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?


In this class, if you have a chance, I would strongly suggest you check out Ayre.  I'm a fan boy and have landed there after trying lots and lots of gear over the years. Also, made in the USA and great customer support. Quality and reliability also top class.

Kinki Studio EX-M!+ owner here. I think the amp is great. I primarily use it with Buchardt S400 MKII speakers which are 4 ohms and the amps has no trouble driving them with authority. I also use them with my Triangle Comete EZ with great results.

On the volume front I'm usually between 60-75 when listening to vinyl which will have the music in the 75-85 DB range. When listening to digital I'm at 55-65 on the volume dial for 75-85 DB range.

I can push the amp and speakers to uncomfortable listening levels without distortion.

I have the Class A Luxman -595ase and I love it it. Paired with my ZU Omen Defs, the amp will run you out of the room with loud, super clear volume. I’ve never heard a home amp so clear at loud volumes..


One good thing about most higher quality integrateds is you can also add a different flavor power amp (tube, etc) thru the extra outputs while using the pre section of the integrated.

A while back, I passed up a great deal on a pair of Quicksilver horn mono tube amps. I was going to hook them thru the second outputs of the Luxman. I would just have to move the speaker cables from one amp to the other (or buy a high quality switcher).