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They're all the rage in cars though we're more interested in audio. One of the first hybrids I am familiar with was Bascom H. King's seminal achievement, the Infinity Hybrid Class A, a tube/solid state design released in 1978 and reviewed by the late J.Gordon Holt in Stereophile. More would follow, and were for some time the rage amongst forward thinking designers. Fast forward to 2001 and the HCA's second coming embodied in our HCA2 hybrid that graced the cover of Stereophile. Class A front tied to one of the first Class D amplifiers. Next was our GCC series featuring an analog Gain Cell for the input, class D for the output. Finally to 2015 with the introduction of the BHK Signature power amplifier, itself a hybrid of tubes and MOSFETS. Hybrids take advantage of synergy, a subject I have written much about in these posts. Like two complimentary food ingredients creating an entirely new taste sensation, hybrids are the ultimate weapons in the battle against mediocrity. Engineer Darren Myers had walked into my office and suggested a new hybrid for our upcoming Stellar line. The idea of a hybrid approach wasn't new. What he was proposing was. Formerly an engineer for Classe' Audio, Darren had learned much about taming the devils plaguing class D, in particular their propensity to bark and bite like a rabid dog on quick or loud transients. Once tamed, the next challenge of class D is sorting out its teeth grinding confusion on complex musical passages. Two tall challenges, but one he knew how to tackle. When class D's devils are banished what you wind up with is a neutral sounding power amplifier: neither great nor interesting. A bit like a Prius compared to a Tesla. That's when the designer's real skills come into play. Where the magic happens. We'll waive our wands tomorrow.
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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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