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CAF 2014: Gingko, Wells, LampizatOr and the Speaker Cable of Justice

CT6A7921 Gingko Audio was reprising their Newport Show demo here at CAF, showing the Gingko Audio ClaraVu 7 Mk 3 loudspeakers ($8,995), driven by a Wells Audio Innamorata stereo amplifier ($6,500) and a LampizatOr DAC, this time a Level 4 (I'm pretty sure) with an integrated volume control. The same giant $6,500 4awg DanaCable speaker cables lay between them, the woven copper heavy and dense and seem to somehow be threatening a bit of violence. Weaponized cables? Kinda makes me want my own battle cry. In short, I've found this room to be most salubrious, the sound was warm, smooth, and a completely non-fatiguing. It's kind of hard to argue with that. Though I suppose you could. I've been seeing a lot of Gingko Audio lately, they of the squishy-ball isolation systems and clear-acrylic dust covers, venturing into cabling with their subsidiary DanaCable, and now into speakers. Yes, fine, I probably have the ordering incorrect -- but this is how I've come to the brand, so fuggedaboutit. Anyway, the ClaraVu 7 is less "speaker" than "system" -- they're actually two speakers in one, or more properly, a monitor set with matching powered subwoofer cabinets used as stands. More details can be found online.

LampizatOr is a brand that I’ve written about over the years, and it’s great to see designer Lukasz Fikus continuing to refine and extend his reach into audio’s uppermost reaches. With tubes, an innovative circuit and quality parts, Lukasz has created what, to my ears at least, may well be the one of most liquid and limpid DACs on the market. Analog, shmanalog — a LampizatOr is what your average turntable wants to be when it grows up, rummages around in your closet and emerges wearing a bright blue mask and the tights of Justice. “I’m sure millions of readers out there are just wondering what it’s like to wear the tights of justice. Well, it’s tingly and it’s uncomfortable, but it gets the job done and, oh, the job of it.”

Wells Audio’s amplifiers, as I’ve already mentioned elsewhere in the show coverage, heavily feature Bybee Purifier technology. A honkin’ big dial with an acrylic faceplate add bling to a fine sonic picture and one I keep stumbling across. Intriguing, I say.

This is a delightful combo of gear. Yep. Love to spend more time with all this stuff.

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Gingko

Gingko 3

Gingko 2

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3 Comments on CAF 2014: Gingko, Wells, LampizatOr and the Speaker Cable of Justice

  1. James, Your Pal could have gotten a PCM Lampi L4 with the DSD module as an option with total cost being about $700 more than what he paid. That would include SPDIF for the PCM side of it.

  2. I very much appreciate the whole “Gestalt” of every component in this room. One person whose ears I trust traded his AURALiC Vega for a more costly Lampi, then back to the Vega, then finally settled happily on the $3300-ish Lampi DSD-only DAC that our dear Scott Hull loved (USB input only, no SPDIF). The only down side is this DAC plays files only, no direct CD-spinning.

    Something about the speakers seem especially “right.” Most speakers, you look at them, sum them up quickly, and go on your way. These seem to be the result of a lot of careful consideration what are the best methods to increase listening quality without causing distraction and fatigue. The tweeter/super tweeter array makes sense, and mimics at least one model from Wilson Benesch, who make some of the best speakers extant (also Linn’s speakers and others feature similar design). Another good sign.

    Price seems pretty fair for the design and performance promise, plus finish looks very flexible and easy on the eyes.

    Looking forward to hearing them at the first opportunity.

  3. I wonder if it was DSD or PCM they demoed when you came. The DAC was a DSD equpped version.

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