The Bespoke Audio Company Ultimate Silver passive preamplifier has arrived


“The more you know, the less you need.” - Yvon Chouinard


Exploring the path of purity is a quest that can introduce you to a few twists and turns. One of the ways is the so-called “straight wire concept” and passive preamplifiers explores it in their very own way.

From my first few hours with the original The Bespoke Audio Company’s Ultimate passive preamplifier, my mind started to play around with the idea of how a full silver version with 6dB gain option would perform. I’ve played around with the idea for quite a while and then finally decided to pull the plug.

From what I’ve tried so far in my setups, 6-8dB gain somehow worked the best for me. As my trusty Robert Koda Takumi K-10 preamplifier also uses 6dB and has been proven across wide array of combinations, I’ve decided to explore this particular path in more detail.

There is whole philosophy around this particular gain and those with greater interest can turn to the internet for a vast playground of research.

Today The Bespoke Audio Company’s Ultimate Silver passive preamplifier finally arrived. Like a little kid, I couldn’t resist and started my discovery right away. As you can see on the photos, this device is a visual gem and work of art from inside out!


The unpacking experience is a fascinating tale I wish everyone could experience. It’s rare and exemplary stand out and an uberly satisfying process. At each step, well thought out design details can be cherished as well as first class, premium finish and materials being used throughout. The Bespoke Audio team want’s you to be luxuriously served and know exactly where your money went.

In Japanese tradition the path is as sacred as the final destination. The Bespoke Audio Company took this to heart—perfection driven energy seems to be infused at each and every step of the preamplifier’s completion. Harry, Lucy, and Andrew are people of strong convictions and forthrightness. I’ve had a chance to spend quite some time with them, deeply understanding their leitmotif. Their product reflects purity direct and without unneeded paraphernalia.

SONIC ESCAPE


What struck me from the first few notes traveling through The Bespoke Audio Company’s preamplifier’s veins was an intoxicating transparency. Not the typical brittle nature that actually translates into coloration, but a true momentum of life-like facsimile with layers of foggy curtains being removed.

Some SET amplifiers can act in exactly the opposite way by introducing pleasing saturation through the output transformer. On contrary, The Bespoke Audio Company preamplifier locked me in instantly with some unexplained magnetism and a much more realistic density of information that my mind is used to consume. Sounds seemed to fill my midcingulate cortex and the anterior insula with the right date in absence of excessive hyperbole.

Deciphering and transcribing music messages can be onerous task but The Bespoke Audio Company Ultimate Silver passive preamplifier pushed me easily into a sort of idée fixe contemplating state where music actually acted more in the realms of energy transfer than coming as a sum of electronic mechanics. Such unnatural perplexity urges the listener to clinically dissect the sound rather than immersing into the music for what it is and what can offer emotion wise.

THE SILVER BULLET 


I’m yet to play around with cables to fine the “perfect” synergy, but I’ve found myself gazing into the state that goes way beyond earthbound effect.

Yes, pure silver is theoretically the best conductor, yet one can never fully predict the sonic outcome. Silver, by default, is no guarantee for sonic nirvana as has been proven too many times. It can push sound into ear-bleeding bright territory too quickly. Like with everything in life, the balancing act comes as mandatory. Ordering a full silver version was quite a challenge and a step into the unknown, but I've somehow tried to imagine a foreseeable outcome. And I’m happy for being bold enough :).

The Bespoke Audio Company’s passive preamplifier won’t win everyone and fit into every system. It takes some understanding and planning for the proper synergy. My phono stages ensure enough gain to serve the passive inputs with proper signal and so do the MSB Select DAC which was designed from the ground as a potent output gain stage with multiple DAC’s per channel and in absence of opamps. My initial goal was to lurk deeper into somehow different gain structure and MSB Select’s proprietary modules finally allowed me to step forward.

I'm sure that some of the people that already tried the “normal” version—including my media colleagues— would found this version even more satisfying with more gain that they might missed. I’ve tried and liked very much the 0dB original version; it received Mono and Stereo’s Upper Echelon Award for a reason, but I’m discovering more than just a happy place with this, particularly a custom 6dB version in my current system. On the path of progression, especially in high end audio it’s hard to freeze into status quo if things are factually moving towards better sound and performance and closer to reality.


The experience of music in all greatness should be, first and foremost celebrated and not diminished. This comes with puristic approach and The Bespoke Audio Company’s Ultimate Silver passive preamplifier follows this particular path without a doubt.

It is often said how impressions are like diamonds—they last forever! This is exactly how I feel after a short, aural, and aesthetically pleasant experience.

More to come…

Matej Isak

www.thebespokeaudiocompany.com