NEWS: Pass Labs Introduces Class A Integrated Amplifier

Integrated amplifiers
NEWS: Pass Labs Introduces Class A Integrated Amplifier

At the Consumer Electronics Show 2010, Foresthill, CA-based Pass Laboratories plans to formally introduce its newest integrated amplifier, the 30 Wpc INT-30A, described as a “no-nonsense, user-friendly amplifier (that) delivers outstanding performance and a high level of user satisfaction, exposing today’s audiophile products to a broader spectrum of demanding consumers.” According to a company press release, however, the INT-30A has already begun to ship to dealers.

To appreciate what makes the INT-30A special, readers need to know that it is a Class A amplifier whose circuit topology is based on the design Pass Lab’s XA.5 Series of Class A power amplifiers—amplifiers that include, as does the INT-30A, Pass’ patented Super-SymmetryTM circuit, said to provide dramatic reductions in noise and distortion.

Long-term followers of the work of Nelson Pass, founder and CEO of Pass Laboratories, know that the brilliant designer has had a career-long fascination with Class A amplifier circuits, dating back at least as far as the 1977 publication in Audio magazine of an article describing a DIY (do-it-yourself) construction project for building a Pass-designed 20 Wpc Class A power amplifier. Those who have heard samples of those early Pass Class A designs (such as the legendary Pass A40 amplifier) might agree they were far ahead of their time, offering performance that could arguably stand comparison with some contemporary high-end components. But Pass has never been one to rest on his laurels and in fact has been refining and perfecting Class A amplifier designs ever since. The latest product to benefit from this accumulated know-how is the INT-30A.

Relative to conventional Class A/B amplifier designs, says the Pass press release, Class A amplifiers such as the INT-30A offer superior dynamic range and fast response, so that they move “easily from a black background to explosive transients, presenting recorded materials with a sense of realism and authenticity.”

The INT-30 is rated at 30Wpc @ 8 ohms and 60 Wpc @ 4 ohms, and includes XLR and RCA connection for balanced and single-ended line level inputs, plus XLR and RCA preamplifier outputs. The amp provides beefy speaker connectors plus a five-way binding post for use as a signal ground. The beautifully constructed INT-30A is priced at $7150.      

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