It’s a brand you may not be aware of, but Brian Smith and Wayne Cooper of Transmit8 are two Kiwi audio gurus with a passion for the magic of the tube. This homegrown duo (Wayne is the engineering brain, while Brian is well known in NZ as a valve amp designer/technician) have been quietly working under the radar for the past few years and have now launched a most impressive amplifier system onto the world market.
They’ve combined to create the massive 805 output tube basedTransmit8 SE50 SET monoblocks, a double act of brooding single-ended 45wpc valve architecture that pictures can’t really do justice to.
I met up with Wayne at his Auckland workshop last week for an afternoon demo, and to say I was impressed was somewhat of an understatement. He had the SE50’s singing with a pair of giant Ambience ribbon hybrid loudspeakers running through Transmit8’s prototype tube line stage – this in turn was fed digital goodness via a very rare battleship Sony SCD-1 SACD player.
The resultant sound was simply amazing: involving yet dynamic, the SE50’s/Ambience/SCD-1 combo blew me away with its ability to both communicate and convey the music with gusto, while being respectful of the subtleties contained within each disc. It’s one thing to have great attack and dynamic swing, but this usually results in the manifestation of a certain amount of brightness/hardness to the sound. Not so with the Transmit8 SE50’s: they combine reference solid-state like speed and dynamic impact with the warmth and involvement of the best of valve amplification, which is a rare ability for any amplifier regardless of price.
As good as the demo was, I wanted more – so Wayne has gladly allowed a pair of SE50’s into my home for an in-depth review. I’m genuinely excited at the prospect of having the Transmit8’s in my home and am really looking forward to pairing them with my easy to drive Voigt Vofo’s – this should be a match made in heaven.
This is just a quick press release to whet your appetites, look out for the review appearing on Witchdoctor very soon.
As they say in politics, watch this space…