Dynaudio - Wadia - Octave

Perhaps the best sound I heard at RMAF was in the large room on the mezzanine shared by Dynaudio, XLO, and Wadia. The Dynaudio Confidence C4s ($20,900/pair), which I first reviewed in March 2003, were sounding as good as I remember them sounding in my own room, perhaps even better. The rest of the system was obviously high-class: a Wadia 971 CD transport ($17,950) fed Wadia's Series 9 Decoding computer ($33,450, comprising the 931 controller and dual-mono 922 DACs), which in turn fed Octave MRE130 tubed monoblocks from Germany ($16,000/pair) sitting on Grand Prix amp stands. Cabling was all by XLO. The 130W Octave amplifiers use two pairs of KT88s in push-pull and the wideband output transformer has a single tap. The amp can also use 6550s or EL34s, and an accessory "black box" increases the B+ storage capacity.

Stephen Scharf's picture

I agree with John that this undoubdtedly one of the best sounding rooms at the show. I was impressed with the smooth and sweet yet detailed sounding Octave monos driving the big C4s. I lalso had the pleasure of having dinner with Octave's founder and chief designer, Andreas Hoffman Friday night. IMHO, the only other room that I felt that sounded this good was the *other* Dynaudio room, the one with the T+A hybrid tube electronics and the beautiful Dynaudio Sapphires.

Branislav's picture

I must be the only one who actually thinks Dynaudio's are very flat and 2 dimensional...the same goes for Sapphire room, no depth, at least to my ears.

Sebastien Thury's picture

I will order a few of those $17.95 Wadias 971 CD transports, what a bargain! Could you please arrange the shipment of a crate to my home here in Geneva, Switzerland? They retail for a bit more here... ;-)

John Atkinson's picture

Good spotting, Sebastien. I will correct the price listed.

Nico's picture

I am lucky to own the Octave MRE 130's in Germany and have read excellant reviews in Europe and in Japan about the Octave amplifiers. A testament to the high build quality and engineering standards Herr Hoffman applies to all Octave products. I would like to know if the Octave products have piqued and garnered enough attention in North America to warrant a test, or at least a more technical write-up? Nico

Jim Tavegia's picture

I just wanted to add that the show coverage was excellent as usual and whatever downturn this economy is in it was not represented at THIS show. I am pretty sure that you will be in high-end land when your DAC is supplied in "mono-blocks".

John West's picture

The Wadia electronics in this setup is disappointing. I have heard the Dynaudio C4's on Bryston electronics and the Octave amplifiers. The Bryston setup was better.