Higher-End Class A/B vs. Class A Integrateds

I’ve been thinking about downsizing from separates to an integrated amp. I’ve noticed that some companies have both class A and class A/B amps that are both pretty expensive such as Luxman for example. Hegel seems to be well received and they’re not true class A as far as I know.

I was kind of under the impression that class A was better than class A/B due to lower distortion yet again, there are some well reviewed class A/B amps that are as pricey as some class A amps.

To be clear, it’s really not the price I’m concerned about. It’s the fact that some integrated amps $5000 and up are still only Class AB.

How do these higher priced class AB amps sound in comparison to true class A amps?


My ex Gryphon Diablo 300 class A/B was outperformed by my present Vitus SIA-025 Mk2 class A and lately my Vitus was also outperformed by a Jadis DA88S KT120 tube class A integrated.

The Jadis is about the same price as the Diablo 300.

This is my experience in the past 2 years.

The only reason there are still class AB amplifiers is practical: anything above 50watts pure class A (and that's already A LOT to ask) becomes huge, extremely heavy, extremely hot, probably unreliable, and uses way too much electricity. There's just no way around it. Otherwise all amps would be class A.

My Outlaw RR2160MKll class A/B is 110 watts per channel, Yeah it's Heavy, thats what I like about it, well one of the many reasons. Does not get Hot, get's warm after cranking it listening to Led Zeppelin for a few hours on my Turntable.

In the last 3 years I have gone through too many class A and A/B amps (integrated and separates) to mention. I just bought a Luxman L-509Z. I use an Aurender A20 as my digital source. Speakers are Harbeth SHL5s 30th anniversary. Even the phonostage is outstanding, IMHO. You will need a cartridge to match the specs of the 509Z. My Ortofon Cadenza Blue works very well.

I am no longer searching for an amplifier.