T+A Amps and Preamps?


Does anyone here have experience with the T+A line of amps and preamps? I’m looking for folks’ thoughts/opinions on them, and how they compare to other solid-state gear like Pass Labs. Thanks.
333jeffery
I'm interested as well but I am looking at their integrated amps.    The lower end units are all class D where the mid and high range lines use class a/b.  Definitely NOT interested in the Class D stuff.

I have heard 
T+A gear at my dealer and thought it very good. I like the pass and Simaudio Moon better for amplifiers. I really liked the Moon 400m mono amps. I never compared the Pass XA60.8 directly. But I think the Pass is slightly better. That would be my choice. Preamps are more difficult. The Pass XP-30 is very good  But I was not impressed with their other preamps. I like the sound of my Ref 5se better than the XP-30. 


As one of the few and proud T+A dealers we would love to respond.

Lostbears, I find your comments rather confusing, there are very few T+A dealers with current product on display. T+A's  older products were good, but not amazing, which I would agree with,

The new HV series products that T+A is currently  making are the products that are truly fantastic and could be considered game changing products: that includes the new R series which is based on HV technology and of course the HV series reference gear and the DAC  8 DSD, and i know that none of the current T+A dealers carry Pass Labs, Sim Audio, and T+A. 

Pass Labs tends to sound warm, Sim sound clean and a bit dry like Ayre, so that fact that you like both of these different sounding brands sounds very confusing. You may like Pass and Sim amplifiers but unless you compare them side to side to the HV products how do you know which one is better sounding?

We like Pass Labs, never been  partial to Sim. what it interesting is one of the Audiogon posters, Musicfx, compared a T+A R 2500 a 140 watt $11k integrated vs the $12k Pass Labs integrated and chose the T+A over the Pass and has been ecstatic over the sound quality between his Wilson Sasha and the R 2500! 

In terms of technology T+A is the first company to implement this High Voltage design concept which runs solid state devices at tube devices high voltage rails. 

The T+A engineers theorized that the reason tube components sound so musical was not even order harmonic distortion rather it was the greater linearity of the devices transfer function which occurs at higher voltages so if you build a solid state device and ramp up the rail voltages it starts to sound like a tube!

We have a full compliment of the HV series gear on display and the gear is just remarkable, we have compared T+A to amplifiers that were $120k and the T+A PA 3000 power amp plus supply a $32k combo just wiped the floor with that amplifier.

We have also compared the T+A gear to CJ, Thrax, Electrocompaniet, Ypsilon, MBL, Krell, and Devialet and in every case the  T+A gear was more magical and way more musical.

Other people reviewer Allan Taffel compared a $18k PA 3000 HV integrated amp to $120k worth of Ch Precision gear and as mentioned Musifix compared a $11k R series integrated vs Prima Luna and Pass Labs.

In Positive Feedback the reviewer compared the PA 3100 HV integrated $22k to a $45k Dagastino integrated.

The interesting factoid is when people compare the T+A gear to products 2-5 times the price most people come up with the same conclusion that the more expensive gear is very good just not necessarily  worth twice the price in the case of the Dagastino integrated, over 5 times the price CH Precision stack. 

Are we saying T+A is the greatest gear on the planet? No we are not, what we are saying is you can compare some of their products to dramatically more expensive components and many people will prefer or will find that T+A compares with gear 2-5 times its price.

The HV series gives people the chance to move into the uber reference level of sound quality comparable to CH Precision, Solution, Vitus, D'agastino and many of the worlds best sounding and extremely expensive brands for much lower cost. 

I would say that is you compare Pass Labs and SIm both make good products but I have never seen their products being touted in the same way as being able to compare to the world's best yet costing a fraction of the price.  Sim and Pass Labs both make excellent products but value oriented I don't see it.

In the case of the R series integrated they seem expensive for the power

R 2500 140 watt $11k

R 2000 80 watts $9k 

but if you hear one you will be blown away, the sound is in a different league vs Hegel, Luxman, Devialet, Esoteric, we sold all three of those brands.

If you want to know why these products are so magical think of the best qualities of many manufacturers and combine them into one and you have the T+A House sound:

The R 2500 huge sound stage width and depth
                    warm midrange
                    PRAT pace, rhythm, and timing
                    excellent detail retrieval 
                    warm punchy bass
                    totally silent
                    engaging. 
                    runs warm not hot
                    practical size and weight
                    stunning good looks
                    German build quality

We had a 2500 for evaluation for a week and it was extremely hard to have to send it back and we have some fantastic gear on display in our second sound room, the R 2500 was just so good sounding. 

As per the E series that is a different matter, we have so far 0 experience with the E which uses digital amplification. In Europe the E series is considered more of a lifestyle product  built to compare with the Naim Uniti kinds of products so the E is reported to be very good product it does not have the lofty goals of the R and HV series.

We hope this helps and if you are on the East Coast give us a call and take a listen for yourself. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ






 
                     







Thanks for the replies. I currently have the  BHK 300 amplifier and BHK Signature preamp. Would the T+A HV gear be a significant step-up from this?
Honestly, Jeffery I would say yes the T+A gear would be a major upgrade.

The PS stuff is very, very, good and Bascom King is a storried and talented designer. The difference in both technology and build qualty in the T+A is what seperates it from most everything else.

The PS audio products are a good value and do sound qute good, the difference is in the details.

T+A invents all their own technology and in the case of the HV products goes beyond tube gear by emulating the sound of tubes without having to use tubes.

T+A’s HV Technology runs solid state devices at high voltage rails.

This technique creates a more linear and lower disortion environment for solid state devices. A solid state device run this way produces a more classicaly tube like smoothness, without having to employ any tubes in the design. So you get the sound of tubes, with the low noise, and superior clarity, of a pure solid state signal path.

PS Audio employs vacumm tubes to create their warmth:

A tube is a wonderful device however, they are noisy and microphonic. Bascom King makes the PS audio sound so good by using the technique of a hybrid design which offers the warmth of tubes with the grunt of solid stage it is a way to offer far superior sound for less money however, the tube/hybrid concept still suffers from certain design flaws:

1: inherently noisy component
2: microphonics in the tube affect ultimate resolution
3: tubes offer great linearity but also produce more intrinsic distortion vs a top of the line solid state design, manifesting as coloration.

It is also ineresting to note that when Bascom King does design work for Constellation their designs are pure solid state with superior implimentation of the circuits, and product design and build quality such as what you see in the T+A HV products:

If you look at how the T+A gear is built, it is built like cost no object gear the PS audio gear is well made and especially so for the price but when you compare the two companies and products you can see what makes the T+A gear so special:

Each HV series product uses an aluminium space frame which is divided into two completely sealed, and distinct sections. The top part of the case is where the delicate circuitry is housed, and the bottom chamber houses the power supply. This design isolates sensitive circuitry by virtue of the space frame to provide both vibration damping and shielding from the noisy environment of the power supply part of the case.

http://www.i-fidelity.net/reportagen/themen/ces-2013/seite-7-ces-2013.html

look at the massive transfomer in the T+A amplifier which is both potted and fully shielded

vs

http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/ces-highlights-from-everywhere-else/?page=6

PS audio all one chasis, no shielding of the transformer and no damping.

Look at the design of the P 3000 HV preamp vs the PS audio:

Wizard High-End Audio Blog: T+A P 3000 HV
https://wizard-highend.blogspot.com/2014/01/ta-p-3000-hv.html

You will notice the power supply on the preamp is as large as some power amplifiers, the digital section of the preamp is seperate and requires its own power cord, again the use of shielding, and potting of the transformer.

Compare weight of the two preamps PS audio’s weigh 22 lbs the T+A preamp weighs 62lbs!

I am not saying the PS audio gear isn’t excellent it is, it is just that the T+A gear provides a more refinded strata of product which provides even more clarity and refinement then what the PS audio gear can provide.

We hope this helps and please understand we like PS audio gear and would consider it as a great affordable near reference line of components, as well as being a great value, howerver,

If you were to purchase a PS power amplifier at $7.5k and a PS preamp at $6k and add in a good set of cables $1,500.00 you would be at $15k vs $19K for the PA 3000 HV integrated. So the fact that the T+A gear is out of reach isn’t necessarily so.

For those on the East Coast our doors are always open.

Also you guys should note it took us a long time before we found a line of electronics that sounds this good, we loved the Chord reference electronics but lost the line and we demoed a number of lines before we read the Allan Taffel T+A HV series review. It was that review where Mr. Taffel compared the $19k T+A integrated to $120k worth of CH Precision gear and was having difficulty being able to tell which was which lead us to seek out the line.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ


The other part of the equation is this the best path to upgrade and improve the system?

In order to see if this is the logical step we would need to know what the rest of your system is.

If your entire system is at a maxium level then the electronics upgrade might make sense. 

If you PM us then we can have a conversation if this is the right way to go or should you upgrade your source or cables or speakers etc. 

Thanks for starting the thread, it seems that slowly T+A is starting to get the due the deserve in the States, their equipment is really fantastic.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Right now, I have an Yggdrasil dac feeding the BHK preamp, and my speakers are Tekton Design's Ulfberhts. They are reference-grade speakers and are very revealing of any changes in the system.

Jeffrey 

If you feel you want to take the system to the next level then I would look at the electronics switch.

I would still inquires as to the rest of the system is up to the task cables, vibration isolation, room tuning etc.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ