Sugden IA-4


I am running Devore 0/93 speakers which are massively forgiving and looking for a Solid State Integrated as a backup amp for a Push-Pull 300B integrated (coming soon).
I listen in a small room so power is a non-issue, but I do like good attack on bass, rich midsized, and a smooth, non-etched sound. My DAC helps in this regard: Lampizator Atlantic TRP with KT66 tubes.
My current integrated is tube-based (Linear Tube Audio Z10 integrated). I am presently considering the Sugden IA-4. Does anyone have any experience with this Sugden?
Ag insider logo xs@2xtransience
Really appreciate this validation! I’m excited to hear it soon - hard time choosing between the Sugden IA-4 and the following:

Pass Labs Int-25
Luxman L550axii
Esoteric F-03A

Looking at measurements and the sensible, conservative, no-nonsense approach to engineering, plus reading responses like yours really helped me make the decision in favor of the Sugden. Thanks @roxy54

It was a revelation to me when I first heard them 3 years ago, because I knew that they were respected in their native land, but...
So many amps that are highly touted turn out to be a disappointment when you finally hear them. I am certain that you won't be disappointed with your choice. I'm jealous!
Let us know your thoughts when receive it and have it cooking for a while.
@roxy54 , I have been having great success partnering the Devore 0/93 speaker with the Sugden Masterclass IA-4 Integrated, which runs purely in Class A and maxes out at 33 watts per channel. It sounds so vivacious, energetic, and full of life, and also... smoooth!
The speakers disappear, the soundstage extends wall-to-wall (really amazing), the midband is liquid, attack is musical and unforced, decay is beautifully extended, center fill is flawless, bass is insistent and has strong pitch definition but perhaps I have heard firmer, treble is fatigue-free and silky, and it manages that nice balancing act of being absolutely brimming over with tonal saturation without sounding at all tentative or ponderous in pace – quite the opposite, it sounds very crystalline, clear, and alive. Honestly, it feels like a sunny wide-open set of French doors onto every record. You can tell the preamp is a thing of beauty (I can’t wait to try its pre-outs just for fun) and that the Sugden Class A output is just sumptuous.
I want to compare this with some other unusual integrateds I’ve had recently. This is a stunning, always immersive, combination that feels grander and more beautiful, though perhaps less ultimately transparent, than my recent pre-produciton Linear Tube Audio Ultralinear (with passive volume), and slightly more technicolor rich than the more self-effacing but also very pretty sounding Linear Tube Audio Z10. I never want to turn it off.

As an aside: the IA-4 has a ton of gain, so with the very sensitive Devores I was compelled to insert 12db attenuators at the line input I am using just to gain more control at the lower end of the volume potentiometer (which was actually really well channel balanced and noiseless to begin with). This just goes to show that Sugden was confident it would hold its own with lower sensitivity speakers and also honors low input legacy sources. A classy decision.

Also: I feel that it sounds way better plugged direct to wall than via my AudioQuest Niagara 1000, which slightly restricts its dynamics. I have ordered a Stellar P3 from PS Audio and have my fingers crossed this works to clean up my dirty, downtown NYC AC. Basically, it already has a highly invulnerable power supply and it always sounds glorious!

Oh, and it looks the part too! It feels (and is) very special. Thank you for validating this direction and for your kind wishes! My incoming 300B push-pull amp has its work cutout for it if it's going to best the Sugden in my system; I have my doubts!
I am so happy to hear how satisfied you are with it. I must admit that I'm envious...but in a good way. I'm betting that you'll love the 300b as well, and be surprised at how good the bass is. At least that was my experience with an 8 watt single ended. You're a lucky man!

John
Thanks for sharing my enthusiasm about all this John; listening to anything from Bennie Green to Rosalia to Dj Python to Szymanowski, it just keeps getting better. You were so right about Sugden's quality.
I'll likely start a new thread once my push-pull 300B comes in to share listener impressions.