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PS Audio HCA-2
7 Reviews
rating  4.71 of 5
MSRP  1699.00
Description: Stereo power amplifier, 150W/channel into 8 ohms, 225W/channel into 4 ohms, revolutionary SDAT™ output stage, balanced JFET input stage, single ended and balanced inputs, WBT output connectors, custom gold plated RCA inputs, true balanced XLR inputs, produces almost no heat, available in black and silver.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ArthurGatos a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2007

Bottom Line:   
My resident amplifer was ( until now ), the Meridian 556, a very fine sounding amp. that, I thought, had no rival anywhere near its' price point.

That was before a friend offered to let me have the PS Audio machine for trial at home.

It took me no more than an hour of listening to realise that this was a very special amplifier, taking the sound of the KEF Reference 3 / two I use, to another level! and left the Meridian sounding somewhat 'flat' and 'HiFi ish!

The main advantage of this wonderful amp. is its' low distortion, frequency extention on both ends of the audible band and its' amazing dynamics.

I never heard the big KEFs sound like this before.

If you're after detail, realism, dynamics ( slam ) in Music, and precise imaging, then this is an amp. you must listen to, nevermind price or brand.

It is THAT good

I now use both amps. in bi amping mode, the PS Audio driving the midrange and tweeter while the Meridian is taking care of the low end. Awsome sound.

The driving preamplifier is a Musical Fidelity NuVista, another great piece of Audio gear, operating in Class A and being a perfect partnair to both the PS Audio and Meridian amps.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Private sale



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tlea a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 11, 2004

Bottom Line:   
The cornerstone of my system for years was a McCormack DNA 0.5. I auditioned many amps but never found anything under $2k to rival it until the HCA-2. The presentation is quick and precise with dazzling range. Thus far (after about 150 hours) it is less warm and slightly more analytical than the McCormack. But it is still very musical, with significant extension at both ends of the frequency spectrum. This unit was a good buy at its list price, but because the line has been discontinued it can be found these days for <$1000 - an outrageous bargain, making it a great candidate for bi-amping.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   dealer demo



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Geoffcin a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 30, 2004

Bottom Line:   
It's been a long search for an amp that satisfies me. This is the third amp that I've had in my latest system, and probably the last for a long time. I run Magnepan 3.6r speakers, and while they are not the hardest speaker to drive, they do show the differences between amps pretty easily. The PS Audio HCA-2 shows it's abilities in my system in well.

This amp has an extraordinary ability to reproduce true dynamics. Percussive sounds like drum strikes, piano, cymbals, etc., take on a real dynamic that can only be reproduced if the amp can deliver current at lightning speed. This amp does it in spades.

The top end of this amp is as smooth and grain free as any amp I've ever heard. Sweet is term that's often overused, especially when describing tube amps, but for the treble region of this amp, SWEET is the proper word to use.

Speaking of sweet, this continues right through the midrange with rock solid imaging, and a black as night sonic background.


Bass is often the true test of an amp. If you amp is not up to it, the bass will get muddy, and the whole sound will be mushy as the amp try to deliver power it doesn't have. The PS Audio amp really surprised me in this area. It NEVER ran out of current, even when asked to deliver absurd amounts. The bass is as tight and well defined as you'll find in anything less than an amp that's two or three times the price and power. Yes, I've heard slightly better bass, but when you compare it to a Classe 401, or Pass Labs 250.5 your in pretty rarefied company.

The price/perfomance ratio of this amp has to be one of the highest in all of the quality amps that have ever been made. This doesn't even take into account the fact that this amp will probable save you $100's a year in wasted energy, as the thing runs stone cold. A true technological wonder!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by topspeed a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 20, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This all started out as a comparo between my friend's Odyssey Stratos (also reviewed) and the HCA2. I had auditioned various amps from Rotel, B&K, Anthem, Krell, Adcom, Parsound, Proceed, and others I'm probably forgetting before narrowing it down to these two. I went into the comparo admittedly biased towards the Stratos. After all, who wants to spend an extra $700 if they don't have to? We ran the comparo with the amps hidden and level matched. After comparing notes and discovering which was which, what we found was somewhat startling:

The HCA2 does not sound like any ss amp I've encountered. Many people feel switching amps meld the best of the ss and tube characteristics into one supremely efficient package. Well, they're not wrong, but there's more to it than that. The treble is extended and airy without a hint of sibilance. The delineation and space between instruments is very distinct. Cymbals splatter and decay into an absolutely pitch black background. The mid range is full and liquid smooth presenting vocals that are musical and engaging without the unnatural definition that some "hi-fi" gear seems to equate with "accuracy". Bass is simply a whole different ball game. I've yet to encounter amp with this combination of speed, depth and slam with the exception of possibly the big Krells. It actually made me check and see if my sub was on (it wasn't). Transient response is lightning fast and imaging width and stability is spot-on. The depth of stage could be deeper, but it's noticeable only because of the outstanding width. Don't be fooled by the 150 watt rating as this amp will drive whatever you want to insane levels and still not show a hint of strain. The kicker to all of this is that after many hours of running the amp was still dead cold. Try that with your Class A space heater.

In the end, we both agreed the HCA2 is a terrific amp. Even the owner of the Stratos had to admit it was the better of the two. Tube-like? Yes, but without the rolled off highs and flabby bass of lesser designs. SS strengths? Without a doubt, but without the glare, grain, or false definition.

You'll simply need to audition one for yourself and see if it meets your taste. For me, in my system, it is simply the finest amp I've heard under $5K.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $1699.00

Purchased At:   AudioAdvisor



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andres a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 25, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I love this amp, sounds different from my Pass aleph 3, is more transparent and pounchy than the Pass and a little better focused. I think is question of sound taste. Because both amps are vary very good, in the same league, but the difference in wattage is the the only big difference. But in the areas that reffer to sound quality both amps are in a top level, but with diferences in sound taste.
Vary good sinergy with my Pass alep P preamp, Alpha Core and Synergistic research cables, Clearaudio turnttable,and MBS's Nelson Link DAC. The sound is very very good.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   nd




Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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