RMAF12: deHavilland rocks with a new amp

Someday, I’d like to bring some deHavilland gear in to play with. I mean, I’ve always been a fan of deHavilland. The sound is outstanding, and the reviews you can find online are very enticing. Of course, there’s not much out there of late, which is a pity, because this is a brand worth pursuing.

The casework is “refined enough” to make you comfortable that designer Kara Chafee knows what she’s about, but not so much that anyone is ever going to call them beauty queens. I’m fairly certain that there’s a point there — they’re plain, they’re functional, and in a world obsessed with surface detail rather than anything of any depth, this can be refreshing. You get the feeling, talking to Kara about the design, that your dollars (and her time) are better spent on driving performance and not frivolously wasted. Whether or not you agree is another matter, but I appreciate the approach.

The KE50a is new, it’s a monoblock, and an interstage C-core transformer drives the output KT88s for 40wpc in full triode. The bias voltage is tube regulated and paired with a choke-input power supply, also tube rectified. Unique? Yes, sounds like it. Hook me up!

Wilson Benesch loudspeakers, relatively uncommon here in the States, were making the music. A Feickert turntable, always a welcome sight, fed a Zesto phono — great pairing!

Lovely room — wish I’d have been able to hangout longer.

  • deHavilland KE50a mono amplifier: $10,800/pair
  • deHavilland Mercury preamplifier: $3,995 (remote control adds $500)
  • Wilson Benesch Vector: carbon fiber cabinets — $14,500 (wood finish adds $870)
  • Bricasti M1 DAC
  • Zesto Audio Andros PS1 phono preamplifier: $4,300
  • Dr Feickert Analogue Woodpecker turntable: $5,495
  • Triplanar Ultimate tonearm: $5,800
  • Transfiguration Phoenix cartridge: $4,250

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