The form of this beautifully compact new amplifier has a heritage in French design, taking cues from the minimalism of Le Corbusier, the originality of Philippe Starck, and the classic sleekness of the Citroen DS.
On sound quality alone, the new D-Stream WAMP-200SB stands as the best sub-$1000 amplifier I’ve had the pleasure of listening to. It’s engaging, balanced, and produces room filling sound on a good variety of speakers – both compact and floor standing. It’s easy to use, beautifully designed and finished, and is quite possibly the smallest amplifier you have seen. My two demonstration units have performed faultlessly and identically.
This would be enough to warrant our firm recommendation. But there is a lot more to the D-Stream story – the streaming, wifi and multi-room abilities make this amplifier even better. As either an introduction to real hifi, or as a way to breathe new life into an existing system, The D-Stream WAMP-200SB has exceeded all our expectations and we’re confident you’ll be thrilled with how it sounds and performs in your own home.
Read our full review here.
Keith Eichmann is unstoppable. It’s almost a full time job keeping up with the continual flow of innovations and improvements to his cable range. In the January newsletter we introduced you to the QFlow7 Bi-wire jumpers and Classic Harmony Banana Plugs.
This has led to a complete revision of the speaker cable range which I’ve detailed here.
In short, all but the entry level speaker cables are now terminated with the new PureQ Banana plugs, which are another level up again and on top of this there are further refinements made to the cables themselves.
Having made direct comparisons between the original generic gold plated banana plugs used on the previous cables and the Harmony Classic, I’ve been busy with the soldering iron, upgrading all our home and demonstration cables as the magnitude of the improvement was so great as to render everything else I’ve heard obsolete. At just $160 for a set of 8 – enough to do a full cable set, this should be at the top the ‘must-do’ list for all KLEI, Eichmann and SlinkyLinks and Kimber speaker cable owners. If your speaker cable conductors will fit in a 4mm (standard binding post) hole, then we can fit these plugs for you.
To further eliminate any sense of complacency I felt, Keith launched the new QPurity8 bi-wire jumpers (NZ$920 a set) on me – these use the very best PureQ plugs and even better cable. Again the improvement was immediate – I found even from cold the sound to be more organic and natural, the music flowed and engaged me in a way I’ve not had before. But what happens over time is even more dramatic – a happy client writes…
‘I’ve had a sound binge over the last several days, adding about 30 hours to the Q8 jumpers and plugs (over the previous 20), and what an astonishing difference this has made. The purity jumpers have made a huge difference which is ever-increasing as you predicted. Hugely increased energy is being released it seems, with the sound stage becoming more prominent, projecting further in both directions, into the room as well backwards in depth; all frequencies seem to be gaining in dynamic energy, without loss of tone or subtlety; and the gain in richness and texture in the lower frequencies is just wonderful. There’s an amazing overall improvement in musical presence and dynamic action. I keep thinking it can’t get better and it does! ‘
As if this isn’t enough we now have the third model of KLEI AC power cables to flesh out this part of the range. The new gPower3 AC cable (NZ$750) sits just above the original gPower2 in price but has the benefit of technologies explored in the flagship Purity AC models.
Soundwise there is an clear improvement over the entry level cable – more balanced and smoother. I’ve not had as much time as I’d like as yet, but like all KLEI products there is a marked improvement in performance as the cable settles in with use – the system as a whole becomes smoother but more open and involving and continues to improve steadily over a period of weeks.
For anyone who has an original gPower2 AC this is the perfect opportunity to shift this to another component in your system and get the latest model running into either your integrated or pre-amplifier. You’ll get everything you liked about the original and then some.
If you’re wanting to test the water with an AC cable then this is the model to go for – it’s appreciably better than the entry level and really doesn’t cost that much more. To my own ears the new cable is closer to the Purity AC in overall smoothness and scale.
Given all these developments can be a little hard to fathom, I’ve put together a special demonstration pack so you can introduce yourself to the KLEI range and hear just how great an improvement you can get when you combine all of the elements, even at the enty level. So if you’re keen, you’ll get a box with….
A gZero series ACmains cable (NZ plugs – 1 or 2m as required)
A pair of the entry level gZero1 analogue interconnects
A pair of 3m gZero2 speaker cables with the new Harmony Bananas
A set of the new QFlow7 bi-wire jumpers (assuming your speakers are compatible).
You have put quite a lot of care into choosing your components – this is a chance for you to hear everything working together at its best. Just e mail me.