Heretic in the House

The Heretic AD-614 settling in.

The Heretic AD-614 arrived this past Thursday, just hours after I stumbled off a red-eye from San Francisco. After clumsier than usual unboxing, I put these not too big, not too small, but just right speakers to work.

Their first dance partners are the Wattson Audio Madison streamer/DAC, Shindo Monbrison pre-amp and Lab12 Suono SE KT150 power amp. All cabling—except Shindo—are from Luna Cables: Orange AC, Orange Ethernet, Black and Red IC, Blue speaker cable.

AD-614 up-close, sans grille.

A brief sojourn with the Heretics sitting on the floor suggested that raising them a foot or more would help, so the DeVore O/Baby stands were pressed into service. They sit 6’ apart, just a few inches from the front wall and about 10’ from my ears. They fire across the 14’, so there’s a little under 4’ of space behind me. Facing across the width of the shop, there’s 30’+ to each side walls. The ceiling is 12’ or 14’—I’ve never bothered to measure—it’s high!

My very first, jet-lagged, listening impressions are:

  • Fresh outta the cartons there is a sense of scale, physicality and naturalness that is actually a bit jarring—for about 5 minutes—then you just smile. The sense of being in a volume of space—real or contrived, depending on the recording)—is (ugh, how I hate this word) palpable.
  • For some reason, I felt the urge to get in the Time Machine. Played some Beatles—best I’ve ever heard them! Jefferson Airplane’s ‘White Rabbit’ sounded a bit rough and cruddy, (as it does!), but Grace Slick soared above the instruments with intensity and, hmmm, grace. YES’ – Fragile – ‘Roundabout’ was huge—a word I’ve avoided for the last 6 years. Every single note Jimi played on the Are You Experienced’ album was more complex, flavorful, impactful, burnished than I remember.
  • These are just first, raw impressions. More coherent thoughts and deeper reflections will be added in the coming week. In the mean time, come hear them if you’re in driving or Northeast Corridor train range. I’d be happy to collect any would-be listeners at the Mystic or Westerly station, or even the New London Ferry terminal for East end LI residents. They are worth the trip!