Class A integrated

GuillaumeB

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Mar 10, 2014
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www.boyeraudio.com
Is there any unbeatable class A SS integrated amplifier under 15K?

Lately I've been running an Esoteric F-03A which is a pure class A SS integrated with 30W into 8 ohms and 60W into 4 ohms. Fabulous amp, has no trouble driving my Sasha 2s at reasonable volumes which initially surprised me. It offers broadly the same level of refinement as the Absolare Integrated, which I guess is saying something. Quite frankly it's a bargain at £13.5k ($13k in US). Robert Harley reviewed it in the Absolute Sound and loved it.

Cheers,

Guillaume
 
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Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
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As well as Luxman, I would add Accuphase and Pass to your list.

Should you care to consider something technologically different, I would suggest looking at the new Java integrated amp which is built around LDR attenuation and GaN mosfets. I have one arriving next month.
 
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RGMD11

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Mar 30, 2017
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I Had both the Diablo 120 and Accuphase E-470, and both are excellent amps and with the right high sensitivity speakers will sound very nice.
 

3125simon

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Apr 26, 2020
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You might pick-up a used Vitus SIA -25 which is a order of magnitude above the already commented amplifiers above. With the SIA-30 coming out at least in Europe you can find a good used around £12k$.
 

Barry2013

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Oct 12, 2013
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I have had a Vitus 025 SIA for some years and very recently had a home audition of the new Accuphase E650.
The E650 is a good amp, more powerful than the Vitus so the 30w output is a very conservative figure, but I have to say that within a day it was very clear that the sound quality was just not in the same league as that of the Vitus. Far less resolving and transparent with much inferior timing and dynamics.
So I endorse 3125simon's advice to look for a used Vitus 025.
 

Fidelity88

Member
Jan 22, 2020
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I had owned the Vitus SIA025 MK2 years ago (not enough power in Class A) such good amp and also many other high end integrated in between (Gryphon 300, T+A 3100, D’Agostino Momentum) but the last component from Absolare seems to be the King of the hill in my system. IMHO the Signature Integrated is an end game of amplifier...better than anything that came before! It is a magical experience for those who have a true passion for music. For the way it can touch our soul and bring an instant connection with our heart to deliver an experience that is so powerful, transparency, holographic 3D imaging and seductive.
 
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sbnx

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Mar 28, 2017
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The Luxman is 30W class A and has superb sound. Lots of warmth.
The Gryphon Diablo 300 sounds fantastic even though not pure class A (300 W class A/B)
Most of the others that are mentioned are more than $15K unless you are purchasing second hand.
 

CKKeung

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Jun 18, 2011
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Gryphon Diablo 300, Luxman
The Luxman is 30W class A and has superb sound. Lots of warmth.
The Gryphon Diablo 300 sounds fantastic even though not pure class A (300 W class A/B)
Most of the others that are mentioned are more than $15K unless you are purchasing second hand.
Agree!
Diablo 300 & Luxman L-590AXII & Accuphase E470.
 
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Thieliste

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Aug 31, 2014
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Yep the Luxman L-590AXll is the one that comes to mind.
Sugden Masterclass IA-4 is another option well under 10k.
 
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Cleese74

Member
Jul 28, 2019
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Thank you!
I have a lot to think :)
I'm in love with the 2a3 tube sound... Is there something close in SS?

By the way, my speakers are Klipsch Forte III.
 

sbnx

Well-Known Member
Mar 28, 2017
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Give the luxman a try. It has a very warm sound.
 
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Rob181

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Oct 1, 2014
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Should you care to consider something technologically different, I would suggest looking at the new Java integrated amp which is built around LDR attenuation and GaN mosfets. I have one arriving next month.

Really looking forward to your thoughts on this amp (I have had previous exposure to Java preamps) & hopefully a comparison with an established competitor - via PM if you don't want to go public...
 

Cleese74

Member
Jul 28, 2019
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I've been lucky, and I can try today an old Vitus sia 25 and a Gryphon Atilla at home, face to face.
Let's see!
 
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Cleese74

Member
Jul 28, 2019
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First of all, I wrote this with the help of Google Translator, so apologize!

My source and my speakers are far below the price of the vitus, (moon 280 with MIND2 and Klipsch Forte III) but I was really surprised how Waltz For Debbie sounded. I have never heard it so clear and clean. The feeling was not "they are here", the feeling was "my house is empty, there is only them". Even my wife was surprised at the presence while we were dinning. Maybe I missed the warmth of the 2A3 valves, but who wants warmth when you can have Bill Evans dining by your side.
Things changed when I put Quadrophenia. I really missed the "live" feeling of the tubes , but hey, it's a studio album!
Selling England By The Pound sounded like it was recorded yesterday, like my source was an Esoteric: I could hear the first fights between Collins and Gabriel between songs ;)
Vitus is so good that it improved my source and my speakers. But I missed some bass. The highs and mids were so perfect that if the lows were 9/10, it seemed much less.

All of this were also in the Gryphon Atilla, but as in a minor division. The instruments and vocals weren't so detached and that was less enjoyable with Jazz but it made the Who and Zeppelin records, and the Canterbury follies (EGG, National Health, Caravan) much more fun. The Gryphon's powerful and clear bass supported any downsides to mids and highs compared to the Vitus.

The Gryphon takes the best of my records and equipment, and make the funnier. The Vitus upgraded.

Both the Vitus and the Atilla that I have tried must be around 8 years old. After this, I just want to know how the latest Diablo and the latest SIA25 (or even the latest RI-101) would sound like in my system.

I wish I could have had a Luxman or a Pass in this home demo. Right now, if I have to choice right now, I kept the Vitus despite missing certain basses. I think that would be compensable by improving other parts of my equipment or playing with cables.

Oh! By the way, I have never been able to find in any store with an equipment capable of making The Epic of Kamasi Washington sound good. It always sounds dirty and poorly mixed, as if it only wanted to be played on cellphone or a car.
 
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