Oswalds Mill Audio
Oswalds Mill Audio is doing something refreshing and beautiful, combining brilliant industrial design with a classic sense of style and a deep love for music.
The system featured OMA’s front-ported Mini loudspeaker with very pretty bamboo cabinets ($13,500/pair), OMA’s Tourmaline turntable ($13,000 for two-arm version), Thomas Schick’s 12” tonearm ($1475), Atemis Labs’ Schroder TA-1L 12” tonearm ($3500), Soundsmith’s The Voice Ebony phono cartridge ($2200), and Miyajima’s Premium Mono BE phono cartridge ($1180). Amplification: OMA’s Phonostage ($9200) and Silvercore AG 100 step-up transformer ($1200), and OMA’s 2.5Wpc Parallax PL 519 SET amplifier ($11,000). Speaker cables and interconnects were Analysis Plus Oval Nine ($645/10ft pair) and Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval ($550). The equipment is supported by OMA’s gorgeous Slate Rack ($5400; shown here with four shelvesall OMA racks are custom), and the Tourmaline turntable was equipped with OMA’s SP10 graphite platter mat ($325).
All of this gear, which I find incredibly attractive, has a look that is somehow old-fashioned and exotic, from some long lost time, but also thoroughly modern. Strangely, or perhaps not, the sound matched: We listened first to Lhasa’s “Love Came Here” and I was bound by the music. There is so much tension in this music, and the system seemed to crawl right up into that tension to really relish in the spaces between the strummed and plucked and struck notes, infusing all that space with potential and power. The system communicated the touch of the song, as could be heard in the slap of strings and the gentle bend of wood.
After Lhasa, we listened to a bit of The Lemon of Pink by The Books, and it was like being indoors on a cold autumn day, watching an old black and white movie, some totally gripping and spellbinding movie, filled with subtle details and big, fleshy images, with so much texture, tone, and nuance you can hardly stand it. There are banjoes and violins and there is a voice speaking like the history of the earth, and listening to this song is like digging through dirt, like reading the history of love. “All is well, well, well…”