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An Upgrade in Amplifiers

Brent Butterworth

Audiophiles who crave the classic sound of vacuum-tube amplifiers must usually sacrifice the power and precision that transistor amplifiers provide. Greek manufacturer Ypsilon Electronics created the Aelius to bridge this performance gap. The input circuitry of the Aelius uses tubes, while the output circuitry uses transistors. The result is an amplifier that delivers the sweet, delicate tonality audiophiles desire, yet produces as much as 500 watts of power to drive even the most demanding, exotic loudspeakers. Each Aelius amplifies a single channel, so two of the $34,000-per-pair amplifiers are required for stereo sound. The amplifier accepts conventional unbalanced and professional-style balanced audio connections. The Aelius’s robust internal components contribute to its hefty 97-pound weight. Large thumbscrew-type speaker cable binding posts ensure a firm, trouble-free connection. A striking industrial design blends the amplifier’s cooling fins into the visual aesthetic. (720.851.2525, www.ypsilonelectronics.com, www.aaudioimports.com)

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