Like Fitzgerald and Armstrong, Simon and Garfunkel or Jagger and Richards, some pairings were just made for each other. That’s the same feeling I got from auditioning the Daedalus speakers at RMAF 2015, combined with ModWright Instruments electronics. That all-too-elusive synergy between source and transducer was there in spades, the result being an addictive, relaxed sound that appealed to your heart as much as your head.
The always-friendly folks staffing this room quickly accommodated any request I had, from raising the lights for photos to popping in my Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab gold CD of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. Talk about another pairing made in heaven — that description, by the way could apply to the two musicians or the CD and the Daedalus/ModWright rig, with Hartman’s smooth, expressive voice floating in the air while Coltrane added understated fills that put as much emphasis on the space between the notes as the notes themselves.
The Daedalus speakers were the new Poseidon V.2 models, shown in baked flamed maple with Art Deco grills ($21,450). They were aided and abetted by the BOW Daedalus custom subwoofer system with active crossovers ($2,290 each), with further assistance throughout the custom equipment rack ($899) coming from the new Daedalus DID isolation devices ($160 each).
The front end included the KWA 150 Signature Edition amp from ModWright ($8,995) on the first day, later swapped out for the impressive new 845 DS SET tube mono blocks, which feature one 6HV5, one 845 and two 6AX4 tubes per channel, pure class A, 1,200 volts, single ended with zero feedback (estimated at $40,000 to $45,000 when they go into production). The 32-watt tube amps might have been huge, but they were also handsome, with nice metalwork and wood trim.
Preamplifier was the ModWright LS 36.5 “DM” tube unit ($9,995), and two recent products from the company, the Elyse tube DAC ($6,900) and the PH 150 phono stage ($7,900). The DAC was an all-tube, transformer-coupled design with an internal tube-rectified power supply and the capability to handle 24/192 material. That was fed by a ModWright “Truth” modified Oppo BPD-150D disc spinner with tube output stage and external tube power supply ($2,495).
Cable was from WyWires, including its Diamond interconnects (starting at $4,495), Platinum digital cable ($899), Silver power cords ($429 and up) and Diamond speaker cable ($7,995). Also on hand was a WyWires Power Broker distribution system ($2,495).
Daedalus and MoDWright made such good music together it would be hard to imagine one without the other.