deHavilland/KE: Small is Supreme

Kara Chafee of deHavilland/KE Engineering was excited to show off her KE Engineering/deHavilland Model 222 Magnetic Tape Playback Preamplifier ($1995). It, the deHavilland Mercury III linestage preamp with remote ($4495), Sonist Concerto 3, 95dB-sensitive, floorstanding loudspeakers ($3495/pair, or $4195/pair in all wood), and top-of-the-line Wireworld Cable Technology Platinum Eclipse interconnects ($4300/1.5m/pair), Platinum Eclipse speaker cable ($13,3000 for a 2m bi-wired pair), and Silver Electra power cords ($700/2m) arrived intact at the Show. So did the Cary 306 SACD/CD player ($8000), Acoustic Revive power conditioners ($1500 and $2400), vintage 7½ips tape deck (priceless), and a small collection of eBay-sourced tapes. But the deHavilland KE50A monoblock power amplifiers ($9995/pair) that were also shipped were nowhere to be found.

Taking their place in the system was a diminutive 7Wpc Glow Audio amplifier. As sweet as it sounded, and as well-matched to the Sonist Concerto 3 as it was, it was not quite up to the task of presenting a vintage tape of Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice in all its glory. But on smaller fare, the sound was extremely beautiful.

If time permits, I'll return to the room after the last UPS and FedEx shipments of the first day have been delivered, in hopes that I can audition the new tape preamplifier in all its anticpated glory.