Distribution Phonograph: Thöress, Luna Cables, Wattson Audio, Rectilinear

As soon as I entered the room hosted by distributor / reseller Distribution Phonographe's room, I thought, "where's all the gear?" There wasn't much around, and of the few items that were around, one was so small as to be nearly imperceptible at first glance.

The first component to hit my eye was the one sitting front and center against the far wall, under a banner that contained the only word I saw at the show with an umlaut over one of its vowels. That word was brand name—Thöress—and the umlaut is a clue to the country of origin: Germany. Thöress is also the family name of the company's founder and designer, Reinhard Thöress, known for his purist, hand-made tube amplifiers and preamps.

The Thöress demoed in this room was the 20Wpc (into 6 ohms) EHT MkII integrated amplifier ($13,995), which employs a zero-feedback vacuum tube MOSFET hybrid topology. The circuit, according to the company's press materials, "consists of a vacuum tube gain stage (6J5GT single-triode) driving a single-ended, unity-gain MOSFET output buffer operated at high idle current."

Later, in an email from Erik Fortier of Luna Cables, I learned more about the amplifier. "The Thöress is a new model. (EHT MKII) with new NOS tubes called the 7A4. It's basically a similar tube with a different socket. Also, the new 2023 EHT has a bass boost presets selectable via a 3-position toggle switch and also a brand new faceplate and knobs. The handbuild transformer is also a new one and overall the sound is much better compared to the last year model."

The second thing I noticed as I entered were the speakers, and what I noticed about them was their vintage appearance. And not for nothing did they look vintage. Notwithstanding a recent rewire with Luna Cables wire, this was a pair of Rectilinear Highboy speakers built in 1970, the same model (but not the same pair) once owned, according to Erik Fortier, Phonographe's Executive Director, who was manning the room, by Duke Ellington. The speaker is no longer being made, to the chagrin of some visitors who inquired.

The music played for me was Tidal-streamed by the compact but versatile Wattson Audio Madison streamer ($3850). Cabling was from Luna Cables's Mauve series. That was it for the gear.

The qualities I heard were what one might expect a system like this to possess: organic, sweet, richly textured, and tonally pure, providing luscious, natural vocals and an entrancing sense of easy musicality.

All prices are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.

Anton's picture

Can be had for not much money.

300 bucks for pairs in good condition.

Google pics and you can see the driver array - interesting set up.

Did Rectilinear make some multi driver speakers where either the tweeters or other drivers were just run ‘full range’ as part of the wiring?

Was it the ‘V?’

rschryer's picture

...for almost nothing on the used market, than they may be one of the best-kept secrets in audio. Taking into account these were rewired internally, they sounded very nice. Very musical.

And how cool would it be to own a model the great Duke Ellington himself owned? What a conversation starter! :-)

I sent your questions to Erik of Distribution Phonographe to see if he can tell you more about the speakers.