High End 2014: Ypsilon Audio introduces Phaethon integrated amp
By Dr. Panagiotis Karavitis
In Greek mythology, Phaethon was son of Helios (a Titan, and God of the Sun), and since the new Ypsilon integrated amplifier shares the technology of the bigger power amp of that name, no other moniker could be more appropriate.
Ypsilon promised an integrated amplifier for those who cannot afford the steep prices of the reference pre-power combos, and presented it in Munich during the 2014 show. Aesthetically, the Phaethon looks like the rest of Ypsilon products, with clean lines sculpted in satin aluminum and clear LCD display. Technically speaking, it features the all-important, in-house built, transformer attenuator and first amplification stage in class A. The 110 watts into 8Ω are achieved with the use of power MOS-FETs in “balanced single-ended architecture”.
The rest of the show system included the CD Transport and DAC 100, VPS 100 phono stage with MC step up transformer loading the EMT JSD gold MC cartridge on Thales turntable/tonearm. A special mention for the speakers, a three-way prototype by Ypsilon for which no one wanted to share more info at the time.
This system sounded as nothing else in the show when it came down to terms of transparency, with extraordinary sense of air between instruments in Antonio Forcione’s quartet live LP (Naim records).