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AKSA 11th February 2014 11:32 PM

News at Aspen
I have delayed my thoughts at Aspen in the last year or so as I have recovered from my illness, but as the world seems to be hurling itself towards hell in a handbasket, I will take the chance the offer a few snippets about what is happening in the Aspen stable.

Recovery from an aneuresym is very slow. There are many medical complications, many of them are psychological, and if I had not been through it I would not have believed it. Aside from the general weakness, shortness of breath, loss of muscle tone, headaches, speech and writing issues, and minor visual disturbances, the most significant effect on my life has been motivation and depression. When you work hard to survive, when you get there, you have an additional view of life - the deathbed view, where you think on your life and what you can still do in your remaining years. Again, unless this happens to you it is difficult to explain it, but there is a surprising outcome - at least for me - the euphoria I feel two or three times every day that I am still alive, vertical and of full mind.

My first task on coming home from hospital in December 2012 was to productionise and establish sales of the NAKSA 80. This is done, and it's now built in a proper electronic factory using SOTA techniques, compact smds and a very pretty layout. The N80 sound quality is quite extraordinary, and this small, fully built, elegant and powerful amp is selling very well at a very reasonable cost, not much more than the Nirvana AKSA 55 so many years back. The AKSA was a great amp, but the NAKSA 80 is light years ahead! Customers are astonished at the sound quality, and a year on I cannot think of a single design change I would alter with this product.

The second task has dominated my time, Steve and lately Paul in the last six months. This is the NAKSA 125, to supersede the NAKSA 100. This amp is now built and auditioned over a long period. This is amp is from the NAKSA 80 stable, similar sound quality, but at a greater scale - noticeably more powerful. This is a wonderful amplifier and I'm very proud. I will release this quite soon at a cost around the Lifeforce 100/NAKSA 100, watch this space! It too will be manufactured in a factory, so you will be getting something of exceptional sound quality AND assembly perfection.

I do not have the physical energy these days and many tasks around the house and the workbench are much slower off the mark. Much of this is my medications. But my creativity is undiminished, and almost every couple of months I came up with a good idea. This is a tonic, keeps me going........

The NAKSA 125 will be released in six weeks. I ask my loyal customers to be patient with me! This will be my best amplifier since I released the original AKSA 55 back in 2000. The world is declining at present, particularly the economy in Australia, but my company progress is consistently producing new and better products. And my doctor tells me with careful medical care I will remain producing amplifiers for a long, long time!


Hugh Dean
Melbourne, Feb 14

probbo 12th February 2014 02:31 AM

A Humbling Experience - Especially For The Rest Of us
Hi Hugh

All I can say is: please keep on being an inspiration to the rest of us!

Very Best Regards,

Peter Roberts

audiostar 12th February 2014 06:35 PM

Who can you trust these days with a secret? Like the Beatles song: Do you want to know a secret? Do you promise not to tell? Well, I was lucky to receive a PM from Hugh responding to my post on this forum. To make a long story short, he revealed that he was working on a NAKSA 125!!! Like the Beatles song I promised not to tell. Congratulation on finishing and testing the amp. The man is still sick but he creates this wonderful amp! Hugh, you are the man. One last thing. They say that no man can do it alone. What is your relationship with Steve and Paul? They deserve a lot of praise for helping you with the NAKSA 125.

AKSA 12th February 2014 09:58 PM

Thanks Peter,

A couple of weeks on a hot Saturday morning I was walking up an alley to the car park with my wife after a nice coffee at my local café and a very tall, thin lady with a head scarf was walking very slowly up the hill with four shopping bags. I stopped near to her and suggested she seems to be struggling and could I help with the shopping bags. She immediately accepted, clearly relieved. I said that she seemed unwell, was she improving, and she answered, 'No, I have advanced cancer and the heat and weight is too much for me today.'

It is I that is humbled...... here was a well educated, very articulate woman, no children, good career, only 60. We had a chat at her car. What can I say? Some are not lucky, some, like me, are saved.


Thank you keeping the faith (and the secret!) I appreciate it very much. As it happens, designing amps is all I can do these days, so I'd better make them good.

Steve is a good friend from the US who is married to an Australian and lives here half the year in Victoria, returning to the US to work early December. He is an extraordinarily hard worker, with many assembly skills, and he loves my amps and is interested to be involved. So these days he is a pivotal focus of building and testing my amps, and he loves music and is a very judge of good systems. He takes the train to my home every couple of weeks and we have a long chat and exchange bits for the next design.

Paul is a very clever EE with a long career in radar, software, and telecoms. He is a farmer's son, like me, and my age. He has the eye on circuit details and fine documentation. Like many engineers he loves music, his wife is a music teacher, and he has been a wonderful help on the documentation, which since my illness I find difficult. He owns a N80 and recently listened to the N125. Paul is very left brain, a profound ability with maths. This has been wonderful for Aspen; he is the best user of LTSpice I have seen. We do argue about THD, however, it's amusing.

My two friends have helped me hugely. And they give me confident to keep moving.\

BTW, it occurs that flying to the US via Hawaii is a very good way to split the trip. It really is too far direct from Melb to LA; a stopover in Honolulu would be smart. Maybe meet you one day?? My daughter living and works in NYC!





audiostar 12th February 2014 11:52 PM

Let us not forget the support of your wife. With her help you will be getting better every day. By the way, walking is a good exercise. And maybe one day when you are much stronger you can see me in Honolulu and than your daughter in NYC.
FYI: There is one last secret. You have to use a crowbar to pry it out of Hugh. Good luck in making Hugh talk. He is one tough cookie.

seano 13th February 2014 03:10 AM


Originally Posted by AKSA (
BTW, it occurs that flying to the US via Hawaii is a very good way to split the trip. It really is too far direct from Melb to LA; a stopover in Honolulu would be smart.

That's the way my parents do it. They keep their nose to the ground for a return package deal (airfares and accommodation for 3 to 5 days) then hunt down cheap internal return flights to LAX and Phoenix. The result is often cheaper than a LAX return. They head over there to visit family two or three times a year.

Good to hear about the 125. More amp than my place needs at the moment but damn nice to know it exists. Chin up, Hugh.

A bloke I'm aware of in the Hunter Valley got cleaned up on his bike by a 4x4 at the end of January whilst riding to work. It didn't kill him (surprisingly) but a fractured skull and spinal injuries (just the top of the injury tree) are hardly trifles. He's already motivated himself to the point that he's already now shuffling with the aid of a frame despite facing another two months in the hospital regardless and is expected to walk and ride again...eventually. What doesn't kill you makes you long as you don't focus on thinking about what could have killed you.

Jens A. 13th February 2014 07:48 PM

Hi Hugh,

I can only salute your phenomenal perserverance!

With all the challenges you have encountered it is a really great feat to finalise a superb stereo amplifier and then having it sell well, too :)

Being the proud owner of two NAKSA 80s, I cannot endorse this amp enough, and will recommend it to any music lover, because what it does is sheer music :D

And now you top that feat with yet another new amp, more powerful than the NAKSA 100! Hats off! It tends to be a challenge retaining sonics, as the wattage goes up, but I'm certain you would not release the new "baby" unless you were fully satisfied that it lives up to the new NAKSA "standard" sonically ;)

One question, then: Will we see even more powerful amplifiers from your hand? I know a few people here who have been asking for a really powerful NAKSA!



AKSA 13th February 2014 08:41 PM

Aha, Jens, watch this space....... and thank you for your wonderful praise.


stvnharr 13th February 2014 09:12 PM

Hello Everyone,
Now that there is some news out about the new 125 amp, I can write a few things.
This new 125 is a superb amplifier in every way and worth everyone's consideration, no matter what amp one is now using.
I have been living with the 125 amp for several months now, in both my American music system and how here in Australia. I can testify to it's fine performance as well as it's reliability.
Hugh has often asked me to describe the sound of the 125. All I could ever really tell him was that it was "MORE". It's just more of everything. It is more bass, more dynamics, more resolution. And when it comes to music, well, what else is there.......
When Hugh had the 125 prototype back in December/January, which is what I have, he was astounded at the first sound. He showed it around quite a bit with very favorable feedback. One has to live with this one awhile to more fully enjoy it.

And I'm about to visit Hugh again soon, as we begin on the next project. Things are always moving forward. Though I must say, the 125 is pretty near the pinnacle of achievement.


audiostar 18th February 2014 07:26 PM

I always looked forward to reading the end of the year News at Aspen. To add to the News: Australian unemployment jumps to 10 year high. Hawaii has a 850 million surplus!

You want to know about AKSA in the old days? Check out AudioCircle, under Archived Manufacturer Circles. This is a must read.

Aspen Amplifiers

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