Dr. Vinyl of Baltimore, Maryland was the ringmaster of our two ring audio circus at Capital Audio Fest 2021. Displaying an active collection of components that blended seamlessly and with gusto, from brands like ModWright Instruments, Larsen, Ideon, Pear Audio Blue, 432 EVO, Puritan Audio Labs, and MosArt.
From Audio Skies distribution, Michael Vamos was on hand to guide us through two fantastic sources uses in this exhibit system: the Pear Audio Blue Odar turntable, and the Ideon Ayazi MkII DAC.
The Odar turntable builds upon the solid foundation of the Kid Thomas turntable, the Odar was created for the discerning analog lover. Featuring two armboards, capable of using either 10 or 12 inch arms, and delivered with a Cornet 2 12-inch tonearm, massive motor housing, massive 14 inch diameter platter, platform in the same solid wood material as the plinth, and a separate power supply.
The Ideon Ayazi MkII DAC is billed as an affordable reference digital device that I can only say, our own Marc Phillips is reviewing it, we love it, and you’re gonna have to wait for that review to publish in a couple of weeks for all the juicy details. For now, you’ll have to suffice with the sonic impressions from the show.
In the middle of all the action, two pieces of wonderment from ModWright Instruments — handling the vinyl signal, the PH 9.0X phono stage recently reviewed (linked here) by our own Grover Neville.
Grover had this to say: “Could I say that the ModWright PH 9.0X upgrade makes the original PH9.0 less smooth? Perhaps, but only in the sense that it no longer sounds like a smooth piece of gear, and simply one that more invisibly portrays great recordings on great playback gear. For just $995 USD extra, the original PH 9.0 went from a top notch recommendation at its price, to my first recommendation for an end game phono stage at real world prices.”
Handling the incoming signal from all sources and passing it on to the speakers with plenty of enthusiasm — the KWH 225i — which in audio show terms is still making the rounds as a “new” or “debut” product. The ModWright KWH 225i was born from years of solid-state and tube component design, and it’s predecessor the KWI 200 Solid-State Integrated. Taking the high biased solid-state output stage from the Reference KWA 150 SE power amplifier, combining it with the controls and integration from the KWI 200, adding a tube preamplifier stage, and then bumping up it’s total output power to 225 watts per channel at 8 Ohms, and 400 watts per channel at 4 Ohms (the first 25 watts being in class-A). Features include a handful of RCA inputs, a balanced set of inputs, HT bypass, preamp outputs, and zero global negative feedback — this is the KWH 225i in a nutshell.
This exhibit room by a substantial margin was both unassuming and outright dominating. The Larsen 9 loudspeakers played the small room with significant control over the room boundaries, and with such force imbued by the hybrid amplifier from ModWright that we were looking for a hidden subwoofer. Though, bass power wasn’t the only story here. Both the PH 9.0X and Iyazi DAC are known quantities among our staff for being superb sound makers. Flowing through the KWH 225i each source was presented in it’s full beauty with no sense of missing details or nuances.
Dr. Vinyl really knows how to assemble a fantastic system, and here one that truly exhibited all of the components best attributes.
Pear Audio Blue Odar Turntable – $15,990
Grado Aeon 3 Stereo Cartridge – $6,000
Grado Statement Mono – $12,000
432 EVO Music Server – $5,500
Ideon Ayazi Mk II DAC – $3,500
Ideon Master Timer – $3,900
ModWright Instruments PH 9.0X Tube Phono Stage – $3,895
ModWright Instruments KWH 225i Hybrid Integrated Amplifier – $8,495
Larsen 9 Floorstanding Loudspeakers – $14,995
Kleinbeck cables throughout
MosArt rack components throughout
More system components still …
For more system information and availability, visit: www.drvinyl.net
For more Capital Audio Fest 2021 coverage—CLICK HERE!
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