Passion Audio Kit i11 Amplifiers

i11

An integrated using EL34 output tubes. Push-pull, ultra-linear output stage. Printed circuit board assembly.

User Reviews (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7  
racecar   AudioPhile [Apr 07, 2004]
Strength:

good value for the money

Weakness:

don't expect much support from either distributor if they fail after warranty

Just shows you how much psychology invades hi fi appreciation. These amps are identical!! I own the AQ1003DT and a friend owns the Passion. We have dissected both and except for the fact that the dimensions are slightly different (to allow for component orientation and extra inputs on the Passion) and the negative feedback is marginally different - they are absolutely identical!!

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
lynnm   AudioPhile [Jan 18, 2004]
Strength:

Transparent Sound,Strong clean reproduction beyond both ends of the audio spectrum.My Klipschorns sing ! Solid build quality.

Weakness:

None

Actually ASL dealers will tell you that the AQ1003DT has the upgraded Xformers,Alps pot,High end caps etc. Both amps are produced in the same factory in China and are far as I can discover identical. The UHF article reviewed an early production AQ and at that time it is possible that the Passion had superior components. In any event I can state that the AQ is one sweet amp and presumably given the neglible differences one may assume that the Passion is equally as good ( ie. bloody marvelous ). As for the statement that the Passion is a ripoff....BULLFEATHERS!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dave   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 08, 2003]

Macone's note below is PLAIN WRONG. But anyone with an opinion and a Web account can be a reviewer, eh? To see his errors, check out the UHF Magazine review of this unit and comparison with the ASL 1003 DT. The Passion trounced the ASL, and it should. It has an upgraded ALPS volume pot, different caps, and much beefier output transformers. It sounds much better than the thin sounding ASL, with far more bass, air, and a stellar soundstage (something the reviewers focused on). It was simply in a different league, closer to UHF's reference amp. I tried both the Passion and the ASL with three speakers: the demanding Totem Model 1, the EPOS M11, and the Merlins. The ASL could not keep up with the 4 ohm, 87 db Totems, making them sound weak and thin (something that does not happen with a beefier amp). The ASL sounded fine with the EPOS and Merlin, since both are much easier loads to drive. However, replacing it with the Passion was such a revelation. With all three, the Passion had depth, terrific soundstage, and air all around the instruments and performers. Same power rating, but the smaller transformers of the ASL could not deliver the current that the Passion PAK 11 could. The ASL smooshed all the performers together and the bass was flabby and not well defined. The ASL is fine for very entry-level gear, especially super efficient speakers over 89 db, but the Passion is so much better for not a bunch more. This amp is really amazing; it outclasses the Jadis integrated and comes closer to much more high end pieces such as the VAC Avatar (4x the price) and Cary SLI-80 (3x the price) than any other tube integrated. In the end, the Passion is not the equal of these far more expensive integrated amps. But it is an integrated that you can live with for years and never get tired off. Biasing this amp is a simple job, requires only a VOM (cheaply found at Radio Shack). I personally prefer the cleaner classier look of the Passion to the look of the ASL with digital BIAS meters, but someone who likes lots of flashing lights and meters will prefer the ASL (the ASL can be ordered w/out this and looks close to the Passion).

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
macone   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 03, 2003]

KIDS! This is a fine amp...BUT...what it actually is,is an Antique Sound Labs AQ1003 dt....but it doesn't have the bias control/meter that the ASL has...and this one retails for $200 MORE! Do your research folks...this is NOT a good buy. I own the ASL...it is wonderful...DOn't get scammed into this one tho...just buy the ASL!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
1
Bruno   Audio Enthusiast [May 02, 2002]
Strength:

Son naturel et juste sans effort chaleur et douceur

Weakness:

Aucune

Je cherchais au départ un modèle plus haut de gamme que mon Harmon Kardon que je possédais depuis 7 ans déjà. Je pensais acheter un Arcam ou un Cambridge. Ce Passion Audio m''a littéralement jetté par terre de par sa profondeur, sa chaleur, sa douceur, mais aussi avec une transparence unique. Il conduit actuellement des B&W DM602 S2 avec un Sub B&W ASW 600 et un Cambridge DVD300. Pour le prix, je crois qu''il me serais impossible de trouver mieux. Cet ampli vaut bien des modèles entendus au Festival Son & Image pour 5 000$ et plus. Allez-y les yeux fermés (les oreilles grandes ouvertes !)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dave   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 05, 2001]
Strength:

Quality build, sweet midrange, effortless sound

Weakness:

Hmmm...could always use more power, but 4 EL34's don't exactly equate to lots of power.

Believe the reviews at UHF magazine, this integrated is so sweet and sounds like lots more than its 30wpc rating might lead to beleive. I power the rather ineffecient Totem Model 1 (87db/4ohm) to decent volume levels.

First, this amp is built to a terrific quality standard for the money. Porcelin tube sockets, ALPS volume and selector pots, chrome chasis, and high quality binding posts and RCA inputs. Simply much nicer quality that the Jolida's.

Second, it's oh so sweet. That doesn't mean warm syrupy heavy tube sound; this thing is quite transparent and revealing. Only at high volume levels on inefficient speakers with demanding music does it show its 30 wpc. Pair it with an efficient speaker and you should do fine, but do consider the B&W 805 and also the Totem combinations; just so sweet. Some may say these speakers deserve more power (and more current), but I say this Passion tube integrated is tailor made.

The amp is not sold in the U.S.; the distributor tells me the exchange rate would make this amp much more expensive to sell here. You can get one direct, add shipping and custom duty, and get change from $1100. There are also several dealers throughout canadian provinces.

I'm hooked on this amp, especially for the price! The real competition is not the less espensive Antique SOundLab AQ1003 (which is the identical amp to the Passion--same manufacturer--but the Passion uses upgraded output transformer and volume pots and comes with 4 inputs and a tape loop compared to the AQ's 3 inputs and no tape loop). Instead, I'd compare to a used Jadis Orchaestra (40wpc tube integrated) which can be had for around $1200-1400 used with careful searching on Audiogon.

Similar Products Used: Antique Sound Lab AQ1003 DT
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Reg   Audiophile [Nov 12, 2000]
Strength:

Excellent Price/Quality, very clean and detailed sound, amazing definition.

Weakness:

None

I was looking for something different and a replacement for my old receiver that doesn't worth mentioning about and I came across this Passion I-11.

Thank to Mario at the store to let me hook up my 3A speakers on and try it out. I tried the I-10 at the store and was quite impressed. I was concerned about the lack of power since that room was about the same size as my living room.

I finally bought the I-11 assembled(look review on UHF magazine) due to the unit being build with higher quality parts. When I brought it and took it out of the box and plug it in, I was totally impressed by the detail and power of this unit.

Power is not a problem but it is certainly not a 200 watt amp. I find with my Reference 3A speakers, it is a great match. I'm ready to try out the B&W Nautilus 805 and see how they sound. My concerned is that the B&W is not as efficient as the 3A (88 db vs 91 db)

When I looked at my Pionner CD player, it was not a match anymore since the amp was bringing out so much detail (and junk too) that I decided to change the CD to a Linn Ikemi. What a match ! See Linn Ikemi CD player under "Reg"

My system:
Passion Amp 30 WpC I-11 - tubes
Reference 3A speakers
Rotel RLC-900 Line Conditionner
Linn Ikemi CD player
Linn analog cable (came with the unit)
Rotel tuner with IXOS cable.
Kimber Cable 4TC

If anyone has suggestion on speaker, please let me know.

Similar Products Used: Rotel
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-7 of 7  

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