America's Jazz Magazine

Best Bets 2005

Date: April 2005

Written By: Mike Quinn


"Near the end of my tour I wandered into what turned out to be one of my favorite sounds at the show in a room hosted by the deHavilland Electric Amplifier Company. Designer Kara Chaffee was showing off her best work, the GM70 mono block amplifiers (8,995; dehavillandhifi.com). This is built around the GM70 triode tube-which was originally built for Soviet tanks, so there is no question of its reliability and strength. Around this oddly sourced tube, she has designed an amazing musical instrument that took my breath away. It was the only system I heard that could properly handle the complexities of a drum-heavy Brazilian samba recording, projecting the individual voices of the dozens of variously pitched percussion instruments layered throughout the tune. I was in awe of that achievement.

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