Sonic Frontiers SFL-2

1 9 9 3 1993
1 9 9 5 1995

Introduced after the success of the modestly priced SFL-1 (1991) and its SFL-1 Signature version (1993), the SFL-2 got a "Class A" Stereophile Recommended Component.

Not that I did ever take magazines' awards as gospel but the SFL-2 really was that good and designed by the original Sonic Frontiers team : Chris Johnson, John Sloan and Joe Curcio.

Spread over two chassis, the all-balanced operation is done by six 6922 Sovteks with 15 regulated power supplies (six discrete and nine IC-based), no NFb circuit and "ultra parts" sourced from the good people :
22 MIT caps, 28 Caddock and 8 Vishay resistors with Holco resistors, Solen p-s and shunt caps, plus Kimber sliver wiring, Kimber RCA and Neutrik silver-plated XLR terminals.

Also split-bobbin trafos, B+ and B- supplies with 280µF of Solen metallized polypropylene caps and a separate transformer / power supply for utility functions such as muting relays and LEDs.

And also single-ended and balanced DIRECT inputs which bypass everything but the mute and attenuator.

Last but not least, and most important, crucial even, the volume attenuator is a 46-position fixed resistance array - only the best so the SFL-2 could be that good.

A nice factory tour with interviews and photos from just before the change of ownership and plans here and a Stereophile news, a year later, about said change of plans and directions here.

Sonic Frontiers SFL-2, image 1 Sonic Frontiers SFL-2, image 2 Sonic Frontiers SFL-2, image 3
Sonic Frontiers SFL-2 specifications
Title Value
Frequency response : 20Hz...100Khz (± 0,5dB ; 100kOhm load)
> 350Khz (-3dB)
THD : < 0,1% (20Hz...20Khz ; 1V output)
< 0,03% (typical ; 1Khz)
Gain : 22dB @ 1Khz (single-ended)
28dB @ 1Khz (balanced)
Residual noise : 120µV unweighted (balanced out ; volume @ 12 o'clock)
-85dB @ 2V RMS output
IMD : < 0,05% @ 2V output
< 0,03% @ 2V output (balanced)
Input impedance : 50kOhm (single-ended)
100kOhm (balanced)
Output impedance : 160 Ohm @ 1Khz (single-ended)
320 Ohm @ 1Khz (balanced)
Minimum recommended load : 10kOhm
Output voltage : 30V RMS max. (s-e ; 100kOhm / 100pF load)
60V RMS max. (bal ; 10kOhm / 1000pF load)
Maximum input : 2,5V RMS (volume fully clockwise)
Stereo separation : 70dB @ 1Khz (single-ended)
75dB @ 1Khz (balanced)
Tubes : 8x 6922 (6DJ8 type)
PC : 75VA (standby)
135VA (max.)
Dimensions : 48 x 11,5 x 33cm (each chassis)
Weight : 25kg.
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