Heavyweight amplifier showdown- Boulder 2160 v Wavac HE 833 mkII

Jul 2, 2015
589
7
18
#1
I love Boulder.
I mean seriously, unaturally adore their power amplifiers.
In my experience nothing else conveys the scale and emotional content of music, of any genre, as a Boulder fed by a Wavac pre amp.
So that is why, when it came to purchasing a new beating heart for my system, these are the two brands that i will audition.

There is a 2160 currently winging it's way toward me.
And as luck would have it, i have been offered a pair of Wavac HE 833 mkII monoblocks for the same price
So the mother of all auditions beckons

Will keep you updated

Best wishes
gav
 
Jul 2, 2015
589
7
18
#2

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,607
363
83
London
#4
Can’t see the Wavacs suiting your Focal Stella speakers and dance music as much as the Boulder tbh.

Look forward to your impressions.
I hope you are never the commentator for one of those WWF matches - you will be like can't see the smaller guy winning. You are supposed to warm up the crowd for the match.
 

cjfrbw

Active Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,190
24
38
Pleasanton, CA
#6
Button down SS vs. warm womb, heart beat second harmonics. Are you an explicitist or a sensualist?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,223
158
63
#7
very interesting comparison to me.

6 months ago I did a very similar comparison in my room; the dart 458's verses the Lamm ML3's then later also the big VAC Statement 450's.....all with the dart preamp.

comparing this situation to mine; gav has amps that are more extreme in their solid state-ness and tubey-ness than the 458's and ML3's. so the choices will be even more divergent. and the Wavac's will have closer to adequate power (with considerable measured distortion) on gav's speakers than the ML3's might have on my speakers. (not an issue for the big VAC's).

then there is the Wavac preamp which could shift things in various ways.

my thread went on for 1200+ posts. I'd say this one could also be very entertaining; although the 'Lamm Nation' fanbase (said with much love) was quite passionate on many aspects. not sure Wavac will get the same degree of (unconditional) faith, not that it's not deserving (at one point I came very close to buying a set of HE-833 Mk2's myself).
 
Last edited:

GMKF

VIP/Donor
Aug 15, 2017
344
22
18
Munich
#9
Have fun. Probaly the one of "best" and one of the "worst" measuring amps beeing compared is always fun.
 

GMKF

VIP/Donor
Aug 15, 2017
344
22
18
Munich
#11
Lol. I think the Wavac will defo seduce for a while but Gavin is a bass junky and listens almost exclusively to dance music with loads of deep bass. The Focal woofers like juice...
The Wavacs are known for their bass, because of their design. Can be as high as +7dB into 2 Ohms...
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,607
363
83
London
#12
The Wavacs are known for their bass, because of their design. Can be as high as +7dB into 2 Ohms...
Your insights never seem to surprise me. For the rest of the forum members, this guy is barely 20 and he has every hifi detail on his tips
 

GMKF

VIP/Donor
Aug 15, 2017
344
22
18
Munich
#13
Your insights never seem to surprise me. For the rest of the forum members, this guy is barely 20 and he has every hifi detail on his tips
Although I know nothing, literally zero about how to set up a vinyl system.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,607
363
83
London
#14
Although I know nothing, literally zero about how to set up a vinyl system.
That's how it is at twice your age as well
 

cjfrbw

Active Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,190
24
38
Pleasanton, CA
#15

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,624
154
63
Switzerland
#16
I love Boulder.
I mean seriously, unaturally adore their power amplifiers.
In my experience nothing else conveys the scale and emotional content of music, of any genre, as a Boulder fed by a Wavac pre amp.
So that is why, when it came to purchasing a new beating heart for my system, these are the two brands that i will audition.

There is a 2160 currently winging it's way toward me.
And as luck would have it, i have been offered a pair of Wavac HE 833 mkII monoblocks for the same price
So the mother of all auditions beckons

Will keep you updated

Best wishes
gav
Well, depending on how far you sit from the speakers and how loud you like to listen, I see no reason that the WAVACs can't sound pretty awesome with those speakers. I did a demo of the Grande Utopia Be EM (electromagnetic woofer damping) with the KR Audio VA350i and it embarrassed a pair of Electrocompaniet Monos (big 400 watt ones). Also, had a very nice demo with a pair of Mezzo Utopia Be and the same amp and also a very nice sounding Jadis Defy 7 MkIII with Siltech wiring. Both amps made the Mezzos sing.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,223
158
63
#17

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,624
154
63
Switzerland
#18
Button down SS vs. warm womb, heart beat second harmonics. Are you an explicitist or a sensualist?
One of the best sounding amps I ever heard was the WAVAC HE805, which is one model below the one in question...however, it is a very different output tube than this 833 beast.
 

cjfrbw

Active Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,190
24
38
Pleasanton, CA
#19
One of the best sounding amps I ever heard was the WAVAC HE805, which is one model below the one in question...however, it is a very different output tube than this 833 beast.
I still have a pair of Ampex 805 tubes in my tube closet that I bought but never installed in the first Chinese 805 SET that convinced me I wanted to go to SET from PP tube. I suppose I should try to sell them rather than let them moulder, but I have so much stuff to sell that it gives me a headache to think about it so I just procrastinate. Coupla Wavacs, too.
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio convertors (DACS), turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing