Wells Audio Innamorata Signature Stereo amplifier




 

 

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davecaplan.jpgIn 2013, Clement Perry reviewed the Wells Audio Innamorata Amp and bestowed upon it a 
Most Wanted Component "Publisher's Choice!" award. I, fortunately already owned the Innamorata as well and was happy to see it was now receiving the accolades I felt it deserved. I have been delighted with the way the Innamorata has performed in my system. However, when Clement asked me if I wanted to review the new signature version, aptly named the Innamorata Signature. I was curious to hear what the performance differences would add up to compared to the regular Innamorata. Long story short, a few conversations with designer Jeff Wells confirmed the opportunity and in a few short weeks I received the latest Innamorata Signature stereo amplifier.


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On the outside the 
chasis looked similar to the standard Innamorata but looking at the rear, I noticed the RCA inputs and amp connectors 

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used are the excellent WBT Nextgen. Curious, I took the top cover off and was very impressed by the Innamorata Signature's clean layout and of course the superb quality of construction. Similar to the original Innamorata with the biggest difference being two large hand-built Duelund PIO input capacitors from Denmark. According to Jeff Wells, their handcrafted cast paper and oil design are very expensive to manufacture and take months to get, but they are renowned for their exceptional performance. The next thing that stood out over the standard Innamorata was the Bybee AC module. Also, the Bybee Power Purifiers used in the standard Innamorata are now improved upon as well. These contain an Advanced Crystal Technology used in his latest Bybee Quantum Signal Enhancer I wrote about some months ago (see that review here). The Innamorata Signature also has fast recovery diode bridges and lastly employs the Bybee Rail Chip technology which purports to lower the power supply noise floor a whopping 45 dB.


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Although Jeff had already broken in the amp I still let it warm up for a week before any serious listening. My system consists of Modified Apogee Stage Speakers, an Audible Illusion L2 line stage, a PS Audio PWT transport feeding a PS Audio DSD Dac feeds into the latest Bybee/Curl passive AC conditioner.My entire system resides on an isolated line with a separate ground feeding out into the garden and buried on a six foot copper pipe. At present, my system uses Bybee Crystal Technology AC cords throughout, Audio Magic Natural interconnects and Shakti Stones and Onlines. Several pairs of Hallographs adorn my dedicated listening space alongside four Stein Harmonizers and Blue Suns (you can read my Blue Sun review here). In addition, Acoustic Revive products, along with two Townsend bases, Stillpoint SS and Still Point Ultra 5 footers, custom ribbon silver speaker cables going into a set of Bybee Speaker Bullets complete my system.

herecomescharlie.jpgI was ready for serious listening and I put on was Ella Fitzgerald singing You're My Thrill from her "Clap Hands Here Comes Charlie" CD.The first thing I noticed with the Signature was a further increase in harmonics and naturalness on Ella's voice as compared to the standard version Innamorata. Her voice was silkier and the harmonics were richer with micro dynamics I never heard on this recording before - although she had sounded very good on my original Innamorata.

The Signature was cleaner, more transparent and placed her voice in a more holographic space in my room, in a way I felt I could almost walk around her. I was ready to put on the next recording, an HD track download at 24/176 burned to a DVD of Muddy Waters' famous "Folk Singer" played through my PS Audio PW Transport. On this album, the increased dynamics proved stunning. I was getting the kind of performance I would expect from upgrading to a pair of mono blocks yet the power rating of Signature is listed as the same (150 watts per) as on the standard Innamorata. This "Folk Singer" recording has huge swings in dynamic range, not to mention micro detail and harmonic richness. All were witnessed at a new level in my system compliments of the newest Signature Innamorata. I felt as though I was in the recording with Muddy Waters and totally engaged and enjoying myself. The Innamorata Signature really added a tangible increase in the overall musicality of my system. Folk Singer is a long-time standard and Muddys performance shone through my system in a way I've seldom, if ever, experienced. The Innamorata Signature portrayed the rich natural harmonics that tubes are known for combined with the power and control of the best solid state designs. The Innamorata Signature is truly a convergence of the Audio Arts designed into a single amplifier.

CantateDomino_1.jpgOne of the most challenging and natural recordings I own is "Oscar's Motet Choir" of Cantate Domino CD: stunningly musical and super demanding for any amplifier to reproduce. This recording is not only a musical masterpiece, it virtually throws the kitchen sink at your system combining a deep organ and full choir along with every instrument in the orchestra going full tilt on certain tracks. The Innamorata Signature conveyed a stunning sense of control, stability and power I have never witnessed from my system on this CD. It not only reproduced with exceptional authority, I could hear extra ambient information that the stock Innamorata could not convey. This amp was definitely revealing the heart of the music in a most compelling way. For me that's what it's all about.

At $15,000 Its not an inexpensive Amplifier but I feet its performance is comparable to much costlier reference quality amps I ended up buying the review sample. It was too good to let go.


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 david caplan
 

 

Specifications:

150 wpc at 8 ohms, 200 wpc at 4 ohms

Frequency response: +/-0.25db from 10 hz to 50 khz

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: -103 db, reference level: full power output

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD):

Gain 30 db

Input Inpedance: 50k Ohms

Damping Factor: 200, reference 8 Ohms nominal

Power Consumption: 350 Watts idle, 1000 Watts maximum

Inputs: 1 pair RCA unbalanced

Outputs: 1 pair WBT Nextgen 5-way binding post

Operating Voltage: 100V, 120V, 220V, 230V0r 240V at 50 or 60 Hz

Dimensions: 19 in. W X 6 in. H X 17 in. D

Price: $15,000.00 US

Contact: Wells Audio

106 Bascom Ct.

Campbell, Ca. 95008

Phone: 408-376-0861

Website: www.wellsaudio.com

Email: jeff@wellsaudio.com

 

 

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