Robin Wyatt (left) with VPI’s Matt Weisfeld (right)
Robin Wyatt’s Robyatt Room wins my first best sound of the show. Playing recordings I thought I knew well, as well as ones I had never heard, his exacting, tonally true, lively, physical, natural and extremely transparent system left my jaw on the floor and others’ mouths hanging open.
My usual spiel: Billie Holiday: “Forget her last Verve pressings, you want the Columbia Masterworks to reissue Billie, when she’s young and has her life ahead of her, her joyful style.”
Spinning the Analogue Productions mono reissue of Holiday’s Body and soulWyatt’s Miyajima Labs/VPI Industries/Finley Audio-based rig revealed an intimacy, clarity and integrity, yes, soulful depth and fiery sensibility that I had never heard before from this LP though -like.
Senses realigned, brain completely scrambled and resorted.
Wyatt’s system repeated these feats on a Japanese copy of Bob Dorough the devil may careand another LP that I know like I know my Shindos, the classic ECM by Don Cherry and Ed Blackwell, El Corazon.
What made up this super rig, you ask? Old technology, newly revived.
Sources included a VPI HW40 RA Direct Drive turntable ($18,250, above) with a custom Wyatt/Baltic slate plinth, Thai-Scandinavian-engineered Bird of Prey tonearm (including J Wand and Straight Wand, SME or fixed base) ($10,750), Bird tonearm ($8750), aluminum/brass shell ($375), Miyajima Labs Infinity Mono Phono cartridge ($3475), Miyajima Labs Destiny Stereo Phono cartridge ($7600 ), head washers ($43/3).
Amplification consisted of Miyajima Labs Wo-1 preamp ($21,500, above), Miyajima Labs MC-2 preamp ($7,850), Miyajima Labs MC-1 preamp ($6,950), amplifier Miyajima Labs OTL ($17,000, below), driving Miyajima Labs Premier OB Field-Coil Open Baffle Loudspeakers ($25,500/pair), with DNM Design and Finley wiring.
Is it an expensive system? Absolutely. Is this a next generation music and audio reproduction device of practically biblical Charlton Heston/Moses-parts-of-the-Red-Sea proportions? Undoubtedly. Magical.