My audio system has been in upheaval for the past month as I have moved into a new home (and listening room). At the same time, a passle of new equipment has arrived, including the Wilson Alexandria XLF loudspeaker, Transparent Opus cable, and, not least, a pair of Ypsilon SET-100 Ultimate amplifiers. Transparent’s Brad O’Toole recently dropped by to give his good housekeeping seal of approval to the system. Then came three new guests—Brian Ackerman of AAudio Imports, the distributor of Ypsilon products in Northern America, Demetris Baklavas, chief engineer at Ypsilon, and an old friend and ardent classical music lover Helmut Schaefer, who was also previously deputy foreign minister of Germany. Schaefer drolly announced that he had come to admire the “technological superpower” in my new room.
Simply transporting the Ypsilon’s downstairs was no easy task. They weigh in at around 250 lbs. each in their snazzy blue flight cases. Fortunately, there are plenty of handles on the cases. The amps are Ypsilon’s statement pieces. They feature its transformer technology, a heavy duty power supply using Mundorf capacitors, and a single Siemens transistor on the output—hence the SET designation. They put out about 140 watts at 5 ohms—more than ample for the XLFs, which are fairly sensitive. The sound of the amps is majestic and seductive. Demetris’ comment on the Wilson loudspeakers was succinct: “amazing.”
We listened to a gamut of music—a lot of Schubert lieder, the Persuasions, Beethoven violin sonatas played by Ashkenazy and Perlman, Ray Bryant, and more. The amplifiers continue to break in. What’s more, the loudspeakers are not really properly situated. This Wednesday Wilson Audio’s John Giolas is scheduled to arrive and undertake the not inconsiderable task of setting the XLF’s up, which in practice probably means dismantling the modules and relocating the whole shebang. When I first received the Alexandria X-2 two years ago, I thought I had set them up well. Wrong. Giolas quickly and handily surpassed my efforts. So I intend to offer a fuller report once Giolas has completed his latest ministrations. For now, I am simply enjoying the music.