Passion "Pre/DAC 550A" •3 Analog + 5 Digital Inputs (incl MAC "AirPlay") •180° Phase Switch (on Faceplate & Remote) •2 Linear HIgh-Performance Power Supplies • 2 Transformers for separate Analog & Digital section •Analog Transformer: 190VA C-grain oriented pumped under vacuum for 48 hours at 100 °C • Volume Attenuator: "Burr-Brown 2320 resistor ladder" for ultra-high accuracy, fine details & startling clarity •9mm Aluminum bottom plate with mechanical ground path
Stereo Amplifier A650 200w/ch (600w via Mono XLR) • Output A has a high damping factor which will provide a very clear sound • Output B with a lower damping factor will provide a ‘sweeter’ sound (more like a tube) • 9mm Aluminum bottom plate with mechanical ground path • Transformer: 1000 VA C-core grain oriented pumped under high vacuum for 48 hours at 100 °C
Passion CDP430 + IA350 at 2014 Munich by Yves-Bernard André Viewable in 1080HD & 720HD
"Dynamics were powerful, yet subtle when required, and fast. The quietness I’d already noted let me hear a lot of detail -- real detail, not the fake detail created by goosing up the high frequencies. Speaking of the highs, they were open and extended, with plenty of sparkle."
"To hear how the YBA reproduced a solo instrument, I cued up Ottmar Liebert’s One Guitar (24/96 FLAC, Spiral Subwave/HDtracks). The detailed realism the YBA PRE550A retrieved from this high-resolution recording was amazing.It reproduced the sound of Liebert’s guitar incredibly well -- not only the notes, but also the extraneous noises inevitably produced by a guitar being played by a master. Notes were harmonically complete, attacks and decays were extremely lifelike, and some of the initial transients were startling in their forcefulness" "YBA’s Passion PRE550A lived up to its French origin by producing unfailingly beautiful, realistic sound. Its extended highs were gorgeously smooth, with nary a bit of peakiness. The midrange was very detailed and harmonically rich -- little to grumble about there. Very highly recommended."
"YBA sound is a close, powerful sound. It is very open and we have a lot of information in advance of the band. But as much it happens in the middle and bass. It is hard not to talk about the advantages treble. Just one listen and one has the impression of wealth of detail and density transmitted in the information."
"The more that the sound is fed close to us. It is this type of communication in which everything is at your fingertips, strong, dynamic, very true. In this sense, we look at everything from the first row, rather than from a distant perspective."
"It's just that YBA adds to the incredible purity. It is as if to get insight into the recording, as if between the speakers appeared more and it had it all: detail, space, attack, dynamics."
All Passion series products feature a seamless, 1 piece wrap-around cover attached underneath to a thick 9mm Aluminum baseplate in a mechanical grounding design
Owner Review A650+Pre550A Full Review of A650 and Pre550A w/Wilson-Benesch “ACT” loudspeakers Owner also has $70k separates - darTZeel 108+18 Sound:with my speakers (Wilson Benesch ACT) and in my room (moderate size, shoe box shape), the Passion 650 walked an almost ideal line between musicality/naturalness and detail retrieval/transparency.
It exercises excellent control on drivers (notably with the "A" binding posts options) and always felt powerful and in control (never had the impression it was struggling or running out of steam, even on high modulation sections played at fairly high volume).
Its sound was very even keeled across frequencies, with impressive naturalness of timbres on human voices and acoustic instruments. Then again, it could rock just fine when required, thank you!
A lot of "transparent" components can - beyond the initial wow factor, make you cringe or develop listening fatigue. The 650 is not one of these, whilst providing excellent detail and transparency. Musicians are here, but not thrown on to the listener or artificially detoured like a picture which sharpness was boosted on Photoshop.
The choice of two pair of binding posts with different voicing/damping factor is a bonus: option B provides a suaver, more "tube-like" voicing, at the cost with my speakers of slightly looser bass and more subjective warmth. Both options are nice and can accommodate different preferences and equipment configurations. If it was a car, the 650 would be a high end version of BMW series 5 or Audi A5 ... or a luxurious Citroen sedan! Overall:this is a LOT of amplifier for the money. I have heard a lot of amps over the last 10 years, and few solid state designs that I could enjoy. Not only the 650 is one of them but it is among my favorite! It just plays music with a competent, confident and supremely natural manner, packaged in a luxury design.
I could live with it and not look back - and probably would have, if I was not lucky enough to already own one of the most expensive (six times the price of the 650 ) and best amplifiers in the market.