July 08, 2024 2 min read


Words and photos by Matthew Patrick

Room 550 at this year’s AXPONA was super cool. I was treated to the more well-known ampsandsound tube amplifiers, along with the new-to-me Yellowstone preamp and the fantastic ampsandsound Hudson horn speakers. The Black Pearl amp retails for $18k, and the preamp for $35k. The Hudson horns come in at $18k/pair as well.

Words and Photos by Matthew Partrick

If you know anything about ampsandsound, you are familiar with their gorgeous looking and sounding tube amplifiers, and the Black Pearl embodies this philosophy. The amp uses the new reissue Western Electric 300B triode tubes, and seems essentially built around this valvular glory. Output is rated at 8 Watts RMS at 8 Ohms. Feeding horns like the ampsandsound Hudson, this provided more than enough power for 98 dB speakers. I was thoroughly impressed by the clarity and smoothness of the 300B amp, seeming to me to be perhaps the best ampsandsound power I’ve heard at a show.

The ampsandsound Hudson speakers mark a return of this company to the horn world, and as a devoted horn acolyte I was thrilled to be exposed to another well-made American horn. These very favorably reminded me of Volti Audio horns, with elliptical tractrix midrange horn flare shape, a beautifully made cabinet with sumptuous wood veneers and an arresting sound. I admit I’m a horn whore, but I would imagine even the most callous horn-hater would take significant notice to these speakers. ampsandsound offers two more horn models in their lineup now, so stay tuned for a potential review in the future.

Running this whole show was the fantastic Ampsandsound Yellowstone preamp. This piece of kit is just stunning aesthetically and sonically. The body has a cutout to show off the preamp tubes, and unlike some other companies that use this feature, ampsandsound is very tasteful and not flashy in any way. This model featured yellow enamel paint that is typical of the company’s aesthetic.

One particular track that stood out to me while listening was “We Shall Overcome” by Bruce
Springsteen from his album covering Pete Seeger songs. What a great combination of tube power into wonderfully sensitive ampsandsound Hudson horns to highlight The Boss’s powerful lyrics and voice. While not inexpensive, these Ampsandsound products, including the ampsandsound Hudson speakers, were a sight and sound to behold.



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