PS Audio's new "Gain Cell" Amplifiers . . .

just announced today.

Is it possible that it is the real deal?

A 500/1000 (8/4) wpc integrated amp???
Is that like a gainclone on steroids?

I see verbage like "short signal path" and "low parts count" on the PS Audio's website regarding this Gain Cell enigma... I guess we're to guess what's inside this black box.... uh.
Is this the same term GAIN CELL technology from a amp company by the name of Quatre dating back to the early 80's..Great sounding amp though not very stable..Tom
The part that throws me is there isn't a volume pot or stepped attenuator, yet this all analog device is variable and can be controlled via remote. How do they do that?
Sounds like the "analog module" of 1970's Audio Research fame. More "perfect" amplification? Seems like many of the module type circuits had an opamp inside they didn't want you to see.
It sounds like the unit is directly controlling the gain on the input signal. I believe a volume pot is independent of the input signal gain which is usually fixed.

I'm sure someone has thought of this before and there are probably inherent problems to this approach. Can you say "hype"?
I remember the Quatre Gain Cell and it was "the" bass amp for Fried Transmission Lines. I remember it being very powerful but sounded much like the GAS (great american sound) amps of the day. Not too refined. PS Audio has in my experience and recollection been famous for its bass reproduction. I had the original PS Audio Phono stage and separate power supply and the bass was suberb. I imagine that if PS got a hold of the gain cell technology that they have done something marvelous with it.
The Gain Cell design of PS Audio and that of Quatre/QMI are unrelated. The marketing pitch for the Quatre Gain Cell implied a complimentary symmetrical channel design that was supposed to cancel out non-linearities.

I spoke recently to Dave Gore, designer of the Quatre/QMI Gain Cell series. He commented that he did not claim to invent the term Gain Cell and felt it rather generic.

Whatever happened to Dave Gore?

I used to work for Quatre.

The Gain Cell amp we made had terrific bass - and was highly regard in it's day. I wouldn't call it rough. In a showdown (Audio Critic) against Audio Research, Threshold, GAS and quite a few others - it came out as the winner. More liquid-sounding than the GAS.

It is still a pretty good amp. Still has great bass. And yes, it did have stability problems. Had a proclivity for going into DC offset and lunching a woofer.

I used to have a Quatre driving the Fried Model "H" and I agree with you about the sound and stablilty. Mine cooked itself (but I still listen to the "H" sub using it as as a coffee table for the TV system).


p.s. I wish the Audio Critic would return
my quatre toasted as well. Sounded Ok for the day.
If you used the Quatre Gain Cell on an 8ohm load - you're likely to not see any issues. It didn't like going lower that 4 ohms.

I tried one fairly recently - and on air suspension speakers (I didn't have anything ported to try it) it still sounds awesome. I mean awesome. Like a big fat Krell amp in the bottom. A good amp overall, but if you're looking for a subwoofer amp and you're looking at a nominal 8 ohm load - use it. I'm sure you'll be impressed.
I remember back in the day someone bringing in an ancient AR3a. And the bass with the Gain Cell was staggering. I was marketing director of the company, and I would tell people with Dahlquist DQ 10's - instead of getting a subwoofer, try this amp first. It was miles beyond anything at the time. And the different was not subtle.
To whom is your answer directed to on a dead topic?