You can lead music lovers to a better lifestyle system, but can you make them buy? That’s the question a lot of companies are asking as they seek to offer an alternative to crappy department-store minisystems and the ubiquitous Bose boxes.
Wyred4Sound proved that good sound could indeed come from a small package with its room at CAS 2014. The company was demoing its mINT integrated amp ($1,499) with a pair of Martin Logan’s new Motion 15 bookshelf speakers ($799 a pair), bundled together for $1,699 when you purchase them directly from Wyred’s Web site.
Also in use was a cool little black box from Wyred called the Remedy ($399), a digital reclocking device that reduces jitter and supports up to 24/192kHz. Paired with the uDAC-HD ($499), a compact DAC and headphone amp featuring an ESS Sabre chip, and the uLINK ($299) USB to S/PDIF converter, you have just about everything you need to whip your ones and zeroes into submission. Heck, go crazy: you can even go wireless with the bLINK Bluetooth reclocker ($499) and MS-1 Music Server ($1,999).
The mINT (love that name, but it’s hard to type properly with auto-correct) is an especially attractive piece of gear that offers an astounding amount of features. The integrated amp has 100 watts per channel, a built-in Sabre DAC, two sets of RCA inputs, two sets of RCA outputs (all gold-plated), a true resistive-ladder volume control and a headphone amp. The unit even features a big amp-style half-inch-thick machined and anodized front panel. Did I mention it has a five-year warranty?
Wyred4Sound has a special arrangement with Martin Logan to offer the latter’s speakers as part of a package for $1,699. The speakers feature a 5.25-inch aluminum woofer, a rear port and ML’s “Folded Motion” (aka, “AMT”) tweeter. Listening to the system, it was clear that Wyred has made a good pairing here.
The sound through the Wyred/Martin Logan bundle was crisp, detailed and lively. The tiny Remedy declocker must have been doing its job, because digital glare was cut way down, allowing good instrumental textures to emerge. As long as the system was not pushed too hard, the sound was leagues ahead of big-name compact systems that likely wouldn’t cost a whole lot less.
Wyred4Sound also is following through on its name and is developing some special wire for its systems. A P-1 power cord ($119) already is available and prototype interconnects were being shown.