Luxman has made quite a few really nice ones over the years, and they continue to do so. I have a wonderful little vintage Sony one in addition to the pass.seems that class A amps will generally involve more care in matching with speakers (due to lower power) than AB amps. the good news is that efficient speakers that are a match for tube amps will tend to be match for class A amps.
outside of the pass-related ones, are there even very many class A amps on the market currently? the low power ratings, high heat production and high power consumption seem to make them a very niche thing, right?
Yes they are, but in addition to those various Luxman models over the years cited by @JohnVF , there are others from Accuphase, Krell, the lesser known but legendary in some circles BEL (Brown Electronic Labs), or the grandaddy of them all, the very first commercially available Class A transistor amps by Sugden, those are in continuous production since 1967.the low power ratings, high heat production and high power consumption seem to make them a very niche thing, right?
That is certainly a real drawback, and in this day and age, so too is the way in which these Class A amps will spin your electric meter. Not exactly in the category of "green".I did have a Krell here for awhile years ago, but it didn't particularly float my boat and made more heat than the tube amp it was meant to replace.
Neither are my tube amps, but somehow it doesn't bother me as much. The impetus for going Class A SS at the time was annoyance with a long, bad run with output tubes. Then I found Gold Lion KT-77s and the problem went away.That is certainly a real drawback, and in this day and age, so too is the way in which these Class A amps will spin your electric meter. Not exactly in the category of "green".
yeah and there is another drawback or potential drawback to class A. they run hot outside, and just how hot is it inside? if you or anyone have experience with apparently premature component burnout in class A amps, please post.Class A solid state might be somewhat more reliable than various tube amps but all that heat can and does toast a lot of components.