Having recently spent several happy weeks with Accuphase’s E-370 integrated amplifier for issue 178, the prospect of spending yet more quality time with one of its bigger siblings, the 30W Class A E-650 was too good to pass up. It duly arrived, right in the middle of the global pandemic lockdown, which meant its delivery and receipt had more overtones of Bridge of Spies than is usual for such matters. Still, once here, duly disinfected and installed, one obvious benefit to lockdown is somewhat more time stuck at home and available for music listening.
Accuphase offers two amplifier technologies, Class A/B and Class A, with the Class A models positioned at the upper end of the product range in terms of performance and price. Until the recent introduction of the 50W E-800, the E-650 was the flagship integrated amplifier, offering a conservatively-rated 30W per channel into an 8Ω load, doubling into 4Ω and 2Ω loads respectively. The E-650 uses Accuphase’s proprietary AAVA preamp circuitry, here in dual balanced mode, and the power amplifier employs their ‘instrumentation amplifier’ topology, for fully balanced operation from source input to speaker output terminals.