Ken Kessler, at this year’s RMAF, made headlines talking about how the audio industry is pretty much dead and the only hope there is — at all — is at the very high end. Think “Rolex” (or, more appropriately, A. Lange & Söhne, &c) instead of “Seiko” and you have an idea of what market he’s suggesting manufacturers really need to build toward. Bollux, says I. Build quality components, at reasonable prices, and They Will Come. It makes me happy to see Wyred4Sound on this page, too.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I picked up a Wyred4Sound STP-SE this past summer and I couldn’t be happier with its performance. $2,000 for a preamplifier is by no means inexpensive, but on the scale of audio’s high-end, this isn’t even a blip. I’ve also had a lot of fun positioning this activated-passive (thanks to 6moons for that phrase) against all manner of other brands’ offerings, and as long as you don’t actually need additional gain, you’re done. Great pre!
Which brings us to the newest, miniaturized, offerings from Wyred.
mAMP ($1,798/pair) mono amplifiers. 100k ohms input impedance and 250 watts into 8Ω and 430w into 4Ω. Availability is set for December.
mPRE ($1,099) preamplifier. This one is pretty amazing. The volume control is similar to that used in my STP SE; 80 FETs are leveraged, in parallel, to lower the noise floor and increase current output. The mPRE is fully balanced, dual mono, and uses a dual differential circuit design “unheard of at this price point.” And more good news:
This state-of-the-art pre-amp has a built-in DAC with three inputs which includes toslink, coaxial and USB. All of which support 24 bit 192kHz streaming. The ESS Sabre DAC utilizes Hyperstream™ and Jitter Elimination Architecture rendering it immune to jitter. The USB interface is derived from the latest asynchronous XMOS design which is certified USB 2.0 High Speed and Audio Class 2.0 compliant.
Sound came courtesy of Paradigm Signature S8 speakers ($8,999/pair).