18 January 2011
The year is 2011 and despite a tumultuous time for all Americans and all businesses, I am pleased to say that we are busy and excited about new offerings and designs.
I am grateful to all of our customers for their loyalty and support. We have always worked hard to provide excellent service, performance and value that ultimately allows for the enjoyment of music.
I am excited about the performance of our tube-modified Oppo BDP-95 and Sony XA-5400ES and we are looking forward to the future offering of our own USB DAC.
10 March 2011
We have grown as a company, significantly over the past couple of years and I am grateful to have the team that we now have. Thanks to Kristin as Director of Operations and Adi as Director of Production, I am free to pursue new designs, explore new ideas and focus on making all of our products the best that they can be. I also want to thank Alan Kimmel for all of his brilliant design knowledge, without which we would not be able to produce the products that we have today.
29 June 2011
I have been in 'Lock-Down' mode for the past few weeks. My team respects my shut door and knows that I am deep in the design process. The KWI 200 will be our first Integrated amp and adds a greater level of functionality, control and enhanced user interface with digital displays and minimal controls. This design has been morphing and evolving on paper for quite some time. Earlier this year, it finally gelled into a design that I feel will meet the desires of our customers in terms of performance, power and price. I am VERY excited about it! Now if I can just wean myself off of the coffee and learn to shut off my brain at night, I will be good!
08 July 2011
We had some shots of the Oppo Mods taken recently and added to the photo galleries. They're beautiful... check them out: http://modwright.com/gallery/album.php?s=oppo-bdp83se-mod
26 July 2011
Our friend Gary with Elpa Shaw in Thailand set up a fantastic room at an A/V show in down town Bangkok earlier this month. The room picked up the "Best Sound of the Show" award... way to go Gary!!
Check out the photos of the show on Flicker and see what an amazing job Elpa Shaw did putting a few of our products on display.
Again, kudos Elpa Shaw, for a job well done!
21 September 2011
Oct. 14 - 16th marks 2011's annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest...My favorite show of the year!
I am looking forward to showing our new KWI 200 with our modified Sony and Oppo players, through Daedalus Audio's new 'Athena' speakers.
We will also have our full range of gear on static display and will be scheduling 'shows' throughout the event, where we demonstrate different products.
For the first time, we will also be A/B'ing, the tube-modified Oppo 95 and stock Oppo 95 players.
I look forward to seeing all of you their!
21 September 2011
We have all been working VERY hard to finalize all details of the KWI 200 in order to send out first units to distributors and for upcoming shows! It turned out beautifully and sounds exceptional.
Work on our DAC upgrade for both KWI 200 and LS 100 as well as a standalone unit continues and WILL be done this year!
Check out full information on the products page for our new KWI 200!
22 September 2011
At the Norway HiFi Show 2011 over the weekend of Sept. 17-18th, our Distributor Hoium Data Hifi received EXCELLENT reception, using ModWright LS 100 and KWA 150 Signature Edition electronics, driving German Physiks speakers.
Link to Gallery with more show photos:
The room was photographed on the front page of the second largest newspaper in Norway on monday. The photo only shows the German Phsyics speakers, but I have attached other photos that show the entire showroom.
We are obviously very pleased with the excellent reception that we received in Norway and by our exceptional showing of our products by Thomas of Hoium Data and Hifi.
To those in Norway who inquired about an Integrated, the answer is yes, we do have an integrated amp.
The KWI 200 will be shipping at the end of Oct. and you may find photos and specifications under the products page.
09 October 2011
06 November 2011
The KWI 200, 200W SS Integrated amp has now been released and is in full production, with units already having been shipped all over the world!
The KWI 200 was well received at RMAF 2011. We showed with a simple and yet beautiful sounding system, consisting of modified tube-modified Oppo BDP-95 (~$3K) as source, KWI 200 Integrated ($5K US) and Daedalus Athena Loudspeakers (~$9,895). Cabling was by WyWires.
We chose a simple system with exceptional source, speakers and cables that all represent extremely high value, to showcase the value of our 200W Integrated amp. Optional 24/192 DAC (USB and RCA) as well as optional Phono stage, allow for a system consisting of KWI 200, speakers and cabling.
For more information, pleaes check out the KWI 200 on our Products Page!
06 November 2011
I am pleased to announce that I had a great conversation with the digital engineer that i have consulted with, and learned that our LONG AWAITED digitial input mod board, first installed in the Sony XA-5400ES, IS NOW COMPLETE AND WORKING!
The project took MUCH longer than expected and I cannot blame the engineer I hired for the digital 'heavy lifting' design and BGA programming. It was, rather, a series of unfortunate events that continued to delay the design process until now....admittedly my fault, because of bad decisions I made. The good news is that I am told that it sounds fantastic and I will be receiving the first article, installed in a Sony XA-5400ES, next week. My consultant is in the Bay Area and I am in WA, so the final work involved a bit of shipping back and forth!
Now that the digital input mod is complete, we can move onto the final design of our DAC with USB inputs, that will be available for the LS 100 and KWI 200. I am being realistic when I say that these products will not likely be available until near the end of this year. I am however, pleased to say that we are moving forward in earnest and the excitement level is HIGH at ModWright Central!
The PCB's are going to be ordered on Monday (Nov. 7th) for the DAC module that will plug into the digital input PCB. The design is modular, to allow for different DAC boards to be installed, as technology progresses. The USB interface is also separate. The DAC chosen for this design is a Burr Brown chip. I chose this chip because I like the sound of the chip!
The digital input board, used for the mods as well as for the actual DAC itself, has built in ultra-low jitter clock with buffered inputs, managed by microprocessor control.
While we wait for the DAC PCB's, the digital input PCBs will be assembled and soon we will make available, the digital input mod (RCA and AES/EBU) for both the Sony XA-5400ES and Oppo BDP-95 players.
We are assembling a 'digital toolbox' that will soon allow us to offer digital inputs for specific modified players, a built-in DAC module, including 24/192 asynch' USB for our preamps and integrated amp, and also a standalone tube DAC with USB and all standard digital inputs, capable of up to 24/192 operation!
The future of Computer-Based Digital at ModWright is BRIGHT!
Thanks and please check back for more information!
25 November 2011
Nov. 25, 2011 - DAC News Update!
We wil receive the DAC PCB's this coming week and the digital input receiver boards are about two weeks from being complete.
As soon as we receive the DAC boards next week, we can start prototyping the final DAC design for use in our LS 100 and KWI 200 Integrated amp.
Once this is complete, the design for our standalone DAC will proceed. At this point, the standalone DAC looks like it will be a two-box design with tube power supply and tube analog stage. It will accept USB (24/192 asynch.), RCA, AES/EBU(XLR), and toslink (optical).
The enclosures will be approximately 8"Wx10"Dx4"H and can sit side by side on the shelf or over/under on different shelves.
We have been working a LONG time on our own digital offering and I am excited to say that all of the individual components are all now complete and final testing will begin next week!
Thanks and please keep checking back for more news!
27 November 2011
I want to take the opportunity to thank Jerry at 10Audio.com for the wonderful review of our KWA 150 Signature Edition. He was good enough to take unit home with him after the show and give us his impressions!
Check out the review via the link here or on our Reviews page!
15 December 2011
I want to warmly thank Andy Fawcett of Audiophilia.com for penning such a fantastic, thorough and heart-felt review of our KWA 100SE 100W SS amp as well as our LS 100 w/internal phono.
This combination of LS 100 and KWA 100SE continues to be a winning combination for our customers and offers phenomenal synergy and opens a window into the music!
15 December 2011
Well, CES is nearly upon us again!
We will be once again showing at the Venetian, in Suite 30-2222 with Audio Machina Loudspeakers.
We will have two systems:
An integrated system consisting of.
KWI 200 w/phono and DAC.
VPI Classic I TT with high output MC Dynavector cart.
BDP-95 or computer as source for DAC input.
CRM Compact Reference Speakers.
Main system will be:
KWA 150 Signature Edition
LS 100 w/internal DAC
Transport will be Logitec touch or PC
Power Conditioning by Running Springs Audio
New Sub/Monitor system from Audio Machina
The standalone tube DAC with external supply will follow a bit later. It turns out that this design will be slightly different than the DAC input modules for the LS 100 and KWI 200. The DAC, clock and digital circuitry will be the same, but we have to revise the controls and data streams to indicate sampling frequency and other controls interface issues. As a result, a new PCB will be designed, hence the delay.
2012 promises new Digital from ModWright, a standalone tube Phono Stage and more...
Happy Holidays to all and I hope to see you at CES!
11 March 2012
I have been exceptionally busy since before CES in Jan. 2012.
We had a great show in Las Vegas in January 2012 and afterwards, I took some time to regroup and look closely at our current projects, schedules, timelines, and what we are going to do for 2012!
It is not a surprise to many of you, that we have been moving PRETTY FAST for a while now! As a result, I realized that I simply had TOO MUCH on my plate, design-wise. I have been slowly and methodically working through all current designs, in order to release a number of projects that have been late to offer.
The truth is, it takes TIME to do proper design, and rushing a product out before it is ready is NO recipe for success!
As a result, I have 'hunkered down' in my 'lab' and worked hard to finalize the following designs:
Digital input mods: Oppo BDP-95 and Sony XA-5400ES.
Phono upgrade for KWI 200 Integrated.
USB/RCA 24/192 fully asynch' DAC upgrade for KWI 200.
USB/RCA 24/192 fully asynch' DAC upgrade for LS 100.
In addition to going over the operation and production efficiencies of our factory.
First of all, the digital input mods for the Oppo and Sony have been in the works for A LONG time and proved to be a MUCH bigger task that initially anticipated. We changed tack late last year, after realizing that it was not feasible to simply integrate our digital input receiver board into the Sony and Oppo. As a result, we added our own DAC to the receiver, such that the digital input includes our own DAC, completely separate from and BETTER than the players own DAC, but feeding the same tube analog stage as part of our mods.
The Oppo is still giving me fits, but I AM making progress. Specifically, it sounds great, but there are grounding issues that are not acceptable to me and I continue to analyze and approach this from different angles.
I am also about to install the same upgrade in the Sony XA-5400ES, where I do NOT expect the same grounding difficulties, due to a different power supply and grounding scheme in the stock player.
We have prototype installations of the full DAC and its own separate power supply, including USB input (24/192 asynch') in both the LS 100 and KWI 200. We showed these prototypes at CES and they sounded very good, but were still not ready for final release.
The LS 100 without USB is FANTASTIC. It is the addition of the USB module that is causing some difficulties, but I am very close to a final resolution here also.
The KWI 200 I HAVE just resolved the USB addition to the DAC - a breakthrough last week! I have only a minor programming issue to resolve and KWI 200's WILL be shipping WITH DACs!
KWI 200 will also ship with phono, in about a week. This worked flawlessly in the proto at CES, but I have been going over it to be sure that it is as quiet as possible and that the design is bullet-proof prior to release.
There is also the standalone DAC, that I have realized, will not be released until later this year. I first have to FINALIZE our other digital input and DAC designs and THEN, I will move onto a standalone unit that will involve further upgrades and requires a different layout and further programming.
The bottom line is that I am NOT Superman :roll: and can't do it ALL, RIGHT NOW, and do it RIGHT!
I have decicde to complete existing projects and be sure that everything is fully tested and ready for prime-time before taking on any new designs.
Right now, the STAR of our stable, is the KWI 200, 200W SS integrated amp, available with optional DAC and Phono.
Please see writeup of show coverage in this month's issue of The Absolute Sound! The KWI 200 received excellent mention and I have offered a unit for review, but am still waiting to hear back from this.
The KWI 200 has already been reviewed in Frances 'Haute Fidelite' where it received 6/6 stars!
Reviews are also about to be released in HK, in HiFi Review and Audio Technique.
Vietnam has at least one review in this works.
Australia has a review in a major audio print magazine that will be released in a couple of months.
Life is short and life is BUSY! These are interesting times and also exciting times. Technology is progressing at an amazing rate, as evidenced by computer audio. Technology also allows us to 'do more' (read, we work more!), and as any of you with children realize, every hour of every day is precious and short.
What I am trying to say is that while there have been delays, ModWright is moving forward with many new products. Please simply understand that quality and excellence takes time!
Thank you all for your business, support loyal following.
Take care and be well!
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.
28 March 2012
I'm sitting here on a beautiful spring day in Germantown TN listening to smooth jazz on my now pretty much broken in (450 hours or so) LS100 & KWA100SE and can so evidently hear why you said wait until they get the recommended hours on them before really deciding whether or not I liked them. These are wonderful musical pieces that I will enjoy listening to music through for years to come! Thank you for your dedication and talent, you provide to the rest of us the avenue to the rich enjoyment of music! F. Chirco, 3.24.12
I just wanted to share this great feedback. THIS is what it is all about for me! The ideal goal is to design gear that allows you to SIMPLY RELAX and enjoy the music!
Thanks and take care!
28 March 2012
OK, so I KNOW it has been a LONG time coming...and I am still not 100% complete with it, but I HAVE made a breakthrough and have NEWS finally!
The problem of noise that has been plaguing me, became clear to be grounding related, after I first resolved it in our KWI 200 and then in our LS 100. I have been trying to use 5V supplies from the player itself, but this is ALSO a no-go. So, with grounding revised AND a dedicated linear 5V supply provided inside the player, for the Digital input and DAC boards, I am rid of the noise!
I still have a few things to tidy up and optimize, but this is the first Sony XA-5400ES and I can say that it WILL be a success!
I will now apply the same grounding changes and SOMEHOW shoe-horn a dedicated supply inside the Oppo 95 and hopefully then will have success all around.
It sounds FANTASTIC! I am listening to a 24/96 feed, from an Logitech Touch, via WiFi of all things (RCA from Touch to Sony) and it sounds LIVE, NATURAL and BEAUTIFUL!
Thank you to all of you who have been SO patient. It will be FINALIZED soon!
16 May 2012
We are excited about attending the second annual T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2012!
Last years attendance was over 6500, which is incredible for a freshman effort. Richard and Bob should be VERY pleased. We had a great time last year and of course we will be there this year, in Hilton Hotel Room 317.
Hilton Hotel Room 317 is where we will be exhibiting with Daedalus Loudspeakers, with cabling by WyWires.
We will be showing off our Hot New KWI 200 (200W) SS Integrated Amp, with built-in phono and DAC (24/192 fully asynch., RCA & USB) options.
We will also have our LS 100 tube preamplifier with the same RCA/USB 24/192 DAC option built in. Digital sources will include SACD or other hi-rez disc playback via ModWright Tube Modified Oppo 95 Universal player, computer audio via MAC computers into LS 100 preamp/DAC and KWI 200 DAC, via both RCA and USB inputs. The Oppo will also feed the RCA inputs of one of the DACs, so that attendees can hear their own CD's, played through our DAC. The LS 100 can feed the KWI 200 via its Bypass inputs, so that the pair can also act as separates, utilizing the 200 strictly as an amplifier.
The theme for us this year is MODERN INTEGRATION. We feel that the KWI 200 200W No-Compromise Integrated, exemplifies this. Requiring only turntable (for vinyl playback), computer via USB or other disc spinner via RCA input, power cable and speakers, a TRUE HIGH PERFORMANCE system can be achieved!
I am working on creating a MWI 'virtual' remote via iPad app, so that we can not only manage the computer libraries via the iPad, but can also use the iPad as remote control for the KWI 200 integrated and LS 100 preamp.
I look forward to seeing all of you there, in Room 317 at The Hilton hotel!
Dan Wright, President
ModWright Instruments Inc.
16 May 2012
We are now shipping our High-Power, No-Compromise, Fully Integrated, 200W, KWI 200 SS, with optional phono and DAC (RCA & USB, 24/192, fully asynchronous).
The KWI 200 has been reviewed in HK, France, Vietnam, Singapore, and a review is in the works for Home Theater Online e-zine.
France's Haute Fidelite gave the KWI 200 5/5 stars!
Following are some quotes from our happy customers and dealers.
I have your integrated with DAC. Probably overkill for an office system, but I surely am happy about it.
I did match it head-to-head with my Lamm Ref 1.2 monos. They are about a year old and... well, they are simply really, really good. Claimed output of 110 per channel, Class A, but they put out more like 180 at clipping into 8 ohms. They run pretty hot.
Anyway, your integrated went toe to toe with them, and there was no knockout. Yours might have even had the edge in center imaging. Overall soundstage, especially depth, and bass definition probably went to the Lamms, but not by much. Let's just say I forgot about the fact that my reference amps were out of the system. - J. HIghtower, May 16, 2012.
Picked up the fully loaded KWI-200 from Vince @ Tri-cell a couple days ago, looks and sounds great ( as usual ).
22 May 2012
As many of you know, our LS 100 tube preamp is available with optional DAC (USB/RCA - 24.192 fully asynchronous) OR tube Phono.
The Phono was designed and intended for MC use. As designed, with 12AU7 and 12AX7 tube, it is capable of driving cartridges down to .30mV without a stepup transformer. Below this, a step-up is likely desired.
Because there is no MM/MC switch, it came to my attention later, that the phono stage WILL distort when used with cartridges of 2-3mV or higher. It is fine with a 1.5mV Dynavector and a .4mV Shelter that I use for testing, but higher output MC carts and MM carts WILL drive the phono stage to overload and distortion.
Well, I did some research into this and found a way to lower the phono gain by approximately 15dB, without any sacrifice in sonics.
The phono stage uses a single 12AU7 in the first stage, and a single 12AX7 in the second stage. For max gain, this is the tube complement that should be used. Substituting a 12AU7 for the 12AX 7 (now two 12AU7's are used for phono board), the phono stage provides 15dB less gain and will allow for a greater range of cartridges.
Thanks and please don't hesitate to call with any questions about upgrading an existing LS 100 to add DAC or Phono. Please note that only ONE option, DAC or Phono may be installed in the LS 100 however.
The KWI 200 Integrated amp DOES allow for installation of both DAC and SS phono stage.
ModWright Instruments Inc.
11 June 2012
…To not enjoy the finer things in life.
I write this, as I savor a new treat – Black Maple Hill, small batch, Kentucky Straight Bourbon, handmade sour mash. A treat that I brought back from California, thanks to Nina Sventitsky of WyWires, who was good enough to pick it up for me from Hi-Time cellars. This fine establishment, was recommended by Dave Clark of Positive Feedback. I asked Nina to have the proprietor suggest something unique and rare. They apparently have a FINE selection of wine and spirits.
Like High End Audio, Bourbon is one of a few simple pleasures for which I take time, in my busy life. I also enjoy a CAO Brazilian cigar to complement good bourbon.
Personally, it comes down to quality and not compromising the few simple pleasures in our busy routines. Our ‘personal’ time is more scarce it seems, as modern life becomes increasingly complex and demanding.
The notion of ‘Excellence’ has been at the heart of all ModWright products, since inception. It is embodied in our mission statement: Elegance.Simplicity.Truth.
This has become even MORE important to me as time speeds ahead. I realize the necessity of ALWAYS striving to improve and refine our products, designs and methods. The goal being, to design and build products that are ‘EXCEPTIONAL’. Like the ubiquitous iPhone, fine bourbon and cigars, ModWright’s audio equipment should be a pure and simple pleasure, that opens a gateway to musical enjoyment.
At the end of the day as I take a last glance at my smart phone, pour a drink and settle back to enjoy music during the brief respite at the end of my day, I ALSO want to escape into music.
It is my desire, that all of our products, be EXCEPTIONAL!
Don’t forget to enjoy the Finer Things in life….
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.
22 June 2012
Our first U.S. review of the KWI 200 has now been published. Penned by Terry London, for Home Theater Review.com, we are pleased to see a 5/5 star rating.
"I believe that Dan Wright has really "hit the ball out of the park" with his new KWI 200 Integrated Amplifier. Because of its build quality, handsome, physical appearance along with its beautiful rendering of the music's timbres, warmth and details without losing its punch or macro-dynamics, I would classify the KWI 200 as one of the best integrated amps on the market today, regardless of price. I would strongly recommend to put this on your audition list if your think you are in the process of selecting an integrated amp for your system." - Terry London, Home Theater Review.com
Please take the time to read the review, if you are in the market for a TRUE No-Compromise SS integrated, designed for todays world. Including optional USB/RCA input DAC and Phono sage, the KWI 200 offers a FULL function integrated to suit all of your needs and with 200W (8 ohm)/ 400W (4 ohm) of high-current power, will drive virtually ANY speaker.
Thanks and please contact your local dealer to audition.
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.
27 June 2012
As I sIt on the front porch and watch the mist clear as the sun rises, it's 5AM in sleepy Amboy WA and I realized that summer is truly with us.
For me this means less rain, more outside work on the property and a busy travel schedule. HK, Shanghai, Vietnam, L.A. and Denver lay ahead of me.
Being born and raised in Alaska makes me even more sensitive to and appreciative of, the shift from Winter into Spring and Summer. The dark winters and LONG summer days of my youth meant a quantum shift in my outlook and re-juvination of spirit as the seasons changed.
This must be ingrained in my psyche as I still feel this internal shift when summer dawns in rural WA.
2012 is the year of the KWI 200 Integrated Amp and introduction of ModWright's first DAC. The DAC, currently only available as an internal upgrade for the LS 100 tube preamp and KWI 200 Integrated Amp, will be released as a standalone design in the future. No release date yet for the standalone DAC, but it is proceeding nicely. All designs are fully asynchronous, 24/192 capable with USB and SPDIF (RCA) inputs at a minimum.
Along with a transition in my own head and seasons, I feel a shift also, not just in the global order itself, but in the world of audio. The way we enjoy music is changing. People are looking to simplify, as the benefits of technology provide what I like to call 'Modern Integration'.
There is a shift towards Integrated amplifiers these days...products that are TRULY integrated designs, not just scaled down versions of their respective separates. We seek a greater simplicity in our lives, but not at the expense of sonics.
Computer audio and smart phones have helped this change and technology as a whole, has made us accustomed to doing more with less. Often times, such as the case of MP3 and compressed audio, this comes at a price. However, with incredibly cheap memory, Solid State and conventional hard drives, storage space is no longer a concern. As a result, FLAC, WAV, AIFF and all uncompressed formats, with resolutions as high as 24/192 are now available to us, that were previously not available on a silver disc - excepting DVD-A and SACD.
My Spring and summer evenings involve landscaping, roto-tilling, tree pruning and gardening. This insures that I get my daily dose of vitamin D, much needed exercise and a re-connection to the earth. I simply spend too much time in my office/shop in the winter time and need to re-charge in the summer!
In the evenings, I find myself relaxing with headphones and my smart phone. OK, so uncompressed files are on the phone at least, but I find myself shocked at how good this is, and how far technology has come.
As summer yawns warmly ahead and visions of the Far East and LONG plane rides await, I am excited about the future of audio. 'Modern Integration' is a GOOD thing. Computers, smart phones, Integrated amps and the way we enjoy music is changing, for the better.
I have personally chosen to embrace this and hope that younger people will be encouraged to toss their MP3 tracks and enjoy hi-rez downloads through GOOD systems. High end is evolving, just like all of us and the rest of the world.
Change isn't always bad...
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.
29 June 2012
First of all, Kudos to Kurt Doslu for putting on a fantastic open house at Echo Audio in Portland:
1015 SW Washington St. Portland OR 97205
888.248.ECHO (3246) or 503.223.2292 / Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Portland is a wonderful city, with culture, character and MUSIC! From the symphony at Arlene Schnitzer Concert hall to fresh music at small venues such as the Roseland Theater. Portland is simply alive with music!
Echo Audio is a new/used audio shop, that embodies the Portland spirit. it is urban, hip, and always full of exciting new products and loyal customers, dropping by to see what has been taking in, new or used, for sale.
At the grand opening, artwork by Kurts wife and another local artist were on display both upstairs and adorning the walls of the shop. The art, modern and abstract on the whole, simply brought the store alive with a virtual feast for the eyes to complement music for the ears.
The most important thing I noted from the evening however, was the diversity of people in attendance. Young and old, men and women, from the hard-core audiophile, to the younger consumers, checking out the wall of headphones, jacked into their iphones and ipods.
Kurt caries products from Audio Engine, Marantz, to McIntosh, Wadia, Tannoy and ModWright....in short, the full spectrum of audio equipment, from powered desktop speakers, to high-end audiophile systems.
The beauty of this, especially in a city like Portland, populated by equal parts young hipsters and 'empty nest boomers' is that Echo Audio offers a gateway to and stepping off point, for those just getting into audio as well as the seasoned audiophile. THIS helps the health of the audio industry in general, educating the next generation of audiophiles.
One of my employees jokes that I'm like a Shark, continuously moving forward, forced to keep water flowing through its gills. I am continuously moving forward, watching the future and direction of audio, to be sure that we can provide what customers actually WANT, such as Integrated amps and DACs to allow the enjoyment of computer based hi-rez audio!
Music that night was played from a Meridian digital front end, controlled via iPad. Jeff Dorgay of Tone Audio http://www.toneaudio.com, DJ'd and he kept the mix FRESH, from Black Sabbath to Beethoven!
We brought a new KWI 200 for Kurt to put on display, but the system that night had already been setup and I got there after it started, so the KWI 200 was not used at the opening.
Kristin and her friend Bruce joined me and they (being the 30'ish youngsters that they are) were blown away by the headphones and excited by the Audio Engine powered speakers. I agree...the Audio Engine powered desktop speakers are an INCREDIBLE PRODUCT for the office and provide EXCEPTIONAL sound at a very reasonable price. THIS is where the younger audiophiles will get on the 'audio train' I believe.
[Kristin and I]
If I could sum up the theme of the evening in one thought:
Music, sharing, energy and revelation.
Bravo Kurt, for a great evening and for Echo Audio, offering a gateway to the joys of music through quality audio gear for ALL.
Thanks for reading and don't forget to take time out of your day to ENJOY MUSIC....
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.
20 October 2012
18 November 2012
21 November 2012
I am pleased to announce that we are well into finalizing the Oppo BDP-105 tube mods. I expect completion in 1-2 weeks. We are building on what we achieved with the Oppo BDP-95 and taking things to the next level, in accordance with the upgrades that Oppo has achieved with the 105!
I am currently listening to hi-rez streaming files from my PC through the USB inputs on the Oppo 105, using the Oppo's DACs, feeding our tube analog stage. I am comparing two different external power supply designs...
Please contact us if interested! 360.247.6688!
02 December 2012
07 December 2012
10 December 2012
- Total redesign and replacement of single-ended and fully balanced output stage with our own tube analog stage (6SN7 driver tubes).
- External PS (new design) with one rectifier (5AR4, GZ34, 5U4, 5V4 and equivalents) and two voltage regulator tubes (13EM7, 12EM7 and suitable subs.)
- 'Truth' umbilical of our own design.
- Upgraded Cardas GRFA series RCA's for stereo outs.
- Upgraded Furutech cryo-treated IEC.
- Highest Quality resistors in key signal path applications.
- All signal wire = 99.9999% pure, cryo-treated solid-core silver wire from Cardas metals.
- Upgrades to internal stock power supplies (Linear power supply replacement for stock SMPS not included )
- Damping mods for chassis and transport.
- External supply available with optional 'Hole' to allow for use of taller, larger diameter tubes other than 5AR4/GZ34 (just ask).
13 December 2012
People often ask WHICH speakers do I recommend with our amps and other electronics. Well, I have a number of speakers that I can recommend, many of which based on owning them and using them every day!
Many of you know that I am a big fan of Daedalus Loudspeakers. We use the Daedalus Ulysses with all-poly crossover in our Show Room:
I also use, in my office, Audio Machina CRM (Compact Reference Monitors) and CRS (Compact Reference Subwoofers) with Sound Anchor stands. These unique and beautiful speakers are machined out of solid billet AL and are perhaps the MOST neutral and revealing of any speaker I have heard. http://audiomachina.com/
Today we just received a new speaker from Van L Speakerworks - The Silhouette. I met John Van L at a LA & OC Audio Society meeting this year, where we were showing our KWI 200 and he was showing his 'Quartet' speakers (the Silhouettes were damaged in shipping en-route to L.A. unfortunately). I was VERY impressed with his speakers and he was impressed with how our amp drove his speakers. Needless to say, we decided to arrange a speaker trial for me and an Integrated Amp trial for John. As impressed as I was with the Quartets, the Silhouettes TRULY shocked me at how full-range (high-20's for sure), resolving and netural these speakers perform. They TRULY disappear and throw a HUGE soundstage. http://www.vanlspeakerworks.com/silhouette.html
This year in Vietnam I also had the pleasure of supporting our Vietnamese Distributor, Audio Choice, where they showed our KWA 150 Signature Edition amps with Magnepan 3.5's. The combination of our electronics with the Maggie 3.5's produced some of the most beautiful, balanced and magical sound that I have ever heard at a show. I had not previously had the opportunity to listen properly to the Maggies and was VERY surprised.
OK, so what do we recommend? Well, it really depends on your needs and your budge!
In the > $20K range, I highly recommend the Audio Machina speakers as a true Reference Loudspeaker. Each speaker is precisely machined and finished by owner Karl Schueman, who is both a brilliant designer and master machinist. Both sonically and aesthetically, stunning works of modern art!
In the > $10K range, the Daedalus Loudspeakers are the work of a true Master Craftsman! Each speaker is handmade from solid-hardwood by owner Lou HInkley. The cabinets are of the finest joinery and each pair is unique and special, to be treasured for years. As a musician, Lou knows music and how Live music sounds. The Ulysses are in our Showroom for a reason! They come ALIVE when driven by our KWA 150 Signature Edition amp!
In the < $5K range, I STRONGLY recommend the Van L speakers. Like Daedalus Audio, Van L Speakers are sold factory direct. As such, the value for the investment is SIGNIFICANT! I am stunned by how good the Silhouettes are and how BIG and powerful they sound, being driven by our KWI 200 Integrated amp! They are a 4 ohm load and of reasonable efficiency. They would be VERY well suited by our KWA 100, KWA 100SE or KWI 200 amps.
There are lots of speakers to choose from in the market, but I wanted to take the time to share three of MY favorite speakers that I listen to on a daily basis. I KNOW that they have exceptional synergy with our amplifers, preamplifiers and modified players.
While I do not own a pair (yet anyway...) I also found INCREDIBLE synergy between our KWA 150 Signature Edition amps and the Magnepan 3.5's! I am told that our KWI 200 is also an exceptional match with the Maggies.
If you are looking for speakers to pair with our amps, I hope that this information is helpful. Please do not hesitate to call and ask us if you feel that your speakers will be a good fit for our amps, or which amp would best suit your speakers.
ModWright Instruments Inc.
14 December 2012
03 January 2013
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As we step through the door of time into the New Year 2013, I find myself looking back on 2012. For me personally, and for most every person in the world I believe, 2012 was a very dynamic year, in both good and bad ways.
We faced storms, tragedies, a presidential election and avoided the 'fiscal cliff'. We lost a number of famous people in 2012, such as Dave Brubeck and Whitney Houston to name only two, that contributed to the music world. We even survived the Mayan's 12.21.12 date and all woke up the next morning to tell about it.
We grew as a country and as mankind, learned tough lessons and found inner strength and wisdom of which we were not aware existed. I learned to slow down, spend more time with family, to laugh, smile and enjoy music more. I found that by exercising, getting healthy and working a few less hours overall, I was more efficient and effective. I learned to appreciate the finer things in life, such as music, good bourbon and the sweet and infectious giggle of my three year old daughter. In short, I slowed down long enough to look around and realize just how much GOOD there is in my life and in the WORLD.
I believe that it is through struggle, failure and difficult times, that we LEARN and find inner strengths in ourselves. I believe that our country is going through this right now. We are seeing the struggles of many and the kindness and selflessness of others. We are a resilient people, as mankind and as a nation. We have all had to reach deep inside of ourselves to find the strengths to endure and succeed, moving forward STRONGER and with CONFIDENCE!
The new year represents a fresh start and a new attitude of strength and confidence. As I become more healthy physically and in life-view I see the sun shine even brighter.
Last year we released the KWI 200 and the new Oppo 105 tube mod. This year we will finalize the Oppo 103 mod and a SS mod for the Oppo 105. I have other designs in the works, but nothing concrete and no firm release dates. New products will be released when they are ready and I am confident that they are the best that they can be. I am experimenting with transformer-coupled tube designs and we shall see what comes out of this. I will follow my passion and my heart with regards to audio design in this year.
Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year and a bright and confident view of the new year ahead and the opportunities that it represents!
President, ModWright Instruments Inc (MWI)
28 January 2013
11 May 2013
OK, so I wrote this blog entry and am now just posting....guess I have been busy!
Axpona Chicago 2013
30 May 2013
The MOC is a brisk center of commerce, advertising and deal-making. The HiFi Deluxe offers a more personal interaction between consumers, dealers and distributors as well as manufacturers. I am pleased that Ibex Audio decided to show at HiFi Deluxe.
Regretfully our time in Munich had to come to an end. The HiF Deluxe show ended on Sat. evening, while the High End show at the MOC ended on Sun. I was able to do some sightseeing on Sunday, after concluding our business at the Marriott.
The day was spent in the city center, Marianplatz. Something that anyone traveling to Germany should know.....ALL stores are closed on Sunday! OK, so restaurants are open and a few places serving food, cafes and such are open, but if you want to do any shopping on Sunday, you are going to have to go to the....airport?
Strange to say, but true. I found that the airport, because it is outside of the city, is allowed to do business on Sunday. This is NOT just a few souvenier shops either. I was quite surprised to find QUITE a number of people at the airport, eating lunch, shopping for grocery and sundries, clothes, you name it! Inside of the airport is literally a multi-story shopping mall. As I said, strange but true!
Well, the 14 hour return trip to the States was comfortable and uneventful, thanks to KLM and Delta airlines. Opposite of my flight in, I had one layover in Amsterdam from Munich, where I then flew non-stop to Portland Oregon International.
Munich is THE international high-end audio expo in my opinion. This year was a fantastic event and I will return next year!
14 June 2013
In all of my years in audio I have and never written about any of the myriad of products that I have used. As one can imagine, I have used more products than almost any individual will see or use in his or her lifetime. As is well known, over the years I have very much favored Audio Research products and used many of them over the years. For the first time, I am compelled to write about a product that is so extraordinary it has completely allowed me in a wonderful way, to enjoy music as never before. I've always prided myself, and lucky enough, to have experienced some of the greatest and most expensive audio products ever made. Some of my own products luckily have fell into that category.
The product that I am writing about, and obviously extraordinarily crazy about is the Oppo 95/105 with the complete Modwrights vacuum tube modifications. The Oppo without the modifications is a wonderful device on its own and given class A designations in the midst of many other far more expensive players. Many people I know use the Oppo as it comes from the factory in their systems and are delighted with the results. Before sending the Oppo 95 to Modwright, I spent several weeks breaking in the device and listening carefully. I found the device to be very musical with great articulation, excellent imaging and very satisfying. Having had several Modwright player modifications in the past, I knew what a great difference they would make.
After receiving the modified Oppo with all of the important Modwright magic including the double 6sn7 vacuum tube modifications of the analog section, and also, the complete three vacuum tube power supply, I had one more thing to do which was taking Dan Wrights suggestion of using the Sophia 6sn7s and a new old stock Mullard rectifier. I then took my first listen to this device and this is where all my words will not be sufficient to really properly describe the sound that issued forth.
All of us have heard the descriptive words like resolution, articulation, huge sound field, and slam. None of these appellations can adequately describe the sound of this device. One of the ways that I would choose to describe this device over all the other DACs, players, and transports that I have heard, would be that the Modwright Oppo is the only one that really lets the emotion of the music and the players of the music really be heard in a way that is closer to the live experience than I have ever heard before. Sure, the Modwright has all of the above descriptors in spades. It has the most enveloping sound field that I've ever heard and all of the articulation and resolution that one could ask for without making the music edgy. I've heard many DACs and players that have great articulation and resolution but they seem to get it with a little more edginess in their presentation than real music ever has.
In my opinion, the best recordings of classical music has been made over the years by Reference Recordings. Now with this device,at 24/176.4 I can play their sensational H R X recordings and hear them exhibit music closer to the real thing than I have ever heard before. Also, hearing my best SACD recordings also takes the emotional quality of music to a new level.
My final remarks are very simple. If you want to hear music in all its glory I would implore you to rush out and get this Modwright Oppo,you will never be sorry.
Arnie Nudell(Famed Genesis Loudspeaker Designer among other accomplishments - Dan Wright)
08 July 2013
LIMITED TIME! SUMMER MODS SALE - ALL MODS 20% OFF!!!!
Dates: July 8 - July 15, 2013.
All modification orders taken this week will be discounted 20%!
Exclusions to this include player cost and Sophia tubes as we have no profit margins there at all.
Oppo BDP 105 Tube mods
Sony XA-5400ES Tube mods
PS 9.9 upgrades
If you have been thinking about having a player modified, now is the time to schedule the work! This sale is only for ONE WEEK!
Thanks to all that have and continue to support ModWright Instruments!
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.
30 September 2013
We just received this fantastic review and it made me smile! It is a great read, a great review and should help us ALL remember why we first got excited about audio to begin with!
30 September 2013
17 October 2013
Order tube mod ($2495) for Oppo BDP-105 (customer supplied unit) and we will include FOR FREE: 2CH Bybee Rail, Audio Magic Pulse Gen and FREE SHIPPING, within the continental U.S., via UPS Ground w/ins. (Int'l customers qualify, but must pay actual freight charges).
2CH Bybee Rail upgrade = $250 value. Link: http://www.bybeelabs.com/
Audio Magice Pulse Gen Zx upgrade = $400 value. Link: http://www.audio-magic.com/Prod-PulseGenZX.html
UPS Ground shipping = up to $75 value.
TOTAL SAVINGS = OVER $700!!!
This is a ONE WEEK sale, so please call us NOW if interested!
Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!
12 December 2013
I want to thank David Robinson at Positive Feedback Online (PFO) for awarding us a 2013 'Brutus Award' for the Oppo 105 Modification!
2013 has been a busy year for us at ModWright!
Sales of the Oppo 105 have been exceptional and it has received praise from many customers as well as notable industry professionals such as Arnie Nudell of Infinity and Genesis fame!
This has also been a great year for the KWI 200 and towards the end of the year, I feel that both in the U.S. and abroad, the virtues of our Flagship Amplifier - The KWA 150 Signature Edition - have begun to receive much broader recognition.
It is an exciting time in Audio with Hi-Rez Digital, a resurgance in Analog playback, both tape and vinyl, as well as the explosion of Headphone listening.
I have not been lounging....
The Elyse DAC is in its final design stages, as well as a Reference Phono preamplifier. We are expecting to release both new products by the end of Q1, 2014.
I am also investigating headphone amplifier designs, starting with hybrid tube/SS designs.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our loyal customers, dealers and distributors around the world for supporting ModWright Instruments and all that we do.
I also want to wish you all a Warm Holiday Season and Happy New Year.
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.
15 January 2014
10 February 2014
Oppo has just announced the new Oppo 105 Darbee edition. This unit is $100 more than the standard Oppo BDP 105 and features two significant upgrades.
The video performance is significantly upgraded first of all. We do not modify the video, nor do we in any way disable the video features.
The significant upgrade for Audio, is that the Darbee 105 will accept DSD and DXD (DSD 64 and DSD 128) directly into the DAC USB input, to allow streaming of high-rez DSD music.
Because the rest of the unit is not changed, our modification stays the same.
We are happy to announce a $500 sale on mods for all Oppo 150 Darbee edition units. We also include return shipping as part of this promotion.
This sale begins today and extends for one week! Feb. 10-17, 2014.
Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you.
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.
01 April 2014
22 May 2014
Just got back from the Munich High End Show and HiFi Deluxe, 2014.
I want to thank our distributor Ibex, for putting on a great exhibit at HiFi Deluxe.
We had a great time and made beautiful music at HiFi Deluxe:
We made beautiful music at the High End Audio show (MOC):
Tune Audio Anima Horn speakers and Pulse Subwoofer
Amazon Audio Analog
Signal Projects Audio cabling throughout.
ModWright Instruments KWA 150SE Amp
ModWright Instruments LS 36.5 'DM' tube preamp.
ModWright 'ELYSE' tube DAC (NEW!).
A big thank you also to Jack Durant, of BD Audio, our UK distributor for all of the work he did for ModWright at the MOC.
Germany is a modern, elegant and friendly city. We enjoyed great food, VERY good German beer and the company of many of our Euro and Global distributors at what has become THE International Audio show of the year.
I will share more photos as they become available to me.
I look forward to next year in Munich!
ModWright Instruments Inc.
27 May 2014
I want to thank AV Showrooms for their awarding us a Gold Show Award HiFi Deluxe Best Sound for Munich 2014.
We had a great showing of an all vinyl system, thanks to Ibex, our distributor for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The system consisted of:
ModWright KWA 150SE Amplier
ModWright LS 36.5 'DM' dual mono tube preamplifier
ModWright PH 150 Reference Phono stage
Rui Borges TT
Funk Firm TT
Harmonic Technology Cabling
Solid Tech Racks
This was the first PRODUCTION debut of our PH 150 Reference phono stage and this all-vinyl system sounded fantastic.
Thanks again to Ibex for their hard work and great room and to AV Showrooms for the video coverage and award.
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.
11 July 2014
16 August 2014
PH 150 Reference Phono
Yes, we are NOW shipping both the new PH 150 Reference Phono stage and ELYSE DAC!!!
Professional photos are still to be arranged....
MM/MC: 72dB max MC gain; 57dB max MM gain.
Loading: (6) resistive and (6) capacitance loadings via front panel control - on the fly!
Gain Adjustment: Front panel on-the-fly control of gain = 0dB, -6dB, -12dB attenutation.
Input Switching: MM/Mute/MC input switching on-the-fly via front panel controls.
Mono/Stereo Switching: Front panel controls.
Phase Switching: rear toggle.
XLR/RCA Output Switching: Rear toggle selects XLR (fully balanced) or RCA outs.
Power Supply: External, pure SS, via 4ft. umbilical.
Tubes: (2)6C45; (2)6922/6DJ8/7308
Digital Inputs: SPDIF (RCA); SPDIF (BNC); AES/EBU (XLR); USB (24/192 fully asynch).
Analog outputs: XLR (fully balanced); RCA.
DAC: Burr Brown PCM1794.
Digital Technology: FLGA based data and clock buffering via proprietary algorithm and custom dual frequency clock for lowest jitter. DSD capability will be future upgrade option.
Analog Circuitry: Transformer (Lundahl) coupled input and output with no capacitors in signal path. 6922 tube based design.
Power Supply: Separately regulated analog and digital supplies. Tube rectified and SS regulated high voltage supply. Current regulated tube filament supply and redundant digital voltage regulation.
Tube Rolling: Rectifier: 5AR4/5R4GYS/5U4G/5U4GB/5V4G/5V4GB/217. Driver tubes: 6922/6DJ8/7308.
29 October 2014
We are pleased to announce the new Elyse DAC!
The Elyse DAC has been over two years in the making and I am very excited about the results! Elyse, the namesake of my 5-year old daughter, it is just as beautiful and full of energy as she is.
Please see the latest review from the UK!
The Elyse DAC is an all-tube design with RCA, BNC, AES/EBU and USB (24/192 fully asynchronous) inputs (will be future upgradable for DSD input).
Please contact your local dealer or distributor for more information. If you do not have a ModWright dealer near you, please contact us for more information.
29 October 2014
We are pleased to present the new PH 150 Reference Tube Phono stage with on-the-fly loading and attenuation controls.
The PH 150 is an all tube-transformer coupled design with external SS PS 150 power supply.
Max gain = 72dB. MM/MC, Stereo/Mono, RCA and XLR (fully balanced outs) and rear phase toggle.
Resistive and capacitive loading may be adjusted on-the-fly via front panel controls.
Gain may also be adjusted in 0, -6dB and -12dB steps, on-the-fly for both MM and MC inputs.
Inputs may also be switched on-the-fly, from MM to MC carts for tables with multiple arms.
We are very excited about our Flagship PH 150 tube phono stage. It is receiving praise from around the globe!
For more information, please contact your local ModWright dealer or distributor. If you do not have a dealer near you, please contact ModWright for more information.
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.
22 November 2014
New Review in The Absolute Sound for the ModWright Oppo 105 Truth Mods, by Jim Hannon! - http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/modwright-oppo-bdp-105-with-truth-modifications/
Sony HAZ-Z1ES DSD Music Server Mods!
PH 150 Reference Tube Phono gains huge praise across the globe!
ModWright Assembles 'A' Team for Munich Show in 2015!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FKma9wD21Y (Bonn show 2014 video coverage, thank you Cor Dekker!).
Lots to be excited about right now at ModWright. We are first of all most grateful to Jim Hannon of The Absolute Sound for his fantastic review of our Oppo 105 Truth mods. I also want to thank Arnie Nudell for his continued praise of our products and immense support of our work.
ModWright's answer to DSD is the Oppo 105D as DAC (accepts up to DSD2 files via USB input) and the new Sony HAP-Z1ES Hi-rez music server which converts ALL music formats to DSD resolution!
The Oppo 105D is the ultimate Universal Player and DAC, as well as 4K video player for Home Theater.
The Sony HAP-Z1ES offers the ultimate music server solution for those who have made the leap to computer audio and want both Hi-Rez playback and the convenience of having their ENTIRE music library archived in one place, on one source, now with ModWright Truth Level sonics!
The Elyse DAC is ModWright's Reference tube DAC! This is the first digital product of our own design and I am peased and proud to name it after my beautiful 5 year old daughter Elyse! it is Lundahl transformer coupled in and out, direct-coupled with no capacitors in the signal path. Capable of data rates up to 24/192 (DSD future upgradable), it offers Redbook and Hi-Rez playback via SPDIF, AES/EBU and USB input. Outputs are RCA and XLR (fully balanced). Tube complement = (2) 6922's and (1) 5AR4 (5U4GB, 5V4GB, 5R4GYS, 274 and equivalent rectifiers).
The PH 150 Reference tube phono has shipped to HK, Denmark, UK, Germany, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan and beyond. With on-the-fly loading for R, C and gain, MM and MC inputs, RCA and XLR fully balanced outputs and 72dB max MC gain, the PH 150 is the ultimate in vinyl playback and flexibility!
Lastly we are excited to announce that plans have been finalized for ModWright to show with the folloiwng 'A' team, in Munich 2015:
Endeavor Audio Speakers
The Funk Firm Turntable
Jorma Design Cables
ModWright Instruments Electronics
Following a Best Sound of Show at this years Bonn show, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FKma9wD21Y (video courtesy of Cor Dekker) thanks to our German distributor Ibex, we have found this to be a Class A system!
Exciting times at ModWright!
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.
10 December 2014
I want to thank Mr. Anderson for his kind words. He emailed me today, a brief writeup of how he feels about the Elyse DAC and I had to share.
God bless this Earth, God bless America, and God bless Dan and the ModWright staff. I sold my ModWright Oppo 105 based on Dan’s recommendation to try the Elyse. As the ModWright 105 is like a 5th baseball play-off game in the 9th, and the winning team just hit a game winning homer, the Elyse DAC is the 7th game in the World Series, where the winning team just hit a grand slam to win it all. ModWright has hit this out of the park. The emotion, the texture, the soul of music, has just risen ten fold in my system. I would not have known this by just listening to my previous ModWright 105, but now I have heard the light. I am not a professional reviewer, so I will let them report later on, as they can do a better job than me. I can only express my deepest gratitude to Dan and Alex, and the team at ModWright, for an exceptional, mind/ear bending experience. - J. Anderson, 12/10/14
02 February 2015
A Picture says it all....
ModWright and Tune Audio in glorious display in the UK!
I want to thank Jack of BD Audio for his excellent representation of ModWright Instruments in the UK.
I am pleased to announce, as of today, that we will be showing in Munich, at the MOC, with Tune Audio and VPI.
03 February 2015
11 February 2015
I am pleased to announce that the ModWright BDP 105 (and 105D) modification have been awarded an Editor's Choice Award for 2015 in The Absolute Sound. Jim Hannon wrote a great review of this mod in a prevoius isssue.
The Sony HAPZ-1ES (stock) ALSO received an Editor's Choice award and we ALSO offer a fantastic mod for the Sony. We are currently offering a sale on the HAPZ-1ES mods = $2250 ($2500 intro price/ $2995 retail).
Please let us knwo if you are interested in having either unit modified as we are getting busier every day!
05 May 2015
17 August 2015
We are getting ready for Capital Audio Fest 2015 and have DEMO OPPOS FOR SALE and also some new products to debut!
We have SOLD ONE OF THE DEMO OPPOS ALREADY - ONE REMAINS!!!
We will be debuting a prototype of the new SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition tube linestage, to be released later this fall at < $3K, using 5687 tube and including a built-in headhpone amp!
We also have a new surprise in a SE Tube amp - A NEW DIRECTION for ModWright and I look forward to feedback from those who hear and see it!
24 August 2015
We are pleased to unveil a new product and potential new direction for ModWright Instruments (MWI). We hope you like it! Please come and check it out if you are able. Please visit us in the Randal Room and Room 309.
We are also going to be debuting a prototype of the SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition preamp. This marks 16 years in business and 12 years after the release of the first SWL 9.0SE linestage, the namesake of Spencer Wright, 9.0lb at birth!
Hope you like what you see at the unveiling (photos will be shared if not present) and please share your thoughts and feedback.
03 September 2015
We were so happy to unveil the Ambrose Concept tube amp from MWI at Capital Audiofest 2015. This is a joint venture of ModWright, Electraprint, Daedalus Audio and CJ Manufacturing.
The circuit design and transformer winding are by Jack Elliano, woodwork by Lou Hinkley of Daedalus Audio and Custom Machining by Dave Palka of CJ Manufacturing. We are all very excited about how this turned out.
(All photos by Scot Hull, Part Time Audiophile)
Captial Audiofest 2015 was a great show and a credit to Gary Gill's hard work and excellent service from the Hilton Hotel, Rockville MD.
We had two rooms, both with Daedalus Speakers and Wywires cabling. The smaller room, hosted by our MD dealer, Scott Dalzell of Viva HiFi featured our new SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition in proto form, as well as our Elyse DAC, PH 150 Reference Phono stage and ModWright modified Oppo 105D.
The larger room (Randolf Room) featured our KWA 150SE as amplifier and our LS 36.5 'DM' as preamp. In the Randolf room, we were pleased to be able to spin vinyl with the new VPI Avenger Turntable. We used a VPI Aries in the smaller room.
Our thanks go out to the excellent photography and coverage from Scot Hull of Part Time Audiophile:
We are also most grateful to Stereophile for their blog coverage by Art Dudley:
And also to Herb Reichert
Speaking of which, yes Herb, I would love to have you review the SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition when available.
And Art, yes of course you will be called first when I have an Ambrose ready for review. ;)
Our sincere gratitude also goes out to AVS forum for their video coverage of our room:
I will continue to share more as it comes in, but I wanted to put what we had together so far, in one blog post.
29 September 2015
We are excited to prepare for this years RMAF show in Denver, CO, Oct. 2-4, 2015.
World Premier! We will be debuting several new products, including the Cost No Object 845 DS SET mono blocks - 32W/CH - in room 8002.
We will be showing the 845 DS Monoblocks in room 8002 with Skogrand cables, Endeavor loudspeakers, Triangle Art TT, arm and Cartridge. The rest of the system will include ModWrght LS 36.5 'DM', Elyse DAC, PH 150 phono and modified Oppo 105D.
The 10W/CH SE EL34 Ambrose tube amp will be on display also.
Two new prototype products:
The SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition preamp (< $3K), with integral headphone amp, similar styling as the orginal SWL 9.0SE with better sound!
We are bringing an early prototype of an all tube headphone amp, designed by Damon Coffman of Coffman labs, to go into production as a ModWright product. It provides 2-3W+ power for the most demanding headphones, and offers mini, 1/4" and XLR inputs. (2)6922's and (4)12B4's, all NOS make up the tube complement. We will be giving after-hours demos of the new headphone amp in the Iris room with a number of high-end headhpones and WyWires cable.
MWI will be in the Iris room With Daedalus and Wywires, 8002 as described above and our Elyse DAC and PH 150 will be used in room 422 with Purity, Daedalus and Wywires.
I look forward to seeing you all there! Please stop by Friday night at 6:00 in room 8002 and the Iris room where we will have informal gatherings.
15 October 2015
23 November 2015
We have a lmited number of show demo and trade-in demo units: KWI 200, KWA 100SE, LS 100, LS 36.5 'DM" available.
UP TO 30% OFF RETAIL - SHIPPED.
(Domestic U.S. and Canada customers only)
CALL NOW: 360.247.6688 or 360.690.6556
20 December 2015
21 January 2016
I want to thank Carol Clark for writing a fantastic article titled: In Search of the Perfect Song, the RMAF Edition:
At RMAF this year, we took a step in a new direction for ModWright, featuring two new tube amps, both Single Ended, with exquisite fit and finish, in a collaboration with Daedalus Audio (wood work and design), Electraprint Audio (transformers and tube design technology) and CJ Manufacturing (brilliant metalwork).
The Ambrose is a 10W EL34 based, Class A, single ended design.
The 845 DS is a 30W SET, Class A1, Cost No Object Monoblock design.
The article is about the ONE SONG that for each of us, gives the True experience of escape that only music can.
Carol describes this experience with The Cure's song "Play for Today" through the Ambrose amp, Daedalus Poseidon speakers and WyWires Diamond cables as follows:
Almost immediately I began to get lost in the song, feeling those chills that signify this is one of my perfect songs. By midway through I was oblivious to anything around me, except the music. Wow.
We had installed the 845 DS monos in another room early in the show and ultimately found that they were a better match with the more efficient Poseidon speakers.
Carol was kind enough to come back and listen again on the third day. Her comments about the same song in the same system, but this time with the 845 DS SET monoblocks:
The first time I listened to the song in this room it was crazy good, but this time it was even better. The music came out and surrounded me, and the shivers were even stronger. These amplifiers with these speakers are a winning combination. If I had my way, I would have taken up that sweet spot seat and sat there for the rest of the day, listening to every song on the Paris recording. Everything in that system just melded together in the best way possible.
Thank you Carol, for your kind words, sharing YOUR favorite song, and for being one of my favorite people in Audio.
16 March 2016
Introducing Tryst, the first dedicated Headphone Amp from MWI.
Base Price: $2995 - Factory Direct (special finish and options may add to cost).
‘trist’ : A secret meeting or rendezvous…
Factory direct model was chosen to allow best value to customer and no compromise in component, build quality, finish and sound.
Come see TRYST AT SoCal CanJam March 19-20 in Costa Mesa, CA!
Circuit Design by Damon Coffman of Coffman Labs
Oxblood Custom Finish, Tryst and TPS Power Supply
Tryst was designed to drive all modern headhpones, with the exception of Stax and other electrostats, that require a specific type of amplifier. We have successfully used Tryst with HiFi Man, Mr. Speaker Ethers, The Abyss and Audeze's LCD series of headphones as well as more conventional offerings from Sennheiser and Grado. At 3W+ into 18 ohms, the amp offers plenty of power for the most demanding applications.
We designed the unit with two source inputs, two preamp outputs for use as a preamp or with other powered desktop speakers, etc. Outputs include 1/4" stereo, IEM (mini stereo) and 4 pin XLR balanced outputs. The circuit is all tube, interstage and output transformer coupled with custom hand-wound transformers from Jack Elliano at Electraprint Audio.
Power supply is external and SS rectified and choke current regulated.
Tube Complement: (2) 6922, (4) 12B4 - all NOS.
Circuit Design: PP transformer coupled with zero negative feedback and pure Class A operation.
Controls include input select: Mute, I, II. Volume (noble pot). IEM only enabled when 1/4" Jack has headphones or 1/4" Jack adaptor installed.
MWI caps and top quality shielded wire throughout to insure absolute quiet performance.
Power supply is fully external for the same reason, with custom WyWires umbilical connecting supply to amp (3ft).
Custom finishes available for tube 'hood' and transformer bell ends. Base enclosures are flat black. Knobs and connectors on face are silver. Faceplates are hand polished black anodized AL.
These units are built on a 'Bespoke' model with regards to finish and possibly other options such as wiring and internal components.
Custom Black Metallic Finish with polished Steel End Bells
External Tryst Power Supply (TPS)
Thank you again for your support and feedback. I look forward to seeing you at SoCal CanJam, this weekend! (March 19-20, 2016).
For order inquiries and questions:
ModWright Instruments Inc (MWI)
25 April 2016
ALL MODS 25% OFF UNTIL THE END OF APRIL SO ACT FAST!!!
Details of mods are listed on our site:
15 May 2016
23 May 2016
Thank you once again to David Robinson for the great photos and Audio Oasis award for our room with Ryan Speakers. I too felt that this system had a special synergy and the attendees agreed. Many telling me that this room weas their favorite and the sound we were getting from modestly priced ($5K) Ryan 630 speakers that just did everything right.
It was also the first big reveal of our new SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition preamp and I was thrilled with the results.
16 June 2016
Thanks to Lee Shelly for the great photography.
Announcing our new SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition preamp, celebrating 13 years since the release of our first product, the SWL 9.0SE, and 17 years in business.
Please contact your local MWI dealer or distributor or contact us to find your nearest dealer!
16 June 2016
Thanks to Lee Shelly for the great photography!
Announcing our new Tryst Headphone Amp, in Oxblood finish.
MWI's first headphone amp offers 3W of power, capable of driving headphones from 16 ohm to 600 ohm, including all modern headphones (excluding electrostats).
21 July 2016
Evolution of MWI Tube Design
In July of 2015, Dan Wright visited Jack Elliano of Electraprint Audio, Master transformer winder. The intent of the visit was to learn to wind our own chokes for R&D and custom work. In the process, Dan also learned many of the secrets involved in winding audio output transformers, which are the key to the magic of any tube amp’s sound!
While visiting Jack, Dan heard a 10W, Single Ended (SE) EL34 based prototype that Jack had been working on. The technology, dubbed Isolinear by Elliano, focused on the reduction of IMD (Intermodulation Distortion) as well as THD (Total Harmonic Distortion). Jack found a way to design a circuit, in single ended mode, with the EL34 (only), operating as a Pure Pentode with a specific transformer design.
Dan was struck by how natural, dynamic and ‘live’ the sound was, from the 10W amp. Working alongside Jack, Dan wound a pair of these special design transformers so that he could build a 10W EL34 amp for himself. The results were stunning here, as they were at Jack’s, and from this, the ‘Ambrose’ line of tube amps from MWI was born.
The Original Ambrose
(Debuted at Capital Audiofest in DC with rave reviews, in late August 2015)
Retail Price: $10,000
Power: 10W Pure Class A.
Tubes: (1) EL34 per channel and (1)12AT7 per stereo amp.
Inputs: (1) Pair RCA.
Outputs: (1) Pair 5-way binding posts.
Transformers: Power and Audi Output Transformers: Custom Electraprint transformers, wound for 6 ohm load.
Finish and Build: Mirror polished Stainless Steel top plate.
Precision machined and engraved, 1” thick solid AL billet top and bottom plates and edge trim. Highly figured Flamed Maple enclosure with dovetail joinery construction and hand-rubbed oil finish. All point-point internal construction with custom MWI capacitors and the best possible components.
The desire for more power prompted the next concept build. The 845 SET (Single Ended Triode) is capable of putting out as much as 32W in Class A1. 32W is enough power to drive a much broader range of speakers. While the 10W Ambrose sounded beautiful, it required speakers of a higher efficiency.
An inquiry to Jack Elliano again returned a transformer and circuit design with custom reactors and output transformers, capable of achieving this result, with the same Isolinear technology. It was decided that this would be a CNO (Cost No Object) Statement design!
NOS (New Old Stock) Westinghouse ceramic 845 tube sockets, Tektronix ceramic wire mounts with silver contacts, PSSS (Partial Silver Stranded Secondary) audio output transformers, MWI caps, and Skogrand Beethoven Ultra-Reference internal wiring were chosen for the internal build.
The enclosure was designed similarly to the original Ambrose, but with highly figured Instrument Grade Walnut enclosure, mirror polished stainless steel top plate and 1” thick AL billet top and bottom plates.
Due to the size of the transformers and tubes, these were designed as mono-blocks. Each enclosure was 16”W x 24”D x 6”H, not counting tubes or transformers. Where the original Ambrose featured exposed transformers, the 845 DS included AL transformer covers (two per mono block), finished in ‘Oxblood Hue’ prismatic powder coat, for a deep and rich burgundy wine color.
The sound of the 845 DS is spacious and deep, with an ‘unworldly’ soundstage. We have never heard such a boundless soundstage and open presentation in our reference system. Operating at 1200V plate voltage, the 845 SET, driven by 6HV5 Compactron Beam Triode allowed for enormous voltage swing and unparalleled headroom. The 845 DS offers the sweet midrange of a good SET amp with the power and dynamics of a high power amp.
Ambrose 845 DS Mono Blocks
(Debuted at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver with ecstatic reception in early Oct, 2015)
Retail Price: $49,995/pr.
Power: 32W Pure Class A.
Tubes: (1) 845 Direct Heated Triode and (1) 6HV5 Compactron Beam Triode per mono amp.
Inputs: (1) Pair RCA.
Outputs: (1) Pair 5-way binding posts.
Transformers: Power, Audio Output Transformers, Chokes and Reactors. Custom Electraprint design, wound for 6 ohm load.
Finish and Build: Mirror polished Stainless Steel top plate.
Precision machined and engraved, 1” thick solid AL billet top and bottom plates and edge trim. Highly figured Flamed Maple enclosure with dovetail joinery construction and hand-rubbed oil finish. All point-point internal construction with custom MWI capacitors and the best possible components. Oxblood Hue prismatic powder coat finished transformer covers.
Photo courtesy of Part-Time Audiophile.
The evolution of these concept designs culminated in the Ambrose A30 mono block amplifiers, as production models. We determined that 30W was needed to drive a greater variety of loudspeakers, and the EL34 tube provided the right combination of excellent sonics, tube availability and reasonable build cost.
We knew that a single EL34 tube could produce a clean and low distortion (IMD and THD) 10W of VERY musical power. Further research with Jack Elliano proved that the same could be done with two EL34’s in parallel for 20W, but at the time, three tubes was problematic, leading to oscillation and instability. This initial research was done with Dan and Jack Elliano in July of 2015.
Early in 2016, Jack called Dan to tell him that he found a way to stabilize the Trio of EL34 parallel pentodes for a 30W Ambrose amplifier. Dan travelled to Vegas again to work with Jack and listen to the prototype. It was GOOD and Dan felt that a sweet spot had been found. It was a clean 30W of power that did not require HUGE power transformers operating at 1200V and expensive 845 tubes.
Dan requested a special pair of output transformers designed for a 30W EL34 Ambrose mono block pair, capable of EXCELLENT low AND high frequency response. This was a special design because transformer designs often require a compromise of bandwidth due to the physics involved in Single Ended output transformers. More core mass was added and the design was revised by Jack Elliano to deliver what we needed.
The Ambrose A30 Mono Blocks were born. The A30’s possessed the sparkle, dynamics and lively sound of the 10W Ambrose AND enough power to drive a much greater variety of speakers. It was also much less costly to build than the Reference 845 DS mono blocks, making it more attainable for a greater customer base.
Ambrose A30 Mono Blocks
(Debuted at T.H.E. Show, Newport, CA, in early June 2016. We knew we had hit the mark!)
Power: 30W Pure Class A.
Tubes: (3) EL34 and (1)12AT7 per mono amp.
Inputs: (1) Pair RCA.
Outputs: (1) Pair 5-way binding posts.
All point-point internal construction with custom MWI capacitors and the best possible components.
Transformers: Power and Audio Output Transformers. Custom Electraprint, wound for 6 ohm load.
Finish and Build: 3/8” precision machined and engraved AL billet top and bottom plates.
Highly figured Flamed Maple enclosure with dovetail joinery construction and hand-rubbed oil finish. Oxblood Hue prismatic finish transformer covers.
Photo courtesy of Positive Feedback Online.
MWI’s Tube Amp Journey
ModWright has always designed tube source products and preamps, from digital to analog, but our amps have always been solid state. The reason for this is that Dan has never been satisfied with the sound of tube amps that he has heard.
Having owned OTL, Push-Pull and SET (Single Ended Triode) amplifiers, Dan has always been familiar with the strengths of each and also their weaknesses. Dan has always felt that tube amps, while beautiful sounding in many respects, tend to fall short in terms of speed, dynamics, resolution and frequency response. This is where SS amps have the edge.
The best SS amps can achieve the shortcomings of tube amps and still offer remarkable sonics without edge, glare or grain. It is for this reason, that MWI has always designed tube preamps for their beautiful sound and SS amps, for their control and power.
This process of design, education and enlightenment has taught Dan that Tube Amps CAN be remarkable and achieve a level of sonic realism and beauty that SS amps cannot. While the laws of physics and magnetics will always set SS and tube designs apart, in what they are ultimately capable of, we feel that the Ambrose line of amplifiers has reached a level of performance and power that we feel merits the MWI name.
The Ambrose A30 mono blocks, with Daedalus speakers at T.H.E. Show, Newport CA, 2015, showed the world a level of sonic beautify and live sound that we have never achieved at a show before. Musicians, audio engineers and audiophiles alike who heard the system, all remarked that there was a magic in the system that was special and new.
The Journey is never over, but we at MWI are enjoying the ride. This chronicles the evolution of the Ambrose A30 mono block tube amplifiers.
25 July 2016
I want to thank Michael Fremer for the excellent review of our PH 150 Reference phono stage in Stereophile magazine.
Link to PDF of print review: