Review: Tritium Triphazers Tweak
Triphazers (sometimes spelled Triphasers) are unique devices created by Tritium Electronics. They are “black boxes” that go either inline with, or between AC, line, and speaker level cables. They are available in multiple versions and models from the Tritium website, www.triphazer.com. There is a 90-day trial policy, with money back if not happy.
I have been using units in my main system for over 1 ½ years now, with only the AC Triphazer being a comparably recent addition (in my system now about 5 months). The system consists of the following:
CD source – Electronic Visionary Systems-modified Pioneer DV-45A universal player
Analog source – Music Hall MMF-5 table feeding a Consonance PM-1 phono preamp
Integrated amp – Pathos Twin Towers, then Unison Unico; both with NOS tube upgrades
Speakers – VMPS 626 Ribbon Monitors
Various tweaks for vibration control and room reflection control
The first Triphaser product I bought and put in were line level. The particular ones I got were “Level 25” models with RCA-terminated cables built-in (IE, in-line; some Triphaser’s have Female RCA ‘s on each side, to use 2 of your own pairs of cables). The “Level” of Triphaser relates to the extent of effects it will have: larger number = more effects. What are the effects ? Well, they will be described later; but according to Tritium, Triphazers correct timing or skew problems inherent with almost all equipment (my simple paraphrase).
There has been some chat about these online, positive and negative. Based on notes on the website and also chats with Mike at Tritium, these need a LONG break in (this is probably why they offer the 90 day trial). In my system, the interconnects did indeed take a long time before they settled in to be their best (or as Tritium will say, the system was settling in, adjusting as well).
The end result was MORE. More of a lot of things, subtle yet noticeable. More detail, more focus of persons and instruments, more soundstage, more dynamic capability. Tonally, the Triphazers didn’t seem to effect the system, positive or negative. What I got was simply more sense of being there, wherever “there” may have been.
After using the interconnects a while, I added speaker level Triphazers, also Level 25. These boxes had binding posts for in’s and out’s, and came with some 18 inch solid core copper cryo’d “jumpers” to go from amp to Triphazer. And lastly, I added an AC Triphazer. The AC model I bought consisted of a power strip with an in-line Triphazer; again these also come with male/female to use you own power cord to one component.
The addition of the speaker Triphazers seemed to make the most immediate difference, with the quickest impact. Initially, there was one bad effect: a ssssmearing of some sssssibilants; this cleared up within a week, though – maybe 20 hours of listening at night. Again, more of the same as with the line level Triphazers: strongest impact was in detail & focus, a larger soundstage, and yet more dynamic capability. I remember two specific incidents while using the Line/Speaker combination.
The first had to do with a piano recording (Nojima Plays Ravel, Reference Recordings). Once the speaker Triphazers were in my system a while, I noticed more dynamic impact from the notes, and a more natural decay from the notes as they were played. Having heard some beautiful piano and flute up close and personal, I can say this was probably the closest I had come to reproducing that sound in my system.
The second incident was discovered more by accident. While playing some music waiting for my system to fully warm up one night, I was sitting well off axis, but the music playing had such an amazing soundstage width, I still heard some amazing sounds coming from the system, positively spooky in its three-dimensionality. Mike told me a story of people listening to Triphazed systems, and walking to the back wall in between the speakers, literally with their nose against the wall. Then they turned around and just smiled !
My next experience and comment comes from adding the AC Triphazer. There is a recording I have, Mary Fahl’s “The Other Side Of Time,” where she does her take on Donizetti’s “Una Furtiva Lagrima” (she is not an Opera singer, nor is this an operatic album; but has an amazingly soulful voice that emotes incredibly). I have played this recording in my car, on a nicer “executive” stereo system at work, and at home; there are parts of the recording that have caused some audible distortion on all the systems I use – I thought it was inherent in the recording. A lot less distortion in the home system, but I still heard a tiny bit. However, after inserting the AC Triphazer, all of a sudden, NO distortion ! And no loss of dynamics or intensity at all.
This was the main difference I heard with the AC Triphazer; most if not all other things with the system seemed to remain equal.
So do I recommend Triphazers ? You bet your a** I do ! I have used them in my main system, and (line and speaker levels) on a second system. In ALL cases, with ALL equipment with which they were paired, I consistently heard improvements over time, as mentioned above. They are slow to develop, so they seem subtle. But I removed my speaker level Triphasers once, and it became apparent fairly quickly that a layer of “hi-fi grunge” was added back in, and it was less like the performers were there with me.
I have just very recently broken down my main system, keeping only the Pioneer unit. I have been listening to mostly headphones, so I got a simpler amp/speaker combination. That is still burning in, but you can be sure the Triphazers are still part of this system. I don’t have my second system anymore, and a lucky gent got a good deal on my Line & Speaker level Triphazers from that. But these in my main system are here for the long haul !
Some comparison notes: I am also a fan of Bybee products, and have their products in AC and line level applications as well. The Bybee's seem to provide some similar results as the Triphasers; specifically, image focus and transparency within the soundstage – the removal of a layer to get to the heart of the music. However, it seems the level of improvement is greater, and affects the SIZE of the soundstage a lot more, with the Triphazers (note: the lower level Triphazer models may have more similarities in effects; remember, my Line and Speaker Triphazers are both Level 25’s, pretty high). I still recommend Bybees, and use them in other areas of my main system (and a bedroom headphone system), but would recommend the Triphazers even more – just do yourself a favor, and let them & your system burn in !
Last thought: Mike and the folks at Tritium are great to speak with. They are passionate about what they do, so they can be very opinionated. But they are FUN, and they make some great products. Find them. Try them. And you’ll enjoy music more.
Bybee (see review)