Feedback/Review: Triode Labs 2A3SE-FFX Amplifer

Category: Amplifiers

I recently ordered and took delivery of the stoutly impressive and not so well known Triode Labs 2A3SE-FFX SET Amplifier.

I was most excited to try it and was looking forward to seeing how well it would perform in my system. After numerous conversions with Frank at Triode Labs who is a true gentleman and a pleasure to deal with I went forth and placed the order.

As much as I was looking forward to it with feverish anticipation I was hopeful but certainly not expecting it to have this much of a profound impact on my system as it did.

The wait for it was not bad at all considering it's a hand made, custom built amplifier that uses the very best boutique parts, robust build quality and genuine old world craftsmanship. It only took a couple weeks from order to delivery. I am pretty impatient by nature so I was pleased that it came quickly.

Needless to say I was ecstatic with the amplifier's performance and wanted to let Frank at Triode Labs know just how much I appreciate it. I sent him an email and I also wanted to share this feedback in the email with my home team Audiogon members so you could have access to my thoughts on the amplifier. I have copied the email below.

Here is the detail on the amplifier I purchased and below it is a the copy of the email I sent to Frank at Triode Labs.

Triode Labs 2A3SE-FFX Amplifier (8/2015)

- Mundorf Silver in Oil Caps for the 2A3s
- Mundorf EVO Oil Caps for the Input
- Mundorf M Lytics HV Power Supply E Cap
- Cardas Rhodium RCA Posts
- Cardas Pure Copper Binding Post 4-8-16 Ohms
- Furutech Rhodium IEC Inlet and Power Hardware
- Audio Consulting Silver Input Signal Wires
- AmTrans Gold Signal Wires in Critical Areas
- Soundcoat Premium Damping Sheet (bottom plate)
- Custom Mclaren SLR Orange Power-coat Baked Gloss Paint
- Full Suite of Hashimoto Output Transformers and Chokes
(The finest exotic transformers from Tokyo, Japan)
- NOS tubes 2x CBS JAN 5692, 1 x Mullard GZ34)
- New Tubes 2x Brand New 2A3C
- 100% tailor to customer, like haute couture of fashion
- 3.5 Watts

Email Sent:

Hey Frank,

I just wanted to say hello and drop you a line. I would love it if you could share this with your potential customers because they need to hear from someone like myself as I am sure many of them may be like me although I hope not... lol. I was a suffering audiophile on the seemingly never ending amp -go- round after I purchased my new speakers a pair of Rethm Saadhana V3 Speakers (2015). They are nice and efficient at 103db but ruthlessly revealing of any weakness. They are wonderful but ultra resolving and with them an amp really has no where to hide or to get any cover.

I just couldn't find "the" amp that changed everything and made it all fit together and fall into place. I got to the point where I was thinking I maybe asking too much from an amp and the elusive sound I was after might just not be attainable. I wanted warm butter like liquidity but with crystal clear transparency as well. Tough combo. That ├╝ber high end transparency that is very elusive. You really need the very highest grade parts in an amp with the best of the best transformers with pure signal wire and excellent NOS tubes with of course a great design. Not to mention a great system match synergy wise to even approach the transparency I was after. I also wanted that rich, inky, glorious mid-range as well but not at the expense of both extremes. I must have tip-pity top extension going both ways to boot. Also looking for that 3d, silky - wamm right here palpably that throws a up a stage that makes the walls disappear. Let's not forget about punch you in the chest dynamics that provide a feel and realness that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up! Granted one needs other top notch components of similar quality throughout the chain but it's that great amp I was after to pull it all together in my system.

I have been chasing these stated audio targets with rigor but catching them is another thing. Needless to say after a while I started to become jaded but thankfully I'm an optimist by nature. I have owned ARC, CJ, BAT, Cary, Krell, Canary, Pass Labs to name a few. None of those are this amp I am after! Now lets switch gears and fast forward to today.

Frank, you have done it. My search is over. I absolutely love my new Triode Labs 2A3SE-FFX SET amp. It's absolutely everything I have been after in an amplifier. It is utterly gorgeous in its custom McLaren SLR Orange paint. When I opened it for the first time I could still smell the luxurious brand new paint job and the robust hand crafted, upscale build quality is excellent. Never mind how good it looks which is outstanding with it's classy top shelf premium parts and massive Hashimoto transformers. The feel, fit and finish and build quality are true hi-end world class quality. Very substantial and impressive. The pictures on your site do not do them justice. This amplifier is every bit as good as those hi-end staple brands I have owned prior that I listed above. It sounds absolutely Glorious and was a total game changer in my system. A match made in heaven for my Rethm Saadhana V3 Speakers, my Full loom of HiDiamond cabling and conditioning and my Bricasti M1 DAC and Auralic Aries Extreme Transport. I always wanted an amp that could change everything in my system and make it shine and your amp did just that and I really wanted to congratulate and thank you. I am one very happy customer.


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@ fsmithjack : Hi I am also the owner of Rethm Saadhanas . Currently driving them with my Sugden A21 Se amp and looking for an amp chnage in future. I see your liking towards the Tride Lab 2a3 amps. Did you hear the Rethms with yamamoto 45 before the triode labs or any OTL amps ?
Would like to know your views