Anyone using the Transistor Research LabsM 225's


On the grapevine I have heard that these amps are good enough to be the end of the line. Given their reasonable cost - that would be great news. Any comments?
gammajo
TRL owners are going to write that the amps are the best they've ever heard.
You can find posts in at least half dozen threads. I've never read anything to
the contrary.

What other comments are you seeking, 'cause what you read here will be
more of the same...IMO.
Joe, maybe they are that good, they seem fairly affordable.

I've heard and read claims to fame with lots of estoteric equipment that grace the front pages of every audio rag known to man, now you can't even get into posting threads here without getting a frickin hammer over your head.

I'm curious about the amps too, so maybe for all-purpose sakes we can arrange an audition and skip this place for answers ?

$$$$$ = protection and advertising rights.
I'll save Tvad the trouble of reading my comments on the M-225's (as I owned the stereo version D-225).

My advice is to call TRL and arrange to get a pair. Listen for yourself. If you don't like them send the amps back for a refund. Pretty simple really.
Yes I own these amps. Tvad is correct, my search is over and now I just enjoy music. No more concerns about what the next great amp might be. I am listening right now to Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" and enjoying every minute.

Given TRL a call and tell them what you are looking for.

Tvad instead of being cynical of every TRL thread my recommendation is to first hand try the M-225's in your own system and them post a review here on Audiogon.
Tvad instead of being cynical of every TRL thread my
recommendation is to first hand try the M-225's in your own system and
them post a review here on Audiogon.
Bobheinatz (Reviews | Threads | Answers)

First, my post was an observation as I see it. Your view of it as cynical is your
perception.

Two TRL owners (maybe three) have posted in this thread, and nothing new
has been offered that hasn't been stated in other threads, so my observation
seems to be on the mark thus far.

Posts in other threads have stated that in-home trials are not offered by TRL,
so I have never pursued it.

I will do as you suggest if the amps are available with a return privilege. If I
am able to try them, I will post as fair and balanced a critique as I am
able. I presently own what I believe to be amps that are an ideal match for my
speakers. Through owning and auditioning five pairs of amps, it has become
clear that my speakers respond best to amps that the double power as
impedance is halved. Do the M-225 double power as impedance is halved?
My understanding is they do not.
Tvad,

Your answer is fair. There is no doubt that the most important aspect with any amp is how it interfaces with your speaker. If you call TRL and are able to arrange a trail with return privileges I will accept your findings.

If I am not mistaken you own a Pass amp which are excellent. As we know everyone has their own musical tastes and requirements. Let us know if you get the opportunity to try TRL.
I thank everyone so far for posting, It is my hope that folks will post that love the equipment and perhaps can comment on strengths/weakness and the associated equipment that has been synergistic. I would also appreciate hearing from anyone who auditioned or purchased and felt something else was better. I think there is enough buzz that the amps merit their own thread.

I am not comfortable with the idea of asking manufacturers for auditions unless I am quite certain that I will buy their stuff. Plus I often buy used, so I have relied for years of the opinions that I garner here with great success in terms of my satisfaction with what has been recommended. Once someone gives their opinion I am happy to look up their other posts and system to put their opinion in context and to email them to start a more in depth conversation.
I am not comfortable with the idea of asking
manufacturers for auditions unless I am quite certain that I will buy their
stuff.
Gammajo (System | Threads | Answers)

This is understandable to me.

However, how does one hear a product and make an educated buying
decision if there are no dealers (or a very limited dealer network), and buying
direct from the manufacturer is the only alternative?

I buy only what I can hear, and I am unlikely to buy anything heard only
in a dealer showroom. If there's no reasonable dealer network, then in my
opinion, the onus is on the manufacturer to offer customers a way to
hear their products, and if a dealer is not an alternative, then the
manufacturer should happily welcome a home trial with the risk of a return.

In other words, in the case of a purchase with home trial when that's the
primary method offered by a manufacturer, I don't carry any guilt if I return
the product.
Posts in other threads have stated that in-home trials are not offered by TRL, so I have never pursued it.
Tvad (Threads | Answers)

Why rely on what's posted in other threads? Why not call TRL directly and ask them about a return privilege? I assume based on statements you've made in this thread (and others) that you've called other manufacturers about their equipment and return privileges. What's stopping you from picking up the phone and calling TRL? If anything you could get the information direct from the source and post it here for all to benefit.

Unless TRL policy has been changed,from my dealings with them money back guarantees were the norm. Maybe someone else can chime in and verify one way or the other.

Gammajo - feel free to contact me offline if you care to discuss TRL products. I owned the D-225, and still own the battery powered Pre-1.5. I'll also be getting a Dude early next year. I'll try to help you in any way I can, as I have for other who have contacted me about TRL, including Rx8man who posted here.
I have contacted TRL.

This was Paul's response to my inquiry today about purchasing a pair of M-225 with an in-home trial. I want to emphasize that I requested a purchase with a return privilege. I did not request that Paul send out an amp free of charge that I could hear.
Hi Grant, sorry, we're too booked up to have any spare amps that we can send
out. Probably lots of other manufacturers are, I hear that APL does.

So, it seems a TRL audition is not in the cards.
At least not for you;)
Tvad
Thanks for checking the return option out. I also see your point about no dealer network. I live in the boonies so have never had the opportunity of in-home trails with exception on a kind VonSchweikert dealer who drove about three hours and set up my speakers with a 30 day guarantee. I kept them and he went out of business when VS went to on line sales.
Clio thanks for the offer of contact.
My new M225's are coming in Monday. I will post my initial comments and a full review soon. I moved up to the TRL Dude tubed preamp and M225 mono's from by S225 integrated amp.

Tvad is correct as most every TRL owner knows this stuff is very special indeed. The new Dude tubed preamp is an absolute marvel my friends.

I also own Paul's speaker and power cables as well as his highly modified Sony CD player with battery power supply.

I purchased all of this over the last year or so. His stuff is so good it's like a whole new medium to replay music has emerged in my music room. I have an audio friend that has a way with words and I will steal a line from him here. The TRL gear I have owned makes the other gear I have owned sound like toys. Ha!

What's important is we all share our experiences in an honest and even passionate manner. I have always done this as well as other passionate posters. This is how we all learn about awesome gear from the big boys to the small and silent.

Have fun!
12-06-08: Clio09
At least not for you;)

If what you say is true; if my good faith offer of a purchase with return privilege
was refused while other customers receive the benefit of a home trial, then
having this information is valuable.

Thank you.
TVAD, is that what I said?

One must also consider past history. Isn't there an APL thread you can go play on?

BTW - for the rest following this thread some other information from Paul that was provided to Tvad in the second paragraph of his email response (which Tvad omitted) and that might be of interest:

"The amp is single-nded (rca) on the input, and normal
dual-Cardas output posts. It does around 300W into 8 ohm,
about double that for 4-ohm loads, and not sure what it does at 2. We've never heard it clip or distort. I can tell
when my $140K GTR800 amp starts compressing bass when played real loud with a tough load."

So it appears that the amp will increase power into tougher loads.

I think Grannyring's testament is quite revealing of what to expect when you own any TRL gear. This coming from someone who has posted an impressive list of equipment that they had previous to TRL.

Bill - glad you're enjoying the cables. Quite the monster's aren't they with all that solid core copper. Any thought to trying a set of TRL speakers?
Clio09, you are posting information sent to me this afternoon in a private
email from Mr. Weitzel. Since I did not send this to you, then Mr. Weitzel
copied you on his communication with me. This is unethical and
unprofessional.

Gentlemen, after Bobheinatz's reasonable suggestion earlier that I audition
the TRL amps, I decided to act on his recommendation, and I made a good
faith offer to purchase a pair of TRL M-225 amplifiers so I could hear them in
my system and compare them with the Pass Labs XA-60.5.

My only request was for a return privilege. I simply cannot reconcile
purchasing audio equipment without first hearing it in my system
with my other gear to make certain it's compatible and produces a result
worth replacing my other amplifiers and taking a loss on the re-sale.

The politics here is silly, guys. It's a shame we can't move on.
I'm glad this thread picked up and doesn't turn into a circus act.

I'd like trying a pair soon after my new job picks up (last week sucked with the pre-holiday lay-off bonus)

Nice hearing from everyone, it's a moral boost.
Tvad, you felt it was important to post the first paragraph. What was wrong with the second paragraph? You had nothing to lose by posting it. After all it was you who said in an earlier post that you understood that TRL amps did not increase power into more difficult loads.

Do the M-225 double power as impedance is halved?
My understanding is they do not.

Paul Weitzel answered your question and you omitted the answer. You owed it to the readers of this thread to post the entire response from Paul Weitzel.

I don't blame you for not wanting to try something before you buy. However, as you said let's move on. Now go find a APL post to play on would you. No more whining about your request being rejected by TRL. You and I both know the history here. Not to mention, you have no direct experience with TRL equipment and can't contribute anything meaningful to this thread in that regard.
Rx8man, I hope you get to try the amps soon and can post your impressions.
Clio09, it was unethical for Mr. Weitzel to copy you on personal email
between him and myself, and it was unethical for you to post it on this
thread. Anyone reading this knows this is true.

Perhaps the most valuable thing that could be offered by anyone would be a
comparison between different amplifiers, and I was looking forward to doing
that and reporting back. You sabotaged my attempt to hear the amps out of
sour grapes, it seems.

It saddens me to realize this, because we had developed some productive
communication over the past year about other products and brands.

IMO, exposing behind the scenes nonsense like this as it relates to a company
being discussed is as valuable as any product commentary, and as something
new develops I will add to the comments.
And now for the weather, cloudy, snow squalls and bone-ass cold for the next 3 months.

If all goes well here, the M-225's will go up against my own (NuForce 9 V-2 SE) and two friends amps, (ARC REF 300 MK.II) and (Spectron Musician III SE MK.II Monos)
(did I get all the MK's and points correct ?)

Anyway, this will be done, regardless what ANY audio forum thread postings say, do or feel is possible, it's for my own satisfaction (or yours) and to share with the community, if thou cares to listen.

So, lets move along and have a "Happy Hobby Holiday"
That'll be a very good comparison among some excellent amps, Rx8man.
Muchas gracious Tvad, maybe things will work out for ya.
You sabotaged my attempt to hear the amps out of
sour grapes, it seems.
Tvad (Threads | Answers)

I don't get that statement at all and it's the furthest thing from the truth. Any attempt to hear these amps is a business transaction between you and TRL solely.

I do agree with you that the comparison being planned by Rx8man will be productive, and based on my previous conversations with him about it, am looking forward to it myself. IIRC Grannyring has done some comparisons as well and will be posting what should be quite an informative review. These events combined should definitely provide enough information for others to benefit from.

Keep us posted Rx8man.
12-07-08: Clio09
You sabotaged my attempt to hear the amps out of
sour grapes, it seems.
Tvad (Threads | Answers)

I don't get that statement at all and it's the furthest thing from the truth. Any
attempt to hear these amps is a business transaction between you and TRL
solely.

Considering that you were made a party to private communication betwen
Mr.Weitzel and myself, which was made evident yesterday when you posted
part of Mr. Weitzel's email to me, your statement that, "any attempt to
hear these amps is a business transaction betwen you and TRL solely" is
completely discredited. Once you were included into the email loop,
unbeknownst to me, then the transaction ceased to be solely between TRL
and myself.

If my conclusion about the reasons behind the lack of a purchase with
audition are wrong, then I sincerely apologize. As always, the truth of these
matters lies somewhere between.

In any event, in light of yesterday's events, and despite my genuine desire to
purchase the amps based on the high praise given them by owners, I am no
longer considering the TRL amps as Mr. Weitzel is aware.
Clio, genuine curiosity question as I have no dog in this hunt, why would TRL send you and email between them and Tvad? Are you affiliated with them somehow or just a customer?
Arthursmuck I've sent you an email through Audiogon.

BTW - Nice VAC gear.
Thanks for the note and the compliment on the gear, I do like me some VAC!

Happy Holidays all, I'm out of this thread....
Here are my comments after the first two days of listening.

I listened to amps for 6.5 hours yesterday and plan to listen more tonight. I leave them on so they should be settled in even more tonight.

The amps are named Samson and they bear that name on the front - no longer M225's.

Guys, I really can't contain myself and am having a hard time putting into words what I am experiencing. I am writing down things as I experience them on my CD's.

So very special.

I didn't know an amp could play music in what seems like a new dimension. Hard to explain, but music has a life and presence that no stereo I have heard matches.

I am also experiencing instruments and instrumental lines that before were masked or totally lost in the recording. What used to be background is now easy to follow and becomes part of the musical event. What was never heard before now emerges from a silent background as the music just floats/flows all around me with effortless yet dramatic presence.

Live music. Not a stereo! These must be heard to fully understand how they bring music to a room. Other amps are boys and Samson is a man - fully developed and in charge. I like that! Ha! I think that catches my feelings pretty well.

Every new disc brings forth another instrument that has never sounded so real, so there. The scale and beauty of the music is so live and effortless.

I cannot write more right now as my mind gets all tangled up trying to put into words the live event I am experiencing.

I just feel so blessed to have these in my home.

Bill




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Great news Bill. Glad you're enjoying them.
Bill you haven't heard anything until they are fully broken in. My M-225's (Samson) have about 350 hours and they are still iimproving. They need at least 500 hours and Brian says even after 6 months they will still improve.
Enjoy, they will just get better. Keep us posted on the breaking process.
Paul had put about 100 hours on them before I got them. I will let all on this thread know how they improve with time.

Bill
good stuff enjoy them ...

Thanks for sharing your initial impressions
It's an amazing thing to hear a TRL component break in. Just when you think everything is set and you've heard all it can deliver- bam - you get more. Leaves you shaking your head a lot.
Bill, I can't wait for your full-blown review, congratulations Dude
(you and your preamp also) !
Who is Transistor Research Labs? I can't find them on the web or in Audiogon's Manufacturer list.
Thanks
Actually its Tube Research Labs. Their website won't tell you much. Best to call them at 509-787-5405.
You could always find an ad for these amps, call the person and ask for an audition knowing all along that you won't buy his or her amps and then, if you like them, buy them from a dealer or direct from the manufacturer.
12-19-08: 9rw
You could always find an ad for these amps, call the person and ask for an audition knowing all along that you won't buy his or her amps and then, if you like them, buy them from a dealer or direct from the manufacturer.
That's a technique that I personally find unethical.
9rw you're now in my Rolodex as a person not to do business with.
I don't know 9rw personally and have no dog in this fight but based on his posting history I'd give some consideration to his last submission being a bit of sarcasm.

Perhaps he could clarify that for us.
Audiofeil: Thanks. That is correct.

Tvad and Markwatkiss: Please e-mail me if you'd like to know the particulars.
I have the particulars now. Ironically, my previous comment still applies, but not to 9rw specifically.
These particular particulars have two very different sides leading to two completely different conclusions about what transpired.
It's true, and I'm the supreme amp skeptic. I have about 50 hours on mine and it is simply unbelievable.
Thanks Interlochen, it's just a matter of time before others discover.
I have posted my system if any would like to see pictures of the Samson amps. They have opened up even more and sound remarkable.
In the photo of the Samson amps (should we assume these are the same as
M225?), I don't see any heat vents. Is this correct?

Do the amps run cool, warm or hot?
Bill,

Great looking system & room.

Tvad - the Samson is the same as the M225 and they run cool.
Tvad,

They are cool at all times. I keep them on 24/7 and even when run hard they stay cool to the touch.

They are now named Samson amps as Bob mentioned above.

I just finished a full review that should post soon.