WORD has emerged periodically of a new power amp being concocted in the PS Audio laboratory that promises to be special… and we do have some early information.
The amp is being built by PS Audio’s chief engineer Bob Stadtherr to a brief by well-known design engineer and technical writer Bascom King (of BHK Labs). We know the design is a “hybrid”, that is, a tube front end with a solid-state output. The casework is a dead ringer for the P10 Power Plant.
Other specs – about 270 watts at eight ohms before clipping (500W into four ohms and it’ll handle two-ohm loads comfortably), with distortion well under 0.01% on the test bench, according to a missive from PS Audio’s head honcho Paul McGowan. We hear it will be available in stereo and monobloc versions, with the former retailing for just under US$7,000.
McGowan says the goal is to make this the best amp in the world because “I find myself less interested in making a great product within a price category. Best in category no longer interests me. PS Audio has never made a power amplifier that would be considered best in the world at any price. This will be our shot at it.”
But why tubes at the input stage?
“For some purposes, such as voltage amplification, tubes have rarely been surpassed in performance by anything else. I would never consider one for the power output stage, there the facts are reversed. But in terms of voltage amplification, total isolation between the source and the amp, tubes are hard to beat.”
The world awaits…