Aria WT-100LS Part Two
by Joe Mendez
The day had finally arrived. My WT-100LS was scheduled
for delivery and
I waited for the big, brown truck to drive up with my crated Aria
revoiced and ready to rumble. So, did Mike Elliott & Co. put the "can"
in the "do"? Or would that be "do" in "can"?
and reinstalling my WT-100 in the system, I powered everything up
and let things warm up for a few hours before sitting down to listen.
Now, I don't know about you, but I tend to make great emotional
investments in my system. When it sounds good to me, all is well. When
things aren't just so, well, you get the picture. As I puttered about
the house waiting for the system to warm up, anxiety ran through me like
lightning through water. Would it be all I anticipated? Would it
inspire me to wave a final mental bye-bye to the BAT VK-60s?
A few hours had elapsed. Volume low, tuner set to
my favorite station.
It was time to BOOGIE! Four, Three, Two, One, up went the volume and
out came a clear, dynamic sound that I immediately identified as changed
for the better. The DJ's voice had a bit more weight and presence. The
middle frequencies had a more forward character as I had wanted. Now
for some familiar LPs and cds that would give me a better sonic
impression of what exactly the revoice had wrought. With a fading
aural memory of the BATs in mind, I went for the juggler with a cd of
female vocalist I've come to be very familiar with. I had an immediate
impression of a more palpable, 3D presentation, which now at least
rivaled the VK-60s. The midrange had indeed picked up a bit of weight
and had been brought forward a touch. Upper bass also was more to my
liking with added punch. Overall a more complete, more satisfying sonic
picture was being served up before me by the Aria. All the improvements
had been implemented without the loss of speed, detail or transparency
I admired greatly in the WT-100 from the getgo. Turning to a familiar
movie soundtrack on vinyl that is a real shake the walls, barn burner,
was impressed with the weight and power of the orchestra, yet the
lighter instrumentation, i.e. triangle, was not lost in the mix, coming
through with extreme clarity.
Needless to say, I am very pleased with the revoice.
In the past week
since the WT-100's return, I have also had occasion to listen at lower
volumes. Prior to the revoice I found the performance of the WT-100
unsatisfying at lower volumes. The revoice has changed that
significantly and I now find lower volume listening quite enjoyable, if
not as thrilling as what these old ears really crave.
While I have not heard even a small percentage of
all the amplifiers
available to us, I'm confident that I am now enjoying truly top notch
sonics with the addition of the Aria WT-100LS to my system. Its
combination of virtues makes it difficult to pigeonhole. Does it sound
like a tube amp or a solid state amp? Well, neither and both really.
Quite an accomplishment if you ask me. But hey, don't ask me, ask Mike
Elliott to send you one (in exchange for some greens of course) and give
it a 14 day whirl. You just may end up keeping it for the long haul.