Most of those that have listened critically to Ypsilon’s Phaethon integrated amplifiers agree that is one of the best in the market, combining realism, emotionality and dynamics. Of course this result is not a random event. Phaethon encompassed the know-how Ypsilon amassed from its successful array of separates introduced before it and in many respects reinvented high end audio.
The Phaethon is a unique product in many aspects. It uses many of the technical solutions developed in our Aelius mono block amplifier and PST100mk2 preamplifier in a compact and elegant design. It is a hybrid line level amplifier utilizing only three active gain stages two of them with low noise valves operating in single-ended class A design, for the input and driver stage. It utilizes a transformer attenuator build in-house, embedded in the preamplifier section in a novel 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 combined by same polarity semiconductors for both phases in a “balanced single-ended architecture” offers the flavor of pure single-ended designs with the power of push-pull designs. There are separate power supplies for the tube and output stage utilizing five power supply inductors for low noise filtering. All these were designed in to one to operate in unison offering unmatched sound quality, making the platform of the integrated amplifier, a clear advantage. 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 several design features that contribute in Phaethon’s differentiation from its competition and contribute to its high level of performance that the trade press has recognized:
- transparent sounding transformer attenuator (the volume control), which is made 100% in house and eliminates all interferences common in traditional designs.
- only three gain stages one of them the active preamp stage with tubes, resulting in engaging timbres and purity of sound
- unique “bridgedsingle-ended” output stage biased in class A for the ‘first most important watts,’ providing wide and deep soundstage
- full function remote control made from aluminum
Concluding, the Phaethon includes all the high standards of quality and meticulous attention to detail that Ypsilon and its designer, D. Baklavas, are known and passionate about. All the parts and casing materials as well as Phaethon’s topology are of the utmost highest standards, making its production expensive. However, at its price point, an educated audiophile will appreciate its level of performance and immediately realize that the sonic performance of this integrated amplifier make it a destination component for most audiophiles.
|Type||Stereo Integrated Amplifier|
|Number of Chassis||Single|
|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) or 15.8 (W) x 7.3 (H) x 16.8 (D) inces|
|Weight||35kg or 77.5 lbs|
Ypsilon has created a component that enablesamusicalconnection that’s both intellectually and emotionally rewarding. At the Olympian heights where the Phaethon resides, only a handful of amps challenge it but overall, and in my experience, there are none betterNeil Gader, The Absolute Sound, December 2017
There is a strong power within this minimal and elegant case that surpasses itself. This is not all: on one hand, it gives exquisite detail over the stage and on the other, it leaves voids almost large enough for you to wander in, with no overlay from any instrument. …
The extraordinary staging ability, relaying the actual spaces between the instruments, bringing out the dynamic contrasts with an exciting authority, emotion and musicality that are customary to all Ypsilon products, also exist in Phaethon. Coming to the most important issue for me, in portraying the true timbres of instruments, I believe only a few products can challenge the Phaethon (and any other Ypsilon product that I have listened to so far).Ahmet Kip, Mono and Stereo, 2017
Hannes Maier and Bernhard Rietschel, Audio