Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Have You Seen?


Earlier this year, Hans Wetzel reviewed the Audionet Humboldt integrated amplifier and found it to be good. That’s the biggest understatement I’ve cranked out today—it’s a biblical understatement. The $59k (USD) Humboldt (all prices in euros except that one) impressed Hans with its insane build quality, huuuuge power, and neutral, resolving sound quality. “It’s a statement-level integrated amplifier,” he testified.


Here at High End 2024, Audionet is showing its new Mach preamp and Schrödinger mono amplifier for the first time. They’re so new that the company has yet to set retail prices, but first estimates are that the combination of Mach preamplifier and two Schrödinger amps should come in at around €60,000. Both preamp and amplifier are fully balanced, and the amp is a powerhouse—around 800W into 4 ohms, according to Audionet’s rough specs (I told you it was new). THD + noise is specified at an impressive -109dB, and the entire chassis is CNC-milled aluminum. Audionet bills the Schrödinger as a baby Heisenberg, its top-line mono amplifier, which belts out over 1kW into 4 ohms.

The speakers in the system were Vivid Audio Giya G4s—always a crowd-pleaser, especially in their white metallic finish.


The cables, from Voodoo Labs, deserve special mention. A 2m run of the brand-new Witchcraft speaker cables retails for €9600 including risers, which are integrated into the cable separators. Interconnects were also from Voodoo Labs—the Carbon Age (€8400 for an 80cm length) and Witchcraft (€8500 for an 80cm length).

The music choices were typical audiophile favorites: soft, undemanding jazz and easy-listening stuff—nothing that challenged the system or gave me much of an idea of how it would sound with real-world music. That said, the music did have an attractive sparkle to it, a feeling of clarity through the midrange and into the treble.

With their high-tech risers and individually separated carbon conductors, the Voodoo cables sure look the business. Here at SoundStage! we generally roll our eyes and move on when we hear spectacular claims that seem as if they have no grounding in science. Many companies wax poetic when describing their products, often resorting to hyperbole, and it’s just not possible to test all of what’s being shouted out.

Back in 1990, Dudley Moore starred in a movie called Crazy People. Moore played an ad executive who suffered a nervous breakdown. He replaced all his high-end Madison Avenue ads with ones that told the truth, and they all got printed before anyone from the agency noticed.

Voodoo Labs

My favorite ad from this batch of winners: “Metamucil. It helps you go to the toilet. If you don’t use it, you’ll get cancer and die.” Moore’s character was institutionalized, but the irony was that Metamucil started flying off the shelves, as the novelty of ads that told the truth resonated with the public.

From Voodoo Labs’ website: “Main ingredients in my package are the magnetic field constant of the universe, the dielectric constant of matter, and the number of valence electrons in the outermost shell of certain atoms.”

Voodoo Labs needs a dose of Metamucil.

Voodoo Labs

As I said, the Witchcraft cables are visually impressive. If it came down to that—a good-quality cable that combined aspects of sculpture and art while providing exclusivity and cachet, that’d be fine. And if it also sounded great? Even better! This would be Crazy People ad copy. But the whole new science—stuff that nobody else understands—that’s just a bridge too far.

I will reiterate: I really like these cables. The idea of isolating each conductor from the others, using minimal dielectrics—this all makes sense. Combined with the overall clarity of the system’s sound, the visual appeal and clever construction of the Witchcraft cables made me want to try some in my own system. I just wish the company’s literature had a bit less voodoo going on.

Jason Thorpe
Senior Editor, SoundStage!