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Pangea Combines Old, New In Headphone Amp/DAC

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Pangea Audio combined a hybrid tube/solid-state headphone amp with a 192/24 USB DAC to create the $299 HP201, which joins a $199 model.

The $299 HP201 and $199 HP101 combine a premium vacuum tube with Class A solid-state circuitry and MOSFET output devices to create what the company called “smooth, authentic headphone playback characteristics that music enthusiasts crave.” MOSFETs were used instead of much less expensive op-amp devices because of performance advantages, the company said. Both also feature 12AX7 vacuum tube.

Both also feature built-in USB DAC that lets consumers play high-resolution USB audio direct from a Windows or Mac computer via a Cirrus Logic CS4344 24-bit/192kHz DAC chipset.

To these features, the HP201 adds analog stereo outputs for use as a preamp that canbe connected direct to a power amplifier to drive speakers. Volume can be controlled from the HP201’s large, machined-aluminum volume control.

The HP201 also adds a vacuum-tube shield that is removable to make it easier for enthusiasts to experiment with the sound by plugging in tubes from different manufacturers.

The device features all-steel chassis with 10mm machined-metal faceplate and a pair of auxiliary RCA inputs. The headphone-output stage is said to be compatible with a wide range of headphone makes and models.

The 102 is also larger than the 101.