Capital Audiofest 2022 show reports

Songer Audio S1 / Whammerdyne DGA Ultra

The Songer Audio S1 driven by the Whammerdyne DGA-Ultra delivered what I thought was possibly the best sound of the show. I haven’t quite wrapped up all my notes yet and decided who gets the award for ultimate best-sounding room, but the Songer Audio / Whammerdyne room is certainly in the top 3.

The S1 sports a single full-range field coil driver per channel and has no additional internal components of any kind. The single crossover-less driver preserves perfect phase presentation throughout the frequency range.

These speakers sound so effortless, coherent, natural, and dynamic. The Whammerdyne DGA Ultra drives them to comfortable levels with its modest 4.2 watts per channel, though there wasn’t really an opportunity to open the throttle and see how the amps would handle the 93db at something closer to concert levels.

The top-end on these field coil drivers sounded pretty sublime. They sounded extended and airy with plenty of detail, but I heard nothing harsh or etched. They extend to 20Khz and down to 20hz (-6dB), so they’re easily a ‘full-range’ speaker and I didn’t get a sense that subs would be needed for anything other than HT effects.

The Whammerdyne ULTRA DGA-1 amp is a technological tour de force and uses no capacitors from the volume control to input of 6922 gain/drive tube. Pure DC coupling with no capacitors, resistors or transformers between the input 6922 tube and the 2A3 output tubes. Fully regulated power supplies including DC filaments and tube plate (B+). It’s a dual mono design so isolation between circuits is maximized. Pure class A operation (both input drive tube and 2A3 output tubes), and zero feedback.

The Whammerdyne/Songer feels like a truly synergistic pairing, though I’ve some reservations over the 93dB and only 4 watts or so. It can work ok, theoretically, but in a larger room, there might be some issues with the amp running out of steam. But the 2A3 tube inflects a nice hint of warmth and body into the S1, nothing syrupy or overtly mellow, just a subtle crossing of the line of neutrality. Vocalists, in particular, come over exceptionally well with this combo, voices are sweet and natural and there’s a palpable sense of presence, with singers being right ‘there’ in the room. Good separation and space around performers, excellent depth of soundstage, and a good sense of scale left-to-right without any noticeable instrument localization. The S1 sounds transparent and does a great job of removing itself from the sonic picture.

Songer also demoed their open baffle S2 speakers, unfortunately, I didn’t get to hear those – I stopped back at the room on two other occasions hoping to catch the S2, but alas….. (I’d kill to get my hands on a pair of these!)

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CAH 11/2022