Integrated Hybrid Amplifier
Given the performance, reputation and pedigree of their separate amplifier pieces, when Ypsilon decided to build an integrated amplifier, much anticipation was expressed by the audiophile community. The resulting Phaethon integrated amplifier represented a bit of a watershed moment in modern amplifier design, re-defining a new level of sonic performance previously unheard in integrated designs.
The Phaethon is a unique product in many aspects. It uses many of the technical solutions developed for the Aelius mono block amplifiers and the PST100 Mk2 preamplifier in a compact and elegant design. It is a hybrid line level amplifier utilising only three active gain stages. The input and driver stages incorporate low noise valves operating in a single-ended class A topography. It also features a transformer attenuator built in-house, embedded in the preamplifier section using advanced post-attenuation techniques.
The tube driver stage is coupled to the output stage with a wide bandwidth inter-stage transformer that provides perfect phase splitting for the output stage. The output stage features same polarity semiconductors for both phases in a “balanced single-ended architecture”, resulting in the sonic quality of pure single-ended designs combined with the power of push-pull designs. There are separate power supplies for the tube and output stage utilising five power supply inductors for low noise filtering. All these technologies are designed to operate in unison offering unmatched sound quality, thus providing a clear advantage of a single chassis, compact and cost-effective integrated amplifier platform. All functions are remote controlled and are visible through a high quality LCD display with large characters so it can be read from across the room.
There are 3 design features that combine to give the Phaethon a sound quality that takes it to the summit of integrated amplifier performance:
- In-house custom made high quality transformer attenuator (volume control) results in highly open transparent sound free from artefacts.
- Only three gain stages. One of them the active preamp stage with tubes. This results in a clarity / purity of sound.
- Unique “bridged single-ended” output stage biased in class A for the ‘first most important watts’, results in an immediacy, direct emotional connection.
Applying this level of design topology and componentry is rare and expensive. Prior to the arrival of the Phaethon, it was considered virtually impossible to achieve this level of sound quality from a one box amplification solution. It is one of those amplifiers that you simply fall in love with and just want to have in your life. Everything is so natural, just flows and feels so real, so involving and effortless. There’s a primal yet sophisticated quality to the Phaethon’s way with music. Yes please.
|Type||Stereo Integrated Amplifier|
|Number of Chassis||One|
|Output Power Before Clipping||110W rms @ 8 Ohm
180W rms @4 Ohm
|Bandwidth||11Hz -75kHz -3dB|
|Output Impedance||0.5 Ohm|
|Input Impedance||47 kOhm|
|Inputs||3 x RCA Unbalanced, 1 x XLR (Unbalanced)|
|Power Consumption||125W idle|
|Dimensions||400mm (W) x 185mm (H) x 425mm (D)|