For more exposure of 'designed & hand-built in Hastings England', I asked for shoppe and assembly photos. Below we see a screen capture of the type update video which BAC dispatch weekly to a waiting client; in this instance of Lucy not in the sky but winding transformers. It's overlaid with a layout drawing for customer approval. Because each owner's manual contains descriptions and drawings specific to a client's i/o mix, naming conventions and finish options, those pages are personalized one-up affairs.


Final delivery inside a standard carton is really by massively padded hard flight case with reinforced corners to complete the experience of white-gloved service. And yes, white gloves are included. Our Bengal cats Nori and Chai got on the case and immediately started reading their version of the postcard from Hastings so attractive with its strange scents. Even the included screwdriver to loosen the belly bolt for an inside look is really an engraved custom key. No stone unturned.


Casa Bespoke with a chassis squaring jig overlay.


A custom indicator LED set into the motorized volume knob.


Upper left/right, lower left/right: mixed connections from Furutech and WBT; loop source switch; more mixed connections; an antique silver source indicator ring.


Upper left/right, lower left/right: home theater bypass loom; alignment jig; tall brass cowls; silver transformer windings.



In terms of competing solutions, I'd call out Metrum Acoustic's Adagio and Jade. Huh? Aren't those D/A converters? Quite. But they incorporate volume control by way of variable reference voltage for their resistor ladders. They only generate the gain you set. That's unlike the BAC which still minimizes source voltage when you set it to anywhere below full tilt. Conceptually then, the variable gain of the Dutch converters behaves more passive than even a passive. And sonics follow those conceptual expectations. They very much behave like a DAC that's driven into a passive preamp; except without the expense of an extra box.


The inverse is just as true then. Do you own a super DAC whose sound you adore but which still needs volume control? Go TVC. Another obvious application would be a SET/widebander or horn combo whose special direct-heated triode aroma one doesn't wish to thicken. Such highly efficient systems tend to be seriously reactive to noise. Avantgarde horns can exceed 109dB depending on model. If one has finally identified an amp which withstands such noise-magnifying scrutiny and sounds fab, poisoning the well with yet more gain is silly. Ditto shouting levels at 7:30 on the dial. Ditto DC-passing sources taking out expensive exotic drivers. Hello BAC.


[At left, a blue-anodized transformer cowl with matching chassis to complement a Hong Kong client's Magico speakers in the same colour.]

In closing
, today's transformer passive from The Bespoke Audio Company is a heavily customizable and costly solution for a sonically invisible magnetic not resistive volume control with manual source switcher. Whilst not really possessing any sound of its own, it did seem to perform a particular action. It mellowed out some innate musical tension. If we envision a pure mountain stream as stand-in for fundamentally transparent sound, its water can still express various states. It could meander lazily across a wide calm stretch; or hit narrowing rapids on a drop. It's the very same clarity which is calm and peaceful one moment, agitated and energetic the next. Your listening bias and what your system might need more or less of will dictate whether the relaxed chilled ultra-transparent BAC fits your bill. And though nothing in audio is really built to the tolerances of luxury watches, this piece of kit still exceeds our typical hifi standards by a very comfortable margin. For those with the proper means and desire, I know of nothing else quite like it. Identifying a niche, then servicing it without real competition; that's the very stuff any boutique operator dreams of. So it would seem that Lucy Gastall & Harry O'Sullivan are really living their dream. What could be better?
Flip the virtual page for Marja & Henk's 2nd opinion which includes comparisons to the Music First Audio equivalent.