Review: TRL, Inc. GT-200 Tube amp

Category: Amplifiers

I really need to tell the of the transformation of my system. I recently bought new amplifiers. The Tube Research Labs GT200 monoblocks. A triode tube design by Paul Weitzel. About 4 months ago I recieved the Dude preamp by TRL. It was specially made to be fully balanced. My reaction to the sound was so pleasurable and positive that it got me to thinking what will the TRL amps do for the music. I had to decide if I was willing to give up my Krell 650 mono blocks. The speed of the Krells and the extension both on top and bottom were hard to beat. Still I took a chance on the GT200's. A friend warned me that the base on tubes could not and would not match that of solid state especially Krell FPB650 monos. I must say I was not prepared for what I was about to experience. My description no matter how clever, will not come close to describe what these amps can do. They just made the Krells sound broken. That statement is hard for me to say because I dearly loved the Krells. The GT200s beat the solid state monos in EVERY way. And by no small margin! Many questions ran through my head. First of all how do they do it? Second why has no one built amps like this before? I was so taken back that I just could not believe it. I just heard music, plain and simple. Only it is not that simple. I now realized that I have been cheated all these years as a music lover. As good as I thought my systems were they were (pardon the grammer) pure crap! Let me tell you this is absolutely the most fun and passion I have experienced in all my years as an audiophile. Magic, pure magic that is what it is. If cost were no object these are the amps I would own. I am done looking! I have found what I consider to be the Holy Grail of amplification for me and my sound cave. In the last 3 months I have bought more and more music and I must say the only downfall of these amps is you can't buy enough music. You will listen to every thing you have and then some. Classical, jazz, rock, vocals it does not matter. These amps are killer.Power,speed,air,grace,depth,width, go ahead throw all the standard stereophile standbys at me. All I can tell you is they just don't do it justice. Do whatever you have to but take a listen to these things. I dare you! I double dog dare ya!

Associated gear
Tube Research Labs Dude preamp.
Accustic Arts Drive1 Mark2 transport
Accustic Arts Dac1 Mark4 DAC
JM Labs Focal Utopia Loudspeakers
Synergistic Research Powercell 10SE
TRL interconnects and speaker wire.
16 primitive diffusors
Synergistic Research MIG's

Similar products

What a great system you have built. The TRL gear is a real treat and a break from all the other stuff out there. My dealings with Paul has caused me to believe that he,as a person,is as good/better than the gear he builds.

I want to hear those amps. Live in FL do you?

Thanks for the write up and let us know how they sound when they break in. =8^D
Thanks Glory! Unfortunately I live in Ohio. You are right. Paul is an incredible person that has a gift for design and a golden ear! His kindness is next to none. I have also been slowly replacing my interconects and speaker wire with his solid core TRL cabling. Cha ching what a sound!
Nice review and great looking system!
Excellent review and thanks for sharing your experience. I'm VERY satisfied with all my TRL purchases so your enthusiasm is not surprising plus Paul is an EXCELLENT person to deal with.

Happy Listening!!
Congrats again Booboo. It's a bonus that they look spectacular as well. Well done. I am honestly surprised more folks don't own these things as they seem to be able to jettison the hapless phile off of the evil merry-go-round!
Very well put. I am listening now and I can say every time I break out a cd I have not heard in a while, it's like they were remastered. I have had these amps about 2 months now and they still amaze me.
I would like to demo them so please ship them down to FL. ASAP.
Would you like that same day shipping?
Pretty cool to be able to say you have surpassed the likes of a Krell. I'll have to drive down and have a listen sometime. Seems like an abundance of TRL owners have flocked in to make comments. Now if we could just convert some more folks into going down the TRL path! And yes, Paul is a gem.
Hello doug . What can I say ? I told you so. I think most audiophiles have lost why they became such in the first place. It is first about the music. So many of the audio community are into looks, gear etc , Hey we all have been in that situation. I owned a complete tube research system 7 years ago when i lived in georgia. When i moved to south florida I sold my system to open an audio store. Over the years I have owned the krell 650m monos cary, conrad premiere 8 monos, Audio research vt130se, vtl 450s jadis ja 200 and 500 monos. I concur with you doug everything sounds broken compared to tube research.I compared my little 100 watt prototype to the mighty krell 650 monos and could not believe my ears. The krells may have had a little more juice but the baby tube research killed the krells even on movies. Bottom line if you love music tube research is the best of the best.
I too would like to meet Paul and listen to his amp's. His amp's seem to be the Alchemy of tube power.
I too would like to meet Paul and listen to his amp's. His amp's seem to be the Alchemy of tube power.

Get rid of the TRL wire in you system. A total hold back to your system's sound. You can do much better! There is no magic going on with the same wire same amps.
Have you ever heard of Purist Audio Design? My system at one time consisted of ALL PAD Dominus cabling. That includes power cables, balanced interconnects,speaker cables,digital cables the works. Purist had out performed many cables. I will not mention the brands since I am NOT writing you this Glory to make anyone angry or to debate. Tube Research Labs cabling smoked my former Purist Audio Design cables. Some how I do not think you are saying what you have said out of kindness or of concern for my sound. Telling me to "Get rid of my cables" was real class.

A killer system/room!

You are enjoying the TRL wire and that is fine but I had their AC cables/SC and shall I say they were not what I would think would go in an advanced system like yours.

Stage III cables or Teo Audio or if I dare say a Dale Pitcher Power Bridge AC cable would make you piss your pants.

Lost information for sure with TRL wire.

Sorry if I came on to strong but what a great system you have built and would think you could do better on the wire.
Doug, I presume a majority of your cable experimentation was done with Krell amplification in the chain. It would make sense that PAD would sound good in that context but not necessarily with TRL tube amps. You don't need superimposed analog density from cabling with the GT200s.
I have built systems for 40 years. The system as it stands is absolutely the best I have ever owned. Here is a list of what I have owned.
Sound Labs M1 speakers
Magnepan 20.1, 3.6 speakers
Scott amps (at age 17)
McCormick amps
Mark Levinson amps
Sonic Frontiers Line 3 SE preamp
Sonic Frontiers Power 3 SE amps
Krell 650 mono blocks
Balanced Audio Technology VK51 SE preamp
MIT cables
Wire World cables
Tera Lab cables
Pure Silver cables
Linn turntable
Sim Audio CD player
Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
PS audio ac re-generator
Dedicated 9 foot ground rod
Tripoint Troy
Dedicated breaker box
Shielded AC wiring
18 primitive root diffusors
Shakti Stones

Did I mention this is the best sound I have ever experienced in my house. The only thing I am looking forward to is my new GT200's that I am having built. Thanks for both your concerns. This sound will be the root of my system from now on!