Rough Breathing

Ypsilon was showing a monster of an amplifier—the 120W SE-100 Mk. II($70,000/each). A single-ended hybrid, it uses a 5842 input tube and a row of MOSFET output devices. It's entirely wired point-to-point and sports custom power transformers. Of course, it's stuffed with boutique components.

I've never subscribed to the "too much power is almost enough" school of thought—and, truth to tell, 100w isn't all that much—but the Ypsilons had more of that effortless imperturbablity that I heard from other massive amplifiers this week. It's not overwhelming, simply a sense that everything is under control—it's soothing, really.

The SET-100 Mk. II had that in spades.

Cleo's picture

Imperturbablity.....that is a $70,000 wurd. You sure it's not imperTURDabilty? $70,000 100W amplifer. Would you call that a good price? It probably works without even having to plug it in right? It's self sustaining perpetual motion, at that price. Point to point wiring, something that has been not used in MODERN mfg. But somehow going backwards means better? Does an automobile use backwards mfg techniques, cus then you must think a 1953 DeSoto as one terrific product, compared to modern full featured efficient car products. If you think 100W is power in spades, you are in teh wrong line of work dude.

Austin Kuipers's picture

Perhaps you should improve your spelling and grammar before telling a magazine aimed at expensive high end audio equipment not to report on a piece of expensive high end audio equipment...It may improve your credibility... In terms of many loudspeakers, 100 watts is quite sufficient... In a world with <5 watt SET tube amps often selling for 10k+.... and a market existing for those products, this is a world clearly defined by quality rather than quantity.Please listen to something before commenting on it's value.As an audiophile in high school I often am told by other students that a difference does not exist in terms of sound quality between a sony boombox and a decent pair of loudspeakers... I invite them to hear my AKG K701s or B&Ws and with no exceptions they are blown away...this is with less than 4k worth of equipment...even with the ever present existence of diminishing returns in such products...there is a reason why a market exists for 50k+ components

John's picture

I agree with Cleo.This whole business is ridiculous. In fact, it's bordering on being complete BS.Why not just build the thing in your garage and ask $200k for it? These guys will ALL come running, just gobbling it all up.These reports should display some imperturbability and stop jumping at every silly overpriced piece of stuff dumped in front of them.Well done Austin!! You fell for it..Feng Shui!!

Nikos's picture

if you listen to this amp you wish you had the money to buy one (pair!).it is that simple!

LP's picture

Nikos?Ypsilon!Nikos!Ypsilon?Hmmm, all sounds Greek to me. Do I smell a shill?

suits_me's picture

No, skeptics! This 70k amp (for one monoblock, right?) is one of the greatest values in the history of high end audio!!!! Well, since those unstable (imo) Wavac amps, anyway. (BTW, the existence of stuff like this, and even factual reportage on its existence, is superbly entertaining. Like reading Mark Twain is entertaining.)

Nikos's picture

@ LP: Ypsilon is a Greek company, thats why I had the opportunity to listen to this amp a few times. try to arrange an audition with the us dealer (it's for free!) and then re-post here your opinion.

Jamie's picture

I have considerable experience with these amplifiers and I can report that they are just superb. Whether they are worth the asking price, or whether you can justify it, is a question you can only answer when you have the money to (potentially) make the purchase? Remember you should only make your opinion public once educated with the knowledge required, so take Nikos's advice and go listen.

Adam's picture

I have heard those amps during HiFi Show in London 2 years back. They sounded very good indeed. Now, are they $70.000 good - well, that is another story (IMO no - but I cannot afford $70.000 amps anyway, so my opinion doesn't count). And BTW - having personally spoken with the Ypsilon guys, I can confirm that the company is from Athens, GREECE, not Germany.

PK's picture

I went through most of the exhibitors in the high-end section of the CES show. There were many new names (particularly from Europe)and some of the same old names introducing products with stratospheric prices, much higher than in the past. My sense was that a lot of these products were designed and priced (in a vacuum - no pun intended!) in the go-go days, before the credit bubble burst and the market tanked. If most of these guys want to survive, they are going to have to wake up to the new reality and reprice significantly lower if they want these products to see light-of-day, discontinue these product lines and wait for another day or, in some cases, go out of business!

demetris backlavas's picture

the price is 53.000 euros per pair. The US price would be around 70.000 usd also the pair and not for just one momoblock. There was a missunderstanding regarding the price.

Mary Forless's picture

The Ypsilon room was one of the better sounding rooms this year. And at 70K a pair there are others, that don't sound this good!