It sounds a little dirty. Illicit, maybe. Sneaky, certainly. I suppose it makes sense — how do you characterize all those stolen moments, swooning in the arms of your secret passion?
Say hello to Tryst, the new headphone amplifier from ModWright Instruments.
Tryst is $3,000, and for that, you get a tube amp that’s capable of 3 watts/channel (into 18Ω). The tube complement is a pair of 6922 in front of a quartet of 12B4. Power is solid-state and outboard; inputs are RCA (2 sets), with some RCA pre-outs (2 sets). Headphone outputs are 1/4″ stereo, 4-pin XLR, and a 3.5mm specifically for IEM (!).
Tryst is a collaboration with Coffman Labs; the design is all Class A with zero-feedback.
The first thing I noticed was the big tube-shield — here painted a decadent Oxblood in an automotive finish. And check out those massive knurled knobs, perfect to catch the eye and finger. Mmm. Knobs.
Tryst is temptingly purrrrty.
Definitely not a small amp, the Tryst was here lashed to a set of closed-back Ether from MrSpeakers. The sound, fed from a ModWright Elyse DAC ($6,900), was big and meaty and power-full. Me likey.
Also on display/in use were the new Platinum headphone cables from WyWires. I’ve been a fan for a good little while now, and my “big rig” uses a full set of these cables for a very good reason — they sound fantastic. They’re not cheap; at $899 ($949 with the Sennheiser HD800 connectors), the Platinums are really a suitable suit-and-tie for your premium cans. For those curious, the sonic signature is “full and open”, which is to say, among the very best that I’ve ever heard.
For those not interested in dipping quite so deeply into their wallet for wire, WyWires RED ($299, available at The Cable Company, among other fine audio establishments) is still my de-facto standard for premium headphones (most especially, try it with anything from Audeze).