More MoFi Distribution: Falcon Acoustics, Manger, Dr. Feickert, Schick, EMT, HiFi Rose, Whest, IsoTek

MoFi Distribution showed some classic hi-fi gear—tube amps and classic speakers—in two of their four rooms, suites 330, which I cover here, and 346 (report to come). A few products debuted, including tubed amplification from Mastersound, an Italian company with a rather un-Italian name. MoFi Distribution's VP of Sales & Marketing Jon Derda told me that Mastersound winds their own transformers in-house. The brand is new to MoFi's roster—and new to me.

Three of their new integrated amps were shown: Mastersound Compact845 ($10,495, top photo), Mastersound Compact300B ($9995), and Mastersound Box ($3995, above) integrated amplifiers. The latter two were displayed passively, but the Compact845 integrated amp was demo'd in an active system. It's aptly named, as it uses—you guessed it—845 SET vacuum tubes that are pretty uncommon for hi-fi; they're are more often found in radio applications. You could really feel the heat coming off these glass babies. The Compact845 outputs 30Wpc and was driving a pair of Manger P2 speakers ($21,995/pair) from Germany when I stepped into the suite. The lower-priced Mastersound Box, which uses three EL34 tubes per channel, might be more spartan in looks but offers MM phono preamp section.

Speaking of phono preamplification, there was a new Whest Two.2 Discrete phono preamplifier ($3495), an updated version of the Whest Two.2 phono preamplifier ($2495), which was also shown. As its name indicates, the upgraded Two.2 Discrete contains dual mono discrete circuitry. It's suitable for MM and MC cartridges. DIP switches on the bottom enable user-selectable gain and cartridge loading. The design mind behind the UK-based Whest products is James Henriot, a BBC-trained recording engineer who specializes in very low-level signal amplification—a natural fit for phono preamp designs. The Whest chassis have a minimalist yet sturdy pro-audio sort of look. I was told both versions are staying in production.

Sources were a Dr. Feickert Blackbird turntable with Schick 10.5" tonearms ($10,695 with 'arm); the one with a handmade-in-Switzerland EMT HSD06 phono cartridge ($1795, above) was playing during my visit. The digital music source was a HiFi Rose RS250 streaming D/A converter/preamplifier.

Also shown, but not playing while I was in there, was a pair of Falcon Acoustics LS3/5a Gold Badge speakers in Burr Walnut finish ($3495/pair). The setups used Cardas Clear Reflection interconnects and IsoTek power cables and the new IsoTek Aquarius V5 power conditioner ($2995). The system's stands were Finite Elemente's HD12 Pagode Edition Mk.II ($16,500) that had the stately wooden look of fine furniture—here, Canadian maple wood with walnut stain—and there's built-in noise cancellation in the platforms, Derda told me.

Unfortunately I didn't get to listen here for long; I still had more MoFi rooms to cover—along with many others.

Glotz's picture

I really liked what the Manger speakers were doing, if not optimized fully for the room. Allowing visitors to inspect their tweeter/midrange module and make mental comparisons to Magneplanar speakers was a nice insight.

I feel the Manger tech provides some nice impact and incisiveness that provide a sound that is different but rewards on it's own merits. The technology overall is still very intriguing despite being around for many decades.

The rest of the Mastersound gear as well as the new Whest phono stage intrigue as well.