M50 review From Bryan in Holland, thank you Bryan Merry Christmas best Colin

My story with the EWA M50 Power Amplifier

For a few weeks I have a M50 as a demo in my setup and thought that it would be nice to write a mini review and share my thoughts and feelings about this product and help other people who are maybe interested with their decision.Due a good friend in the Netherlands i learned about Elsdonwonforaudio EWA for short. It was Louis Raatjes from Art Speak that informed me about this amplifier and brand. Until a few weeks ago i never heard of a guy named Colin Wonfor,…..which has changed!!!!

A little history,…….

In August 2017 i bought a great pair of loudspeaker from Louis Raatjes ( Art speak 28.23) which I already owned in the past (2008 until 2012). In 2012 I decided to sell my whole setup which I regretted selling since. So when I finally pick up my special order and newly build 28.23 ( in white this time) Art Speak loudspeaker I was in heaven. My setup was a heavily modified Leema Tucana II and a also modified Musical Fidelity M1 DAC. Both of these devices were modified by Artspeak.
As a source i used and still use a Sonos Connect which is also modified with a better internal shielded power supply and a re-clock spdif output. This modification is done by Magna Hifi and those guy’s know digital audio. This product is called Sonos Magna Ultimo for the ones who are interested. This modification isn’t a small one, even when the Sonos itself has a very small footprint. It takes the Sonos to a serious level in the world of overpriced streamers. The only drawback is that this streamer does not accept files above the 16 bit 48 Khz sample rates. Because of the new speakers I wanted to change my setup a bit. The idea was to swap my Dac for a better one,…like a Chord Hugo 2 or a 2Qute. I was very satisfied with the Leema integrated amplifier. So Louis came up with a plan to get rid of the Op-amps in the Leema in combination with a heavily modified Arcam Dac. I wasn’t quite sure about this Leema modification and so he offered me LFD audio Pre/power combo with the Arcam Dac instead. Louis his modifications are always done in a professional manner and since he is a musician he knows how instruments
should sound like. I had no doubt with his original plan because he knows what i was looking for . Suddenly that plan had changed a bit………….

M50 Power Amp Arrived,……

I was waiting for a LFD setup to showing up at my doorstep but instead i got a phone call from Louis about perhaps a better option. It turned out that Louis and Colin in the meantime had a meet and greet and auditioned the speaker and amplifier combo. When Louis told me about his experience with the EWA product I was somewhat excited. That was until I saw the pictures of the M50 amplifier which looked a little dated compared to my Leema. I wasn’t so sure about the looks, but at the same time de vintage kind of look appeal to me in some way. Also that Louis praised the amp made me very curious,…. so I gave it a shot and that was a shocker,……..
So when the package arrived at my doorstep the first thing i did was connecting the modified Irdac2 to my Leema amplifier and that was a huge step in musical performance. The music sounded way more analog and less in your face with better defined lows, better instrument separation and depth to the overall soundstage. Also the Timbre of each instrument was different instead of sounding the same. The whole sound became more analog but still there was that digital feel to the overall performance. It still sounded more like Hifi if you know what I mean. The soundstage was still cramped between the speakers and not as clear or transparent as I would like. It wasn’t bad at all ( Leema Tucana is a great amp) but the see through window soundstage where I was looking for wasn’t there and I know what these Art Speak loudspeakers are capable of.I kept on listening for three more day’s before i hooked up the EWA M50 power amplifier. The reason I have done it this way, is because I wanted to know exactly what kind of a difference each component brings to the table. Only then i could tell the difference between each step and there for the two amplifiers. So after three days i got the M50 out of his packaging and connected it to the variable output stage of the Arcam and used the dac as a preamp. The sound I was hearing wasn’t quite pleasing and sounded a little bit thin and dry compared to the Leema. Until I came to the realization to use the Arcam as a DAC only as I did with the Leema. I left the volume control run by the Sonos ( It uses a 24 bit-word for volume control so almost no loss in detail for 16 bit audio playback).
The minute i connected the fixed output stage of the Arcam to de M50 power amp the whole sound became way more laid back with a bigger soundstage, depth and was tonality balanced. I decided to keep it this way and gave myself the time to listen very carefully. Now after six weeks I think I can give you a fair opinion about this amplifier.
Music is emotion and that’s what it all about for me anyway and I can tell you right away that the M50 does not disappoint in anyway.

The Listen,…….

When you turn this thing on, you can hear a light but gentle plop out of the speakers and a green led on the front panel lights up. I started right away with the album “from the age of swing” of Dick Hyman and I noticed that the whole soundstage sounded a little laidback but the focus and clarity was amazing already.
I decided to let the amp running for an hour and in the meantime took a hot bath due to my back problems. What was funny was that I could hear that the amp was sonically changing in a more open airy sound and more clarity to the overall presentation when I was relaxing in the bathroom. This seems weird but its true and I’m not exaggerating. After I was done I walked up in my living room and skipped to track 6 “dooji wooji”on the album.
Straight away noticed the difference. The song starts with nice piano notes from Dick Hyman and the Hi-Hat from the drummer. This was the first time that Dick Hyman was literally playing in my living room this clearly.
The presentation was smooth, in focus, real, live like and the overall soundstage had a realistic being there presence. What was a real ear-(eye) opener was that i was already playing at a very high volume without fatigue. When the drummer hitted his drums it sounded so real it was just mesmerizing and it gave me goose bumps all over my body. Also the brass instruments in this track and actually on this whole album sounded extremely real and took their own spot in the soundstage with a natural reverb and enough air around them against a inky black background.
The whole recording has a natural ambiance which complements the musical experience very well. What was very weird is that I didn’t skip a track or changed the volume until the end of the album. I was just drawn into to the music completely,…………and that is a big compliment in my opinion.
I couldn’t stop listening to this setup and was searching the NAS to the live performances album of Randy Crawford & Joe Sample. Started track 9 “Almaz” which start with a nice piano intro and then the magical voice of Randy Crawford singing,…. “she always smiles”……..followed by a deep kick drum by the drummer. Ones again i was amazed about the control and the overall live like presentation that the M50 puts in front of me. What I like the most about this amp is that it has a tube texture to its overall presentation and at the same time it has the guts, speed, pace and rhythm and creates a tonally balanced holographic image of the music you are playing. To be more clear,….i didn’t only heard the music, i felt it. Randy her voice was very smooth, warm, clear and had some amazing texture to it. This is going to
sound weird but not only I could hear her voice but also her breast/throat sound ( if that is a proper English word/description). Ones again the musician in the background had their own place and had a proper distance and height against the listening position. I just witness another live performance and could actually pin point were every musician was standing. My listening session went on in a random way with the following artist and albums:

Diana Krall - ( Turn up the quiet, The Look of Love, The girl in the other room)
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - (Ella and Louis , Ella and Louis Again)
Alexis Cole - ( A Kiss in the Dark)
Amber Rubarth - ( Sessions from the 17th Ward)
Anette Asvik - (Liberty)
Anna Bison - (Blue Mind)
Antonio Forionce (Live!)
Joel Grare (Paris-istanbul-Shanghai)
Kat Edmonson (Take to the Sky)
Katie Melua (Live At The O2 Arena)
Stacey Kent (Tenderly)
And many many more,………………………….

Every time I came to the same conclusion,………this is very very real musical experience and I never ever heard my music collection sounded this good/real and kept on listening the whole day.
Of course if the system is very resolving and honest in his performance, bad recordings will sound less comfortable and live like. But throw in a decent recording and you will be enjoy your music to a whole new level. Don’t get me wrong here, its not that a bad recording does sound harsh/brittle, because that was never the case. Even bad or old recordings sounded good, but does not give the same kind of experience which is logical in my perspective. What I am trying to say is that the M50 has a honest neutral sound with a ever so slightly warm tonality character that I can really appreciate. That’s the reason why I refer to the tube sound,….its not a tube based amplifier but it has some tube flavour to the musical presentation without losing detail, Clarity or focus. The music has such a natural flow and holographic presentation that I re-discovered my music collection.
The M50 has some serious headroom which is noticeable when the low frequencies are tide, deep, fast and in control with lots of texture and the overall image stays intact without getting harsh or brittle sounding. This amplifier can play very very loud. My Leema Tucana is a very capable amplifier with 140 watts per channel into 8 ohm but does not come close at all :-(. In every aspect this EWA M50 outclasses my very well build and modified integrated amplifier which hurts a little.
At a power rating of only 50 watts per channel it produces some serious basement deep lows, and i was coming to a point that I started to believe I had a subwoofer in my setup. The bass never sounded boomy, slow or overdone. Which sometimes was the case with the Leema. Due this control and astonishing low frequency reproduction the M50 creates depth and realism to the overall soundstage that so many amplifiers are lacking. I never heard this kind of lows on my Art Speak 28.23 before and i didn’t know that they were capable of producing sub lows like this. I
know this speaker for more then 10 years but the M50 brings up qualities of this loudspeaker I never experienced before. The musical experience was for me the closest to analog as it can get with digital audio so far.But are there any cons to this amp?,…..well yes there are, but for me they are not in the sound department. I already mentioned that i didn’t like the looks that much. In real life the case looks a bit rough but acceptable with cheap rubbery feet and a ugly switch at the front. Also the green led don’t do it for me. The lack of a IEC 320 socket means you can’t experiment with a other power cord. (maybe the standard power cord is the way to go, I sincerely don’t know)
So with these words said i was really thrilled when i was contacted by Louis about the new looks of this line up.
Maybe someone else already made the same comment and I am glad they addressed these with there new design. The new design looks professional and has a very clean look. Of course its all about the sound, but if your equipment looks cool its a big bonus. The new design doesn’t have the switch on the front and now have IEC socket on board. Owh and by the way,…..the new logo is such an improvement against older EWA font. I honestly think that this amplifier in combination with the Art Speak 28.23 loudspeakers (or even the bigger version) is just a match made in heaven. It takes my musical live to the next level and can’t wait to hear what the preamp can add to the overall musical performance in this setup. I really hope that more people will demo this amplifiers because i feel they are quiet special and are
on a league of their own,………


  • edited December 2017
    Hey, Col. You're taking over the world, one enthusiast at a time! :-)
  • Slowly slowly as I am old

  • Romans, Christians, British, capitalists, democrats and now the Wonforites.
    All bringing their stimulating mix of good and evil...
  • AntiCrap said:
    Slowly slowly as I am old

    You'll catchee monkey if you carry on like that :-)
  • Docfoster said:
    Romans, Christians, British, capitalists, democrats and now the Wonforites.
    All bringing their stimulating mix of good and evil...
    Evil is my middle name ops sorry no it is Plonker or James
  • Hey Evil yes you are when you killed my rose bush with Thermite wicked man .  o:)
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