I have the Trinity 200, driving Wilson-Benesch Act Ones. I love the incredible tight control of the bottom end, black background and yet the "magic" of the tubes for the midrange. I highly recommend you give Llano a try.
Go to audioreview.com for feedback on several of the LLano older amps. I own the stereo amp (100 S) which is rated at 100 watts pure class A per channel. I am very happy with the amp driving (low impedance) Apogee Stage Loudspeakers and Swans. I use a Sonic Frontiers Line One as my pre amp (tube). I don't think you can find a better amp anywhere near the price (no middleman). I have not had a chance to hear the latest LLano's that use tubes. Good hunting.
I've been waiting for this thread to pop up so I could help "spread the gospel according to Llano".
I had Randy White (one of THE BEST guys in this whole crazy industry) custom build a "Trinity 400R" for me, after a short, but very convincing audition of the Trinity 200.
I'm currently using this little monster to "snap proper life" into my Martin-Logan Odyssey's -- with fantastic results.
I know where you're comimg from "BOZO", I too have to share my humble abode with the wife (AND kids), so , while I lusted after a good set 'o tubes, it just wasn't practical.
Well, let me tell you straight-up, with the Trinity, I don't miss 'em (tubes that is) at ALL. I really think the Trinity is the absolute best blending of SS & tubes (under $10k). My Trinity sounds like a S.E. tube amp, with BIG cajones.
After much deliberation and studying of Randy's design at the Llanno web site, the Trinity just seemed to make a LOT of sense; only 2 gain stages, zero neg. feedback, Class A operation, toatl of FOUR seperate transformers, SPERATE ac cord for the Triode front-end (which you of course, plug into your P300), etc., etc. Again, it just made too much sense to ignore. Also, you have over 20+ different tube types to try, without bias adj., to "voice' the amp to YOUR idea of the "right sound".
No, Randy's not my brother, nor am I affiliated with Llano in any way, it's just that I haven't been as pleased or pleasantly got MORE than I expected with a pc. of gear, in a long time (OK, maybe my Audio Aero 24/192).
Anyway, it has all the smooth, liquid midrange of any tube amp I've heard, with an incredible soundstage (both depth & width) with the most visceral, deep, clean, kick-ass bass I've yet heard, from ANY amp.
Am I in love here or what??
It really is the best amp -- by far, that this audio-junkie has ever owned.
The restless Audio Spirits have, at least for the time being, been put to rest, in my system.
Fell free to e-mail me with any other Q.'s. Also, see my "review" under the Trinity 300 heading @ AudioReview.com
Remember, Randy offers a 30 day "trial", so I don't think you can go wrong.
Best of luck,
I have a trinty a-100 and I'm extremely happy. The amp is the best that I've heard. I use a pair of siemens/halski 7308's which are providing some excellent bass and detail.
I've been told the amp improves directly with the tubes you use and I've found the depth and overall tonal quality of the sound will change noticeably from tube to tube. The amp is great.
I want to chime in on this Llano love fest---don't say "you can't go wrong"--------cause I have had a nightmare experience in dealing with Llano, and I have come to find that many others have as well. It's now been 1 year that I've been trying to get my money back on 2 amps that were GREATLY DELAYED in being shipped (if I listed all the reasons you would not believe me and would swear that I was exaggerating). When I did finally get my amps they did not work in one channel. The blame was placed on the shipper but the boxes were fine when I got the amp, the exterior of the amp was fine and the interior was fine--I even had one of the engineers from my office come to my house and check them out---there was however one major flaw the transformer had a nice gash in it---but there were no loose screws, sharp edges that pertruded--etc. I sent the amps back to him and again waited months---nothing returned no word. Trying to get in tough with Randy is a night mare---whether by phone or by e-mail. So that is my unfortunate, and ongoing I might add, experience
All in all, make sure you take into account that this is a one man show, the custmer service (in my 2 years of dealing with him) is shabby, and to boot when I've been able to get in touch with him he says "I don't have the money to pay you"---which leaves me to believe he's either a liar or the company is not in good shape. I really do not like to have to spread such a negative word but these are the facts. And I have come to find there are a lot of "bodies" in the wake of having done business with this company. If you do decide to do business with Llano I hope you have a better experience then I did (I really do)....but IMO you're better off to do business with a "real" company---even if it does cost you a grand more to get a comparitive product (and that's the max you will save if you do your homework and look around). I will not drop names of other products you should try (not here anyway, but if you send me an e-mail I'll be glad to help). I hope this helps you out a bit
You should get a threatening letter from a Lawyer, which is really you and send it certified mail. I am appauled to hear about this and I hope you get your money back.
It sounds to me like the shipper damaged your amps in transit. AND, if that be the case, why would you expect Randy to pay you for them in the first place. I do not know who you delt with as the shipper, but I can tell you two things, first if it was Fed-Ex or UPS you should have sued them, and you would have gotten your money from them quickly. It seems to be the only way to get them to pay now days, I know this becuase I just went through this with UPS on a pair of $5000.00 speakers they totally destroyed. I delt with them almost every day for 7 months, but when I sued them, they paid me in less than 10 days, in full.
Next, I have bought four Llano amps over the years from Mr. White, I have never had a problem getting hold of him, nor have I ever had problems with his products. I have found him to be very honest and very helpful in every aspect of his dealing. He is slow and he takes his time when building a customers amplifier by hand. I personally would not have it any other way. The wait is more than worth it.
What I think happend here is that you are looking for someone to place the blame on damaging you shipment, and you just picked the company that sold you the goods. They did not damage them, your shipper did. I would have wasted no time filing suit on the shipper. If you had loose screws and such, you should have known they had been mistreated. I would have called them the next day, and filed suit the day after that. But the just of your story is that you ordered your amps and you received them, other than that, the shipper owes you for damages, NOT Mr. White.
Coming back to the original topic (assuming Bozo is still reading this after several months): I recently obtained a Trinity 200 amp. (No problems in shipping.) I wanted a more tube-like amp to drive the mids+highs of my actively-biamped Maggie MG3.6 speakers, but without going to a pure-tube design. (I'm using a SS amp for bass.) I've owned or auditioned a large number of amps trying to get the sound I want from the MG3.6's. I'm pleased with the flexibility of the Trinity design; its sound really does change significantly depending on the tube type installed, and the descriptions listed on Llano web site for each tube are quite accurate. The amp generally seems to provide an excellent blend of tube and SS character.
Any down side? Well, it does run hot enough that a rack position will require attention to adequate air space. Also, my T200 has a slight transformer hum that is noticeable several feet away. On the positive side, the tubes are very easy to swap out. And the tubes can be left powered-on while the hot output-transistor section is turned off. Since there are only 2 tubes, replacement costs will be lower (important if you are going with NOS). The unit is heavy but not back-breaking.
I've tried a wide variety of NOS tubes, from low gain 12AU7 to medium gain 6DJ8/6922 to higher gain 12AT7 and 12AX7/5751 types. For my application I like the 12AX7, but felt that the 6DJ8 class might work better overall if you are using one amp to drive a pair of speakers full range. That's because good 6DJ8/6922 give nice mids, sweet highs, and decent bass control, all at once. 12AX7 are a bit sloppy in the bass, IMO (e.g. when I use this amp to drive the Maggie bass panels alone). 12AT7/6201 types are great for bass but sound strained in the mids/highs to me. I'm considering getting another Trinity amp to drive the MG3.6 bass section with 12AT7's. Randy tells me that some Apogee owners have biamped with 2 Trinity amps using a combo of 12AX7 (for mid/hi) and 12AT7 (for low).
As for power, it never hurts to have a little extra, especially at the reasonable Llano prices. So you might want to get the T200 instead of the T100, unless of course your speakers are super efficient. You could give a Trinity a trial run (30-day), but make sure you have enough tubes around to get some idea of their sonic character and gain in your system (they don't have to be NOS for this estimate). It can take up to several months for Randy to build an amp, however. And of course you have to pay him first....
I've heard a White Labs amp like 6 years back powering a pair of Von Schweikerts. That system, using Theta digital and Meridian pre, is one of the best I've heard to date.
GO FOR, DREAD II, THETA'S DIGITAL 4X250 WATTS/CHANNEL
NOTHING COMES EVEN CLOSE TO THE DETAIL AND SONICS.
THE SECTRET IS THE MACHING OF THE AMPS OUTPUT STAGES
WITH RESPECT TO THE MAGGIES XOVER (ie no ground loop for either)
GIVE ATRY ITS WORTH IT!
Since this thread just came up again, I thought I'd post first comments on my Llano Trinity 300. It arrived yesterday after considerable delay, but even after 3 hours, I can say that it was worth the wait. Lots of detail, air, bass slam. Sharp transients, sense of space, etc. I swapped out a pair of McCormack 0.5s (dlx on bottom, Rev A+ on top) which had really impressed me so far. However, right now the only weakness I can find is a tad too much bite at the upper end of the vocals. Maybe silver cables are too much of a good thing, maybe stock tubes, maybe just break in. It IS a monster (75 lbs), looks are basic industrial black, but the sound so far just sounds real. I've been playing a number of live albums and it really does capture the sound of a live performance. More later as it breaks in. Using with BAT VK3i and Vandersteen #A sigs, CAL CL-10, Classe DAC-1. This may be the real deal, from an audio standpoint, but I have to admit some concerns re: customer service. It may just be the kind of thing you have to expect from a boutique operation. We will see. More later as it breaks in and I swap in some NOS tubes.
Well done. Yes, try the NOS tubes. Email me for suggestions. What tubes does it have in there now?
I have five channel of Trinity ampification and I think these are fantastic amps. They replaced my Bryston 9B-ST and are a major step up from that good amp.
I did have to wait awhile to get them, but this probably goes w/the territory for a hand-built product.
I found Llano by hearing an amp from Randy's old company, White Audio. Listen to that amp in the same system against CJ, Aragon, Krell and several others over a long period of time -- it was simply better.
I can't help with any info on the Trinity's but I have been using a pair of A-300 mono amps (solid state) for 6 years now. They still amaze me. When I first bought them I was using a B&K preamp, which we later found out was not compatible with the LLano amps. I had to ship these back to Randy twice to replace toasted circuits. He paid return shipping both times, diagnosed my problem and repaired them for free. Now to me, thats customer service.
I can't recommend them high enough.
My speaker designer did a show with RW once when he was White Labs.Wish I could afford his stuff.
I have llano Trinity A-300's solid state - LOVE THEM FOR MANY YEARS, great sounding durable long lasting
Just curious, is A-300 and Trinity A-300 the same thing, or something different? My impression is that Trinity line is tube hybrid.
The A-300 and the whole A series, as far as I know, were all strictly solid state. The Trinity series are hybrids with tube input and Hexfet outputs, running partly in Class A for the first few watts.
I had an A-100 and had Randy transform it into a Trinity 200 (200 watts into 8 ohms, 400 into 4). There is no "A" in the Trinity name.