Sweet revenge...
Kinda. It's simply that when a maker famous for his valved SETs and later push/pull amps authors a chip amp, those of us long since hip to the tube-reminiscent (though not identical) qualities of this breed feel vindicated. Not that we needed vindication. The sound of our amps did all that without any doing on our part.

Art Audio braintrust member David Gill is about to follow up his Elise vacuum tube DAC and Alana tube preamp with the Lissa chip amp. Explains David: "This integrated amplifier is based on the well reviewed and received LM3875 chip. Unlike existing designs, the Lissa incorporates a very robust, regulated power supply using the best Lundahl C-Core power transformers (no cheap toroids here), Hexfred diodes and Linear Technology low dropout regulators. A further improvement is the addition of a Lundahl amorphous core input transformer. In addition to the sonic improvements, this increases gain to make the Lissa a true integrated design that can be used with any source. It also prevents DC voltage offset from your source equipment damaging your speakers. Current minimalist designs are either direct-coupled throughout with no input protection or use an inferior capacitor. The Lissa also incorporates the microprocessor-controlled series/shunt attenuation circuit I developed for the Alana preamp. This circuit provides 84dB of attenuation in 1dB steps with independent left and right channels (allows for balance adjustment). The Lissa also benefits from star grounding, with all traces optimized for maximum transfer with minimal loss and interference."


  • Proven design based on the LM3875 non-inverting chip amp
  • High current, fully regulated, dual mono power supply
  • Transformer-coupled input for offset protection and additional gain
  • Low loss and distortion series/shunt volume control with display
  • Four relay controlled inputs
  • Numerical volume readout
  • Machined aluminum full function remote for volume, balance, mute and source
  • Extensive use of top quality components including
    • Lundahl amorphous input transformers and dual C-core power transformers
    • International Rectifier HexFred Diodes
    • Linear Technology high-current, low dropout regulators
    • Panasonic and Black Gate capacitors
    • Dale and Roderstien resistors
    • High quality binding posts and RCA jacks
    • Heavy gage powder coated steel chassis with chrome or black anodized face plate

40 watts per channel into 8 Ω (20-20kHz ± 0.5dB >.5% distortion)
0.8 Volt full output, Output Impedance 4 to 8 ohms
Input impedance 10 KΩ
Dimensions: 16" x 15" x 4.5"
Weight: 35 lbs.

What we have here, it seems, is a full-width, fully integrated chip amp solution with a few novel features designed by a guy who's deeply and unapologetically into tubes (shown in pre-production Alana chassis.) What that means for the sound remains to be seen. What it means for the street cred of the genre is already clear. With each new established manufacturer embracing this topology, the outgoing message becomes more and more solidifed - chip amps aren't toys fit merely for cash-strapped DIYers. They are fully competitive with conventional amplifiers of either the transistor or valve persuasion. Some of us have known this all along. We are sooo smart....
Gill Audio Design via Art Audio's website
David Gill's e-mail