Telos

Ypsilon



Ypsilon is the twentieth letter of the Greek alphabet, so it will come as no surprise that Ypsilon comes from the cradle of Western civilisation.

Founded in 1995 by two sound engineers — Demetris Backlavas (chief designer) and Thanis — who both had vast experience in the field of live music reproduction, Ypsilon products have been gaining attention throughout the audiophile world with their purist, hand-crafted electronics whose sound seems to defy characterisation.

Applying a design philosophy rarely seen even in the highest echelons of high-end audio, Ypsilon have rapidly become known as a new reference for sound reproduction. An example of Ypsilon’s commitment to purist design is their widespread use of transformer attenuation in their products. For example, autoformer-attenuated pre-amps in which the primary and multi-tap secondary overlap are not new, but due to the cost of implementation and the expertise required to execute these designs, very few are commercially available. Furthermore, to ensure the quality required for this level of performance, Ypsilon wind their own custom transformers in-house.

Audiophiles who have listened to many high-end systems over the years will often say that after a while, you get to know the signature sound of most brands. While some are no doubt pleasing to the ear, these “sonic signatures” are in fact “adding” to the original recording. Many audiophiles and reviewers will tell you that the ultimate sound actually is “no sound at all”.

Often described as “sublime non-sound”, perhaps Ypsilon’s greatest achievement is that it achieves this sonic ideal and sounds about as close to the source as can be imagined. Many have described the sensation of “a clear window” to the music, or a “veil lifting” that they never knew was there. Others call it “transcendent” …

“…the PST100 MkII is the most transparent and, therefore the most perfect audio component I have ever heard—or not heard.” Michael Fremer, Stereophile July 2011


Mono Block Power Amplifiers:  Aelius

200W Power Amplifier

Outputting 200W into 8 ohms, 380W into 4 ohms, or 500W into 2 ohms, with the first 60W in pure class-A the Aelius is a push-pull hybrid monoblock power amplifier using two gain stages with no overall feedback.

The first gain stage uses a tube in single-ended class A operation, transformer coupled to the output stage. It is unusual practice to implement an inter-stage transformer in a solid state or even hybrid amplifier. With the transformer two tasks are achieved. Perfect phase splitting and low impedance drive. Thus no need to use an additional intermediate amplifying stage, so

The Aelius has only two gain stages and almost no passive components in the signal path. The single-ended class-A tubed input stage uses a single C3g pentode tube (rectification for this stage is supplied by another tube) transformer-coupled to the push-pull output stage of six matched pairs of N-channel polarity MOSFETs.

There are no source resistors in the circuit. Electrical engineer Demetris Backlavas designed a special transformer for this purpose with a very wide bandwidth of 10-70 KHz. The bandwidth of the transformer defines also that of the amplifier.

The output stage uses components of the same polarity (N-channel), working in the same topology. The power supply for each side is floating in respect to the ground using power supply chokes for smooth filtering.

An interstage transformer is unusual in a solid-state or hybrid amplifier and is used here as a "perfect" phase splitter for the Aelius's push-pull operation, and as a step-down transformer to greatly lower the input tube's impedance to drive the capacitance of the output MOSFETs.

Though the phase is split and the amp is push-pull, it's really two single-ended amplifiers with six transistors driving the plus and a further six driving the minus terminal to create a very unique circuit.

Without the transformer, an additional one or two active stages would be needed to split the phase and lower the impedance and that those additional stages would reduce the amp's notable transparency and signal purity. Building quality transformers is Ypsilon's speciality and in this case a sufficiently wide bandwidth (10Hz–70kHz) transformer was necessary as the transformer's bandwidth defines the amplifier's bandwidth.

Backlavas says that while the Aelius's circuit is in some ways similar to the Circlotron configuration used in some output-transformerless (OTL) tube amps, it is not a true Circlotron. Unlike the Circlotron's unity-gain output, the Aelius's output is greater than unity gain. The result is an amplifier with the sonic purity of a single-ended design, with push-pull power sufficient to drive virtually any loudspeaker.

The output stage is self-stable, eliminating the need to use servo circuits for adjusting dc offset.

Both outputs ,plus and minus carry signal in opposite phase.

Aelius is most certainly a revolutionary product…….

SPECIFICATIONS AELIUS

OUTPUT POWER BEFORE CLIPPING 200W rms @ 8 ohm
350W rms  @4 ohm
BANDWIDTH 11Hz -75Khz  -3db 
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE 0,4 ohm 
INPUT IMPEDANCE 47 Kohm 
GAIN X30 (29,5db)
INPUTS Balanced/Unbalanced switchable 
POWER CONSUMPTION 250W @ idle 
DIMENSIONS 425x425x230 (W x H x D)mm 
WEIGHT 45 Kgr (each)

The Aelius's is rhythmically correct and engaging and has a grip and control over the bottom end that is assertive. No clinical or harmonically bleached presentation.

The Aelius produces mesmerizing three-dimensional sonic holograms. The Aelius is very quiet and super-transparent, and its microdynamic performance is as good as it gets.

Michael Fremer Senior Editor of Stereophile magazone says "The Aelius is yet another spectacular sonic and technological achievement from Ypsilon Electronics. I remain impressed by everything they do."

The Aelius has been awarded a coveted Class A recommendation in Stereophile. It will hold its own against any of the competition in terms of power but clearly exceed expectations in musicality.

 

 

 



CD Players:  CDT-100

CD Player/Transport - Redbook

CDT -100 is YPSILON’s top loader CD Player/Transport. The transport’s primal objective is to retrieve data from the cd-disc with as much accuracy as possible. The laser head is extremely sensitive to vibrations so CDT-100 provides a rigid and resonant free construction.

The mechanism is mechanically modified and assembled within a massive construction of a sandwich of thick stainless steel and aluminum plates. In this way, the traditional box shaped chassis is avoided and along with that the associated resonance problems are greatly reduced.

The CDT 100 is a stand-alone product which will outperform many highly regarded separate Transport and Dac combinations. It carries a Spdif output so it can be linked to any outboard DAC or via a special 5 pin output to the Ypsilon DAC-100.

CDT-100 contains a non-oversampling DAC , with multi-bit Burr Brown DAC chips. Power supply regulation for the DAC section is with shunt regulators.

The current output of the DAC chips is level shifted in the current domain and through an in house manufactured c-core transformer becomes a voltage signal directly at the WBT NextGen output connectors. No feedback is used and only one low noise S-E class A J-FET is involved in the signal path. Purity and transparency is the result,so when inserted in a SET system then one can fully appreciate the full sonic glory.

CDT-100 provides 3 outputs.

  • One SPDIF 75 Ω next gen connector.
  • One pair of RCA , analog connections for use as a CD player.
  • One Neutric 5-pin analog current output for use with DAC-100.

The signal flow within the CDT-100 (while being used as a CD player) is as follows:

·       Raw digital data is read by the Phillips CD-Pro mechanism and this data is transferred to the onboard DAC via an I2S connection.

·       The digital data is processed by the Burr Brown PCM1704 DAC chip and is outputted as an analogue current source.

·       This analogue current then flows to a pair of high quality C-core transformers which act as an I/V stage and convert the current to voltage.

·       This voltage is then sent to an analogue output stage where it is amplified by a single JFET transistor per channel and then sent to the RCA output connectors.

The signal flow within the CDT-100 (while being used as a CD transport) is as follows:

1.      Digital out as S/PDIF:

·       Raw digital data is read by the Phillips CD-Pro mechanism and this data converted to S/PDIF format & directly transferred from the S/PDIF output of the Phillips mechanism to the S/PDIF RCA output. This allows you to use a broad range of external DAC devices from various manufacturers.

2.      Analog Current output on 5 pin connector:

·       Raw digital data is read by the Phillips CD-Pro mechanism and this data is transferred to the DAC board via an I2S connection.

·       The digital data is processed by the Burr Brown PCM1704 DAC chip and is outputted as an analogue current source.

·       This analogue current then bypasses the internal analogue stage of the CDT-100 and is sent directly to the 5 pin analog current output connector on the CDT-100 so it can then be connected to the DAC-100.

The 5-pin output when used with DAC-100 is a way of taking the performance even further. Transmitting audio in the digital domain (SPDIF), even discrete such as I2S format, has its imperfections and adds a certain character to the sound. The DAC-100 removes these imperfections.

SPECIFICATIONS CDT-100 CD TRANSPORT

DIGITAL OUTPUT SPDIF(75 ohm) RCA
ANALOGUE OUTPUT RCA
ANALOGUE CURRENT OUTPUT YPSILON 5 pin CONNECTOR
OUTPUT VOLTAGE 2,5 Vrms
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE 2,5 Kohm
DAC chip 24bit Non-oversampling
POWER CONSUMPTION Typically 20W
DIMENSIONS 400x120x400  (WxHxD)mm
WEIGHT 20 Kgr

The CDT100 is a CD-Transport/Player using the Philips CD-Pro mechanism which we feel it’s still one of the best mechanisms for Red Book CD playback because it uses one of the best CD decoder chips from Philips. The CD-Pro needs some modification to remove resonating cast metal parts with springs.

Ypsilon remove all the cast parts and springs and mount the CD-Pro module in machined stainless steel base. The improvement in rigidity is enormous and it shows in the sound difference. From that point it makes sense not to install it in an outer box but make it a solid and resonant free construction.

So all the construction of the CDT100 is an extension to the mechanism. The added mass with the sandwich assembly moves the vibration and resonance control in the feet of the CDT100 so attention must be paid to the rack that is going to be installed.

The type of rack will alter the sound character. A Minus-K would be the perfect partner for the CDT100.

The maximum performance can be attained when the interface with the DAC100 is done with the I2s output of the cd-mechanism. This is a discrete digital data connection meaning that data bit, bit clock, L/R clock and master clock are not multiplexed in one signal as it is in SPDIF connection. SPDIF receivers  recover all four signals with PLL circuits. The SPDIF frequency is very high (Mhz) and even a slight filtering property of the SPDIF cable induces jitter and affects the performance of the receiver. Clearly SPDIF connection is not the highest possible interconnection that can be used (not to mention USB) and it wasn’t developed with absolute quality in mind.

That’s why ASRC (asynchronous sample rate converters) were developed to solve problems of SPDIF. They are using a local clock to re-clock the data at the receiver. The problem is that they up-upsample through oversampling in a higher frequency and then down sample in the clock frequency. This looks good on paper but sounds terrible because it produces other problems.

So in order to connect the cd-mechanism with the DAC chips Ypsilon preferred I2S connection and the best would be to have the DAC chips right next to the mechanism with very short wires. 

The power supplies in the CDT100 is with a custom made toroidal transformer operating in low flux. The power supply for the mechanism is just what it needs. The power supply for the DAC chips is with Mundorf caps and only shunt regulation.

The D to A conversion is done with no oversampling or up-sampling. There are no digital filters used. That’s why the circuit is very simple. Ypsilon feel that digital filters that are done by oversampling in a DAC (or decimation in A to D) are responsible for what we associate with “digital sound” in cd playback. Digital filters can be found in special chips or can be made with FPGA’s or even high power  DSP. When done with DSP could be better but the result is almost the same.

Older DAC chips were ladder DACS (R-2R). A high accuracy R-2R DAC is expensive and difficult to make because it needs trimming of the internal resistors. In the quest to find a simpler and cost effective way to build DAC's, the industry started to produce one bit Sigma-Delta Σ-Δ modulator DACS. Even modern heavily promoted 32-bit DAC chips are still internally "One bit".

These have internal oversampling blocks. R-2R dacs are no longer produced. Ypsilon found the three best ladder DACS were the 16-bit TDA1541 from Philips, AD1865 from Analog Devices and 24 bit PCM1704 from Burr Brown.

Ypsilon are using the Burr-Brown chip in non oversampling mode, meaning that it’s a 24-bit dac that accepts 16-bit signal in the CDT100.

The sound produced by a non oversampling high quality multibit DAC chip cannot be matched in ‘analog like’ character with an oversampling DAC.

Since the DAC chips placed inside the transport are high quality it allowed Ypsilon to build a serious analog stage so that the CDT100 transport can be used as a standalone player that would outperform the competition.

This analog stage is with a single-ended low noise j-fet transformer coupled at the output with Ypsilons special amorphous C-core transformer.

When using our DAC 100 with the 5-pin connector the analog stage inside the CDT100 is disabled and substituted for the analog stage of the DAC100.

In summary if you put the CDT100 into a system with quality CD collections it is a sensational answer to the conundrum of returning to owning LP's vs sticking with CD for serious golden-ears. For those with collections of both then finally being able to finish a listening session on digital source awaits.



DACs:  DAC-100

24-Bit Multi-bit DAC for Ypsilon CDT-100

DAC 100 is a 24bit (Multi-bit) 192Khz D to A converter. It is a non - oversampling, no upsampling design with multi - bit dac chips. The carefully designed power supply is with shunt regulators. I / V conversion is done by a specially designed, in-house built, transformer. Τhe analog stage uses single-ended class A transformer coupled triodes with valve rectification and choke regulation.

The valves are the high mu, high transconductance, low noise SIEMENS C3g NOS tubes.

There are two available inputs:

  • SPDIF coaxial 75 Ω with WBT Nextgen connector. This input can be used with CDT - 100 or other high quality transports.
  • One Neutric 5 - pin analog current input.

When the Neutric 5 Pin input is used with the Ypsilon CDT-100 the digital part of the CDT-100 is disabled and powered off. Only the analog section is used.

With the matching CDT-100 we strongly recommend the use of this input for optimum performance.

The conclusion has been reached that by using this 5-pin connector the signal is transferred to the analogue section of the DAC-100 at an absolute optimum sonic capacity avoiding all the limitations of digital interfacing.

All transformers are designed and built in-house using the best available materials and are wound with sophisticated techniques for a totally transparent sound.

The transformers are of enormous size in order to achieve the absolute performance we seek.

SPECIFICATIONS DAC-100 D/A CONVERTER

DIGITAL INPUTS SPDIF(75 ohm) RCA
ANALOGUE CURRENT INPUT YPSILON 5 Pin Connector
ANALOG OUTPUTS RCA unbalanced
XLR unbalanced(pin1,3grounded)
RESOLUTION 24 bit(multi bit converter) 192khz
maximum sampling rate
NOMINAL OUTPUT 2,8V rms
POWER CONSUMPTION Typically 40 W
DIMENSIONS 400x180x400  (WxHxD)mm
WEIGHT 25 Kgr

Musically this DAC is unbeatable. Compared directly to the competition in even technically much higher specified units, the Ypsilon DAC100 still comes up trumps. Why?

Demetris Baklavas the designer explains "The CDT100 is a CD-Transport/player. We are using the Philips CD-Pro mechanism which we feel it’s still one of the best mechanisms for Red Book CD playback because it uses one of the best CD decoder chips from Philips. It needs some modification though. It’s mounted in a resonating cast metal part with springs.

We remove all that and mount the module in machined stainless steel base. The improvement in rigidity is enormous and it shows in the sound difference. From that point it makes sense not to install it in an outer box but make it a solid and resonant free construction. So all the construction of the CDT100 is an extension to the mechanism. The added mass with the sandwich assembly moves the vibration and resonance control in the feet of the CDT100 so attention must be paid to the rack that is going to be installed. The type of rack will alter the sound character. A Minus-K would be the perfect partner for the CDT100.

The maximum performance can be attained when the interface with the DAC is done with the I2s output of the cd-mechanism. This is a discrete digital data connection meaning that data bit, bit clock, L/R clock and master clock are not multiplexed in one signal as it is in SPDIF connection. SPDIF receivers  recover all four signals with PLL circuits. The SPDIF frequency is very high (Mhz) and even a slight filtering property of the SPDIF cable induces jitter and affects the performance of the receiver. Clearly SPDIF connection is not the highest possible interconnection that can be used (not to mention USB) and it wasn’t developed with absolute quality in mind.

That’s why ASRC (asynchronous sample rate converters) were developed to solve problems of SPDIF. They are using a local clock to re-clock the data at the receiver. The problem is that they up-upsample through oversampling in a higher frequency and then down sample in the clock frequency. This looks good on paper but sounds terrible because it produces other problems.

So in order to connect the cd-mechanism with the DAC chips we preferred I2s connection and the best would be to have the DAC chips right next to the mechanism with very short wires. 

The output of the DAC chips in current form is the ideal way to interface it with a serious analog stage. This we do by connecting the output of the DAC chips through 5-pin Neutric connectors with our DAC-100.The output of the DAC chips are connected to the analog stage of the DAC-100 making a cd-player in two boxes, one digital box and one analog box.

The power supplies in the CDT100 is with a custom made toroidal transformer operating in low flux. The power supply for the mechanism is just what it needs. Any overkill there doesn’t translate to improvements in sound quality. The power supply for the DAC chips is with Mundorf caps and only shunt regulation.

The D to A conversion is done with no oversampling or up-sampling. There are no digital filters used. That’s why the circuit is very simple. Ypsilon feel that digital filters that are done by oversampling in a DAC ( or decimation in A to D) are responsible for what we associate with “digital sound” in cd playback. Digital filters can be found in special chips or can be made with FPGA’s or even high power  DSP. When done with DSP could be better but the result is almost the same.

Older DAC chips were ladder DACS (R-2R). A high accuracy R-2R dac  is expensive and difficult to make because it needs trimming of the internal resistors. In the quest to find a simpler and cost effective way to build DAC's the industry started to produce one bit Sigma-Delta Σ-Δ modulator DACS. Even todays funcy 32 bit DAC chips are internally one bit .

These have internal oversampling blocks. R-2R dacs are no longer produced. Ypsilon found the three best ladder DACS were the 16-bit TDA1541 from Philips, AD1865 from Analog Devices and 24 bit PCM1704 from Burr Brown.

Ypsilon are using the Burr-Brown chip in non oversampling mode, meaning that it’s a 24-bit dac that accepts 16-bit signal in the CDT100. A walk in the park for the DAC100.

The sound produced by a non oversampling high quality multibit DAC chip cannot be matched in ‘analog like’ character with an oversampling DAC.

Since the DAC chips placed inside the transport are high quality it made sense to include a simple and “decent” analog stage so that the CDT100 transport can be used as a player for starters.

This analog stage is with a single-ended low noise j-fet transformer coupled at the output with our own C-core amorphous transformer.

When using our DAC 100 with the 5-pin connector the analog stage inside the CDT100 is disabled and substituted for the analog stage of the DAC100."

In summary if you put the combination of the CDT100 with the DAC100 together you finally get to hear "digital" as "analog". It is "scary good" in colloquial terms. For those with quality CD collections it is an imperative to audition this technology. A sensational answer to the conundrum of returning to owning LP's vs sticking with CD for serious golden-ears. For those with collections of both then finally being able to finish a listening session on digital source awaits.

 



Step-up Transformers:  MC Stepup

MC Step Up Transformer

MOVING COIL STEP UP TRANSFORMERS

The MC series moving coil step-up transformers are used to amplify the low level output signal from a moving coil cartridge bringing it to the appropriate level to drive a moving magnet phono preamp.

 

The MC5 provides 5 times transformation ratio or 14db of gain

The MC10 provides 10 times transformation ratio or 20db of gain.

The MC16 provides 16 times transformation ratio or 24db of gain.

The MC20 provides 20 times transformation ratio or 26db of gain.

When terminated in 47k which is the standard input impedance of MM phono preamps the equivalent input impedance of each one would be:

MC5 2K ohm

MC10 500 ohm

MC16 200 ohm

MC20 140 ohm

If additional loading is needed, it can be done through the parallel input RCA connectors.

The MC series transformers are large size single C-core double coil transformers using a proprietary amorphous core material. Special winding techniques were developed in order to minimize inter-winding capacitances and maintain wide frequency response. They are optimized sonically to be as invisible as possible.

The transformers are shielded with mu-metal and are potted in 10mm thick soft iron nickel coated enclosures providing immunity to outside magnetic fields and a quiet and noise free performance.

The MC transformers were developed in conjunction with the VPS100 phono preamp. They can be used with most of the moving coil cartridges. For optimum performance the MC transformers can be used within a specific range of cartridge output levels.

MC5 may be used with cartridges from 0.8 - 1.2mv

MC10 may be used with cartridges from 0.4 - 0.6mv

MC16 may be used with cartridges from 0.3 - 0.4mv

MC20 may be used with cartridges from 0.2 - 0.3mv

 

SPECIFICATIONS MC STEP UP

FREQUENCY RESPONSE -3db
(source impedance<50ohm)
8Hz-70khz
INPUT IMPEDANCE
When terminated @ 47kohm
2Kohm

GAIN

14db
INDUCTANCE
(measured @ secondary)
80H<<
MAX. LEVEL @ 20Hz
(measured @ secondary)
+20dbu
DIMENSIONS 100x120 (H x D) mm
WEIGHT 4 Kgr

FREQUENCY RESPONSE -3db
(source impedance<50ohm)
8Hz-70khz

INPUT IMPEDANCE
When terminated @ 47kohm

500ohm

GAIN

20db

INDUCTANCE
(measured @ secondary)

80H<<
MAX. LEVEL @ 20Hz
(measured @ secondary)
+20dbu
DIMENSIONS 100x120 (H x D) mm
WEIGHT 4 Kgr

FREQUENCY RESPONSE -3db
(source impedance<50ohm)

8Hz-65khz
INPUT IMPEDANCE
When terminated @ 47kohm
200ohm

GAIN

24db
INDUCTANCE
(measured @ secondary)
80H<<
MAX. LEVEL @ 20Hz
(measured @ secondary)
+20dbu
DIMENSIONS 100x120 (H x D) mm
WEIGHT 4 Kgr

FREQUENCY RESPONSE -3db
(source impedance<50ohm)
8Hz-60khz
INPUT IMPEDANCE
When terminated @ 47kohm
140ohm

GAIN

26db
INDUCTANCE
(measured @ secondary)
80H<<
MAX. LEVEL @ 20Hz
(measured @ secondary)
+20dbu
DIMENSIONS 100x120 (H x D) mm
WEIGHT 4 Kgr

These are in our opinion some of the best MC Step Up transformers money can buy. Also available in custom Silver Versions for extreme performance when coupled to Ypsilon Phono stages or other quality phono stages reduce the noise floor significantly and allow the music to flow effortlessly.

 



Integrated Amplifiers:  Phaethon

110 Watt Stereo Integrated Amplifier with Transformer Volume Control

Phaethon integrated amplifier is a unique product in many aspects. It uses many of the technical solutions developed for the Ypsilon Aelius monoblock amplifier and PST100mk2 preamplifier in a compact and elegant design.

Phaethon integrated amplifier is a unique product in many aspects. It uses many of the technical solutions developed in our Aelius monoblock amplifier and PST100mk2 preamplifier in a compact and elegant design.

Phaethon is a hybrid line level amplifier utilizing only three active gain stages two of them with low noise valves operating in single-ended class A fashion, for the input and driver stage. It uses a transformer attenuator build in-house, embedded in the preamplifier section in a novel post attenuation technique.

The tube driver stage is coupled to the output stage with a wide bandwidth inter-stage transformer that provides perfect phase splitting for the output stage.

The output stage combined by same polarity semiconductors for both phases in a “balanced single-ended architecture” offers the flavor of pure single-ended designs with the power of push-pull designs.

There are separate power supplies for the tube and output stage utilizing five power supply inductors for low noise filtering.

All these were designed in to one to operate in unison offering unmatched sound quality, making the platform of the integrated amplifier, a clear advantage.

All functions are remote controlled and are visible through a high quality LCD display with large characters so it can be read from across the room.

Phaethon features

  • transparent sounding transformer attenuator
  • only three gain stages one of them the active preamp stage with tubes
  • unique “bridged single-ended” output stage biased in class A for the ‘first most important watts’
  • full function remote control

SPECIFICATIONS PHAETHON

OUTPUT POWER BEFORE CLIPPING 110ms @ 8 ohm
160ms @4 ohm
BANDWIDTH 11Hz -75Khz -3db
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE 0,5ohm
INPUT IMPEDANCE 47 Kohm
GAIN X60
INPUTS 3 RCA +1 XLR unbalanced
POWER CONSUMPTION 125W @ idle
DIMENSIONS 400x185x425 (W x H x D)mm
WEIGHT 35 Kgr

In Greek mythology, Phaethon was son of Helios (Helios = Aelius, a Titan, and God of the Sun), and since the new Ypsilon integrated amplifier shares the technology of the bigger Aelius power amp Phaethon was an apt name to apply.

Ypsilon Phaethon is an integrated amplifier for those who would like to attain to the reference pre-power combinations but have constraints on budget and space. Aesthetically, the Phaethon continues the classic lines found in all Ypsilon products, with clean sculpted satin aluminum and white on blue LCD display.

Technically speaking, it features the in-house built transformer attenuator Ypsilon is reknowned for. The first amplification stage is class A with 110 watts into 8Ω achieved with the use of power MOS-FETs in “balanced single-ended architecture”.

Phaethon continues the signature transparency and inner detail that Ypsilon is respected for with intense musicality and drive.

One listen is enough to convert you to the "house sound" and we are confident the Phaethon will become an affordable reference for many.



Pre-amplifiers:  PST100 MKII

Vacuum Tube Preamplifier with Transformer Volume Control

Preamplifier with volume control output transformer custom-wound at Ypsilon on an amorphous double-C core. The impedance of the output stage, which is hardwired with fine, custom-drawn silver wire, is around 600 ohms. The active stage is a small, single-ended amplifier using Siemens C3M Tubes with 10000 Hour life.

Most manufacturers develop a circuit for their power amplifier and then use the design for their preamplifier. The raison d’etre of a power amplifier is to amplify the signal and drive the loudspeakers. That of a line preamplifier is to draw together the various source components; to attenuate the signal in order to achieve "volume control"; to have low enough output impedance in order to drive the cables; and finally, to provide gain if it is required. It performs totally different duties to those of a power amplifier and needs to be designed in a totally different manner.

Conventional wisdom suggests that the most critical part of a preamplifier is the active circuit design. Ypsilon, however, believe that the means of signal attenuation (the volume control) is the most critical to the overall sound of a preamplifier. Most designers use resistor attenuators for volume control. Ypsilon themselves have used resistor attenuators with high quality resistors (Vishay, Holco, tantalum types etc.) in the past, but that was before they developed a very special transformer as the means of attenuation. It was immediately apparent just how grainy and discontinuous resistors sound, even the best of them. The short explanation of this observation is that the series resistor transforms the constant voltage into current and the parallel resistor the constant current into voltage. The materials used in resistors are far from ideal as conductors- they sound much worse than pure copper or silver- and they do a lot of harm to the signal.

In a transformer, however, the magnetic circuit can be ultra linear when the very best core materials are used. The sound of such materials is much more musical and detailed compared with the best resistors. So Ypsilon produced, in-house, a special transformer attenuator with 31 taps.

The active gain stage is a no - feedback s.e. ,C3m triode, transformer coupled. The power supply uses valve rectification(using the 6CA4) and choke filter. Wiring is point to point with custom made pure silver wire. The transformer attenuator is placed after the valve stage, preserving the purity and micro details of the signal.

The maximum attenuation is 52db and maximum gain is 16db. Output impedance is 150 Ω max. PST is the pinnacle in preamplification. It is a must have component for building a "no holds barred" system.

Ypsilon's co-owner and chief designer, electrical engineer Demetris Backlavas, believes that the key to a preamplifier's sound is the means by which it attenuates the signal it's fed. Instead of the more commonly used resistor attenuation, Backlavas uses a very linear, 31-tap transformer that Ypsilon winds in-house. By comparison, he says, attenuators that use even the finest-quality resistors tend to sound grainy and discontinuous because the in-series resistor converts voltage into current, while the parallel resistor turns current back into voltage.

The problem, according to Backlavas, is that, in order to resist, a resistor must be made from a bad conductor of electricity. Copper and silver are good conductors and small-value resistors can be made from these metals that, not surprisingly, can sound very good. Unfortunately, it's impossible to use copper and silver to make high-value, wideband resistors because of the parasitic inductance that goes along with the need to use coils of very many turns. In addition, resistor-based attenuators waste signal energy by turning the attenuated energy into heat.

In fact, transformer-attenuated preamplifiers—or, more precisely in this case, autoformer-attenuated preamps, in which the primary and multi-tap secondary overlap—aren't new. The advantage of such an attenuator over one that uses resistors is that energy is transformed and not lost as heat. Backlavas gave an example: starting with a source impedance of 1200 ohms, attenuating the signal 10dB (or 3.16 times), produces an output with lower voltage and higher current and an impedance of 120 ohms (1200/3.162), which has an easier time driving loads, unlike the less amplifier-friendly results produced by a passive-resistor attenuator.

The core material must have low hysteresis (hysteresis being like unwanted "magnetic memory") at both low and high frequencies, and linear magnetic permeability with flux and frequency.

However, there is more to know about this microprocessor-controlled circuit, which features both active and passive modes of operation. In active mode, high-quality silver-contact relays route the input directly to the transformer volume control, up to step 6. The controller then routes steps 7–37 through the active stage, to produce a maximum gain of 17dB.

When the PST-100 is set to passive mode, its active stage never kicks in. (The PST-100 is available in a less-expensive TA version that only operates in passive mode.) Instead, the signal is routed only to the transformer volume attenuator, bypassing the active stage altogether, with step 31 producing 0dB (unity) gain. In order to drive the transformer efficiently, the manual suggests not running the system in passive mode with sources whose output impedance exceeds 3k ohms.

Regardless of mode, attenuation is 3dB per step up to step 5. Between steps 5 and 10, each step is 2dB, and steps 10–28 are 1.5dB each. The final three steps (35–37) offer 1dB of attenuation each.

In addition to transformer-based attenuation, the PST-100 features 6CA4 tube rectification, choke supply filtering, and a zero-feedback active stage based on a carefully selected Siemens C3m pentode tube configured as a true triode and transformer-coupled to the output. The power supply uses Mundorf and Jensen four-pole electrolytic caps, chosen based on listening tests.



Pre-amplifiers:  PST100 TA

PASSIVE Transformer Attenuator Preamplifier

PST 100 is also available without the valve stage for systems that don’t require additional gain. This version is equipped with the transformer attenuators and is called PST 100 TA. Notice that it is fully upgradeable to the full version at any time by returning to factory

PST 100 TA

PST 100 is also available without the valve stage for systems that don’t require additional gain. This version is equipped with the transformer attenuators and is called PST 100 TA. Notice that it is fully upgradeable to the full version at any time by returning to factory

Your PST-100 has six inputs on the back panel. With input 4 being input/rec for both input signal and recording output signal. In input 6 an XLR connector is used which is unbalanced.

The volume is controlled by an output transformer. The transformer has 26 steps of 3db, 2 db, 1,5 db and the final four steps are of one db attenuation.

SPECIFICATIONS PST-100 TA

BANDWIDTH 9Hz-100KHz  –3db
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE 150 ohm
INPUT IMPEDANCE 50 Kohm
GAIN(in active mode) x 7(16,9db)
POWER CONSUMPTION 100 VA maximum
DIMENSIONS 400x180x410  (WxHxD)mm
WEIGHT 25 Kgr

This preamplifier has all the sonic attroibutes of the more expensive PST100 Preamplifier with out the active gain stage. Horn Loudspeaker lovers will find this a perfect solution. Owners can upgrade at anytime to the Active Gain Stage by a factory upgrade.

Sonically sublime purity in every aspect. A masterpiece.



Mono Block Power Amplifiers:  SET-100 Ultimate

Single Ended 100Watt Class A

SET 100 Ultimate is a 120W single-ended class A hybrid amplifier.

It has the magic midrange of a small S.E.T amplifier with the scale, authority, macro and micro detail that no amplifier has ever achieved until now. It uses a specially designed s-e mosfet output stage direct coupled at the output using as the dc current path a double c-core amorphous choke.

SET 100 has power and drive with transparency, musical involvement and abo

With only 2 gain stages in the signal path, the level of immediacy, transparency is unequaled by designs using more than 2 gain stages. Having no overall feedback, the distortion is kept comparably low while the output impedance is sufficient enough to drive real world loudspeakers.

The first stage uses a high transconductance triode, the SIEMENS C3g selected for its sonic capabilities and reliability. It is powered by a separate power supply with tube rectification and choke regulation. This stage is transformer coupled with the output stage. This interstage transformer is a state of the art component. It uses a proprietary double c- core material and optimized unique winding design. Sonically it is a virtually nonexistent component.

The output stage and all internal wiring are hard wired with silver wire extruded to our specifications. SET 100 is an amplifier that produces music in its true natural scale, but above all it brings you as close as possible to the music event, to feel the music rather than hear it, to be touched and overwhelmed by the deeper feeling, with music emerging and not only sounding in a clear undistorted way. Compared with conventional amplifiers it is more direct sounding, musical, with more instrument body , lower frequency extension, frightening dynamics and most of all magically three dimensional.

The power supply is designed as a system paying attention to every smallest detail that could affect the sound quality. It uses a low noise E-I power transformer, a big size power supply choke and 4 pole electrolytic capacitors. It is also hard wired with silver wire.

Mechanical, magnetic and electrical noise is very low contributing to the quiet operation of the system. A darker background is produced from which sounds suddenly emerge, like from real life.

SPECIFICATIONS SET 100 ULTIMATE

SUPPLY VOLTAGE 230 V ac / 115 V ac
MAINS frequency 50 Hz-60Hz
POWER CONSUMPTION 400W constantly
OUTPUT POWER BEFORE CLIPPING 120W rms @ 8 ohm
130W rms @ 5,6 ohm
100W rms  @4 ohm
BANDWIDTH 5Hz -80Khz  -3db
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE 0,22 ohm
INPUT IMPEDANCE 47 Kohm
GAIN X30  (29,5 db)
DIMENSIONS 240x610x672  (W x H x D)mm
WEIGHT 100 Kgr

Truly an Ultimate performer. Few amplifiers can come close to the balance and transparency this amplifier can deliver. We have driven "crazy" speakers such as Apogee Scintilla 0.78Ohm loads and sat in astonishment.

Driving Wilson Alexandra XLF's and you will find out why Wilson owners are arriving at the conclusion these amplifiers are the best they have heard.

On Kaiser Kawero's these amps have had listeners come back 2 years later and say they can't get the sound out of their heads.

Walk in listeners at the show have placed orders on the spot.

Why? It aint subtle. Single Ended purity and power to match. Others claim they have merged the two opposing directives. When you listen to the Ypsilon SET 100 you know you have acheived "Telos".

Absolute Sound Magazine Golden Ear Award winner



Phono Amplifiers:  VPS-100

Transformer LCR Phono Stage

The road to VPS-100 took many turns in our long and extensive evaluation of topologies and materials, design and implementation.

Passive RIAA equalization is preferred to active because in active RIAA equalization there is a feedback loop and the RIAA network is in this feedback loop.

Usually RIAA equalizer circuits are implemented with capacitors and resistors (CR networks). Capacitors present the so called "dielectric absorption" -energy is stored in the dielectric material and is added to the signal with a small delay producing a ringing character in fundame

In the past an alternative way of implementing a RIAA equalizer the LCR (Inductance-capacitance-resistance) circuit was proposed.

A long time ago TANGO transformers from Japan used to produce such a circuit working in 600Ohms.

A few manufacturers are using LCR based phono stages using variations of the original TANGO LCR circuit. The challenge in 600ohm LCR eq is to drive the network properly; having no more than 2 gain stages with enough overall gain and low enough output impedance.

The best way of driving the LCR network is by using a transformer. We design and build ourselves the transformers using a special amorphous c-core material. Winding insulation is paper. A properly implemented LCR RIAA sounds much more natural, musical and open than CR networks with better defined macro and micro dynamics.

The LCR networks most commonly used are based in double T filter networks .One T filter forms the 50-500Hz poles and the second T filter forms the 2123Hz pole.

In the VPS-100 we took it one step further, the 2123Hz pole is formed by air core inductor with practically no stray capacitance at the first gain stage and the 50-500Hz poles are formed in high signal level directly at the output of the second gain stage. So this is a split RIAA design using two gain stages based on the SIEMENS C3g tube. These tubes are very reliable as they are specified for 10.000 hours.

The power supply uses the 6CA4 tube rectifier and a choke filter .The heaters for the tubes are AC in the second stage and DC passive regulated for the first stage. The construction uses no printed circuit boards and is point to point silver wired using our own extruded and annealed to spec silver wire. Special attention is paid to mechanically de-couple the first gain stage and 2123 pole coils using a specially designed decoupling system.

The rest of the construction is mounted on a aluminium sub chassis that forms together with the aluminium bottom plate a very rigid platform.

The road to VPS-100 took many turns in Ypsilon's long and extensive evaluation of topologies and materials, design and implementation.

Passive RIAA equalization is preferred to active because in active RIAA equalization there is a feedback loop. If the RIAA network is in this feedback loop then microdetail is affected.

Stereophile Class A+ ratings get given to those products that are really in a class of their own.

The VPS100 sits at the pinnacle of Phono Stage development and sonics. One cannot "unhear" the effects once auditioned. The like priced competitors sound smeared and slow in comparison. Truly one of the most important additions to a serious analog source.