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RMAF Show Reports

" Nothing I heard at RMAF.. could touch this rig for sheer midrange purity, detail, three-dimensionality."
Chris Martens The Absolute Sound

. "the best".. It played music for me. Its presentation was very big and wide and spacious, yet intimate. It was as if the music was being played just for me. The timing and pace were right on as was the instrument and vocal definition.
Thad Aerts The Hi-Fi reader

"Sound to die for."
John Zurek positive-feedback.com

It doesn't get any better than this."
Ed Becker hometheaterhifi.com .

" Musicality reigned supreme here with the speakers completely disappearing in an expansive soundstage."
Steve March 6moons.com .

" This was a room that I found myself returning to more than once when my ears were tired of all the noise.This is certainly not a cheap system, but it sounded better than some systems that cost three times as much."
Jack Roberts www.dagogo.com

The 50A Signature Mono Amps and Mercury III Remote Line Preamp sang an enchanting song together. They startled me with their fortitude, as well as their golden toned dialect spoken through the Curves.

Best Sound: "Honorable mentions include systems from: Wilson-Benesch/deHavilland."
Chris Martens avguide.com

Read the full reports below.

 

deHavilland/Kubala-Sosna/Esoteric/Sounds Real room. "Oddly enough, I believe last year, this room was my runner up. The sound was largely how I remember, but even better. I have my reasons for voting this room "the best" and here they are. It played music for me. Its presentation was very big and wide and spacious, yet intimate. It was as if the music was being played just for me. The timing and pace were right on as was the instrument and vocal definition. No, I don't think this system could fool you into believing that an entire orchestra was right in front of you, but then I didn't hear a single system at the show that could. The front-to-back and side-to-side special cues were intoxicating. At the core of the system are the deHavilland KE-50A monoblocks, which were driving Wilson Benesch Curves. The CD player was an Esoteric X-03SE and the preamp was a deHavilland Mercury III with all cables by Kubala-Sosna (which is new to me). The sound was so damn good I told Kara that if they had a turntable there, it might just push me over the edge. Seriously, as amazing as this system sounded, I wonder what level a solid analog front end would take it to. Here's the icing on the cake for the whole deal - the entire system's cost: $50k. $50k! A lot of dough? Yes. Yet for "Best of Show" at an audiophile event - 50 grand is nothing. Kudos to Kara Chaffee and company for setting up an amazing system with amazing components. The system just shined." Thad Aerts from The Hi-Fi reader

"I've always wanted to audition deHavilland Electric Amplifier Company's products. I was fortunate enough to do so at the show, with the very cordial assistance of Kara Chaffee, deHavilland's designer/owner. I went back to this room about half a dozen times. Kara probably thought that I was stalking her. Truth be told, I couldn't get enough of the sound of her Mercury III remote line stage and Model 50A, 40 watt Triode monoblocks driving a stunning pair of Wilson Benesch Curves. Their were far, far more expensive rooms at the show, off the chart expensive compared to deHavilland's very reasonably prices, yet none of them produced sound so sweet. Kara was available throughout to answer my dumb questions, and spin every special request. I wish that my picture would have captured the subtle beauty of this system. It doesn't get any better than this." Ed Becker from hometheaterhifi.com.

"Kara Chaffee of deHavilland Electric Amplifier Company demonstrated her relatively new KE 50A Signature monoblock amplifiers ($10,800 per pair) with her Mercury preamp, ($4,495) the $9,950/pr Wilson Benesch Curve 2.5-way floorstanders and Kubal-Sosna Research cables. Musicality reigned supreme here with the speakers completely disappearing in an expansive soundstage." Steve March from 6moons.com.

Rooms That Really Floated My Boat

The deHavilland room had almost the same system as last year, but in a different room. The big difference is that, this year the sound was perfectly beautiful. An Esoteric CD player into the a deHavilland Mercury III Linestage was providing the signal to a pair of the deHavilland 50A Signature mono amps which was powering a pair of Wilson Benesch's Curves, all the cables were by Kubala-Sosna.  

This was a room that I found myself returning to more than once when my ears were tired of all the noise. This is certainly not a cheap system, but it sounded better than some systems that cost three times as much. Most importantly, it was a system that allowed you to really enjoy music.

Jack Roberts from www.dagogo.com

deHelluvan Amp (deHavilland amp and Wilson Benesch Curve speaker)

I like the deHavilland amps more every time I hear them. The smaller room seemed suited more to the Wilson Benesch Curves with the amps; last year this combo seemed lost in the room. Not this time; it was intimate and powerful. The 50A Signature Mono Amps and Mercury III Remote Line Preamp sang an enchanting song together. Previously I had felt the need for the Curves to be powered by bigger amps, but the deHavillands are challenging that conclusion. They startled me with their fortitude, as well as their golden toned dialect spoken through the Curves.

Best Sound: "Honorable mentions include systems from: Wilson-Benesch/deHavilland." Chris Martens from avguide.com

I heard the 50A's at RMAF and it was awesome. Highlight of the show.

"deHavilland Electonics with Wilson Bensch speakers, the room we revisited most. Sound to die for." John Zurek from positive-feedback.com

 

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From the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2008

We had a terrific Rocky Mountain Audio Fest this year. I can't tell you how many people said they thought it was the best sounding room at the show. It had to be the most affordable best sounding room.

Kara Chaffee from deHavilland brought her new prototype 50A amplifiers, a modern version of the original 50A amplifiers that Fischer introduced in 1954. In my opinion these amplifiers will become classics, sooner than later.

The Wilson benesch speakers again were astonishing. Kara chose to play the Curves, retail price of $9,950, to match the sonics of her 50A amplifiers. The sound was relaxed, extremely involving and had the ability to recreate the nuances of music.

Don't miss the sale on the demo Wilson benesch speakers from the show. See our demo-used section for that. We also have a fine Audia Flight CD Two player for sale and a number of power cables and interconnects. Email us for specifics .

 

My Top Ten Rooms of Attainable Audio at the RMAF - in No Particular Order and for No Particular Reason? by John Zurekhttp://positive-feedback.com

DeHavilland Electronics with Wilson Benesch speakers. The room we revisited the most. Sound to die for.

 

Nice photo of one of the Prototype 50A's. The production models will have real binding posts and will have a very finished look. Kara has a very complete vision for these amplifiers. Quad owners should take note. More info at www.dehavillandhifi.com

 

I am on the left trying to explain to a very attentive listener that the Wilson Benesch Torus is not a subwoofer, it is an infrasonic generator. Not so sure anyone cares since it sounds terrific.

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From the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2007

Air and Heart

Posted Tue Oct 16, 2007, 10:42 AM ET  By Jason Victor Serinus

Kara Chaffee has every reason to smile even wider than she's smiling here. Her DeHavilland GM-70 50W SET monoblocks ($11,000/pair) and Ultraverve remote preamp ($2995) were creating one of the most wondrous, air-filled soundstages I have heard. "We aim at the heart of the music," she told me after I had spent a while listening to some of my favorite CDs.

The DeHavilland Electronics were paired with the Wilson Benesch Trinity integrated, stand-mounted, two-way monitor ($10,450/pair) mated with the W-B Torus infrasonic generator ($5950) and Torus Amp ($4350), Gamut CD player ($4000), and Kubala-Sosna Eagles speaker wire and interconnects. With the darker presentation common to most SETs, DeHavilland has achieved something very, very special.

Our room sounded cleaner and more focused than in previous years thanks to the Kubala-Sosna Cables. Extraneous noise was kept out just leaving a nice clean presentation, one that I have not heard previously.

Kara Chaffee was there and smiling over the incredible life like presentation of her GM-70's and UltraVerve Preamplifier. If you came looking for the "audiophile sound" you were in the wrong room. This was totally about music.

Craig Milnes was also at the show this year. He is the incredible speaker designer and owner of Wilson Benesch. You can hear his presentation on speaker design on the video below and more on the Wilson benesch page.

Craig Milnes Video Trinity Speakers


Click here to view presentation

POSITIVE FEEDBACK ONLINE - ISSUE 33

by Adam Goldfine

By now I assume most of our readers are familiar with the usage of exotic materials, especially carbon fiber, pioneered by British manufacturer, Wilson Benesch. Known for its incredible weight to strength ratio and superior damping characteristics, carbon fiber has found its way into many sophisticated applications from Formula 1 race cars to jet fighters and bombers. As explained by WB designer Craig Milnes the fibers can even be aligned to direct resonances where you want them (and away from where you don't). And in Wilson Benesch speakers they do just that essentially shunting whatever resonances do develop within the speakers to a physical ground resulting in extremely low cabinet coloration and improved dynamics. I'm not a physicist, but as an owner of the A.C.T. loudspeakers I can say the cabinets are remarkably inert and the sound is about as uncolored and dynamic as it gets. And their bass performance far exceeds what one might expect given their relatively small size.

New in the WB line up is the Trinity, a three way, stand mounted (the crossover is in the stands) monitor utilizing the carbon fiber based Advanced Composite Technology found in other WB designs. It is a ported design featuring a 7" mid-bass unit, a 25mm soft dome tweeter and a .75" super tweeter. Frequency response is specified as 46 Hz to 80 kHz +/- 2dB, the ultra-sonic performance being a big part of the raison d'etre of the Trinity. I could go on about the technology involved in this speaker but the technical description is six pages long and can be found at www.wilson-benesch.com . But be forewarned, these guys are at the cutting edge of materials research and utilization and some of this stuff will make your head spin.

The Trinity was designed to pair with WB's new Torus Infrasonic Generator to create a full range system. And that is how we heard it at the show. Driven by deHavilland Electric Amplifier Company, www.dehavillandhifi.com , tube electronics the Trinity provided the rich, dynamic and exceptionally musical sound Wilson Benesch has become known for. They have that startling real quality I mentioned in the YG Acoustics section above and that I've come to expect from my A.C.T. speakers. Bass from the Torus was deep, fast and well defined. (I was assured a Torus would be heading my way for review before long.) At $10,450/pair for the Trinity you are getting cutting edge loudspeaker technology and state of the art sound.

 

Rocky Mt 2007: Wilson Benesch Trinity Shines at RMAF

October 18th, 2007 - By The Absolute Sound

By Neil Gader
With the glitter of the carbon fiber cabinet catching the light, even from a distance I knew I was looking at a spanking new W-B speaker.

Ricki Lee Jones was singing "A Case of You," and the sound was what I'd come to expect from larger WB offerings-sublimely undistorted, smooth and detailed with resolution right down to the softest levels.

It integrated beautifully with the Torus subwoofer-hardly a surprise. The Trinity is no more than about eighteen inches tall but it's a three-way with an even more unique twist.

Beyond the midbass driver and soft dome tweeter, WB has added a third element it calls The Sphere and hence the Trinity name.

The Sphere is a super-tweeter dome of gold and ceramic designed to fill in the upper harmonics beyond 20kHz. (actually this super tweeter goes all the way up to 100kHz) jr.

The precision ground steel and aluminum alloy stands also reveal more WB innovation.

It bolts into the cabinet structure of the Trinity and houses the hand built crossover allowing the Rhodium plated terminals to conveniently reside at the base of the stand.

Augmented by DeHaviland's tubed electronics and Gamut digital playback, this was one of the most highly resolved small systems at RMAF.


 
     
     

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