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Review

The 6moons Blue Moon Award is bestowed only on components or music releases of rare excellence. The following audio components were deemed outstanding for the specific reasons cited.
L1 & M1 awarded as
"Compact pre/headfi/power duo with Vintage Analogue Voicing"

Review by 6moons Chief Editor Srajan Ebaen

"The L1's top flavor layer is great calm. Right beneath it sits well-rounded tone.
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From it all I felt more inside the music. I was farther away from looking on it all as an observer who stares at massive detail like a glittering school of tiny blitzing fishes in a 50'000 gallon public tank. I was nearer to swimming with 'em. Hence fish food.
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I'd rather call the WAL sound more richly reverberant.
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Since I related to the fixed sound of the Wow Audio Lab as my favorite, if I were a civilian user and required no extra socketry, I'd pick it over the Esoteric. This so happens to add a separate but integrated drive-anything truly splendid headphone amp into the bargain. What austerity measures?
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the Wow Audio Lab should thus drive all dynamic headphones known to man and beast. And so stable is its performance or voicing imprimatur that the described sonics track regardless of load.
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the L1 will build more body without compromising the laterally gifted staging of the Germans statements. Without meaning to overplay the cosmetic nod, if Jeff Rowland made a headphone amp, I think it'd sound very much like the WAL.
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The L1 also runs deathly silent—no mechanical transformer hum—and the carved-from-solid casing only gets modestly warm to the touch.
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Here the M1 slotted in just so. Woofer control was solid and just right but stayed nicely clear of that ultra-dry unnaturally striated behavior I think of as robotic and fit only for synthetic techno. These bass textures were decidedly acoustic. That points at the natural difference between a redolent rich and singing upright bass versus a super-punchy electric bass that's been tweaked for gun-shot slam. The Wow Audio Lab amp played it upright.
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key features were rich colors, a very solid grounding in musical substance and a full-bodied gestalt on the mellow but dense side of the fence. This enfolds transients into their surroundings to sheath their surgical edges if you will. More wood, less metal.
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The Wow Audio Lab M1 mirrored its own preamp mate by being foremost about strong colors and gravitas like a sunny autumn day when the leaves have just turned but not yet fallen.
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The award would have to honor this teamwork because the results are rare for pure transistor gear driven from modern digital sources. You could invoke classic Japan-bound Tannoy dual-concentrics. You could invoke the ASR Emitter amp. They inhabit the same sonic universe. To that Wow Audio Lab add jewelry cosmetics and compact form factors, then keep pricing grounded in the real world. What a discovery!"