Hello I just came across your inquiry .I am a long time Audiophile and look more for build quality and sound than fancy names.
The Modwright KWA 100 is one outstanding amplifier and with the Available Se model ,this unit is some 150 + per channel and around 250 into a 4 ohms load . The standard model which uses Mosfets has a very nice and open presentation
with plenty of control the Mosfets give it a almost Vacuum tube like presentation while still having excellent imaging and Bass control. The SE model is even better in every respect using 50% more mosfets , and
using All Modwrights metal film oil capacitors
which are Outstanding for under $4k I have found no Co.even at $5k and I listened to Sim Audio ,Bryston Ayre and the new AR at even more moneys, None to be as balanced or musically rewarding, the Pass labs I heard was very close but not quite as good on inner detail but very close IMO. this is an excellent amplifier
that does rock and roll as well as symphony
and the new Stealth black chassis with the backlit blue looks very cool.
Since you have $3500 to spare for a power amp upgrade, I suggest you consider other brands. Try to audition Rogue, Adcom, Rotel and other mid end power amps. I've tested ADCOM GFA-5500 vs MODWRIGHT KWA-100 paired with an Audio Research LS-7 tube preamp and IMO the ADCOM sounded more musical. On the contrary when I tested both power amps on a MODWright hybrid preamp, the KWA-100 sounded better with clearer highs, smoother mids, more detail and deeper soundstage. Again, it's all about component matching. Don't be fooled on cosmetics. You gotta listen with your ears and not your eyes.
It has taken Quite awhile to get a response and I do appreciate the input.I see that 6moons is into a review now but not complete yet. I still have not changed my Amp yet mostly because I recently spent a wad on a HT system. Audioman58 you mention that there is a SE model I was not aware of that What makes it different?Thanks for the input
To Mystang the Modwright KWA-100 Se is night and day better I heard the sample while there several weeks ago along with the Superb Modded Sony 5400 player.
The 100 Se is Mosfet based it has 6 per side stock and 2 22k uf capacitors per side and a lot of the Red Wima capacitors .
In the Se model The Capacitance is doubled to 4 per side all bypassed with the excellent Modwright oil caps,also
4 Mosfets per channel extra as well as the Majority of the Wima caps replaced my the Modwrights , also a few of the Teflon caps under the board and high speed rectifiers and resistor upgrades .
It is night and day better and I have heard nothing better in the $5k range it will be $3995.I can tell you this the Adcom is not even in the ballpark ,even the stock one IMO is better balanced than the Adcom especially in parts quality .
It has a nice Vacuum tube like quality while still retaining excellent detail inner detail and control with a huge soundstage.140wpc into 8ohms and over 200 into 4.
p.s these amopps take over 400 hours to runin ,so make sure ths has happened before any type of comparisons.
Kana813 Tried to get to to the thread but no luck?
Heard the Modwright 100 and 150 back to back at RMAF. Preferred the 100.
The Wyred amps will astound you for their price.
I have no idea what Adcom is doing in the mix it does a decent job but is nowhere as refined as the Modwright 100
My buddy has a Adcom 5500, wyred for sound is pretty good
very nice detail but Ice amps have no layering fron to back I know I had the St 500 and solid it ,The Modwright KWA 100 is solid I am trying to talk Dan out of his prototype
of the new 100 -SE he has coming out sometimes in Sept.
I heard it while visiting 2 weeks ago it is Superb ,and for $4k nothing I have Ever heard is even close .
and all current 100s can also be upgraded for under $800
delivered I am told.
After hearing Dans New Sony 5400 Mod I was so impressed I bought it still breaking in but excellent .He played me a prototype of the New SE 100 it is Much Much better in every facet to the The 100 which is no slouch.I ordered
the Se version and still have a solid 2 weeks before mine is shipped Dans webpage is a little vague, here is the
run down, the Superb hand wound Lundahl transformer from Sweden.
40% increase in number of Mosfets 5 pairs per side now from 3 ,also 100% increase in main power supply capacitance per channel reserve to spare with 176,000 of capacitance
Upgrade of key signal and power supply capacitors to Modwrights Metal foil oil custom capacitors.
Upgrade of key signal path resistors to Takman Carbon Film resistors, far better resolution and a nice balance of warmth.Up the current bias and a few other tricks.
The result is better bass response, improved control and low-level detail and much better overall resolution.
Below is from Modwrights page.$3995, and all current models can be refitted for just the difference $700
140wpc 8ohms over 200 into 4 . Below is from Modwright .
The design the KWA 100 to meet a price point and offer the best possible performance for that price.
When our customers asked us what we could do without the target price limitations, the KWA 100SE was born!
Physical size and styling of KWA 100SE amp will be the same as the KWA 100. We will apply a SE badge to the front of the KWA 100SE units to set them apart.
I've just finished auditioning the KWA-100 and I 've got to tell you that it killed everything else ever heard (Moon 13.3, 600i, Naim Supernait, Creek Destiny, Rotel, Lavardin Model IS and Model IT. And all while being connected to the VERY affordable Quicksilver Audio Linestage preamplifier. I can't wait to hear it with the LS 100. Deep tight Bass, extended highs completely w/o harshness, very much neutral, well defined soundstage even at low volumes...... I'm very impressed. And it drives fabulously well my Vienna Acoustics Haydn Grand. Wiring is Audience thru and thru.
In my system the KWA-100 was resoundingly bettered by a Digital Amp Co. Cherry Plus. When the KWA was put in, people looked puzzled and wondered where the bass went. Yup, it just went away but maybe not a fair comparison vs. 700 watts of class D. The KWA was surely smooth, but to my ears way boring. I'm sure if we could attenuate the highs and emasculate the bass of the Cherry it'd be perceived as more "musical" as well. The listeners actually switched my EE DAC to the SS output to try to inject some life into the system (using the KWA). And the Cherry lives and thrives in a world of out-of-the-speaker inaging that the KWA didn't even hint at. Mated to a different pre (I use VAC) in a more lively room (mine very damped)playing music where smooth/natural is the priority I'm sure the KWA can make people very happy. Von Schweickert VR4JRs, BTW.
Make that KWA 100 the 'SE' variety and your bass issues will be gone! Although, you are correct, 700 watts of class D vs. 100 watts, possibly not a fair comparison...
My experience this far with the KWA100 SE is that it has tight, fast bass with punch