Friday, July 08, 2005

Pathos Cinema-X

Source: Hi-Choice Summer 2005

Cinema-X? Maybe Pathos' marketing department has been watching too much Pay-TV? In earnest, this is a 5 x 110 watts into 8 Ohm multichannel integrated amplifier. The valve preamp stage operates in class A and uses 6 ECC88 tubes, one for each solid-state MOSFET amplifier channel and one for the sub-woofer output. Each channel can be individually adjusted via the remote control. Design is pretty purist and audiophile grade: no internal decoder, limited video switching, XLR in, and most interestingly, power amps can be grouped together for 2 x 450w into 8 Ohm. Pathos even claims that X delivers 2 x 700w into 4 Ohm! Styling is typical Pathos - you either love it or hate it, personally I find all their designs striking.

As for sonic characteristics, the review found X's sound BIG and rich: "... perhaps too huge: a solo voice can sometimes seem as if it's about five metres tall and four metres wide!" Sound was found to lean on warm, slightly romantic and creamy side, the drawbacks being some lack of dynamics and transparency. The main criticism was timing: "... if your last amplifier was a Naim, your next one will not be a Pathos." Combining power amps into 2 x 450w "... comes across as more grip and headroom..." Received "Editor's Choice" recommendation.

Viewpoint: Only one. This blog leaves for vacation and we'll meet again in the end of July. Happy summer listening.

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