ION - Hybrid Power Amplifier
A synthesis of 110 years of cutting edge audio technology.
The ION power amplifier presents a unique fusion of sophisticated vacuum tube amplification with the latest in class D power – yet it’s not simply a graft of a tube preamp with a class D power amplifier. Instead, the tube input stage acts as a voltage to current converter which offers amplification for the delicate input signal, and also linearizes a state of the art class D modulator driving a high efficiency output stage. The resulting amplifier circuit communicates intelligently with a high-tech high efficiency switching power supply which also provides regulated power to the tube stage, completing a transparent and lively sounding, wide dynamic range, yet very compact power amplifier. The amplifier is available in a wide range of colours.
The ION monoblock:
This version of the ION amplifier provides 200W RMS minimum output into 8 ohms, 400W RMS minimum output into 4 ohms. The specifications are given for realistic speaker loads, rather than purely resistive loads, which implies that the amplifier is capable of driving even very difficult speakers. The input offers standard 47k impedance and 2V RMS input for full rated output power, with a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz +- 0.2dB for maximum phase accuracy within the audio band. The amplifier retains absolute phase, i.e. is not phase inverting. High efficiency design insures that no extra heat-sinking is required with real speaker loads and musical signals even at sustained high power levels.
The ION duoblock:
This versatile version of the ION amplifier has all the same features as the monoblock, but also adds an auxiliary power amplifier channel with exactly the same gain and maximum voltage output, but less available output current. Channel A is the same as on the monoblock version, and provides 200W min. RMS into 8 ohms, 400W min. RMS into 4 ohms, and Channel B provides 150W min. RMS into 8 ohms when channel A is driven to full power into 4 ohms.
The duoblock can work in several configurations:
Channel A and B have exactly the same gain, channel A is used for the low frequency speaker input, channel B is used for the high frequency speaker input for speakers capable of bi-wiring. This mode takes advantage of less current being needed in the high frequency channel and is capable of delivering an aggregate 700W RMS into the speaker.
Active speaker mode:
Channel A is used as the low frequency channel, and channel B is used as the high frequency channel for a system with an active cross-over. Using well chosen drivers and crossover frequencies, it is possible to construct a system that can get the maximum available power from the amplifier, yet still provide a substantial loudness reserve, comparable to a 1kW bi-amped system.
Channels A and B can be used as the left and right channel of a stereo amplifier with some limitations on output power depending on speaker impedance. The full 2x200W RMS are available for well behaved 8 ohm speakers, with about the same power available down to a well behaved 4 ohms loads. The amplifier has voltage and current clipping indication so it is possible to adjust output power to below clipping if channel B becomes current limited in a stereo application. That being said, power limiting on the ION amplifier is dynamic so substantially higher peak levels are available even for sustained periods with real music input signal.