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Mission’s 778X is a compact, affordable super-integrated amplifier

  • Mission has this week announced the 778X, the UK company’s first integrated amplifier since it made the 778 in 1983, just before forking off its amplifier designs under the Cyrus brand. The 778X shares the original’s ‘half-width’ form factor which houses a low-noise 200VA toroidal transformer, a 3000uF power supply and a Class A/B output stage that nets 45pwc into 8 Ohms and 65wpc into 4 Ohms.

    The neighbouring internal DAC is built around an ESS ES9018K2M chip and with special attention reportedly paid to the post-DAC filter. It can be accessed by a range of digital inputs: USB, coaxial, 2 x TOSLINK and AAC/aptX-enabled Bluetooth. Analogue inputs include 2 x line-level (for CD players and streamers) and a “low-noise JFET-based” MM phono (for turntables). The pre-amplifier outputs can be used for connecting the 778X to an outboard power amplifier or subwoofer.

    From the press release: “The preamp section is kept as simple as possible to maintain signal purity, with line input signals passing to a precision, microprocessor-controlled analogue volume stage. Much effort has gone into the physical layout of the 778X’s circuitry, protecting the sensitive preamp section from noise interference.”

    A front panel 6.4mm headphone socket – that fronts a dedicated headphone amplification circuit – and IR wand round out the feature set on what we at Darko.Audio call a super-integrated — an integrated amplifier with at least two extra features.

    Sharper eyes not thrown off by the huge Mission logo on the top plate will notice the similarity between the 778X’s chassis (and power button) and the Audiolab 6000A’s chassis (and power button). That could be because Mission and Audiolab are owned by the same parent company: China’s IAG.

    The Mission 778X begins shipping this month and will be available in silver or black for a very reasonable £549. Finally: the original 778 sold for £240 in 1983. Adjusted for inflation, that’s roughly £745 in today’s money.

    Further information: Mission

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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