Introducing Black Ice Audio
Explore Audio Solutions from This Revamped Brand
There's something new at Natural Sound...a brand of audio electronics called Black Ice Audio, which fills a gap in our product offerings: value-priced vacuum tube-powered components. We have always had premium tube products...from VTL, McIntosh, and Rogers High Fidelity, but for clients in the Boston, MA area wishing to explore the magical world of tube amplifiers, pre-amps, and even CD players on a lower budget...we haven't been able to offer them something until now. So, who is Black Ice?
One of the brands that has been active in the field of affordable tube gear for the last 25 years is Jolida, a firm based in Maryland, whose mission statement is to bring great-sounding high-quality modern tube gear to the music lover at real-world prices. Recently, Jolida has teamed up with legendary audio designer Jim Fosgate to revamp their line, and the results of their efforts have been re-branded as Black Ice Audio.
Jim's history in the audio business began as the pioneer of high-powered car audio amplification (his name is still part of the well respected Rockford-Fosgate brand). He was co-inventor of the SQ surround sound matrix system, before the digital audio era. He later worked with Dolby Labs to invent Pro-Logic II, which is still an international standard today, and was awarded an Emmy for his work developing surround sound for the Television industry. As an engineer "of a certain age" he came up in the era of tubes, in fact, his Dad was a radio/TV repairman! So his knowledge of tube circuitry and long industry experience made him an ideal design partner for Jolida to elevate their line to what it is today.
Black Ice makes many of their circuit boards in Asia, purchases critical parts like their custom transformers from Germany, and does final assembly and QC at their headquarters in Maryland. The line is two-tiered...there are redesigned items from Jolida, including the Glass/FX line of compact, very affordable components, with a DAC/Wi-Fi Streamer, a Headphone Amp, and a Desktop Amplifier (12 WPC, EL84 based). There is also an MM/MC tube phono preamp in a standard size chassis. All these are priced well under $1000.00!
The rest of the line is newly designed by Jim Fosgate. It comprises three models of integrated tube amplifiers, a tube/hybrid phono preamplifier, a line-level preamplifier, and a versatile CD player/DAC/Transport with tube output stage. These products range from $1500.00 to $2500.00. The next item under development is a pair of tube mono-block amplifiers to go with the line preamp.
Because the quality to price ratio is so high, many of these products have been in very high demand. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 supply chain disruptions, the flow of sub-assemblies has slowed down. We recommend you come in and listen to Black Ice and, if you fall in love with the sound, place an order for the component of your choice in order to secure a place in line.
We are looking forward to making a lot of new tube enthusiasts in the near future! Give our team a call or fill out our online contact form here to learn more.