To Infinity and….VERY BUSY!
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 🙄 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.