CanJam SoCal 2016: Wells Audio shows a triple threat


Seal_FINAL_CanJamSoCal2016Wells Audio has some good marketing advisors — they’ve come crashing into the headphone market with some serious offerings, all scattered across a variety of price points.

First up is the Enigma, a $3,699 headphone amplifier ($4,000 with XLR inputs), capable of a stunning 25w output into 32Ω and 1.8w into 600Ω. Yowza!

Next is the Headtrip, a $7,000 state of the art solid-state headphone amp:

The Headtrip is based heavily on a scaled down Innamorata Signature. The Headtrip shares the use of Bybee Technologies AC purifiers for AC line noise filtering and Bybee Music Rails for up to -45db of DC noise filtering, as well as upgraded Rike PIO input coupling capacitors, Neutrik combo XLR/RCA outputs, a stepped attenuator with all gold plated connections and Japanese Takman 1% carbon film resistors, a Furutech gold plated IEC and WBT Nextgen RCA input terminations.  A rare feature also included are front mounted right and left channel polarity flip switches. Up to 30% of all digital recording are recorded out of polarity. This feature will restore these recordings to how they were intended to be listened to. The Headtrip may be the most advanced and powerful headphone amplifier on the market. It is a true dual mono amplifier that is heavily biased into class A and can easily drive even the most inefficient headphones to very loud levels.

Noble Audio
Noble Audio is a proud sponsor of CanJam SoCal 2016 and Part-Time Audiophile

The Reference (shown here in prototype, and targeting a $14k price point) really takes the gloves off [cough]. That is, it upgrades the innards still further, leveraging ultra-premium parts across the design, including some ultra-tweak secret-sauce signal/power conditioners from Magnetic Innovations.

All of the designs support 4-pin XLR outputs along with a 1/4″ stereo jack.

Sonically, I think all three headphones are quite refined and a significant step up from your granddad’s headphone amp (that is, an amp from about 3 years ago), but aside from easily driving the living snot out of every flagship headphone on the planet, including representatives from ENIGMAcoustics, Abyss and HiFiMAN, I’m going to have to spend a lot more time exploring to have a definitive judgment. All I can say at this point?

Bwahahahahaha! All your base are belong to us!

Ahem. Sorry. Yes — I meant to say, they are impressive. Most impressive.

About Scot Hull 1063 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.

1 Comment

  1. Just to clarify!

    The Wells Audio Enigma, HeadTrip and the new Reference are not true Dual Mono designs.
    The original prototype was a true Dual Mono, but was redesigned to a single ended design in the end, because of some shortcommings with magnetism problems and heat dissipation. The sound was not bettered either.

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