Unfortunately, Wells Audio has been one of those high-end audio brands in the periphery for me–I know the name but have no seat time. I rectified that situation at the 2023 Pacific Audio Fest, however. PAF was such a small show that I had the luxury of visiting nearly every room, so this was the first time I’ve explored this brand. So far, I’m impressed.
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
This was primarily a Wells Audio system, with assistance from TAD loudspeakers, JPS Labs cables and an Innuos Zenith music server and Phoenix reclocker. This was gorgeous, shiny gear–a pair of Innamorata II monoblocks ($15,000 each) the Commander Level III preamplifier ($18,000) and a Cipher Level II DAC ($13,000), with power conditioning from a very attractive block called the Looking Glass, which retails for $7,500 each.
If you’re not familiar with Wells Audio, this is a high-end audio manufacturer based in Northern California since 2014, founded by the eponymous Jeff Wells. What’s unique about these products are the numerous options available to clients–DC Discreet noise filters, Bybee Quantum AC, cryogenically treated components, Rike polypropylene copper foil paper-in-oil capacitors, Mundorf capacitors and Mundorf and Kemet slit foil power supplies.
How did the Wells Audio system sound? I quickly gravitated toward the tight, rhythmic bass that had plenty of texture and detail, but I also noticed a confident presentation from the system that seemed unexpected with a company that still hasn’t celebrated its tenth anniversary. The level of fit and finish on this gear was also first-rate–as I mentioned, the Wells Audio amplifiers had fantastic cosmetics–even those Looking Glass II power conditioners were incredibly attractive for a box with outlets.
The Wells Audio room reminded me that when it comes to high-end audio show coverage, it’s best not to get stuck in a rut by visiting the same old rooms each and every time. (Sounds like Pink Floyd lyrics.) I’ve been doing that for a long time, and every time I deviate from the norm I discover a brand that’s truly worthwhile.