Michigan retailer Paragon Sight & Sound's room on the Marriott's ground floor featured the Wilson Alexia speakers $48,500/pair. I was familiar with the Alexia, having just finished reviewing it for the December issue of Stereophile
, as I was with Audio Research's CD9 CD player ($13,000), but not all with the Doshi Jhor 160 tube monoblocks (projected price of <$36,000/pair) that were driving the Alexias via Transparent Audio Reference XL cables, or the Doshi 3.0 tubed line stage and Doshi 3.0 tubed phono stage, both of these projected to sell for <$20,000 each. Michale Fremer was playing a Acoustic Sounds 45rpm test pressing of a Beach Boys album on the Pro-Jekt HL Signature turntable, fitted with a Koetsu Azule Platinum cartridge, when I entered the Paragon room, with all the equipment mounted on impressively engineered HRS racks and stands. "Midrange magic!" I wrote in my notebook as the Beach Boys launched into "In My Room." But when Michael put on a CD-R needle drop of Pet Sounds
, I felt my comment in the forthcoming Alexia review that the speaker needs an amplifier that can control its low frequencies with a tight fist was confirmed, the bass not having as much definition as I was expecting from my experience with solid-state amps.
The Dhor 160 uses a 26 lb output transformer supplied by the respected English Sowter company, and a similarly over-specified power transformer from Toroid Corp in the US. Two pairs of KT-120 tubes are used for each channel to generate 160W.