever measured, rating an astonishing 0.0005% at the input stage and 0.001% up to 1000 watts, but never going above 0.1%, even at full tilt. Comprehensive safety features are built in, such as an extremely fast, full protection circuit that responds in under 10 nanoseconds to safeguard against an overload, as the Telos 3500 is capable of delivering 130 amps virtually instantaneously.
“A pair of dedicated monobloc amps at this price point puts the Telos 3500 firmly in the premium end of the market for very serious audiophiles, but they’re supremely powerful and look great,” says Christopher Strom, Operations and Marketing Manager at Sydney-based Kedcorp, which has the rights to distribute Goldmund in Australia, stressing the terribly exclusive nature of the Telos power amps by adding that you’ll need to put down a hefty deposit before they can send an order for a Telos 3500 off to the factory in Switzerland for you.
The lads at Kedcorp haven’t managed to convince any local celebrities to part with just over $300,000 in cash yet, but surely it’s just a matter of time.