Wolcott amps The best tube amps?

Ihave been reading reviews from mags and amps are supposedly tops. Is this true. Has anybody heard these?
Yes, I heard Wolcott's at the CES in Vegas a few weeks ago. Lucky for me, I had helped with the set up in a couple of rooms, and the Soundlab speakers (A1 and Millennium) were in rooms very near each other. What value is that? The Soundlab M1's were in the Purist Audio room, with Viva amps (same amp I am using) and the Soundlab A1's were with Hank Wolcott's amps. I went from room to room several times, and the Wolcott's are definitely one of the best amps I have ever heard (at least on Soundlab). I am getting the same Viva's used in Purist's room in about a week or so, when those are compared to my current Viva amps, I should know better where each one is in performance. I have two friends who use the Wolcott as their reference amp. One is on Crosby modified Quads and the other is a manufacturer who uses them on every speaker he owns. Both report that the Wolcott is their favorite.
I've heard the Wolcotts a few times including their demo at CES. I concur with Albert on the SoundLab+Wolcott room. It was one of the better sounding rooms of the whole show. But I must add that most rooms sounded pretty horrible so anything sounding half way decent would have stood out. The Wolcotts are good but if you're looking for the best you have to listen to one of Lamm Audio's tube amplifiers. Lamm makes the most musical, neutral and hamonically correct amplifiers in the world today. rgds, david k.
Dkarmeli, absolutely correct on bad sound at the CES. Just read my comments listed under the "Vandersteen 5" heading. Anyway, I did hear the Lamm Audio amps (the $30,000.00) ones, and they did sound great. I do not know what, if any, lesser priced Lamm's are available, but the Wolcott is only $8495.00 retail. Although both are expensive, the Wolcott is much more affordable to most people. Maybe there is a Lamm that is just as good a value? I only saw and heard the very expensive one.
Hi Albert, Lamm does have other less expensive models, but even then the cheapestn amp is about twice the price of the Wolcotts. But then again value is relative. Most people who've bought Lamms, do'nt see the need to ever change electronics again. If you consider the savings over just a couple of upgrades, you'll see that Lamms represent amazing value. Lamm is also an established company with a great track record. This cannot be said of Wolcott which kind of appeared overnight without any guarantee of it being around in a year from now. Unfortunately the same could be said of the designer. There is no manufacturing base for Wolcott, neither is there any real back up system. So that $8500 investment could be worth nothing overnight. rgds, david k.
I believe the best amps i've heard to date is the new VIVA amps! the prices start at $9300.00 for the stereo, to $25,000.00 for the mono's. these amp are capable of driving any speaker to extreme levels!! I have already compaired them to the finest lamm amps and they are at another level. if your interested in these amps please reply. thanks
To "The3dman", how did you manage to hear the Viva amps and the Lamm Audio together? There must not be more than a half dozen of the Viva's in the whole USA. What is the chance that the Lamm is there too? Did you really hear them together or just guessing?
I bought the Wolcott amps a few weeks ago and I am enjoying the best sound I have ever experienced in my system. Deep and tightly controlled bass like a solid state and the mids and highs like a 10 watt SET. Hank Wolcott started selling these about 3 or 4 yrs. ago. He also has an unbelieved background.
the Wolcott amps are unbelievable. they blow away everthing i have ever owned. VTL MB 750,VTL 300 Deluxe mono's,VTL MB225t's.Audio Research VT-200,M-300 mono blocks.VT-130,Plinius SA250,Coda System 100,Mark Levinson 333,Classe' DR3 VHC.VAC PA-160,VAC PA 80/80,Counterpoint NPM mono's Counterpoint NPS-400a,Krell KSA200s,Threshols SA10e mono's ETC. the only other amplifier that has impressed me as much as the Wolcotts is the Genesis B-200 Stealth.
I have had my Wolcotts for about 3 weeks now and they are absolutly awesome.As they break in they get better every day.I am driving Soundlab Ultimate 1's and they are an amazing combination.Bass extension,pinpoint imaging,fast yet never edgy.The way the seperate the instruments and voices with such clarity is the best i have ever heard.I am a 300B fan and these amps produce alot of the subtle details the 300b does but with authority,bass and such a full body to the sound.The way Cellos,Bass guitars and drums resonate is extremely realistic and full. I have tried different amps,solid state and tubes and none have done it as well.I have had Atmasphere 60 watt Novacrons which were very good but just not enough power.The Wolcotts get warm but not nearly as hot as the high power OTL's which to me is a big factor living in Florida.I have found a Great amp/speaker combo and have never been happier.My system search is over.I also tried them on my 96db effecient Infinity Preludes and they sounded incredible on a standard driver speaker.I apoligize for all the gushing adjectives but I have been in the hobby for years and nothing has excited me like this.Thanks Hank for a great product.
I beleive we talked over the phone about the Wolcott amp. I live in Anna Maria Island. I'm glad you reached Nirvana. I recently borrowed the Lamm Monoblocks which sound great but not quite as good as the Wolcotts in the bass region. Wolcott's are still the best for my system
Check out the Legend Audio Design tube amps. The top of the line amps (the triodes) are around $5500 and are awesome. They were voted best sound at annual show for 4 years in a row. They sound best with all Legend gear. (interconnects,etc.)
I will be burning in my set of Wolcott amps in the very near future, hopefully within two or three weeks. Having owned several high end tube amps, both SET and push pull, it will be interesting to see what the results are.
Albert, we're looking forward to your comments on the Wolcott amps. Are you going to change the tubes. A few people have and had better results. I don't notice a difference after changing the output tubes. Let us know your opinion
Snook2 On the Wolcott's output tubes, (EL34 s), I have a set of Seimens, Telefunkens and Teslas. The Wolcott's come stock with Sovtecs, so this group of possibilities is an excellent start. As far as the input tubes, (6922's), the Sovtecs are terrible, so I plan to replace them with either Amperex, Telefunken, Mullard or Seimens. The remainder of the test will be on my patience, waiting for the caps and transformers to totally break in, so I can hear what this amp is capable of.
Does anybody know where to get your hands on these wolcott amps? May be a phone #, website or dealers?
Hank Wolcott may be reached at his office at 805-527-8842. (This is in California, Pacific Time Zone) He is available for the usual business hours and is very helpful in answering questions. I understand that he has a web site too, I will try to locate and post the web address here. Hank owns an instrument company as well as Wolcott line, so don't be confused if you hear two names when he answers the phone. Not surprising, he did a lot of work for the US Government as well as JBL. He holds patents for designs used in testing for Military work, as well as the particular circuit in the Wolcott amps that get the output circuit so perfectly biased and aligned. Sorry to say that building them is a hand assembled operation, so I still do not have the pair of mono's that I have ordered. Hank promises that the assembly will be complete soon, and I will post here when I feel I have enough experience with them to make a valid comment.
I located the home page for Wolcott Audio: http://www.elan-gmk.com/wolcott/welcome.htm. Hanks e-mail address is also at this site, for those who prefer responding by e-mail rather than phone.
Hope you get them soon, Albert Porter. Looking forward to your feedback. I changed the output tubes from the ones supplied and didn't hear any significant change. They are still numero uno in my taste
Hope you get them soon, Albert Porter. Looking forward to your feedback. I changed the output tubes from the ones supplied and didn't hear any significant change. They are still numero uno in my taste
The promise has been made for shipment this coming week. It is hard to believe I will finally get my new Wolcott Amps. I look at my first posting here on this subject, on Jan 27th, and realize I have been waiting a long time for completion of these baby's. This latest version of the Wolcott's, with the new wide band transformers and a upgraded configuration on the damping was what I was waiting for, and having (just now) read the newly published review by Dick Olsher, I can hardly wait! If you wish to read the review, go to: http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0700/wolcottaudio.htm This is the strongest review for an amplifier auditioned with a Soundlab speaker that I have ever read. I suspect the comments may have been just as strong if they had been auditioned with different speakers. I say this because my pursuit of this product came primarily from two very good friends recommendations, who feel as Mr. Olsher does about their Wolcotts. Neither of these guys owns Soundlab's, but describe similar performance gains in their own systems. I hope my experience will be a similar one, and I will post results here in some weeks from now.
A delay in assembly has caused my Wolcotts to be promised late. I just spoke to Hank at Wolcott, and he says one amp is finished and tested completely, and the second amp is fully assembled and in "burn in." The hope is to ship via Federal Express on Wednesday the 26th, for arrival on Friday. The possibility of me being able to determine the ultimate sound of these in the coming weekend is very unlikely. If they are so special that you can tell right out of the box, that will be rare indeed! The greater chance is that it will require a few weeks of break in to give an unbiased report.
I changed the Sovtek EL34's To the Chinese ValveArt EL34's and got a much better sound. A little more detail and focus. Purchased them from "THe Tubeman" Ken Chait.
Well Albertporter its been about a month... what's your impression so far about the Walcotts?
Hello Dan2112, and others. The Wolcotts are extremely good, I have owned two pair of VERY expensive mono block amps just before this pair arrived. By comparison, these are a bargain! Unfortunately, for the final word on ultimate performance, I need more time. The actual break in on this pair is only about 20 hours along. A trip to Belize (Central America) really set back my schedule. However, I hope that in the next week or two, I will be able to tell much more about them, as I accumulate more hours. I also plan to install some premium grade tubes (I already have them ready) and report on the effect of those in the circuit as well. For additional reference, I still own the pair of class "A" SET's that have been my standard for the last (nearly) two years. Some encouraging news too, Wolcott is now completely up to date on his production schedule, and is reported to have quite a lot of amps ready to ship. I think there are only a few that are pre-sold, so members interested in this amplifier will not experience the delay I had. Unfortunately, I placed my order just when everyone (including audio reviewers) were all making the same request. That, in addition to the CES, was a bit overwhelming.
Albertporter, Thanks for the update. I will be shopping for some new amplifiers some time this year and the Wolcott's are on my list to audition. I am very much interested in your experiences. I have B&W N802 and everybody I have talked too recommends Solid State like the Krell FPB-300 or something like the AR VT-200 in tubes. Dan
Dan..I purchased a used pair of the these a couple months back and they are by far the best from what I've owned or heard. They are tube amps cabable of driving any speaker (I use Sonus Faber Extremas, not the easiest) and have a firm, powerful bass which will make you forget about solid state, and very neutral mids and sweet highs..these never sound harsh yet never overly (but somewhat) warm. Even my friends who prefer solid state are impressed by these..they are really are hard to fault..almost forgot to mention that they always sound effortless..time to warm em up.
Jman, I am curious as to what amps you auditioned. I just got off the phone with Hank Wolcott and he answered some questions I had. There is a dealer within two hours of me, so I might go and take a listen. I would like to know how these amps compare to what other people auditioned here. I joined this thread a little late, so could some people share some experiences they had before settling on the Wolcott. Dan
Hi Snook2, I just responded to your request by e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you!
For the money the Wolcott's are some of the better amps on the market. There are dealers out there who carry them, usually the guys who do alot of High End two channel business. As for the comparison to the Plinius SA 250, there is none.
dont believe everthing you read from these reviewers. most of them dont know what they are talking about. the only way is to go hear them for yourself. if you read alot of reviews you'll start to see a pattern. read what they say take it with a grain of salt and go listen for yourself, thats the only way to be sure.
You may want to define who you're calling a "reviewer". I have heard the Wolcott, have you? I found it to be an excellent amplifier. I heard it in a fellow audiophile's system. He had replaced a much more expensive pair of Vivas. I found the Wolcott's to stand up to them quite well and for about 40% less $$$! Not only that they weren't totally broken in yet!! While I agree you should always listen for yourself in YOUR system, I think the point of these threads is to see if you should BOTHER to do so to begin with! Saying we "don't know what we are talking about" does not help this person decide! I suggest if you have heard these amps to give us your opinion of them otherwise...
I'm wondering if anyone has heard the accompanying Wolcott Omnisphere speakers with the Wolcott "infinite damping factor" amps. I'm told the high amount of negative feedback in the amps more than compensates for the lack of positive feedback regarding the sound of the speakers otherwise amplified. Or is it the other way around? Whatever... Any company using "infinite" and "omni" in its literature will get my attention anyday, hyperbole notwithstanding.
I heard the Wolcott Omnisphere speaker at CES, and did not like it. Understand though, I have never heard any brand of Omni spherical speaker that impressed me. Perhaps it's just my personal way of listening. Although CES is a terrible place for the only listening to have occurred, but I have heard good sound from other products at this show. Last, there is a high and low toggle switch, as well as a rotary knob on the rear of the Wolcott amps. The user may adjust the damping to whatever suits the speaker, room and listeners taste. A nice feature.
This is a little off topic. I have a pair of 220 monoblocks. I sold my preamp and kept my Bel Canto phono stage. I want to run the phono stage thru a passive volume control and then to the amps. I can't figure out how much gain the Wolcott's need. Anybody have any idea?