LOS ANGELES (PTA) — Wells Audio is at its best when bringing out the big power, top-tier refinement, and tubes. Along with that, we get a preview of Wells’ new working-title “Dragon” tube DAC, and some new options in ‘meter colorways. Verastarr ties everything together with a big sonic bow.
Demonstrating with a personally-owned pair of Usher Dancer Mini Two towers, Jeff Wells of Wells Audio had a really strong and insightful presence that nearly defined what a delicately balanced and detailed sound should be. The Usher loudspeakers were pinch-hitting as the speakers Mr. Wells had previously planned to show with at THE SHOW 2019 had unfortunately deep-fried a tweeter. However unfortunate the tweeter-debacle, the show must go on, and in my opinion did not suffer for this bump in the road.
The big news of the room, was the new “Dragon” tube DAC, which is still without a permanently decided look as the chassis on display in Long Beach, was just a prototype mock-up. There weren’t many details to be had on the new tube DAC, as it was still in the R&D stage, and Jeff would rather just get out of the way, and let the sound of his gear sell itself. Which to my ears, is the smart business move.
We did however talk a little about his Commander Level III preamplifier, and Innamorata II Level II amplifier. The amplifier in particular at a little over double the price of the base model, you get drastically upscale performance. The Innamorata II Level II upgrades all sorts of inward performance with outward physical upgrades that include WBT Nextgen RCA unbalanced inputs, and WBT Nextgen 5-way binding post outputs per channel.
Even more outrageous (in the good way) is the Commander II Level III preamplifier. It is Wells Audio’s ultimate state-of-the-art preamplifier. Improvements over the Level II model include all Vishay “naked Z foil” resistors for the entire signal path, cryo’ed Furutech IEC, cryo’ed Cardas input and output RCAs and XLRs, cryo’ed tubes, all PCBs and wire have been cryogenically treated, Bybee AC purifiers on all 3 AC legs, Vishay “naked Z foil” resistors for the series resistors on the shunt style Khozmo attenuator, the Wells Audio “Volumeter” with choice of blue, white or green back-lighting and a custom designed polished solid brass meter bezel. No expense has been spared by Wells Audio in creating this “all-out-assault” preamplifier design.
As we roll through tracks, all of the songs sparkle and glisten in the top end. Detail is never lost with Wells gear of this magnitude. Bass and dynamic slam are just a given as the Innamorata II Level II amplifier flexes its brute strength with poise and finesse. This is not the first time I’ve heard Well’s higher offerings on a system of this scale. However it feels wholly new experience as the Ushers just deliver so much insight into the top end, and offer mid-bass grunt that plows through the air. The tube complement of the electronics do their best and taming all of the potential digital muck we stroll through, and leave us all wanting more.
– Commander Level III Tube Linestage – $18,000 USD
– Innamorata II Level II Amplifier – $15,000 USD
– Dragon Tube DAC (Prototype) – TBA
– Looking Glass Reference Power Conditioner – $6,000 USD
– Custom Acrylic Rack – Priceless! (NFS)
– Speaker Cables – 8ft
– Interconnects – 2pr / 1m
– Power Cords – 6ft
– USB Cable