ModWright Ambrose Ai325 Integrated Amplifier, PH9.0 Phono Pre, and modified Pioneer CD Player, Fern & Roby Tredegar Turntable (Schroeder Tonearm, Soundsmith Cartridge) and Raven Loudspeakers, Stereolab/Black Cat Cabling

I been watching the development of ModWright Instruments’ Daniel Wright since he started, many years ago, as a modifier of Sony and Oppo CD players. Dan is emerging as a manufacturer of some of the most refined-sounding and distinctive-looking tube amplifiers and pre-amplifiers on the high-end scene. As a reviewer, I’ve been waiting to see a ModWright product that just jumped out of the deck and said, “Herb! Review me.”

I just spotted it. It's Dan’s latest creation, the beautiful Ambrose Ai325 Tube Integrated ($9995 intro price). The Ai325 uses pairs of 300B directly heated triodes in a class-AB push-pull mode to deliver up to 25Wpc. Based on a brief audition, powering Fern & Roby’s Raven speakers ($9500/pair), I decided I need to spend some more time with it.

Also in the system were ModWright’s PH 9.0 phono stage ($2900) and, of course, a Dan Wright-modified Pioneer UHD LX-500 CD player with the stock analog stage replaced by two transformers, with separate ModWright linear power supplies for both the digital and analog circuitry.

Fern & Roby’s Tredegar turntable with a Schroeder CB tonearm ($16,500) and a Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC ($1995) sat on a new F & R equipment rack ($6500). All cables were by Chris Sommovigo’s StereoLab/Black Cat cable company.

Anton's picture

Modwright is a great example of finding a great product made by a great person.

Same for Frank Schroeder!

Of course, I use Black cat speaker cables...I miss the days of the email newsletter sales!

When he was little, my son used to think Peter Ledermann was the Odin of Audio! He'd take ginger ale to his room and just wanna be near the guy. A fine human, Mr. Ledermann.

I would have liked to hear this room! What a great grouping of gear and humans!

Thank you!

JHL's picture

So lovely seeing this sort of gear in the magazine, Herb. Organic, real, human. And given your background, also not unfamiliar.

I hope there's more to come.

Ortofan's picture

... how, in the Dan Wright-modified Pioneer Elite UDP-LX500 universal disc player, "the stock analog stage [is] replaced by two transformers"?

funambulistic's picture

From the Dan's own site:

Ortofan's picture

... replaced only by two transformers, but that the original analog stage is replaced by a transformer-coupled tube analog stage.

Normal Man's picture

From the page linked above "The entire stock analog stage is bypassed after the AKM DAC and replaced with our own Class A, Lundahl transformer coupled tube analog stage."

Ortofan's picture

... which implies that the stock analog stage is replaced only by two transformers, rather than a transfomer-coupled tube circuit.

(Apparently the balance of my original comment didn't post the first time.)

Anton's picture

A review of an original vs. modded version would be a fun read!

Ortofan's picture

... ModWright and the LampizatOr. Both like to graft tube output stages onto digital disc players.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

They both could provide 'flower-like beauty' to the sound quality :-) .........