Mola-Mola & Vivid

Photo: John Atkinson

I have no idea where the name came from, other than the fact that it’s a sunfish whose graphic likeness occupies the circle logo that replaces the dash between Mola1 and Mola2 in the house that designer Bruno Putzeys and company co-founder Jan-Peter van Amerongen have built. Nor can I pretend that Mola-Mola’s aesthetics are any more elegant than the name. But I can tell you that the company, headquartered in the Netherlands, manufactures amplification components whose sound, driving Vivid’s G3Giya speakers ($40,000/pair) brought me oodles of delight.

Philip O’Hanlon, whose On a Higher Note imports Mola-Mola. Luxman, and Vivid, reports that Putzeys claims that the Mola-Mola preamplifier ($10,000) is the quietest ever made. An analog preamp with an analog remote control, it has an optional DXD-compatible DAC and equally optional phonostage with adjustable loading and mono EQ. Everything is controlled via iPad, and all five inputs are switchable between XLR and RCA.

The Molo-Mola monoblock amplifier ($14,990/pair, left in photo), based on Ncore class-D technology developed by Putzeys, claims audio performance that “runs rings around linear amplifiers of any description.” How’s that for throwing down the gauntlet? The Mola-Mola electronics and Vivid speakers were being demmed with a new Luxman DAC ($5490) that Jon Iverson explores in a brother blog.

Intent on delighting Stereophile staff members, several of whom visited his suite in the Mirage at the same time, O’Hanlon pitched me Doris Day’s camp-and-a-half version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Thus did the sun shine, both in the sky above and on the Mola-Mola sea below, until the Pink Panther stole into the suite. Terrified by such realism, I fled… with a big smile across my face.