November 30, 2023 1 min read

Ampsandsound is perhaps best known for his amplifiers made to drive either headphones or loudspeakers. (See for example Herb Reichert's Gramophone Dreams #47.) At this show, however, Ampsandsound manufacturer/designer Justin Weber was showing his Arches monoblocks ($50,000/pair), which put out up to 65W each with KT-88 tubes or 85W each with KT-150 tubes.

The other components in the system were the bold-and-black Ampsandsound Yellowstone Preamplifier ($35,000), a VPI Avenger Direct turntable ($36,000), and an Aurender A20 Music Server ($14,000). Loudspeakers were the Acora QRC-1 ($28,000/pair); the ARR-V equipment rack ($8000) was also by Acora. Cabling was Cardas Clear.

The Who We Are section of Ampsandsound's website says a lot about Weber's design goals: "Ampsandsound is a small, family business in Southern California born from a love for the legendary vacuum tube amplifiers of midcentury America. Like mechanical watches, fountain pens or real leather soles, tube amplifiers have that indescribable quality which fascinates us even decades after their invention. At ampsandsound we believe the human element and handwork that goes into making great tube amplifiers gives them some life of their own."

Records were laid out in bunches on floor (in their sleeves of course). Titles included Lana Del Rey's Honeymoon, the bluegrass-meets-classical Goat Rodeo Sessions, and Thelma Houston's I've Got The Music In Me. Analog was the message, and it was mighty fine.

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