Newport 2015: Whammerdyne Heavy Industries



This is why you go to an audio show.

We all say that we’re curious about the industry. We all say that we’re looking to hear a bunch of different systems. We make excuses about how good it is to see everybody. We talk about how good a happy hour the hotel bar runs. That’s all bull. We really go to audio shows in the hope that you get to hear something so totally insane that it makes us smile for days.

Whammerdyne Heavy Industries new “Truth” 2a3 integrated amp is totally insane. It sports NOS tubes, three watts of power, autoformer volume controls, Simpson meters, a $15,000 price tag, and industrial design that looks like they stole it out of a late Tom Waits song. Just seeing it glow in the darkness is enough to make you smile. Listening to it just makes everything better. Paired here with a pair of Zu Druids ($5,400) and fed signal from a fully loaded MSB Analog DAC (north of $14,000 as configured), this little monster made my weekend.

This was one of those times when Zu was the perfect match. The Whammerdyne powered them to the best performance I’ve yet heard from a Druid. Tone and detail were right on — not that you would have cared, because this little amp is fast. We threw four or five songs at it. All the usual fare was handled so perfectly that we even tossed the execrably recorded, instantly alienating, made-to-get-speeding-tickets, “Cowboy of Tchernobyl” by King Automatic into the system. This is a spiky, punkabilly, surftastic, one man wall of sound that makes “tubey” tube amps scream for mercy. The Whammer nailed it.

I shouldn’t be surprised. Whammerdyne may be a new company, but the folks behind it are anything but newbies. Pat Hickman is leading the charge. Matt Kamna is doing the circuit design. Dave Slagle is winding autoformers. They tell me that they’ve even dragged in Lynn Olson to write their manuals. That’s a deep bench.

I’m still smiling. I keep wondering what that amp would sound like on my Altecs. I just wish I’d spent more time here.

Proud to sponsor Part-Time Audiophile and The Audio Traveler at THE Show in Newport 2015!







  1. No argument from me, Whammer. But your sales target is limited to a sub group of folks with compatable speakers. Wish you the best of luck!

    • There do seem to be quite a few owners of Zu Audio loudspeakers. And horns aren’t that unusual for folks interested in a 2A3.

      Of course, if you’re buying Paradigm or ATC or Magico, this is not the amp for you.

      • I very much agree, but the low power, Triode’s and no feedback topology’s do sound the best. trust me on this. So synergy is the key. Many many sources do exist that manufacture efficient and excellent sounding speakers. Get the first watt perfect and you are on the road to audio nirvana

        Head Whammer

  2. $15K for 3 Watts? The American Shindo? Sweet Harry Christ. That is a lot of money.

    • Actually 4.2 watts :-), but the best 4.2 watts on the planet!.. pure DC coupled (No capacitors) and -3 Db down points at 6 Hz and 140 KHz and nearly zero phase shift in the audio band.
      Hearing is believing and with efficient speakers one or two watts gives you over 102 to 108 Db sound pressure levels (Very loud) so who needs more 🙂

      Head Whammer

  3. Malachi,

    We wish to personally thank you for spending time in our humble Whamm room. I’m pleased you are so excited with the synergy we have achieved. This has been a long and involved process for us over 4 years in the makings to “get it right” I extend an open invitation for you one day I will load it up and bring it down to your place for a day of listening fun on your Altecs. One correction I have is the listed price for our Truth amplifier it is $ 15,000. Your readers can indulge more about it and some of the design innovations (circuit wise) at

    Cheers, “Head Whammer”

    • Thanks for the correction, Pat. My handwriting is apparently worse than I thought. I’ve changed the mentioned price to reflect reality. You can bet that we’ll take you up on that offer.

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