Streaming amplifiers might be the minimalist audiophile’s ticket to ride in 2020 but how many can boast a profile as low as the WSlim-LITE from Waversa Systems? According to the South Korean company, their streaming amplifier is milled from a single piece of aluminium and is the size of a small laptop computer.
On loudspeaker drive, the WSlim-LITE gives us 80 wpc by parallel bridging an octet of 5W amplifiers on each channel. That puts a check in the column marked ‘interesting’. Waversa Systems calls this Parallel Parallel Bridge Tied Load (PPBTL). Running Google Translate on their Japanese distributor’s website nets the following explanation:
“In the bridge method, a signal with a positive phase is input to one amplifier and a signal with an opposite phase is input to the other amplifier and connected to the + terminal and – terminal of the speaker. Even at a loud volume, stable and uniform amplification is possible. With this amplifier, low impedance speakers can be supported and excellent sound quality can be obtained even for speakers with large impedance changes.”
Putting a second check in the ‘interesting’ column, the WSlim-LITE’s internal DSP upscales all incoming signals to 24bit/1.5MHz to apply in-house coded “Waversa Audio Processor Extension (WAP/X)” that, according to the manufacturer, “realises a transparent and warm vacuum tube tone” from the amplifier’s output.
Access to the (unspecified) internal DAC chip comes via the usual array of coaxial/TOSLINK/USB inputs, Bluetooth or the WSlim-LITE’s internal network streamer: Ethernet or WiFi. A back-panel USB-A input opens the door to USB drive hook-ups via UPnP/DLNA. Roon Readiness is also on the menu.
Remote control of music playback is executed via a web browser app. Need more touchy-feely control? Input selection, volume up/down and power on/off become properly pressable on the top plate’s array of six buttons.
Our final tick in the ‘interesting’ column comes by way of the WSlim-LITE’s FM tuner. That renders this South Korean unit a rare beast: a streaming amplifier that can also tap into radio broadcasts. Just add loudspeakers.
The WSlim-LITE is available now. Euro RRP is €1750.
Further information: Waversa Systems