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Pathos Logos

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
Hi,

I've seen a couple of these amps at a very reasonable price and wondered if it would be a decent replacement for the Sugden? or would it be a backwards step.

If anyone owns one, a description of the SQ would be helpful.

Cheers

Mac
 

SpursGator

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2012
51
40
18,570
Mac,

It's very squeaky clean. Strengths are tonal quality and imaging - it's beautiful and airy like a tube amp while retaining some class A/B grunt. It has timing that surprises you since usually good PRAT comes with a tonal quality hit, and this amp avoids it. In short a very successful and rare example of a machine that was designed to capture some of the advantages of a tube amp but on a muscular, solid-state platform. It also has two balanced XLR inputs and a pre-out RCA connector so it's versatile. Essentially it's a tube preamp and a solid state power amp in one box.

It's weaknesses are few and minor but of interest if you are thinking of switching from something as good as any Sugden Masterclass. It has, as I said, some good solid-state grunt but at it's price, it can only have so much. Don't think you're getting grunt in the class of the Plinius/McIntosh/Krell world (the amps I refer to are much more expensive obviously...but just saying, don't don't get up hope that they've cheated the audio gods with the hybrid thing). The other thing is, Pathos make several hybrid amps in which both stages - power and pre - are running in pure class A, not just the tube preamp like in the Logos. These "INPOL" amps are the real result of the Pathos obsession with the hybrid.

Thus I think the INPOL based amps from Pathos are more comparable to a Sugden power amp hooked to a tube preamp. These would be an "upgrade" from most Sugden setups in that they aim to do something similar, better, and suceed, at times brilliantly.

But if you are thinking of moving from the Sugden Masterclass series - wonderful Class A amps - then perhaps the itch you are trying to scratch is you want more of that grunt. In that case I see why the Logos appeals to you - you can hang on to some of your Sugdeny sound while gaining some Real Juice.

If that is the case I would not necesarily discourage the Pathos, but just encourage you to listen to some alternatives. The Logos would have similar sound quality to your current amp - maybe a little more natural and holographic if it pairs well with your Harbeths, which I have not heard - with a little more grunt. I suggest that what you might want to try is a LOT more grunt - might be more satisfying. And once you get into Pathos price territory you can buy some damn good sound quality with your large heat sink. Never underestimate the ability of massive amounts of power to make music sound great, overcoming other factors.

The reason I am happy with the Logos is that I appreciate that engineering is a compromise. No-compromise products (which really mean, making huge compromises on everything else so you can be "no compromise" on whatever your schtick is) are easier to market and sell because they are more exciting. A product like the Logos is much more Continental in character - it specifically seeks a character, at a specific price, of a product that really competes fairly well on everything, without blowing anyone away on anything. I admire this and think that my amp is almost as good as a tube amp on character, almost as good as a pure class A on tonality, and almost as good as a big hunk of metal on PRAT. This type of design excites me; I believe it is brilliant. It will be better than your Sugden in every respect except the 1-2 things your Sugden is best at (in which it will be worse but still pretty good).

Whether this excites YOU or not depends on the type of system you are looking for, and how you want to feel over the coming years when you listen to it every day.

Good luck with it - hope this helps. I've been lurking here for years - finally posted.

Kevin
 

paradiziac

New member
Jan 8, 2011
17
0
0
Hi Kevin,

Great read.

Good insight about kit being designed around a particular strength to the exclusion of others. Makes you think we'd be better off without brands and their "house sounds". Only problem, which set of compromises would be "correct"?

Look forward to reading more of your posts!
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
paradiziac said:
Hi Kevin,

Great read.

Good insight about kit being designed around a particular strength to the exclusion of others. Makes you think we'd be better off without brands and their "house sounds". Only problem, which set of compromises would be "correct"?

Look forward to reading more of your posts!
I completely agree.

I was going to say something along those lines, just not as well (and I don't have the insight of an owner).

It is possibly a slightly sideways step, but if it uses less power, the presentation pleases and the price is right.....why not.

The correct set of compromises are the ones that put the biggest smile on your face.....and Pathos is all about conveying the emotion and drama of the music.
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
SpursGator said:
Mac,

It's very squeaky clean. Strengths are tonal quality and imaging - it's beautiful and airy like a tube amp while retaining some class A/B grunt. It has timing that surprises you since usually good PRAT comes with a tonal quality hit, and this amp avoids it. In short a very successful and rare example of a machine that was designed to capture some of the advantages of a tube amp but on a muscular, solid-state platform. It also has two balanced XLR inputs and a pre-out RCA connector so it's versatile. Essentially it's a tube preamp and a solid state power amp in one box.

It's weaknesses are few and minor but of interest if you are thinking of switching from something as good as any Sugden Masterclass. It has, as I said, some good solid-state grunt but at it's price, it can only have so much. Don't think you're getting grunt in the class of the Plinius/McIntosh/Krell world (the amps I refer to are much more expensive obviously...but just saying, don't don't get up hope that they've cheated the audio gods with the hybrid thing). The other thing is, Pathos make several hybrid amps in which both stages - power and pre - are running in pure class A, not just the tube preamp like in the Logos. These "INPOL" amps are the real result of the Pathos obsession with the hybrid.

Thus I think the INPOL based amps from Pathos are more comparable to a Sugden power amp hooked to a tube preamp. These would be an "upgrade" from most Sugden setups in that they aim to do something similar, better, and suceed, at times brilliantly.

But if you are thinking of moving from the Sugden Masterclass series - wonderful Class A amps - then perhaps the itch you are trying to scratch is you want more of that grunt. In that case I see why the Logos appeals to you - you can hang on to some of your Sugdeny sound while gaining some Real Juice.

If that is the case I would not necesarily discourage the Pathos, but just encourage you to listen to some alternatives. The Logos would have similar sound quality to your current amp - maybe a little more natural and holographic if it pairs well with your Harbeths, which I have not heard - with a little more grunt. I suggest that what you might want to try is a LOT more grunt - might be more satisfying. And once you get into Pathos price territory you can buy some damn good sound quality with your large heat sink. Never underestimate the ability of massive amounts of power to make music sound great, overcoming other factors.

The reason I am happy with the Logos is that I appreciate that engineering is a compromise. No-compromise products (which really mean, making huge compromises on everything else so you can be "no compromise" on whatever your schtick is) are easier to market and sell because they are more exciting. A product like the Logos is much more Continental in character - it specifically seeks a character, at a specific price, of a product that really competes fairly well on everything, without blowing anyone away on anything. I admire this and think that my amp is almost as good as a tube amp on character, almost as good as a pure class A on tonality, and almost as good as a big hunk of metal on PRAT. This type of design excites me; I believe it is brilliant. It will be better than your Sugden in every respect except the 1-2 things your Sugden is best at (in which it will be worse but still pretty good).

Whether this excites YOU or not depends on the type of system you are looking for, and how you want to feel over the coming years when you listen to it every day.

Good luck with it - hope this helps. I've been lurking here for years - finally posted.

Kevin
Hi Kevin,

Thank you for such an insightful and comprehensive response.

I'm pretty content with the Sugden... my initial reason for the urge to change was the amount of juice it drains from the mains, but after having heard a few solid state amps... Perreaux, Krell and Electrocompaniet, apart from the latter, the other two didn't come close to the quality of the IA-4.

I will have to find a Pathos dealer so I can demo both the Logos and the INPOL too.

Thanks again and now you've taken the plunge, don't be a stranger.

Cheers

Mac
 

SpursGator

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2012
51
40
18,570
Thanks for the nice feedback. Would like to post more but as you can see, I'm not too concise.

Good luck with your search. The Sugden is brilliant. If you want to save power upgrade your fridge!
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
107
1
18,595
Having owned Pathos Inpol2, I am completely with SpursGator.

One of the main reasons I sold it was the Power consumption. With all pure Class A amplification, there is a huge SQ plus but with a very demanding power consumption minus.

From the memory, if I compare the sound from Inpol2 to my current Classe CAP-2100, i would say that Pathos shines on details & layering (as well as black levels) where as Classe is all about PRAT in the most enjoyable way. May be that is broadly the difference between well implement Class A versus Class A/B amplification.

I like both but given the power consumption levels as well as lack of ability to use in HT ByPass mode of Pathos, I prefer the Classe.

Also, when I am parting with large sums of money, the warranty duration and ease with which the warranty can be applied also comes into play. Inpol2 that I had was with no manufacture warranty (bought used) and one channel was dead on arrival. I am sure you can imagine the nightmare but the dealer was excellent and took care of the repair.

Classe has five year manufacture warranty which gives me peace of mind for next few years atleast and do not feel too guilty of using alot of power just to run the amp :)
 

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