I have the Transistor Research Labs (TRL) D-225 solid state amp. I bought the first model and have not looked back. Extremely quiet and drives my Spendor 1/2e speakers effortlessly.
If you live in SoCal you're welcome to come by for a listen.
Also, just call Paul and talk to him about it, yes they are busy, but I always seem to get through and he is always very helpful, whether over the phone or email.
I have the ST 225 from TRL which is the integrated.
It is excellent and for the $$ is an excellent value.
Kurt how would you compare the sound of the Stellavox Mono's to the TRL ST 225
Which one has the edge in overall musicality
I'm considering the amp version of the ST 225
I've been told by Brian the sound is very much the same between the integrated and the Amp version
Although I do not own one of the TRL amps, I do know this: Paul and Brian do not over-estimate their work. What they say, as far as their description of their products/work is concerned, is probably on the conservative side. In other words - The product will probably be better than they say. :-)
Let us know what you do.
I have not had the chance to compare the two directly so will rely on memory.
I replaced the stellavox with the goldmund 18.4 monos and felt they (18.4's) were better in every parameter...except price (the stella's, like the TRL, are value champs imho)
I think the quality of sound with the trl and the 18.4's are very similar...quiet, fast, dynamic, neutral, powerful.
The goldmund fit and finish was superb where the trl is ok.. by high end standards
The trl is 30% the cost of the goldmund so on the value scale the trl is the clear winner.
I am using the Dartzeel now and like it better than the trl but again on the value scale there is no comparison.
Thx Kurt for your informative reply on the subject
Have you also had a chance to listen to the Audipax 88
I can go either way ss or Tube with my speakers and wanted to get your personal experiences of both amps
What trade offs do I give up Trl vs Audiopax 88 stereo
The price of the Audiopax is double the Trl I may be able to pick one up second hand if I decided to go that route
My room is 15x12 and I don't listen at high levels 80db or less
Again, I owned the Audiopax 88's at a time when I did not have the TRl and they are so different it is hard to compare.
I think the Audiopax are wonderful with the right speaker...one of the most natural and musical amps I have had the pleasure of using.
The TRL is more versatile and mine (ST 225) has the benefit of being an integrated so again on the value scale it is not close.
It's really probably a Chocolate/Vanilla thing with these.
The TRL has a more dynamic, vivid and forward presentation where the Audiopax has more of an organic and liquid quality.
Both are musical and your preference would most likely lie with associated equipment (synergy) and personal taste.
I also have a small listening room, smaller than yours in fact. One thing the TRL will afford you is the opportunity to listen at low volume while retaining excellent detail and musicality.
Thx Kurt and Tony for your opinions on the subject
I beleive kurt nailed it when he said "it's really a chocolate or vanilla with these"
There both great amps
Synergy is important and my setup can go either way
I have a pre amp that is very much neutral
Ribbon speakers with a fostex driver that are considered forward sounding (Tonian Acoustics NFSM)
Tubed digital that is warm and organic
And Cables that border on the warm and ogranic side
I listen to many different types of music be it rock jazz blues and classical
I prefer a very natural sound and would like my amplifier to simply reproduce the recording as is.. be it good or bad.
I'm also in the latter stage of treating the room and first reflection points
The room has less than desirable acoustics and is something that I need to consider when looking for my next amp upgrade
I am playing around with room treatment as well right now. I am also adjusting toe-in on my speakers and finding that makes a big difference in the soundstage and imaging. I do have a nasty bass reflection though that tends to throw the bass on the towards the other side of the soundstage. I guess a bass trap or plant behind the speakers might help this.
If you prefer natural sound and accurate reproduction you just nailed the D-225. I know we have spoken about this a lot recently but that sums it up right there. As Kurt said the value factor is very high and you would have to spend significantly more to achieve the same results with other equipment.
I enjoyed the Tonian TLM's for quite awhile and if your Tonians are close I would lean hard toward the TRL with these. I know thier sensitivity cries for tubes...and they sound quite good with many tube amps...but I think the TRL (at least with the TLM-1's) will give you more.
I had the Audiopax when Tony delivered my speakers and when we took the Audiopax out and put the stellavox in the speakers really came to life.
Kurt I appreciate your honesty
I will settle for the Tube Research Labs over the Audiopax
based on your humble recommendations
Tony I want to thank-you for your help as well
I will be purchasing the D 225 and may have a few more questions along the way
One question for the road
Is the Trl strictly Class A
I currently have a blue circle power conditioner which I have been plugging my amps into would the blue circle be able to handle the 225 watts of the Trl Amp
I'm not so sure
I have been told by some it wont be a problem and by others it could reduce dynamics
feel free to comment when you have a moment
The D-225 is strictly class A and while it is rated at 225 watts it is closer to 300 watts. The D-225 sucks up about 600 watts for power consumption. I have mine plugged into a Running Springs Audio Haley which handles 1800 watts (15amp). I have other components plugged into it as well. No problems so far.
I go straight to the wall and dedicated outlets with my power amp(s).