**Please click here to check out our newly launched SkyFi Audio website with additional items for sale**
If you’re a Harman Kardon fan, here is your shot at a super rare piece of audio history from the golden era of HiFi.
I must admit I didn’t know much about this brand when it arrived at our shop. The heft and feel of the amplifier immediately caught my attention. The aesthetics, in particular the way they are illuminated, also spoke to the degree of attention and quality.
Once I quickly found a link on The Vintage Knob I realized it was in fact something special, made in Japan, and very rare and collectible.
I have come across original HK Citation gear over the years and this turned out to be HK’s last ditch attempt at recapturing the golden years of audio. They produced two preamps and amps with no budget limitations and in limited quantities totaling not more than 1000 for each.
A quick look inside revealed just how expensive these units must have been to design and build. The layout of the components is absolutely methodical, the component selection is at the highest level, and the attention to detail is ridiculous.
So it wasn’t a surprise that after testing all the capacitors, relays, potentiometers etc., that it needed absolutely nothing to get its full performance. I cleaned the ancillary pots just in case (the main Alps volume knob is sealed) and wiped the unit down. The tests bench yielded similar results, clean strong signal on all inputs and outputs. The amplifier tested exactly the same, no issues or hiccups. It powered on and quickly came out of protection and has worked perfectly for weeks after.
The amplifier has two unusual features not found on amps from this era. There are front panel controls for both bias (normal and high) and filter (ultrasonic and infrasonic). The bias makes sense as it will probably adjust the transistor bias to run hotter and probably warmer in sound. I have no idea what the filter button does but I’m sure a savvy audiophile will chime in. On the back you’ll find super high quality connectors for both single ended and balanced, and a convenient handle that makes moving the unit around much easier. The heat fins are super pointy so this handle is a welcome feature.
This rare and collectable example is in very good condition with no signs of abuse or overdriving. Please see our photos for more details.
Functionality is at 100% and was tested for weeks on the bench and in our listening room/studio.
Citation X-1 Stereo Solid State Amplifier Specifications (1983 - 1986)
150 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
0.1Hz to 180kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion:
Signal to Noise Ratio:
Speaker Load Impedance:
17.32" x 7.64" x 16.85"
(440 x 194 x 428 mm)
The SkyFi Testing Process for Amplifiers (Solid State):
We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure there are no signs of stress or aging. Capacitors are checked for telltale sings of bulging or leaking, resistors are checked for signs of overheating or cracking, and transistors are checked for signs of stress or damage.
We then power up the unit carefully and run a simple 1k sine wave while monitoring the output on an oscilloscope for signs of distortion or noise. Finally, we run the amplifier to its full rated power into the appropriate resistive load provided by our Sencore amplifier tester. If there is an issue, it will usually be noticeable at this point. If everything reads clean, we will often test for THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) measured by our Keithley distortion meter, and compare it against the original manufacturers specifications. The amplifier then remains powered on to "burn in" on our test bench for a few hours to make sure there are no heat related issues. If there are balanced inputs available they will be also be tested.
Final testing involves pushing actual music thorough the amplifier. We've learned over time that some issues are only noticeable to a trained ear while listening to familiar source material. Our test bench has reference vintage KEF speakers that we're very familiar with which quickly reveal any discrepancies. Some amplifiers will then move into our listening room where they are tested with our in-house reference speakers of choice.
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PURCHASING FROM SKYFI:
This item will be professionally packaged and insured for safe transit to your home unless you opt for local pickup from our shop. Please note that all local pickup items are only wrapped with industrial strength clear cling stretch wrap if the original manufacturer packaging is unavailable.
Local pickup is available in Glen Rock, NJ, just a half hour drive from Midtown Manhattan, with convenient parking near our building.
And if you’re looking to ship to Canada, simply follow this link to view and purchase this item. We ship to Canada via UPS Worldwide Expedited service and you’re responsible for any applicable import duties and taxes.
If we don’t have the original manufacture’s packaging, we use heavy duty double-ply corrugated boxes with custom made to your item Instapak expanding foam custom inserts. In many cases this has proven to be better than the original packaging! We also use high quality fiber reinforced tape to seal our packages. Lightweight items will be bubble wrapped and shipped in a high-quality box.
Click here for specifics on our specialized packing process that separates us from the rest.
NJ Residents or anyone picking up without a resale certificate will need to pay NJ Sales Tax.
Thanks for looking and be sure to call us at 201-879-0000 with any questions.
WHO WE ARE:
SkyFi Audio is a small startup business specializing in the purchase, reconditioning, and reselling of select high-end audio equipment. We only buy equipment the we admire and are passionate about. No mid-fi, no gimmicks, no junk.
Each piece of equipment is cosmetically restored and fully tested in our well-equipped lab by an engineer with 30+ years of experience in the HiFi world. If it does not meet or exceed the original manufactures specifications, it will not be sold. We are very selective about the equipment we purchase, focusing on mostly analog, high-build quality, American, and European built units.
Through our sister company which is an authorized dealer for McIntosh, Audio Research, Sonus Faber, ClearAudio, Pro-Ject Audio Systems, and Sony ES, we have access to OEM parts, service, and support. If you’re local and looking for new equipment from the above-mentioned manufacturers, please drop us a line as we can arrange both sales and professional installation in the tri-state area.
We do not accept or review any offers that do not go through the official Audiogon system. We have too many items for sale and it’s nearly impossible to keep track of offers outside of the official system. Please don’t message, email, or text any offers.
We prefer working through PayPal which allows you to use a credit card, bank transfer, and their special financing to spread out payments over six months. We do not charge extra for any PayPal fees if you purchase the item at the asking price. You can also send us a personal check (which will need to clear before shipping), certified check, money order, or bank wire transfer. International clients without access to PayPal should use a bank wire transfer.
If you’re picking up an item, we do not accept PayPal. You must pay in person with a certified check, bank check, or wire transfer. If you make a PayPal payment and are picking up the item, your PayPal payment will be returned.
TRADE IN POLICY:
We accept trade-ins of equal or lesser value under certain conditions. Simply click here to submit your gear for full consideration. We will only consider high-end equipment from mainstream manufacturers such as McIntosh, Mark Levinson, Audio Research, Krell, etc. and will typically pass on displays, projectors, receivers, dated surround processors, and mid-fi equipment of any type. We will offer a fair value for your equipment, but keep in mind we’re running a business and will need to be able to resell the equipment at a profit after investing a great deal of time and resources in testing, certifying, repairing, cleaning, and packaging the incoming equipment. If you’re looking for top dollar, we suggest selling direct on your own.
SELL US YOUR GEAR (Working or Broken):
We’ll also purchase your used or broken gear and arrange pickup if you’re in our local market. Simply click here to submit your gear for full consideration.
SCHEDULING AN APPOINTMENT:
We are currently operating from our shop inside our dedicated building in Glen Rock, NJ. You’re welcome to make an appointment if there’s a piece of equipment you’d like to see in operation before or after purchase. We have several well-equipped and dedicated listening areas, plus a dedicated listening studio with tons of equipment of all makes and models. We’re not a store, so please don’t make an appointment if you’re just curious as to how a speaker or piece of equipment sounds. In essence - no tire kickers please.
You can call or text 201-879-0000 with any questions or to schedule an appointment. We can also arrange to install, calibrate, and tune your newly purchased gear in your listening room if you’re local to our area. This is super useful when purchasing large speakers or heavy amplifiers. It’s also great for ensuring your new turntable is setup correctly in its final resting place.