Sorry, I haven't heard it either, but I am hoping that anyone who has will compare the sound to the KWA amps.
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This is a new integrated, so I doubt too many people have heard it. You might want to check out the Modwright circle on Audiocircle, as there are probably some reviews there. I hope the amp works out for you.
Modwright amps are not cheap. They get very good professional reviews, but I see a fair number of used Modwrights show up for sale here, which has left me scratching my head. One possible explanation is that his amps have a fairly low input impedance, which means they may sound rolled off when used with tube preamps with a high output impedance. Of course, you won't have that issue to worry about with Dan's integrated amp.
I previously owned a Modwright Tube modded Oppo BDP-83 blu-ray player. I tried to like it but just couldn't connect. I found it to be a little too soft & uninvolving. I'm not totally sure but I just may be a SS guy. I was considering a Modwright tube pre & SS power but backed out for the fear of the rolled off sound that I believed I was getting with the BDP-83. I didn't try the BDP-83 with different amps or speakers before I sold it. Perhaps, more experimentation may have produced different results. Thank you and others for the responses.
Maybe the unit was not fully broken-in. Because "soft" is not how I would describe any of Dans offerings.
Re: the KWI 200... I heard a quote from a distributor in Canada. He called the unit "the finest integrated amplifier I have heard in this price class. Very supple, yet great dynamics and speed."
Knowing Dans work ethic and his constant drive for improvements, I would bet it to beat out some of his current offerings yet again.
Looking forward to reading more soon...
I let the modded BDP-83 break in over 300-400 hours. Perhaps "soft" is not the right word. "Laid back" or "relaxed" might be a better description which is good or great for some. I'm trying to find that middle ground where the sound is not hyper-detailed (SS) and too relaxed (tubes). I'm finding it difficult because there are so many factors involved and I am fussy. The KWI-200 sounds very promising. Thanks!
Jriggy, when I had the 150 (not the SE version) it was soft or recessed or rolled off in the treble. It was not well extended in that area. Sorry. Of course everything is system dependent and at the time the way my system was, that was being manifested. I'm hoping the KWI 200 will be better in that area with a system that is completely different from when I owned the KWA 15O a few years ago.
I also am expecting one within the week or weekend,talking to the dealer (and dan)he described the sound like the pass 150 with better bass.I told him i would be coming from sim i5.3...dan said he would put this up against any of the sims very confidently.(sounds like im moving in the right direction)....cant wait.dealer is highly impressed with the unit.
Please see the review below for the ModWright Instruments KWA 150 Signature Edition Integrated Amplifier.
The KWA 150 costs $6,995 and delivers 150 wpc into an 8 Ohm load, or 275 wpc into 4 Ohm. The ModWright KWA 150 Signature Edition costs $8,495. These prices came from the above article.
I am surprised the units power does not double going into 4 ohms (275 wpc instead of 300 wpc). It is a heavy unit and must have a large power supply. Comments? Is the KWI-150 SE a balanced design? If yes, it should have two XLR inputs instead of one.
These prices are high for me but I would interested in hearing owners comments on the KWI-150 SE unit (or the KWI-150 unit).
I am also considering getting this IA, one concern is that I am wondering what speakers to use with this amp? It appears not to suffer some issues of other AI's in that most IA's have plenty of power to drive 8 ohms load speakers, but lacks the muscle to drive harder 4 ohm speakers. I am currently using PMC speakers w/Bryston gear, but want to also get a Dyn C-1, someday, I had the Bryston B-100, as good as it is, it had a difficult time with the Dyn's.
I would call dan at modright and ask,i dont think hes the type to sell you something thats not right.From 85 watts(sim i5.3) to this is quite a jump.My adagios have 6 ohms so apparently they are fairly easy to drive.Thought about getting the psb syncrony 1 to try something new...but to many changes to quick.
I'm doing a review for my website hometheaterreview.com on the KWI-200 and my review unit just came this morning. It's suppose to have about 300 hours on it already, but I'll give it alot more time before coming to any final conclusions. However in the short time I have been listening to the KWI-200, I'm quite impressed with its liquidity, natural rich timbres, and overall dynamics. I'm very familiar with the Pass Labs INT-150 and so far like the Modwright much better. It reminds so far much more of my Pass Labs XA-60.5 monoblocks or the XA-60 Intergrated because of its grainless texture and warmth.
After close to three hundred hrs on this amp.I can tell you it blows my sim i5.3 out of the water,theres no comparison.The dynamics,the effortless musicality of this amp is amazing.I really love being able to listen at low levels and have all the dynamics and grunt there,I have never heard my system sound so absolutly right.Thankyou dan wright for the tremendous bargin.
I had the opportunity to slot a KWI-200 into my downstairs system this morning.
Two discoveries worth mentioning.
First, I really appreciated the KWI-200's reading of the music. Warm, organic and natural to succinctly sum things up. Versus my reference Integrated amplifier, a Gryphon Diablo, the KWI-200 did not have the same treble extension (seemed a little rolled off) and certainly was not as dynamic with the KWI-200 smoothness seeming to cloud / sacrifice some sharpness in transients. The KWI-200 exhibited a vestige of softness to leading edge of notes which robbed dynamic music of that last ounce of immediacy and attack. Still, this is nit-picking for the price and as noted above I liked the KWI-200s overall musical reading and I imagine this amplifier will be a breath of fresh air for many.
Second, the KWI-200 was in-capable of driving my ESL speakers above moderate listening volumes with-out clipping. The ESL speakers are however difficult to drive being 84dB sensitive with impedance dipping to 3 ohm at 20 KHz.
I can totally accept that the KWI-200 in Kiwi's system with ESL speakers might not be a good match up. However, the KWI-200 is not a fat euphonic sounding intergrated amp lacking dynamics at all. So far in my reviewing process I have teamed it up with Aerial Acoustics 5B speakers, Omega single driver speakers, and Reference 3A MM Decapo-i speakers and it made each of these speakers "sing" with excellent punch/dynamics, natural timbres, great precise layered soundstage and an image density and warmth that is tube like in its tone. I like it much better then the Pass Labs INT-150 and still believe it's much closer in its performence to the Pass Labs XA-30.5 intergrated amp.
I received my Kwi-200 (brand new) about a week ago and it has close to 100 hours of burn-in. Initial thoughts were similar to Teajay: Grainless texture and warmth, tube like. More thoughts to come, but first... The Kwi-200 is being compared to my current amp, the Resolution Audio Opus 21 s80 Class D integrated amp which is part of the complete Opus 21 system that I own. After considering other int. amps around the same price range of $5000.00, I chose the Modwright to compare the Class D to A/B amp and to see how much difference in refinement there would be between a $2500.00 & $5000.00 int amp. The Kwi-200 is the second most expensive single piece of equipment I've purchased. The first most expensive single piece is the Ayre C-5xemp cd player (almost new) that I just received & hooked up last night. Previously, I was using the Opus 21 CD player with the Kwi-200. So, this price range is new to me. So far, I miss my Resolution Audio system. I know, give the Ayre & Modwright some time. I like the Opus 21 system because it requires one power cord and no IC's. It has a separate power supply which powers the CD player & amp thru umbilicals. Now with the new set up I'm posed with the addition of another power cord (Audience powerchord e or Zu Cable Event connected to Ayre & Voodoo Cable super tesla se connected to Modwright) and interconnects from Ayre to Modwright (Harmonic Tech Magic Link One). Speaker Cable is Cardas Neutral Reference. Speakers are Fritz Speaker Carbon 7 monitors. I'm very conscious about synergy with power cords because IMO too much silver + all solid state components = emphasis on sibilants & too much copper = less detail in overall sound.
All the responses have been fun to read. More of your thoughts are welcomed!
I did the same missing that trusted sim sound,after 300 hrs+ on the modwright i am absolutly on board with this thing.I just have to wait for my talos to burn in (old hydra 8 preceded it).I know too many changes too soon can bring about that what have i done feeling.I did get to hear the changes that the amp incured in burn in,so it is an absolute upgrade (for my system),in the right direction.
I still own the Modwright but am listening to a used McIntosh MA6300 Integrated at the moment. Also, I will be auditioning a Luxman 550AX next week. I have not settled on the Integrated I want to keep. I hope to make a decision soon but I want to make sure I've given each one the proper amount of listening time.
That said, The Modwright & McIntosh are both wonderful sounding amps. The Modwright is very neutral sounding and maintains it's composure when the volume is turned up high whereas the McIntosh starts to sound grainy. I listen to a lot of rock. At average listening levels (1-2watts RMS; 4-5watts peak) both sound great and I actually like the somewhat smoother texture of the McIntosh.
I'm looking forward to hooking up the Luxman next week. Included in future auditions will be a new, more expensive interconnect. As for the Modwright, I will be listening to it again with the new interconnect so I can't give you anythting definitive at the moment.
I auditioned the Modwright KWI-200 on two separate occasions and in the finish did not opt to purchase it.
My sonic findings were posted earlier. It is not a bad integrated but it certainly is no class leader IMHO. Mechanically the build quality could be improved with Modwright opting to use a chassis which is larger than it really needs to be and sheet metal thickness is thin making the overall until prone to vibrations. I am a fan of Modwright products owning an LS36.5 pre-amp and wish the KWI-200 had the same attention to detail in mechanical design as the LS36.5
I too purchased this AI after an in-home demo, the amp is neutral and slightly on the warm side, clean sounding and dynamic. It is especially good at low listening levels and my PMC's sound great . . to me at least.
I have gone thur several iterations of IA's and amps before I was able to get this amp, they include the Bryston B-100,
4BSST2 and MF 500i, the last being the biggest disappointment after I bought it. None the less the Modwright KWI-200, for me, is working out very well and It has me enjoying my CD collection again. Much thanks to Dan for granting the home demo in the first place.
I don't know. I haven't looked at the footers. Also, by the way, I haven't made a decision on which integrated to keep. Still auditioning. The Class A Luxman 550AX is a fine sounding amp and my second ever experience with a Class A amp in my own listening environment. I want to hear the Luxman 507U and compare to the 550AX.
I haven't decided yet. I just recently auditioned the Luxman SQ-N10 tube integrated amp. Only 10W per channel at 8 ohms but has plenty of power thru my 87db, 8 ohm speakers. A very nice amp for the price but didn't WOW me enough to settle on it.
Strangely enough on Saturday night my Modwright KWI-200 shut down and couldn't be started up so I have to return it to Dan at Modwright. I believe it's the very sensitive DC output protection built in to the unit. I was really starting to enjoy it. I'm still experimenting with different interconnects, power cords & speaker cable on my Modwright as well as my McIntosh MA-6300 so it will probably be some time until I settle on the integrated I want to keep. I still haven't heard the Luxman 507U but want to sometime although I may have a tough time getting my hands on one. I have the MAC hooked up right now and it sounds great at normal listening levels. Perhaps I will audition an amp out of the blue that will knock me out but for the moment the Modwright IS providing some great listening moments. I wish I could give you a more definitive answer. Keep up with the contact. Thanks!
Routeman21 I had been reluctant to post my experience with the KWI-200, thinking that perhaps I was the only one having issues with the amp. Firstly, Dan has been very supportive during my on-going saga with the amp.
My first KWI-200 I brought home, fresh out of the box, was DOA. It was shipped backed to Modwright, and a replacement built and sent out to me a few weeks later. In the few months that I have owned the replacement amp, the 4 rail fuses have blown once, and I have blown the main fuse 3 times. Similar to your problem, this past weekend the amp kept shutting down with a display error that indicated the DC bias issue. It has since been working, but now with a noticeable pop noise in my right channel during start-up. Dan thinks the DC bias might need to be adjusted, so it will soon be shipped back to Modwright.
To worsen matters, I asked the dealer if I could get a refund should I decide to return the amp, and his answer was no, and that he could offer me a store credit, which is not the answer I had expected. So in my case, the only option is to deal with the amp issues not one of my best audio experiences.
That said, the amp has been very enjoyable when working, and Dan has been very helpful.
Thank you for letting me know about your issues. It is a concern. Fortunately, I have my MAC integrated which will keep me happy until the Modwright returns. Unfortunately, Dan's in Washington state and I'm in Pennsylvania so, needless to say, a lot of time will pass until the Modwright returns. I haven't spoken to the dealer about my situation but I will hold out until a later date. I'm not technically skilled enough to know why this condition occurs. I wish you good luck with your amp in the future and I hope Dan can figure out the DC issue.