Review: Thor Audio TPA30's with V/Cap Upgrade Tube amp
Within the last year or so I sent my Thor T1000 linestage ( Audiogon review ) to new Thor Audio for the linestage Capacitor upgrade ( thoraudio.com )....Having Originally purchased both my T1000 and my TPA 30's aprox 11 years ago from the High End Audio of Simsbury,Conn..(from Ted ,now Owner of Thor Audio ). At that time Ted was the only Thor Audio dealer ..Being the T1000 Cap upgrade was so sucessfull I felt very comfortable also sending in my TPA 30's Monoblocks ..( Ted and Jordan are Thor Audio ) )..As mentioned I have known Ted for many years and have been very happy working with him.Due to the age of my amps,I figured it was time to at least have them bench tested and possibly have some other work done while they were there..I only live about 1 hour away from Thor Audio and after a couple phone conversations,I decided to load up my amps and go down and have a talk about what I might do..After speaking with Ted and having the chance to visit Thor Audio and Listen to his Home system and also discuss what I might consider doing for upgrades,I felt very comfortable and decided to do the ( CuTf ) V/Cap upgrade and hopefully not only bring my amps back to Spec,but also squeeze out more perfomance.Included upon Upgrade completion is a new Warranty and the security of knowing that my amps are working properly..........
I dropped my amps off, and aprox one week later I recieved a call from Ted saying the amps were finished but hadn't more than a few hours logged on them..I had the option of leaving them there for more burn in hours or bring them home and start the burn in at home..Being overly anxious I chose to pick them up right away .My listening habits are pretty simple Jazz and Jazz only ( at least upstairs )..Once in awhile I will throw in something different but not very often..So I am basing my review on music such as Freddie Cole,Tierney Sutton,Jay Leonhart, Pat Barber etc.....Other various Jazz Material...I am 90% Digital at this moment but trying to make a comeback with Vinyl..
I know from previous experiences not to expect too much with newly upgraded parts worked on and being I pretty much ripped them out of Ted and Jordans hands with only a few hours on them, I kinda expected to go backwards sonically at least for a bit until I logged 100 hours or so.....Boy was I wrong...!!!!!
I could not in my wildest dreams believe what I was hearing.( right out of the box ) .I have always kinda thought that amplifiers have the least effect on music..Not this time.. I have no clue on how they make these V/caps,but talk about Holographic. Same gorgeous tone, no color change..Low end is quicker,tighter and extremely defined..The high are crisp,refined and alive. Much more "Grunt " ...Now at 100+ hours ( I know they will get even better ) the midrange of these V/caps are something to behold.....Very hard to describe just how real the whole package sounds...Way beyond my expectations........The work quality,attention to detail and desire to please at Thor Audio is exceptional..One of the biggest suprizes ever for me.( I know we have all heard that ) ...Ted and Jordan also informed me ( and showed me )that with the new V/cap upgrade there are also some internal design changes. ( included )..These changes along with the new V/caps bring the performance to a much higher level.....
I have to commend both Ted and Jordan for there extremely satisfying upgrade...Very pleased............
Upon completion of Bench Testing ( before upgrades ) I was informed ( Contacted by Phone ) that my amps tested at only 12 wpc...and this was consistant with other un-upgraded TPA 30's tested..
After Cap upgrades and internal changes my Amps were re-tested and Bench Tested at 28.6 WPC..This information and all internal changes are available and can be Verified at Thor Audio.com
Thor T1000mk2 V/cap Upgraded
Meridian 508/24 Cd player
Kharma 1/0 Ceramiques Loudspeakers
JLTI Phono amp
Thorens TD 160mk1
Various cables and excessories
Thor Audio T1000 without Cap upgrades
Thor Audio TPA 30's without Cap Upgrade