Issue #155 February 2004

CES and T.H.E Show 2004

by Martin DeWulf

Having just finished my audition of the UltraVerve tube preamp, I was anxious to hear the music in the deHavilland room. Every time I have a component in for review, and then have the opportunity to audition the same component as set up by the manufacturer…I leap at the chance. If I’m doing things right, my sound will be similar to that heard at the show – not exactly the same, but the character should be there. But it wasn’t the preamp that had my eyes bugging out as I entered the room – it was the studio type reel to reel tape deck churning out true "hi-rez" music from a bygone era. As a child of the musical 70s, the sight of a reel to reel means a trip back to a time when every serious audiophile and music lover had spinning reels of tape on an Akai, Pioneer, or Technics (a Revox if you had bucks). It was a time you could go to a music store and purchase pre-recorded r-to-r tapes in stereo or true quad! They were as common as 8 tracks, though they sounded so much better. In this case, the r-to-r was an Ampex 351-2, customized by deHavilland (of course). I had a great time during the audition, so great of a time I didn’t take any notes, so I’m shooting from the hip and strictly from memory. By golly! I forgot that I was supposed to be working and was having fun at an audio show – shoot the heretic!!! Anyway, I remember a sound that was clean, pure (even when the music was complex), and balanced. No booming bass, or excessive warmth - just the music. Now that I think about it, that’s the way the verve sounds here.

BFS "True Audio Undergroud'

Link to "Bound For Sound" Here