Audion, Its History - An introduction to Valves & Mission Statement

audio innov

In 1986 David Chessel was given the position of technical director for Audio Innovations during a time when the company had an enviable reputation for sound quality. It was at this time and the few preceding years that a friendship flourished between David, and Audio Innovation’s initiator and one of Europe’s top audio designers Mr. Erik Andersson. Together they joined forces to form Audion

Audion was then established in 1987 by David Chessell and Erik Andersson, Audio Innovations changed hands and the original owner of Audio Innovations went on to buy into AudioNote Japan becoming AudioNote UK. The concept for Audion in those early days was to allow people to get an insight into audiophile high end without sacrificing their home or bank balance. This overall picture still holds true today for most of the current production with just a few bespoke built and designed products entering the upper echelons.

Audion Logo Raw

During this first vital years of 1987 - 1990 Europe saw the release of the 1st and 2nd audio triode amplifiers, the first of its kind from a western manufacturer designed by Erik and produced under the direction of David. Unbelievably, this was to set the trend throughout the world for triode amplifiers of the highest sonic quality. Audion was first to market with many new products.

golden dragon

In 1992, a re-launched copy of the 300B by Golden Dragon enabled Audion with their base in the UK, to enable a superior amplifier to be designed and distributed around the world. The first joint product was the infamous “Audion Silver Night” mono-blocks, and Noel Keywood provided us a front-page debut in Hi-Fi World with an “educational” review with regard to sound quality and technical specifications for a no-feedback design. This level of excellence fired the imaginations of many audiophiles and promoted the company into the limelight as one of the world’s innovators once again. The worldwide acclaim that followed elevated Audion to the greatest heights.

The following years saw the introduction of many new products, most of which are contained within this site and are world beaters in many areas including best sound, best audio art, and most innovative product together with professional high build quality and reliability, at competative prices.

Erik now lives in Sweden, but still works very closely with us delivering new products and world-class designs. A result of this most recently has been the DUO dual 300B/2A3 power amplifiers in our latest design chassis, adding to the world famous Audion range to keep us at the forefront of high-end audio design.

reference front2

Graeme Holland, the owner of Audion since 2000 spearheads the company. A computer systems designer, who brings a unique flair and presence to Audion. His innovative approach and industry insight allows Audion, its products and people to remain at the cutting edge of technological advancements and to excel in the cut throat industry of modern tube technologies. And now having celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a bevy of new products to boot

Graeme Holland, takes the company from Strength to strength. Now in 2010 he launches even more new products The UNO a single box pre-amp - remote controlled balanced with MM & MC silver hard wired a true contender for the legendary Quattro. Just see the rest of the site for launch details of the UNO, DUO and new TRIO.

2010: Graeme Holland Announces release of UNO, DUO & Trio to coincide with updated Quattro and now he
      announces the re-launch of the legendary Black Shadow
2007: Audion Celebrates 20 years at the top and releases the Black Night
2005: Audion Silver Night 2A3, an instant success in UK, Europe, America and the Far East.
2004: Audion Electron and Proton cable ranges realised, bookshelf speaker range added
2002: Audion Paragon Launched along with Golden Night PX25.
2001: New Chassis is launched to tumultuous success.. New chunky look and lifestyle products prove a winner with        both new and existing customers.
1997: AMP, Flux, Audion One CD and DAC. Audions profile is now firmly on the map as an innovator and world           leader in High End technology
1995: Audion Golden Night, BlackShadow, Golden Dream, Sterling and Premier lines are added.
1993: Audion Silver Night wins award after award. Dia Passion D’or and a plethora of awards.
1992: Audion Silver Night is released “The first 300B amplifier on the market.
1990: Erik Anderssen joins David and the patnership flourishes in an array of power and pre-amplifiers brought into        existense
1988: Chessel Reference Pre-amp hits the streets.
1987: David releases an early pentode based power amplifier.
1986: David Chessel breaks away from Audio Innovations and forms Audion

OVERVIEW.. a rough guide

A valve is an electronic device that has been the basis of all audio and television designs from the early 1900’s, until the invention of the transistor in the late 1940’s, and beyond. The transistor quickly grew in popularity, and now powers just about everything electronic from cars to computers. However, it soon became apparent to the audio purists that the best sound reproduction was being achieved with valves rather than transistors. They found that music was clearer and more open, with a well-defined sound stage much closer to the original recordings than transistors could produce. The sound achieved does however depend largely on circuit design and the choice of components used, but in the majority of cases valves still give the best overall sound and the most pleasurable listening experiences. Most people who have listened to, or who own valve audio equipment will agree that - “There is no sound quite like a valve sound


Our single-ended power amplifiers consist of triode and pentode type valves:

The triode versions are feedback free, and operate in pure Class-A giving between 4 and 25 Watts. The simple design of these circuits equates to fewer components and the shortest audio path giving higher signal fidelity. This results in a more natural sound especially in the midrange and treble, and second harmonic distortion produced in the circuit is said by purists to be pleasant to the ear. Amplifiers of this design are relatively low power, and are typically used with loudspeakers that have a sensitivity of 91dB or greater. A good single-ended amplifier like our own ‘Golden Night’, is very dependant on the quality of the output transformer and the type of valve used.

The pentode versions in which we use EL34, KT88 and KT90 valves also operate in pure Class-A giving a slightly higher output power than the triodes, able to drive a larger variety of loudspeaker. These amplifiers are also dependant on the quality of output transformer used, therefore we use the same ones as in the triode single-ended amplifiers.


Our push-pull amplifiers also consist of triode and pentode type valves:

The triode Audion versions operate in pure Class-A to deliver up to 25 Watts of output power. These amplifiers yield a tight, well defined base response and give a good all round natural sound. They can be used with a very wide range of loudspeaker and incorporate our high quality output transformers and components. The Audion ‘Silver Night’ Push-Pull amplifiers have gained A-ratings around the world, and a cult following with audiophiles who appreciate music at it’s best.

The pentode. Audion versions deliver up to 50 Watts of pure Class-A power giving a great bass response and excellent overall sound. They work well with a wide range of loudspeaker and are favourites with those who want high power at a competitive price. 

Our mission statement is very simple and very clear :-

At Audion, our aim is to deliver music as close to the originally recorded sounds as can possible be achieved. We are able to do this through extensive research of various circuit topologies, together with specially selected components from around the world. This puts us at the forefront of valve audio reproduction, delivering world class products that we think you will enjoy. We aim to make our equipment affordable, yet comparable build quality and sound realisation to units costing many times more than ours.

We will try and dispel the mysteries of “Esoteric High End” and make this technology available to everyone. Straight talking without techno babble.

See the new Audion Website take shape


High definition Audio for our High Definition world! Graeme Holland @2007