In the rack, I found a VPI Traveler turntable in a brilliant cobalt sitting on the top of the rack. Next to it, was the ModWright modded Oppo BDP-95 with the top-level “Truth” mods ($2,495 for modifications on a user-supplied Oppo), which includes a wholly-new tube-based analog output stage and an external tube-rectified power supply.
Driving the system was the ModWright KWI-200 integrated amplifier. This integrated is a bit different from many/most of the ModWright projects in that it’s entirely solid-state. It also features a nifty volume control, “a digitally controlled analog system with buffered input to the Solid State Music Stage, found in all of ModWright™s amplifiers. This allows for a volume control superior to standard potentiometers and a single gain stage, direct-coupled to the current amplified output stage for ultimate sonic purity.” The integrated can also be expanded to include a 24bit/192kHz asynchronous USB DAC, with a “PCM 1794 DAC chip, and clock and data buffered via proprietary algorithm for lowest possible jitter.” Price for the upgrade is $1,150. Vinyl junkies are also able to add a single-ended moving-magnet phono pre to the mix ($350), with 50db of gain and loading options of 100Ω, 500Ω, 1KΩ, 47KΩ, and 100pf, all modified via internal dip switches.
WyWires cabling connected everything together, including the new Platinum speaker cables (starting at $2,299), Platinum interconnects (starting at $1,495) and Silver Power Cords (starting at $429). A WyWires-Daedalus Power Broker ($2,499) was used for power distribution.
The sound in this room was significantly more intimate than the big Ulysses speakers, but much of that had to do with the setup. Overall, the sound was much warmer and a bit softer than what the big-rig brought, but the contrast was definitely a matter of degree and not kind.
I heard quite a few hallway debates over the two Daedalus/ModWright/WyWires systems, with fans of each system clearly gravitating one way or the other. I grok that. The “little” system was really intimate — and if you’re the type for near-field (or near near-field) listening, the Muse will be a great bet. But, if you have a little more space to sit back and let the complex driver arrangement in the Ulysses knit together, that system will pretty much cure your case of audio-nervosa. You’re done.
Seeing both? Awesome. I just love all these Made-in-the-USA artisans banding together to create great sound! Well done, all around.