Looking to hear from Thor owners


Based on the good advice of fellow Audiogoners I took the plunge into the ta-1000. Just curious about others experiences with Thor gear. What other gear do you have? Which tubes? etc.?
I have only had mine about a week so I am still getting used to it.
mcpherson
Do you like your Thor? Which version do you have?
I will chime in on their customer service. My TPA 60 amps are currently being worked on at Thor in Texas. Owner Ted Lindblad is easy to contact and a pleasure to talk to. Along with Jordan who is the technician, they have been working on my amps and keeping me updated as to their progress. I couldn't be more satisfied with their customer service. I have no affiliation with Thor other than a satisfied customer.
Baranyi
I have the ta-1000 linestage. I have owned it for maybe 6 weeks to a month. I am very pleased with it. It has changed the whole personality of my system as well as my listening habits. I bought it with quite a few upgrades done and plan on sending it in to Ted at Thor for a clean bill of health soon.
I agree with Leatherneck: Ted is GREAT with customer service.
Leather
What do you think of the TPA 60s? I would love to end up with the 30 or 60 watt.
I am still waiting to swap tubes around in the pre.
Any suggestions? Another proud Thor owner suggested :
Phillips Miniwatt Holland version
GE triple mica black plates

Right now I still have the stock tubes.
McPherson,
The TPA 60s are wonderfully musical amps. I am anxious to get them back into the system. Ted just called and they are on their way home from Texas.

My particular pair are the only ones in existence to have Thor's new unplated copper circuit boards. Having purchased them with that upgrade already in place I can't comment on the differences, but Ted says the improvements are not subtle. He says there is "another layer of dimension to the music". I recently changed over to Genelex Gold Lion KT77 tubes which increased the attack and dynamics as well as the delicacy and detail. Small signal tubes are NOS Sylvania, RCA and Valvo.

As far as the sound of the amps, as with all things in this hobby it is all about synergy of components and what each of us is looking for in their particular musical tastes. All of the things I look for and enjoy seem to be there with these amps. They are open, detailed and dynamic while still sounding natural and lifelike. Soundstage is wide with layers of depth extending beyond the speakers at times. Instruments and musicians are well placed within the soundstage. Highs are extended with just a touch of sweetness. Brass is brassy and the leading edge of piano is crisp while the decay fades slowly. I am hearing the tightest most accurate bass I have heard from an all tube amplifier in my system but not the last word when compared to some SS and hybrid amps I have had. This could also be attrbuted to the preamp. Vocals and small jazz ensembles just float between the speakers. When Melody Gardot sings worrisome heart it sounds like she is right in the room, her breathy, sultry singing sounds live.

I am currently using and absolutely love my deHavilland mercury III preamp which Kara Chaffee says imparts "big tone" to the music. My thinking is the preamp compliments these amps well in their combined strengths. I should also mention that Kara Chaffee also answers the phone when you call deHavilland and she returns missed calls promptly.

Speakers are JM Reynaud Offrande Supreme, my third pair of Offrandes and while I have had numerous other speakers I keep coming back to these, they just make beautiful music. Source is either a Logitech transporter with Modwright absolute truth mods or an Oppo bdp 83SE with the Upgrade Company Signature mods.

Ted has offered to let me borrow his Thor preamp to hear the whole package, but I am waiting to get the amps back and let everything settle in before taking him up on that.
Well that got a little long didn’t it?
Best regards,
Russ
McPherson,

What components do you have in your system besides the Thor preamp?
Leatherneck
I am currently using
-Sony 5400es cdp
Plan to get the Modwright upgrade
-H/K Citation 16a amplifier
@150wpc Rebuilt by H/K guru
-Focal 918 tower speakers
-Velodyne sub

I have been in the early stages of building a sysem for a number of years now. I had the speakers for about 4 years before I made any major purchases. I am still getting used to the Thor and deciding if I want to keep the Focals. They are very detailed but a bit on the bright side to me.
I dont know if I wanna go down the cable upgrade route,etc to take the edge off of them. I also need to experiment with tubes to really see where I am...kinda like what you said about auditioning the Thor preamp.
I dont have much to reference because I went from a Marantz receiver to the Thor, but this pre is really something! What I like the most is the sound floor is so low now. I dont have to turn it up loud to experience the music...that is saying something for me.haha
Have you ever heard the Modded 5400 by chance? I know a lot of people seem to compare the Oppo to the Sony due to the upgrades available/bang for buck factor.
Mcpherson,

I haven't heard the sony 5400 modded or otherwise. I have had several of Modwright's cdp's over the years and his products are always outstanding. I don't see how you could go wrong either way. I am using the logitec transport almost exclusively anymore playing flac files through my PC. The sound is so close to the cdp to not be a consideration to me anymore. With all of my music on a dedicated hard drive I am listening to a lot of older music I pretty much never got around to digging out and playing on the single player. I went for the Oppo so I can play blueray dvd and eleiminate one pc of gear in my system, while still having a high quality cdp.
Russ
What amps were you using before the Thors? I am trying to figure out if my next upgrade should be amps or speakers. I thought about the Merlin VSM if I could get them at a decent price. The Focals seem a bit bright but then again it could just be the total of everything upstream.
It is all about matching components and set up. What are you using for cables? What kind of music do you listen to? A great system can sound less than ideal set up improperly in the room too.
L
My cables are entry level and nothing to brag about Im sure. They are Audioquest and Transparent Link.
My music tastes cover almost everything except classical and rap.
A lot of contemporary Christian, females vocals, sprinkle in a bit of old rock. I really enjoy most music, especially well recorded. (Seems to matter more now.)
I spoke with Ted at Thor/Highend about planning a trip up to Dallas since I am in Houston. I may just load up my components and really see where I am overall.
Ted is such a pleasure to deal with. I would like to hear the Thor amps as well as another set of speakers.
Some other Focal ownere have suggested Cardas cables to smoothe things out a bit?? That would be a little later though.
Im anxious to have Ted check this pre out since the upgrades werent done by them. I would like to get the Thor clean bill of health.
Keep me posted about your amps, I guess you should be getting them back soon.
Mcpherson,

I would like to talk to you privately.

My email is garrcon@netins.net

Russ
Hi Guys,
Just saw the recent thread and thought I would throw in my two cents (about ugrading to higher power amps). I have a TA-1000 Mk 2 preamp, TA-3000 Mk 2 phono amp and used to have the TPA-30's. Of course, they all sounded great together, but I needed more power when I changed speakers (bought Avalon Acoustic Radians). As a result, I sold the TPA-30's and bought Canary Audio CA-160 monoblocks (140 watts ultralinear and 100 watts triode). I've had them about 9 months and couldn't be happier with the amps.

Again, speaker synergy is key with any amp, but the Canary's have been matched with 3 different speakers in my system (Avalon Radians, SAP Audio Quartettes and Von Schweikert VR-6's) and I have been pleased with the results with all of them.

I love the Thor gear though, haven't heard a preamp yet, that I would trade it for.

Best regards,
Dave
Dave
What speakers were you using with the 30watters? I thought of getting the 30's or 60's later.

You should get the 150's Ted has listed!!!!
Thanks Jayson
Hi Jayson,
With the TPA-30's I used SAP Audio Quartettes. They are not very well known, only a few retailers, but they are made in Italy and are beautifully crafted speakers. They were made for lower powered amps (espcially tubes) and were a wonderful match for the 30 watt Thors. Their imaging was fantastic (incredible vocals and small jazz) but they were not able to covey a larger musical environment.....orchestra, big arena rock, etc.

I later was able to complete a remodel on our basement and finally could have the sound room I had always hoped for. Since my room was much larger I used Avalon Radians for a while (great speaker but required at least 200 watts per channel) and now I have Von Schweikert VR-6's, which I truly enjoy.

I would love to get the 150's ...... but just don't have the funds, so I will probably stick with the current components for a while.

How about you? What are your impressions of the Thor and what speakers are you using?

Best regards,
Dave
Hello
I own the the TPA-30's and can say matched with my Sira LE preamp sound great. Ted Lindblad is one of the best guys in audio if not the best. He answers questions and returns calls promptly.

Regards,
Fonz
Still looking to get into the 30 watt amps. I have started a "short list" of potential speakers.
- Merlin
- Devore
- Tyler
- Deadulus
Any thoughts. Jayson
Looking for a Thor TA-1000 MK 2 preamp. Anyone know of one for sale?
Baranyi,
Tempting as it is...cant get rid of my ta-1000. I sent it in to Thor for cap upgrades and a new 42 step volume. I havent even taken it out of the box. :)
Have you contacted Ted at Thor?
Just ordered a new set of Merlin TSM. Looking forward to hearing them with Thor.
Anyone else paired Thor/Merlin?
Mcpherson,
Let us know your impressions of your modified Thor!
TPA 30 MkII, C-J P14 preamp, Tyler D10 speakers. Awesome combination.
Springbok
Plenty power from the TPA 30 with the Tyler D10's?

My next step is source or amps. What amp did you have before the 30's?
Mcpherson,
How did you like your upgraded Thor preamp?
Mcpherson.....just thought I would give an update on another potential speaker match. I was able to buy a pair of the TPA-30's (locally for great price)....had a pair of them before, but sold to get more power. Now I'm back because I couldn't get the 30's sound out of my head.

Anyway, paired the TPA-30's with the Von Schweikert VR-6 speaker and it was INCREDIBLE. I was using the VR-6's with a pair of the Canary 140 monoblocks (it sounded good) but with the TPA-30's.....WOW! The VR-6's are a good match as they have 96 db sensitivity and the Thor's provide all the power they ever need to rock the house. While the VR-6's are no longer made, if you could find a used pair (or maybe even try one of Von Schweikert's newer models) you may be very pleased.

It's great to have an all Thor system again (TA-1000 Mk 2, TA-3000 Mk 2, TPA-30's)

Best regards,
Dave
Dave,
Thanks for the information.
I recently picked up a pair a the new Merlin TSM-MMM's. I sold my Focals and Velodyne sub to make room.
Let me stress that I am very pleased. This hobby can be so frustrating at times....it is good to know you made a good decision sometimes.haha
The speaker change was huge. I am currently using a 50 dollar dvd player as a source (sold a sony 5400) and i still have an old H/K Citation 16 amp.
I could live with it now as is...so im very excited to know i will be able to make progress with a cdp and amps.

What qualities do the amps help most with?? I plan to get the 30's in the future....
Any thoughts? Jayson
Sorry for overlooking the ? about the upgrade on the TA-1000. It is hard to compare A/B because i changed everything else in my system except the amp.
The new volume control is great for sure. Gave me much more control over lower range as my gain was too high before.
Sound now is very smooth, my issue before was too bright. None of that now. Between the upgrades and Merlins...things are good. :)
Hello I have been a Thor owner for many years going back to when Paul Marks still owned the company.
Thor TA-1000 preamp - Absolutely fantastic preamp which I would rate up there with the very best, and a real value considering what used ones go for in relation to its performance. I did send mine back to Paul Marks for the MKII upgrade and to add a remote. Not really sure how much of an improvement that made. My son still has his original Thor TA-1000 MK1 which he bought new and still sounds darn good as is. I found the stock tubes to be just adequate and for better performance I went with RCA 5751 Triple Mica Black Plates and Brimar 12AT7s.
Thor TA-3000 Phono Pre-amp - excellent MC phono stage once you put better tubes in there. I found the phono stage to be very detailed with a lot of air between the instruments with a very large sound stage. Only complaint is it could be a little more weight or warmth. I fixed this by replacing all 6 tubes with Amperex Bugle Box 12AX7s and 12AT7s. That did the trick.
Thor TA-60 Mono Amps - very nice sounding a trouble free amps which I use to drive Gershman Avantguard speakers. Great midrange and top end with really nice bass for an EL34 tube. No complaints, great tube amp that has a great feature where you can bias the tubes on the fly with music playing. Flip a switch which cuts out the output to the speakers and activates the meter, bias the tubes by adjusting each individual knob then flip the switch again to continue. Holds bias very well.
Don't think you only have to use the Thor preamp with Thor components, the Thor TA-1000 & 3000 is also hooked up to my main system driving MBL 111 speakers and MBL 9007 amps. Superb.
Hello I have been a Thor owner for many years going back to when Paul Marks still owned the company.
Thor TA-1000 preamp - Absolutely fantastic preamp which I would rate up there with the very best, and a real value considering what used ones go for in relation to its performance. I did send mine back to Paul Marks for the MKII upgrade and to add a remote. Not really sure how much of an improvement that made. My son still has his original Thor TA-1000 MK1 which he bought new and still sounds darn good as is. I found the stock tubes to be just adequate and for better performance I went with RCA 5751 Triple Mica Black Plates and Brimar 12AT7s.
Thor TA-3000 Phono Pre-amp - excellent MC phono stage once you put better tubes in there. I found the phono stage to be very detailed with a lot of air between the instruments with a very large sound stage. Only complaint is it could be a little more weight or warmth. I fixed this by replacing all 6 tubes with Amperex Bugle Box 12AX7s and 12AT7s. That did the trick.
Thor TA-60 Mono Amps - very nice sounding a trouble free amps which I use to drive Gershman Avantguard speakers. Great midrange and top end with really nice bass for an EL34 tube. No complaints, great tube amp that has a great feature where you can bias the tubes on the fly with music playing. Flip a switch which cuts out the output to the speakers and activates the meter, bias the tubes by adjusting each individual knob then flip the switch again to continue. Holds bias very well.
Don't think you only have to use the Thor preamp with Thor components, the Thor TA-1000 & 3000 is also hooked up to my main system driving MBL 111 speakers and MBL 9007 amps. Superb.
Recently added a Marantz sa-8004 cdp. Very big difference from the cheapo dvdp I was using.
The detail is quite stunning from the Merlin TSM's. Cant wait to add the Thor 30's.

Gjraad: I noticed a reference to using the bias feature on the 60's. Is that to balance any difference in tubes?
Mcpherson
All tube power amps needs to have the tubed biased, Some amps have an auto bias circuit which does this for you, other you have to adjust the bias manually through a voltmeter or in the case of the Thor, the meters are built in so each tube can be matched to the manufactures specs for the amp.
Thor owners:
I have a TA-!000 for sale. If interested let me know.
living voice speakers are a great match for my thor 30tpa.drive them with very little juice with hidiamond power cords.these 3 components are so underated..no high price advertising