Wavac Tubes & Acappella Horns

Unexpected amusement greeted me in the small Covenant Audio & Aaudio Imports room. As soon as I entered, an overgrown post-adolescent seated himself in the sweet spot, took one look at the visually stunning Wavac HE-833v1.3 tube monoblocks ($69,000/pair), Wavac PR-T1 tube preamp (a mere $30K), Acapella High Violin MK 888 horn speakers ($48,000/pair—where do they get these names?), and Accustic Arts Drive and DAC ($12,800 together), all held together and powered by assorted cables and power products from PranaWire, Stealth and Isoclean, and blurted out, "This looks like super-high end."

"It's high-end with guilt," replied one of the exhibitors without missing a beat.

Clearly said individual was determined to heed only one part of the classic proclamation, "It's all about the music, stupid." The next several minutes were filled with loud, uninformed pronouncements about the sound of equipment the man could not possibly have heard over the din of his incessant blather.

As I've learned from attending countless shows, when someone begins to recite a loud, artless monologue with no regard for the individuals around them, those wishing to listen to music have no choice but to either leave or assert their presence. In this case, I did the honors, to the relief of several other audiophiles in the seats around me.

Once the air had cleared, I discovered one of the smoothest, most mellow midranges I have yet encountered at the show. One could easily fall in love with such a sound. Whether reproducing the sound of Chris Isaak or the Minnesota Orchestra, the midrange was extremely beautiful.

Distributor Brian Ackerman explained that while he usually faces the Acapellas straight ahead, he had toed this pair in to avoid wall reflections. I wonder how different this system might sound in a larger space that allows for optimal speaker placement.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Hi Markus. I personally do not review equipment for Stereophile. I would check the website to see if any of the equipment in the room has been reviewed by Stereophile. If not, I encourage you to write John Atkinson and tell him you'd like to see a review in the magazine. Since there is little likelihood that someone will be equipped to review the exact same system configuration, I would focus on the piece or piece of equipment you most want to learn about.