Manley Labs Stingray II Integrated Amp
The STINGRAY II is the next evolution from our acclaimed Stingray Integrated Amplifier, legendary in the hifi world since it first swam from our labs in 1997. Originally conceived with particular attention paid to optimal component placement for the purity and symmetry of the signal path layout, the Stingray quickly became one of our best-selling products. The Stingray II retains the same basic tube circuitry and marvelous output transformers as the original with some important improvements:
The high voltage tube energy storage has been increased vastly resulting in even more solid and coherent bass control and impact.
A headphone jack has been added to the right side facia. This jack re-routes the output from the speaker binding posts and mutes the Subwoofer output feed. This makes the Stingray II a fabulous headphone amplifier!
The 4th input source is an 1/8" (3.5mm) TRS mini jack for convenient hookup with portable devices and computers on the left front facia.
The Remote Control works with both Radio Frequency and InfraRed technologies. Using the remote in RF mode gives freedom from having to "point and shoot." The RF remote is omnidirectional and works through walls and cabinets. IR capability is included for those with Universal Learning Remote Controls for consolidated integration into existing systems. The volume control, balance adjust, input switching, and display options are all on the RF/IR Remote Control. Additionally user can perform the MUTE, DIM, INSERT and STANDBY commands with the Remote Control.
Each INPUT can be individually level trimmed to match and to optimize system gain staging of various input devices.
The fancy blue LED displays surrounding the INPUT and VOLUME encoder knobs can be dimmed down or turned off entirely, after a user-settable time period, or a "screen-saver" random light sequence can be selected. Speed and intensity of the "Starlight" mode can be tweaked to taste.
All custom user settings are hard written into memory when the unit is put into STANDBY mode and thus retained if power is later interrupted.
There is even a SLEEP timer which is programmable from the remote control to allow you to drift off carefree dreaming of your musical Stingray for 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes while it gracefully lowers the volume and puts itself into STANDBY mode.
Individual sealed gold contact relays deliver the selected input into the volume control system before hitting the first 12AT7 input tubes. Following the mighty 6414 driver/phase splitter, the trusty EL84 output stage can be switched between either 20 watts of TRIODE power or 40 watts of Ultra Linear mode push-pull operation. Individual bias for each tube is easily adjusted using the trimpots and test points, conveniently located on the top surface of the amplifier. The Stingray's power supply is extra-rugged and stiff, a MANLEY hallmark. It swims with the sharks: fast, agile, fluid, and with consummate authority.
Post-volume SUBWOOFER OUTPUT allows easy hookup of outboard line-level driven active powered subwoofers. This output is after the volume control so that the subwoofer will track the volume level changes of the main speakers. The SUB OUTPUT is a line level and full frequency output that is AFTER the volume control so your powered subwoofer follows the same volume as your main speakers. These are unbalanced RCA jacks, line level. They feed the line inputs of your subwoofer, NOT the speaker jacks.
A switchable TAPE LOOP is standard. The TAPE SEND is the output of the selected input before the volume control. The TAPE RETURN can also be used as a 5th line input if needed.
RECORD OUT (aka Tape OUT) is BEFORE the volume control so you can record whatever input you have selected without your listening level affecting the level going to your recorder. These are unbalanced RCA's. It is UNbalanced RCA's and UNbuffered so check out the input Z to your recorder to make sure it won't load down the Stingray main input while it is plugged in. Usually with unbuffered record outs we recommend you only plug in your recorder only when you are actually recording...
Tape LOOP: Also known as an INSERT point, the SEND or Tape Out comes off the selector switch as the Record Out option does going to your outboard EQ or Merlin BAM unit or tape recorder and then the signal returns (RETURN) to the Stingray in front of of the volume control so you can play tunes. A toggle switch selects whether the Tape LOOP (and whatever is plugged into the Tape Loop) is active or the signal goes straight through the Stingray as normal. If you have the Merlin BAM system, order your Stingray with the Tape LOOP option.
Need more than four inputs? Get a SKIPJACK line switcher and run it into this LOOP RETURN: The SKIPJACK is perfect for adding more inputs to anything. So if you use a SKIPJACK's 4 stereo inputs plus the Stingray II's 4 stereo inputs (3 RCAs + iPod output) you'll get 8 stereo inputs total. The way to do that is to consider the TAPE LOOP: you can bring the SKIPJACK output into the LOOP RETURN, enact the LOOP ACTIVE switch and use the 4 x SKIPJACK inputs feeding the LOOP RETURN with the SKIPJACK controlling source switching for those 4 inputs. Then if you put the Stingray's LOOP switch to BYPASS you will be working with the 4 x Stingray inputs selectable on the Stingray. That gives you 8 total stereo inputs as shown below (7 stereo LINE inputs plus the 1/8" input jack).
NOTE: The SUBWOOFER OUT, RECORD OUT, and TAPE LOOP are all passive. The RECORD OUT comes straight off the input select switch. So whatever source is selected will show up passed through at the TAPE OUT. With the Stingray, the MANLEY team has struck a remarkably harmonious balance in design which satisfies the sonic desires of the audiophile and the rocker, the artist and the musician, the student and the master, the yin and the yang. We invite you to experience the stunning sonic quality and visual beauty of the Stingray personally.
Ratings & Reviews
This is an excellent product. It's offers exceptional quality, delivering deep, rich, almost 3-D sound. It will put a smile on your face. It's built like a tank by a dedicated team of wonderful people in Southern California. I would highly recommend this unit and anything Manley Labs manufactures. Not only are the products of the highest grade but so are the customer service and care. I just visited the factory and I can tell you that everything they make is truly hand made. Each NOS tube is rigorously tested. Their collection of pre and post war vacuum tubes is like nothing I've ever seen. They even spin their own wire looms and transformers. Hoard your tubes because this amp will be around for generations. I very rarely write reviews but this product and the company that makes it, are both remarkable.