It had been a few shows since I’ve been able to connect with Wyred 4 Sound, but things in room 512 of the Hilton Long Beach were definitely heating up by the time I arrived on Friday afternoon.
Unapologetically pumping Keith Don’t Go, the same W4S branded subs we first saw at RMAF 2018 were now being paired with a set of Fritz Carrera BE ($3.5k) standmounts for a sound that did justice to the song’s hard core audiophile tendencies.
The system sounded both transparent and dynamic, but the fresh new gear for the show was a bigger brother to W4S’s PS-1 modular linear power supply called the HCPS ($800) which is now capable of continuous output power of 4A. This places it clearly in the upgrade path of music streamers, but also NAS drives, routers and switches. The voltage is selectable to 5v/9v/12v and also comes with a solid braided DC power cable (5.5mm connector). It’s undoubtably one of the most well-trodden subjects in advanced digital audio design. Keeping noise floors low and cleaning up the digital signals via superior power supplies is the equivalent to all the analog needlework, cartridge and photo preamp refinement that has been done over the years – and digital enthusiasts have been taking notice. The original PS-1 supply has been one of the biggest sellers for W4S since its launch a few years ago.
Also located on the far side of the room was the production-ready Intimo ($1k) headphone amplifier in three color options. Complete with a digital section, the fully class A device bears the markings of the heat-loving topology via a heatsink on the right side. Touch panel controls on the top offer a few variables for listening including 3 gain stages, 3 impedance options and wholly bypassable EQ. The new amplifier has been in the works for a while, and it’s cool to see it finally make to the finish line and prepared for human consumption. The digital-focused company has been making budget friendly hifi on the west coast of the US for as long I have been reporting on the hobby. The two expansions here seems only natural given the bang/dollar ratio the company continues to seek with its wide range of products. There are even rumors of a new streamer in the works for less than a grand, but details on are still a bit light for that product – more to come.