Canor

High Performance Valve Audio from Czech Republic
CANOR is a tube specialist, the prototype of our first serially produced TP101 integrated tube amplifier was presented at the exhibition in Brno (Czech Republic) in April 1995. We have been developing and manufacturing high-end tube audio products for almost 20 years. The major objective of CANOR is the development and manufacture of high performance audio components combined with high comfort and aesthetics.
All tubes are being strictly selected and measured on our specially developed and unique “BT-1″ , “TTM-1″ and “Aladdin” measuring devices. We use the highest quality tubes only.
 
The quality of each product is ultimately controlled on state-of-the-art Audio Precision analog test equipment and all products are subject to listening tests after burning-in.
 
All technological processes in the production lead to the only aim, to manufacture high-quality and reliable products.
 
Canor CMT ™ technology
 
We use our premium CMT ™ technology  (CANOR ® PCB Milling Technology) in all our products, it is  the way we mill printed circuit boards.
 
CMT ™ technology originated in a long-standing endeavour to improve the sonic performance of our products.
 
CMT ™ technology allows us to get nearer the dielectric loss factors (loss tangent) of printed circuit boards to the loss factor of air, because in tube wirings high impedances are being used,  and every tangent deterioration (likewise in capacitors) does hurt sonic imaging.
 
Thanks to this technology we managed to get to the parameter level of the so-called “wire to wire connections“, only with a use of very expensive and high-quality wires with teflon insulation. We can keep to the parameters in repetitive production with 100% geometric distribution  (which is impossible in “wire to wire”).

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CR 04 PS TP306
NZ$ 4,995.00 (incl. GST)
In a phono preamplifier there are extremely small signals that are being processed, therefore the preamplifier is the most sensitive component to mechanical and electric interferences. The TP306 VR+...
HIFI NEWS - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AWARD: VERDICT: "Built in a way that inspires confidence, and...

All Products

Phono Stages

CR 04 PS TP206
NZ$ 2,995.00 ea (incl. GST)
The CANOR TP206+ is an all-tube MM/MC phono stereo preamplifier embedded with three ECC83 tubes. HI-FI WORLD - "OUTSTANDING" (5 out of 5 points)I"t might lack truly earth-shaking deep bass, but...
Phono Stages
CR 04 PS TP306
NZ$ 4,995.00 ea (incl. GST)
In a phono preamplifier there are extremely small signals that are being processed, therefore the preamplifier is the most sensitive component to mechanical and electric interferences. The TP306 VR+...
HIFI NEWS - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AWARD: VERDICT: "Built in a way that inspires confidence, and...
Phono Stages

Reviews

it offers a tight, punchy bass but set within a delicate, airy soundstage. The TP-10 successfully combines toughness and delicacy, providing a big sound.
PAUL RIGBY

VERDICT
OFFERING A RICH CLARITY WITH A ROOMY, EXPANSIVE SOUND, THE CANOR TP10 ALLOWS YOUR HEADPHONES TO TRULY SING.

The popularity of headphones continues unabated and is reflected in the continuing appearance of hardware devoted to the genre. Canor is a prime example of how the hi-fi industry is establishing a reinvigorated headphone lineage by refining and improving upon its established SH-1 headphone amplifier. Although, for the designer, Zdenek Brezovjak, the impetus for the TP- 10 was initially more self-serving, “I wanted to listen to music so that I would not disturb the people around me. In the evenings, when I would work on designs on the computer, I wanted the freedom to listen to music of good quality. That’s when the idea to make our own headamp struck me”. 

Improvements to the initial SH- 1 design are many and begin in the power supply, although the 16V, 1A transformer in the form of a wall wart found as part of the TP-10 package is apparently not one of them. We have to look inside the chassis for that. “The circuit that creates the anode voltage has been improved”, said the designer, Zdenek Brezovjak. “Also, we retained the wall wart to distance the transformer from the PCB components to avoid electromagnetic interference

The core of the improvements, however, revolves round the PCB and how it is treated during construction. “We approach all the solutions as precise as we can, and we always strive to get ‘blood from a stone’ from a given solution”, commented Brezovjak. Known as CMT (Canor PCB Milling Technology), each PCB is milled to improve the dielectric of the board itself. “

Within a hard-wired circuit board, you can use high quality cabling which can feature an efficient ‘air’ dielectric to improve sound quality. This is fine but the use of hard wiring on a circuit board has limits in terms of precision of the layout. You end up with spaghetti wiring all over the place, with no consistency and lots of stray electromagnetic fields hanging around. CMT removes part of the PCB itself to reduce the dielectric coefficient of the circuit board. Doing it this way improves the accuracy and consistency of placement while approaching direct wired, low resistance and dielectric-coefficient audio cable”. 

Other improvements to the TP-10 include packing Burr-Brown Op-amps and polypropylene capacitors into the chassis. The TP10 is a hybrid design and, for the valve element, the new design includes a 12AT7 input tube instead of the SH-1’s 12AX7. “The hybrid design originated as a trade-off between sound quality and price. If we wanted to manufacture an all-valve system and have the option to connect low impedance headphones, the price would have trebled”, said Brezovjak. Canor takes the valve element of the TP-10 very seriously. In fact, the valves are extensively tested by the company’s own Aladdin II system and then burned in by another in-house system, the BT-2. 

The TP-10 arrived in a silver and black chassis that rings like a bell — most disconcerting. Again, for the price, I would have expected something a little more acoustically neutral. As it is, that chassis weighs in at 3kg without the power supply and spans 210x88x295mm, features a volume knob and full size headphone socket on the front, alongside a push button power switch while, on the rear is a pair of inputs and a pair of outputs along with a socket for the power supply.

SOUND QUALITY

Using my Sennheiser HD800 headphones plugged into an Icon HP8 Mk.II headphone amplifier as a reference and spinning the original version of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s ‘Tribal Statistics’ from the 1983 album, ‘Somewhere In Afrika’, the most obvious sonic change when listening to the Canor was the impact of the lower frequencies. Bass was tight and hard. punching its way through the track, giving it forward momentum. 

I was surprised also to experience such a wide soundstage from the Canor. There is an enormous amount of space within its soundstage that helped the instrumentalists to relax into their performance. I never felt at any time that the band suffered from a lack of elbow room, allowing the song to be delivered with ease. This allows the ear to hear more from each instrument, giving a 3D view of the presentation. Secondary rhythmic instruments, such as synths, had a prominent role in the mix.

Changing to jazz and Ella Fitzgerald’s interpretation of ‘Bewitched’ from the Speakers Corner audiophile reissue of ‘The Rodgers and Hart Song Book’, bass was a notable part of the mix. This lower frequency extension provided a rhythmic drive to the track, adding depth and richness to its presentation. Fitzgerald’s delivery was also particularly open and airy in its tone. 

The Canor’s midrange provided a large capacity for complex frequencies to be extended without any sign of compression or bloom. Upper mids had a particularly natural tonal aspect with piano providing a natural flow to the melody while the percussion, languid and unhurried on this track, was informative with extra detail on the brushstrokes. It seemed that a sonic ceiling that can be heard on this track was removed. 

Moving to CD and my Densen two box B-475, I inserted The Beatles’ ‘Anthology I’ CD and selected ‘Free As A Bird’. Right from the off, the Canor proved to be dynamically exciting with Ringo Starr’s drum strikes being sharp, hard and characterful, confidently announcing the opening of the song. Within the upper mids, the acoustic guitar strumming proved to be full and rich. Intriguingly, the minor role of the synth, there to give a fuller sound to the rhythm section, was more noticeable and forward in  the mix, as was John Lennon’s final sample vocal on the outro, where he says, “Made by John Lennon” over the George Harrison ukulele (which is “Turned out nice again” when played backwards!) 

Turning to Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras and backed by the Huddersfield Choral Society, the grand scale of the vocal on ‘Behold the Lamb of God’ and Felicity Palmer’s aria, ‘He was despised’, was impressive. The sound moved in a rich swell that was uplifting. The air and space of the TP- 10 added an ethereal element. 

CONCLUSION

The Canor TP-10 is the result of much thought and planning: this is one hybrid design that truly works. Because of the issues with the power supply and the chassis, I wonder if the potential of the TP-10 has actually been reached. For now, it offers a tight, punchy bass but set within a delicate, airy soundstage. The TP-10 successfully combines toughness and delicacy, providing a big sound.
.... PAUL RIGBY

Summary of various CANOR reviews
David Price / Rod Alexander / Tony Bolton / Ed Selley / Mark Wheeler / Wojciech Pacula / Jan de Jeu /

CANOR TP134, Hi-Fi Choice, „Tubular belle“, David Price, June 2013

„Whatever music you throw at it, from the crashing power chords of Nick Lowe’s So It Goes to the minimalist soundscapes of Kraftwerk’s Tour de France Etape 3, this amp provides a larger-than-life sound. Often more surreal than real, it is still never less than blissful to listen to. But let’s be clear, not every listener will like its coloured and ever-so-slightly tubby compressed nature – or its soundstaging where everything gets pumped up to twice its natural size and fired out at you. One to audition then, in some ways a great buy at the price which will bring you a musical life less ordinary – providing, of course, you like it like that. If not, buy a super-neutral solid-stater. “

CANOR TP134, HI-FI WORLD, „Commitment anxiety“, Rod Alexander, April 2013

„With wonderfully transparency, and none of the exggerated lushness of triode connected EL34 designs, this is an amplifier for lovers of valves, but with a level of robustness, reliability and operational sophistification that puts many solid state power amps to shame. It´s hard to imagine a better introduction to valve amplification. The commitment-phobic should take note…“

CANOR CD2 VR+, HI-FI WORLD, „East to West“, Tony Bolton, March 2012

„But I will say that it proved to be one of the most musically convincing players that I have ever heard, and one that has made my CD collection more enjoyable to listen to than nearly any other player that I have encountered. As such, it is unequivocally recommended.“

CANOR TP106 VR+, Hi-Fi Choice, „Heavy metal“, Ed Selley, January 2012

„For the most part however, this is a sensational performer that does a great many things extremely well.“ What the Canor offers is the timing, bass extension and general even handedness of a solid-state amplifier, coupled with an extraordinary lucidity and sweetnes that solid-state designs will struggle to match. This is a very fine amplifier indeed.“

„Big Audio Integrated Valve“ TNT (UK), Mark Wheeler – Reviewed: March – April 2010

„The high end integrated amplifier remains an unusual product, such is the conservatism of audiophiles. The Canor Precision Tube Amplifier TP106 VR+ demonstrates the viability of the format.“ „The great quality possessed by the Canor Precision Tube Amplifier TP106 VR+ is its ability to create the ‘you are there’ delusion as well as any amplification I have encountered before. The spectacular scale of the soundstage (not some phoney pin point imagery illusion) might be greatness enough, but the stability of the soundstage builds on this quality equally impressively.“ „Furthermore, the pitch of every note is clearly defined, evenhandedly across the spectrum; there’s no false emphasis to trick the listener into I’ve never heard that with any other brand moments. In this respect it is a truly great design and manufacturing achievement that the Canor TP106VR+ is as convincing as a pair of monoblocks.“

„Canor CD-2 VR+ + TP-106 VR+“,HIGH FIDELITY (PL), Wojciech Pacuła – Reviewed: March 2010

„Energy of its presentation is simply amazing!“ „I remember very well quite emotional phone call from Radek Łabanowski, an editor from „Audio”, who was responsible for conducting all measurements for reviews, and called me to share the big news regarding Canor’s TP-106 VR amp, that he was just testing. It offered so low distortions, noise floor, so equal run of frequency range that it made to the very top ones among all devices he measured before.“ „Zdenek’s devices have the ability of great differentiation of tone and timbre of instruments. Specially this first ability is not that common not even among quite expensive systems.“ „When I took a look inside the device all I could say was: „what a beauty!”

„Catching Sound“ MUSIC EMOTION (NL), Jan de Jeu – Reviewed: February 2010

„With these CD – player and integrated Ampflifier gives this at the moment relative unknown Canor a powerfull calling card. It is unthin-kable that the brand could not conquer a place in the audio market in the Netherlands. The quality, the design and the sound are from a level that the askingprice justifies without and even far beyond. It makes me curious about the other product of this manufacturer.“

“East Life” Hi-Fi WORLD, David Price – Reviewed: February 2008

“Slovakia isn’t exactly synonymous with serious hi-fi separates, so its all the more surprising that Edgars CD1 is such an impressive CD player” “Valve output CD players can sometimes be rather hair-shirt in nature, but this player proved to be quite the opposite. It was tightly engineered, especially in terms of distortion and dynamic range, which are areas where valve players usually display small, if inconsequential, blemishes.”

“Vocals loomed with warmth and body from a truly black silence”

HIFI NEWS - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AWARD:

VERDICT: "Built in a way that inspires confidence, and behaving impeccably in use, the Canor TP306 VR+ certainly puts up a strong argument for tubes. Sonically, especially on movingcoil, it has a hint of character that subtly seems to flesh the sound out, and even if it seems to lack the ultra-detailing of the best solid-state phono amps, it can make most of them sound a little cool and almost impersonal".

See PDF copy of great review: 
http://www.canor-audio.com/?p=1511

You can hear the inside of his guitar," was my partner's comment on hearing the Lighnin' Hopkins you are there recording Goin' Away through the full Canor TP306+ system
Mark Wheeler
Canor take it from the bridge

"You can hear the inside of his guitar," was my partner's comment on hearing the Lighnin' Hopkins you are there recording Goin' Away through the full Canor TP306+ phono front end, heard through Hammer Dynamics bass-mids and B&C DE-400TN-8 detailing the top end via Litz wired crossovers. "You know just what I mean; that's the great thing about metaphor," she added. "Indeed it is", your old scribe responds, knowing that recent fmri research indicates that more areas of the brain light up when metaphor is used or understood by test subjects than any other form of communication. This metaphor says it all.

Hence, this metaphor communicates more about the Canor Precision Tube Phono Amplifier TP306 VR+ than a raft of measurements or a page of purple prose description. It is not measurable, it is a special quality preserved by the all valve reproduction chain from Sam "Lighnin" Hopkin's valve microphone in 1963, the all valve Ampex 300, rebuilt for Doug Sax's remastering through an all valve cutting lathe to a 200g pressing heard through the Canor (née Edgar) all valve system direct to our ears.

It wasn't easy getting the system to this stage. The review sample of the Canor Precision Tube Phono Amplifier TP306 VR+ was no straight out of the box plug'n'play exercise. The TP 306 VR+ did not arrive with the previously reviewed Canor Precision Tube Amplifier TP106 VR+ and Precision Tube CD Player CD2 VR+, but came from the first batch produced, black finished and with the demand that it be collected in only 2 weeks after arrival. With its octal tubes, couture capacitors and substantial power supply there's be barely time to burn in and settle the sound before a quick listen and off it goes. With only 2 weeks to review the Canor the usual full range of tests and comparisons will not be available, dear reader.

"What's the point of the review then?" demand plebs chorus, stage left, "How will we know whether to inconvenience ourselves enough to audition this rare objet d'art?"

Unlike the amplifier and CD player, the Canor TP306 VR+ comes with valves un-installed, every valve was housed in its manufacturer's packet clearly numbered and every valve socket on the phono pre-amplifier's boards was numbered too. I tried the unit with it's heavy steel cover on and off during the run in period to establish whether the shielding and isolation of this ferrous Faraday cage outweighs the disadvantages of the metal coffin. 

 
The main amplifying devices in the Canor Precision Tube Phono Amplifier TP306 VR+ are the famously lush 6SL7GT octal valves. Octal valves (so called for their 8 pins) are much larger than the B9a equivalents. The pin circle diameter of an octal is 17.45mm (IEC 67) while the B9a is just 11.89mm. This allows much more room in the glass envelope (GT=Glass Tube) for a bigger assembly of plates, heaters and getters (for some reason getters are far more common in octal audio valves) and is the reason that crosstalk between sections of double triodes is much worse (often less than -60dB) of B9a based double triodes like the ECC** family. However, the bigger, separate Bakelite based, large pin, octals are not universally superior. The octal small-signal triodes are notoriously microphonic compared with their B9a equivalents. A well reputed UK SET designer's immediate comment to me when he heard your old scribe was building a balanced phono stage with octals was "I wouldn't do that; they're too microphonic; stick to the ECC83". Your old scribe still chose the octals on sound quality grounds so I respect Canor's decision to work with the 6SL7, which also has a reputation among some American audiophiles as the finest phono pre-amplifier gain device. Hence, the choice between glass envelope sizes is not so clear cut and special measures may need to be taken to protect the valves from vibration.
 
The Canor Precision Tube Phono Amplifier TP306 VR+ tops their range of phono stages, described as the "Reference" adding Mundorf caps in the signal path and that promised extra vibration isolation. The TP206+ is their entry modele is an all valve phono stage for MM & MC cartridges. Even this base model features high-quality Teflon insulated metal RCA connectors, and well regulated HT (B+) to minimise noise and ensure more than adequate current delivery and a moving coil step up transformer to this recipe and, in common with the plus (+) specifications throughout the Canor range, includes Mundorf capacitors from Germany. Avoiding global feedback and using passive RIAA EQ between amplification stages puts greater demands on the selection of valves to ensure both channels are identical. The TP306 VR+ gains tighter valve specs, higher spec Mundorf caps, Lundahl step-up transformer and should have additional vibration isolation. With time constraints preventing proper testing of the MC input and the vibration isolation measures absent from the review sample, 
 
[tube tester 1] [tube tester 1]
Canor pre-condition all the valves in their products and test them on their own proprietary TTM device, a policy they had to instigate due the the inconsistent quality of modern and NOS (New Old Stock) valves. These processes establish whether the valves meet their basic electrical performance criteria and also enable Canor to match them in pairs for consistent inter-channel performance. Canor also select the brand of valve that suits each circuit position, a technique I first witnessed employed by Doug Dunlop of Concordant over 20 years ago. Some designers of valve amplification believe that particular tube types should never be repeated in successive stages in any system to prevent their character dominating, while others believe that this is less important as long as different brands (and their different internal constructions) are varied and optimised for each circuit position. Some brands of valve are reputed to work best at very low signal levels while others excel in later higher signal amplification stages. Canor choose the more precise sounding Sovtek 6SL7 at the input of the Canor TP306 VR+ and the more euphonic modern Russian Tung Sol in the second gain stage between the passive RIAA sections. These Tung Sol's are the big offenders in the microphony stakes, one (right channel) being much worse than the other.
 
Until a second, fully specified sample of the Canor Precision Tube Phono Amplifier TP306 VR+ arrives in the TNT-audio test bunker, first impressions will have to count and there will not be time to test the amazing range of cartridge loading and gain options. Yes indeed, this is an all valve stand alone phono stage with the full range of input options we come to expect from high end solid state devices and just a handful of valve products. At this price competition is rarefied and fierce so Canor will need to offer something special to compete with established benchmarks from ancient legends like the Marantz 7C, merely venerable like the Audio Research SP11, and more recent like the ARC PH7 (nearly $6k) or it's kid sibling the ARC PH5 (around $2k), or the recently reviewed AAAVT (Yaqim) MS-12B weighing in at a mere 390€. and even the built in phono sections of classics like the old Audio Research SP11, Jadis JP-80, Concordant Excelsior, (some with active feedback EQ stages, some with passive filter poles like the Canor) and hybrids like the Manley Steelhead ($7k+) and ARC PH7 (valve regulated, valve gain with an added solid state stage) Even thorough comparison with the solid state Aqvox 2Ci, popular with tnt-audio.com scribes, cannot be done justice with a wide enough range of material in the time available.
 
The compressed time scale is such a pity as this phono stage promises so much. If I had been approached to design a single ended phono stage I would have connected the cartridge loading resistor straight to the grid of the perfect valve for the job, the 6SL7. Not to be confused with the ubiquitous octal, 6SN7 (the CV181 variant of which was reviewed in these pages), the 6SL7 has a reputation for TONE in the sense that guitarists use the term. The 6SL7's reputation was already the stuff of legend 20 years ago in the days of Sound Practices valve hedonism and is located in this very position in my own yet to be powered up breadboard DIY design. So your old scribes buttons are being pressed already. Having got some gain to the moving magnet output output the filter, why should RIAA equalisation (EQ) be handled by passive poles rather than feedback round the gain device (the 6SL7 in this case)? Because at ultra low signal levels the dominant narrative in some circles is that feedback EQ screws up the timing or generates TID (Transient intermodulation Distortion). Having said this, your old scribes favourite phono stages fall equally into the passive EQ/active feedback camps. Likewise your scribes favourites include Naim K boards alongside the valves, to the extent of owning two custom power supplies for one pair of them.
 
Sadly you won't read any comparisons using the now infamous judging system because this review sample (finished in black) has to go to a customer within 2 weeks. Hopefully a second sample might be forthcoming to make these comparisons and try the various gain and loading options. The first limitation obvious before being plugged in is that only 47kΩ is available on the moving magnet (MM) input, although 3 parallel capacitances are available. Generally, to flatten the response of a moving magnet cartridge above the midband up to the tip mass resonance, from about 2kHz to 20kHz, requires juggling of resistance and capacitance, Decca cartridges benefiting, in my experience, with 22kΩ, Shure M97 range from 33kΩ, and others like certain high inductance models from high Z. However, the Canor Precision Tube Phono Amplifier TP306 VR+ phonostage does offer a wide choice of loads and gains for the moving coil input. The extra gain for moving coil (MC) cartridges comes from a transformer. Valves capable of handling such low signal voltages, without overwhelming the tiny signals with noise, are rare as hen's teeth hence the choice of solution falls either to a transformer or an extra solid state stage. Canor take the transformer option but in the time available for this evaluation it just wasn't possible to change cartridge to rate the transformer's quality. All transformers have individual character depending on the design and materials.
 
Vinyl records are recorded with pre-emphasis of 6dB/8ve EQ around 3 frequencies, the high frequencies boosted and the low frequencies cut. The low frequency EQ allows reasonable levels to be cut on the disc without the wiggles being too big for the cartridge to follow and to allow about 25 minutes to an LP side, hence it is a constant amplitude (theoretical) cut from 50Hz to 500Hz. The only frequency where the phono amplifier must be linear gain as specified is at approximately 1000Hz as the low filter pole is below 500Hz and the high filter pole at 2122Hz. The high frequencies are cut with a boost to enable the signal level to be high enough not to be overwhelmed by noise, pre-emphasis from 2122 Hz. This gives time constants of 75uS (2123Hz) and 318uS (500Hz) another one to reduce rumble at 3180uS (50Hz) was sometimes adopted in the Western hemisphere by about the 1970s but some CCIR discs were still being made in the Eastern block, geographically where the Canor is made, until very recently. A fourth filter pole has been proposed (most vocally by Allen Wright of VSE) at 50kHz to counterbalance the natural roll-off of most cutting lathes. So the phono pre-amplifier job includes not only the task of raising the signal from 5mV (MM) or micro-Volts (MC) but also of de-emphasis of the cartridge output by the inverse of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) recording equalisation curve. Inversion EQ circuits range from the simple 3 caps and 4 resistors to ludicrously complicated active circuits; accuracy is paramount as instrumental timbre is rendered unrecognisable by inaccurate RIAA EQ.
 
[curves]
Older records had a variety of EQ arrangements, which some specialist collectors would need, but most of us will never encounter anything other than the RIAA of the Canor. Designing a phono pre-amplifier is probably the toughest assignment in audio electronics. It is a tough act to juggle the requirements of EQ, gain, noise, complexity and cost in a unit that consumers only notice now that they're not included onboard every integrated amplifier. Furthermore over half the gain in a MC cartridge turntable based system resides in this little box. Hence the phono stage has the capacity to screw up the whole sound of a disc replay system irredeemably. The phono pre-amplifier is the gateway between the turntable and the rest of the system, the more accurate the tonal balance and the wider the opening (dynamic range and S/N ratio) the better. The Canor TP306 VR+ circuit looks designed to maximise dynamic range. The only ways S/N ratio (SNR, signal to noise ratio, or music to noise in this instance) could be obviously improved would be vibration isolation or a balanced, or 'difference' circuit.
 
INSTALLATION
 
Hence for this review additional vibration control measures have had to be installed. Pearl Valve dampers have been fitted to every valve in the Canor TP306 VR+. The TP306 VR+ is supported by four Yamamoto MGB-2 magnetic floating bases standing on a Something Solid Dissipating shelf, which is mounted on a XR4 rack, which in turn stands on four Missing Link Feet. All this and the TP306 VR+ is still highly microphonic and further investigation reveals that the signal boards (separate for each channel) are screwed firmly to the chassis base, such that they are in tension. Hence, like any flexible (both PCB and chassis) arrangement held in tension, they ring like bells. Indeed the dong and bong of these boards is perfectly coupled to both pairs of 6SL7 and also the 6922, to ensure that every nuance of this vibration is perfectly manifested in valve microphony.
 
The TP306 VR+ is placed on the top shelf of the Something Solid XR4 rack, which remains the reference isolation rack, isolating each shelf from the others. The supplied IEC kettle lead remains in its packaging and the test was conducted with the RMS Mainline lead as the least likely to bridge the extra vibration isolation measures being very flexible. Naturally the TP306 VR+ is CE marked and RHOS2002 compliant (hence using lead free solder which I find sounds better than the old tin-lead mixes) this phono pre-amplifier arrived equally well packed as its recently reviewed siblings.
 
……..Reviewer: Mark Wheeler - TNT UK
the Canor TP-10 has proven to be the result of much thought and planning because this is one hybrid design that truly works.
Paul Rigby - The Audiophile Man

REVIEW SUMMARY: Sometimes, hybrid solid state/valve designs can clash in their inherent philosophies or end up offering a wishy-washy aural mess but the design of the Canor TP-10 has proven to be the result of much thought and planning because this is one hybrid design that truly works. Because of the issues with the power supply and the chassis, I wonder if the potential of the TP-10 has actually been reached. For now, it offers a tight, punchy bass but set within a delicate, airy soundstage. The TP-10 successfully combines toughness and delicacy providing a big sound for, in relative terms, not very much money.

EXTENDED REVIEW: The popularity of headphones as a genre seems to continue unabated and is reflected in the continuing appearance of hardware devoted to the genre. Canor is a prime example of how the hi-fi industry is establishing a reinvigorated headphone lineage by refining and improving upon its established SH-1 headphone amplifier. Although, for the designer, Zdenek Brezovjak, the impetus for the TP-10 was initially more self-serving, “I wanted to listen to music so that I would not disturb the people around me. In the evenings, when I would work on designs on the computer, I wanted the freedom to listen to music of good quality. That's when the idea to make our own headamp struck me.”

Improvements to the initial SH-1 design are many and begin in the power supply, although the 16V, 1A transformer in the form of a wall wart found as part of the TP-10 package is apparently not one of them. We have to look inside the chassis for that, “The circuit that creates the anode voltage has been improved,” said the designer, Zdenek Brezovjak. “Also, we retained the wall wart to distance the transformer from the PCB components to avoid electromagnetic interference.”

The core of the improvements, however, revolves round the PCB and how it is treated during construction, “We approach all the solutions as precise as we can, and we always strive to get ‘blood from a stone’ from a given solution,” commented Brezovjak. Known as CMT (Canor PCB Milling Technology), each PCB is milled to improve the dielectric of the board itself, “Within a hard-wired circuit board, you can use high quality cabling which can feature an efficient ‘air’ dielectric to improve sound quality.

This is fine but the use of hard wiring on a circuit board has limits in terms of precision of the layout. You end up with spaghetti wiring all over the place with no consistency and lots of stray electromagnetic fields hanging around. CMT removes part of the PCB itself to reduce the dielectric coefficient of the circuit board. Doing it this way improves the accuracy and consistency of placement while approaching direct wired, low resistance and dielectric-coefficient audio cable.”

Other improvements to the TP-10 include packing Burr-Brown Op-amps and polypropylene capacitors into the chassis. The TP10 is a hybrid design and, for the valve element, the new design includes a 12AT7 input tube instead of the SH-1’s 12AX7, “The hybrid design originated as a trade-off between sound quality and price. If we wanted to manufacture an all-valve system and have the option to connect low impedance headphones, the price would have trebled,” said Brezovjak.

Canor takes the valve element of the TP-10 very seriously. In fact, the valves are extensively tested by the company’s own Aladdin II system and then burned in by another in-house system, the BT-2.

The TP-10 arrived in a silver and black chassis that rings like a bell — most disconcerting. Again, for the price, I would have expected something a little more acoustically neutral. As it is, that chassis weighs in at 3kg without the power supply and spans 210x88x295mm, features a volume knob and full size headphone socket on the front alongside a push button power switch while, on the rear is a pair of inputs and a pair of outputs along with a socket for the power supply.

SOUND QUALITY

Using my Sennheiser HD800 headphones plugged into an Icon HP8 Mk.II headphone amplifier as a reference and spinning the original version of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s ‘Tribal Statistics’ from the 1983 album, ‘Somewhere In Afrika’, the most obvious sonic change when listening to the Canor was the impact of the lower frequencies.

Bass was tight and hard. In fact, I almost felt that I had been mugged by it as soon as the track began, walloping me over the head with its powerful attack. Bass punches its way through the track, giving it forward momentum. I was surprised, however, to experience such a wide soundstage from the Canor. There is an enormous amount of space afforded to the TP-10 soundstage that helps the instrumentalists to relax into their performance. You never feel, at any time, that the band suffers from a lack of elbow room which allows the song to be delivered with an ease. This allows the ear to hear more from each instrument, providing a 3D view of the presentation.

As such, secondary rhythmic instruments, such as synths, have a more prominent role in the mix while the guitar is played with freedom and a carefree approach. The lead vocal, though, continued to be even and free flowing with a smoothness that promoted a comfortable delivery.  

Changing to jazz and Ella Fitzgerald’s interpretation of Bewitched from the Speakers Corner audiophile reissue of The Rodgers and Hart Song Book, the bass was a notable part of the mix and one that, not surprisingly, is a significant change from a typical valve reference. The lower frequency extension provided a rhythmic drive to the track, adding depth and richness to the presentation.

Fitzgerald’s delivery was also particularly open and airy in its tone. The Canor’s midrange capability provided a large capacity for complex frequencies to be extended without any sign of compression or bloom. Upper mids had a particularly natural tonal aspect with piano providing a natural flow to the melody while the percussion, languid and unhurried on this track, was informative with extra detail on the brushstrokes.

Guitar meanwhile had a more significant role in the progression of the song. It seemed, in fact, that a sonic ceiling, that can often be heard on this track, giving a claustrophobia to the soundstage was, with the Canor, effectively removed allowing much more space and flow to the track. As for the soundstage itself, there was a more structured, less intimate effect that only served to give the performers room to manoeuvre.

Moving to CD and my Densen two box B-475, I inserted The Beatles’ Anthology I CD and selected Free As A Bird. Right from the off, the Canor proved to be dynamically exciting with Ringo Starr’s drum strikes being sharp, hard and characterful, confidently announcing the opening of the song. As a contrast, within the upper mids, the acoustic guitar strumming proved to be full and rich, giving the impression that it contained far more strings than it did.  

In fact, midrange proved to be spacious and airy but there was also plenty of attention to detail from the TP-10. For example, Paul McCartney’s vocal solo offered appreciable etched detail which gave the delivery more emotive emphasis.

This also enabled the rhythm guitar to promote a greater melodic flow and clarity was extended to George Harrison’s electric guitar solo where each note was rounded and distinctive. Intriguingly, the minor role of the synth, there to prove a fuller sound to the rhythm section, was more noticeable and forward in the mix as was John Lennon’s final sample vocal on the outro, where has says, “Made by John Lennon” over the George Harrison ukulele (which is “Turned out nice again” when played backwards!)

Turning to Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras and backed by the Huddersfield Choral Society, the grand scale of the vocal on Behold the Lamb of God and Felicity Palmer’s aria, He was despised, was impressive. The soundstage provided a rich swell that was uplifting. The inherent air and space that was infused via the TP-10 added an ethereal element that gave a lightness to big, bold vocal movements. Yet, the music was grounded by the string backing from the Royal Philharmonic orchestra that tied the vocals together, adding structure and depth while upper orchestral bass provided a welcome prominence that added solidity to the arrangement.

CONCLUSION

Sometimes, hybrid solid state/valve designs can clash in their inherent philosophies or end up offering a wishy-washy aural mess but the design of the Canor TP-10 has proven to be the result of much thought and planning because this is one hybrid design that truly works. Because of the issues with the power supply and the chassis, I wonder if the potential of the TP-10 has actually been reached. For now, it offers a tight, punchy bass but set within a delicate, airy soundstage. The TP-10 successfully combines toughness and delicacy providing a big sound for, in relative terms, not very much money.

TP10 proudly hoisted pole position of our recommendations in terms of headphone amp to less than € 1,000.
Oliver @ Tupper.Wav

REVIEW SUMMARY: As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, finding the right headphone amp that accords with good headphones, often the responsibility of an insoluble quest and very expensive. Canor provides a solution by offering material that passes the near-miracle to know magnify "small" headphones, such as a K701 or Beyerdynamic DT880, but also to be able to tame monsters such as Audeze LCD3 or Fostex TH900, through intermediaries such as headphones Sennheiser HD800 Beyerdynamic T1 or for example! Few products on the market can boast of this, and some we know the price of TP10! It will always be possible to find an amp that will go further with a particular helmet, but it will then be ready to put often much more expensive for a gain which will not be provided proportional.

EXTENDED REVIEW: At Tupperwav, we like to test the headphone amplifiers. We like this because it is always something that we expect a lot but unfortunately I must admit, often gives us very little.Even the most discerning music lover is often a lot of confusion when it comes to the choice because it is saturated with products mostly from Asia (some of which are quite excellent), and among whom some UFOs float manufactured in Europe or the United States. Both say that when we had the opportunity to test a Slovakian amp, from a rather confidential brand, it greatly aroused our curiosity and we do not hide our pleasure!

Reflections on the market for headphone amps

Before talking about the Canor TP10 to itself and to deliver our conclusions about him, it seems interesting to make a quick inventory of the market which ultimately relates more music lovers as it seems.

When it is desired to integrate the headphone in a stereo environment, regardless of the level of demand, two scenarios are possible:

  • - No headphone jack is available on any of the elements that make up the installation.
  • - One of the things we already have has a headphone jack (source, amplifier ...)

In the first case no doubt will require the acquisition of a dedicated headphone amp, and then the debate will focus on the level range that is to be acquired, and this according to his expectations, headset etc ...

In the second case however, if the trend is the systematic recommendation of a dedicated headphone amp, the arguments will be more worked to convince the contribution of this specialised element vs.integrated outputs, reads often "are not always so bad as that," which is perfectly true, no offense to some.

Aware of this two-speed problem, many manufacturers have stepped in this market niche but certainly real, and offer all products at least on paper, to revolutionise the headphones compared to the miserable integrated source of all evils in the solar system output (at least).

It is clear that unfortunately, for trying and owned many amps and different helmets, especially from the Asian scene seemingly "cheap", the reality is quite different. We mean by grinding teeth (in F minor please), but it is a fact:

Many helmets strictly amplifiers bring anything in terms of sound quality, and are content to be taken helmets, neither better nor worse than those included when available (and whose quality varies greatly from an electronics brand to another, of course). It is said.

Far be it from us to cast aspersions on the Asian market as a whole, there are brands and products quite remarkable, we have also tested a recently but it must still be recognised that many devices are strictly useless. 

Returning to our initial hypothesis, this fact can satisfy people who want ultimately a "connector to plug in the headphones." It will however highly discouraging for those seeking a real contribution in addition to simple connections with a view to get the best out of his helmet and / or its source.

 Yet most music lovers and people who are interested in hi-fi and more particularly to headphone listening, repeating insistently: a dedicated amp is a definite plus and can significantly magnify many common helmets of the market.

So who is right and who is wrong? Are audiophiles once again victims of dubious concept like ionic air pulsation tuner lateralised?

Yes, a headphone amplifier, it is useful

For our part, we are fully convinced that a headphone amplifier is actually essential to exploit the potential of his equipment, the only condition not to succumb to the siren song of mercantile us are drinking messages with smooth-talking in superlatives all kinds, but trying instead to find products that bring some real thing ... That is, for example by reading Tupperwav.

Because, yes, there are good products, serious, developed by passionate teams who love music and who know their craft. But it turns out that products that meet this level of qualities often pose two major constraints:

  • Their price (often -très- high)
  • - The fact that they work well with some helmets and no or less well with others.

But bad experiences with any hardware will quickly discourage the most enthusiastic, which will quickly say "we do not repeat it."

Five minute break and resume. The toilet is down the hall on the right.

The highly complex issue of pairing

Let us leave aside for the moment the financial issues. The problem of association is a classic hi-fi and concerns all links in the chain, but is particularly fraught with consequences in the field of headphone listening, primarily because the sanction of an error can be severe, but mostly because we may have to change quite frequently helmet if you have chosen this type of listener. Thus many people are not willing to spend the money (sometimes significant) required for a high-end amp, since they are not insured just the right choice today with some headphones will always be the right choice tomorrow with another helmet.

 Electrodynamic, orthodynamiques, open, closed, high impedance, low impedance, tend to "hot" or conversely "analytical", the helmet market is more bloated than ever. Let us go to some playful caricatures by listing the most common urban legends:

  • - A tube amp is ideal for "warm" and "round" slightly dry sounds in the upper frequency and / or considered in the severe anemia.
  • - A transistor amp is perfect where clarity is required and when dealing with headphones rather "round", which wants to "energise" a little.

If the idea is deliberately a tad cartoonish, yet we see flourish an important offer "small" amps, have a lamp or two (or more ...) that no exactly measure the contribution given the overall scheme of the device, but that will be a pledge of "warmth" to the beloved Grado that we just bought, "but we would like still down a bit the top of the spectrum". The result will unfortunately often not up to the hopes and amounts committed badly invested.

Conversely, some amplifiers originally intended for the professional market transistors (Lake People and range Gxxx for example), see audiophile vocation (Burson Audio random) see themselves dressed with a label amp "neutral", gold this concept seems to be almost ineffable too often confused with that of drought. Finally, if one believes the large current thinking, we have the choice between the tubes to end the round the upper midrange and low end or transistors to the contrary tend towards this "pseudo-neutrality" that person knows exactly what it is, but that seems often hide excessive degreasing wish more than anything.

 

Unfortunately, all this is extremely gear because when we consider well-designed models in two families, one finds for example that the interest of the tubes feels much on providing a dynamic and a "grain" more or less sensitive to the overall range, as possible "heat" that will artificially often as the result of a biased implementation, and in which the role of the unfortunate tube will be difficult to identify. Similarly, our unfortunate transistors dressed in a military-righteousness are often capable of sweetness and musicality without necessarily going through dry sounds like the desert, again far too artificial.

You will therefore understand, the sound of a serious and thoughtful amp relies less on being lamps or transistors on how the components of any kind are implemented. C ' is this and this alone that need attention.

Canor TP10: hybrid, you said hybrid?

The Canor TP10 is an amp-called "hybrid". This means that it is based on a transistor-based scheme and an input tube (12AT7 a double triode Electro Harmonix). With what we just were talking about above, you will be tempted to say "in fact, we do not care!" And you'd be right! The TP10 is an amp that has a signature sound and data performance, and as it is part of the category of products designed for the music lover with a true research is the result that we will pay attention, mocking the rest ! That being said, it is clear that the tube provides a field of special opportunities, like the transistor, and the fact of combining the two makes some really interesting combinations.

You are probably wondering why we bother to do this lengthy discussion of the theoretical approach that often accompanies the acquisition of a headphone amp? The answer is obvious:

Because the Canor TP10 totally confuses the issue by offering a truly original product, its main feature being to be good, very good to see, with all the headsets we tested.

And believe us, it does not happen often, if not ever! Whether it is "small" entry level headphones or real superstars, our TP10 escaped with honors. Maryse and yes, it's quite incredible.

In our plays different sessions, we were able to implement it with a Shure SRH-940, an AKG Q701, the Beyerdynamic DT880 & T70p, the Grado PS 500 & PS1000, a Sennheiser HD800, a Ultrasone Edition 10, a Denon 7100 and even a Audeze LCD3 and Fostex TH900 - both reputedly rather complicated to driver. All these helmets offer different personalities, are at varied range of levels, yet the result was good in all the cases, including for Audeze and TH900.

 

Let's be clear, this does not absolutely mean that other amps specifically chosen for a particular model of headphones can not go further, but it means instead that the versatility of the TP10 makes it virtually able to function and provide something with virtually any headphones. We certainly did not tested all models in the market, but our panel already seems very representative of much of what is done now. "Operate", what does that mean?

 This is a great question, thank you for asking. Overall, we believe that a quality amp must address a gain in at least three areas:

  • - Keep the low and medium registers low to avoid resonance effects so fashionable in recent years on hardware (sometimes deliberately) flawed. We look here voltage and material. The result will be weighted by the nature and capacity of course helmet, but it is healthy that the amp does not provide a stain on this point.
  • - To sing the high midrange and treble registers, avoiding the effects of excessive brightness that are as revealing details of fireworks at the expense of musicality. A challenge to be very close link with the headset used.
  • - Offering a refined sound stage (if registration is up, of course) and detailed, but do not do too much.

And it is there that the TP10 has greatly surprised us because it offers it all. It certainly does not reach the level of excellence of some other more expensive amplifiers in particular areas, but it remains perfectly coherent.

  • The low end is tight, genuine, very well kept (the TH-900 has proven to us!) Without taking precedence over the rest. This is not a "Basseux" amp. He "mastering" the register to great effect by bringing out lots of details often hidden by weakness at this level. Perhaps we could enjoy with a few really "dry" helmets a little more punch.
  • The upper medium and high end are singing, rich and articulated without ever creating any squeaking effect, while the stamps are rich in material and details. Again, it is a master's dominant impression. The details are present, without being obsessive.
  • The scene is rendered perfectly laterally and on the front-back axis, but without overdoing it, which is very suitable for a little too generous helmets on the subject, such as the K701 or HD800.

Ok, so this is the perfect amp ...?

 Everyone will have to equip, can be closed ...? Absolutely not.

What we want to highlight, however, is that this is an amp that is extremely versatile - and if you were to retain only one thing, whether that. A model 100% or 100% tubes transistor equivalent tariff (or even more expensive) give more with such a helmet in a particular area, it is very likely, but he will be able to receive another helmet and just after to do as well? Nothing is less certain.

It really is this versatility that has seduced us with the TP10, because we are nice to finally recommend a material that must not be systematically resold to change each helmet, though, we repeat, the approach "amp = a helmet" is obviously an ideal solution for enthusiasts who want to go to the end of the end of the process.

An exemplary build quality

Canor designs and manufactures its amplifiers so hand in Slovakia. Given the rate at which the TP10 is proposed, there is a serious contender for the Asian market equivalent range, especially as manufacturing quality suffers no default, yet you can trust us, we searched !

The housing is made of fine quality metal granita, while the facade is thick and perfectly machined. But more significant still, the commissioning button does not have the slightest millimeter of game, like the outside of the volume knob (a K27 ALPS, by the way ...). These are often revealing details of the care taken in the realisation of a device of this type, and here is faultless.

The connectors on the back are also of good quality, and present them either no play, while being perfectly aligned. Only the electrical connections is slightly upset the overall impression, since food is separated and that therefore there is to connect an external transformer. That said, this is also an advantage since it avoids proximity of an integrated block with the rest of the assembly, thus avoiding many of Interference Problems. Furthermore, the transformer supplied may also be replaced by a more powerful model. It's the same inside where all welds are clean, and the pool is well appointed.The tube is carefully placed at the end to not broadcast its heat to the center.

The device is a great achievement that sit proudly and unashamedly among other hi-fi elements of the house.

Jack finally taken, provides a solid and exemplary maintenance, that do not fear a premature wear.The attention to detail goes into the four lovely quality rubber feet that avoid uncontrolled slippage, while significantly reducing vibration, always harmful particularly in electronic involving tubes.

A service support height

Concerned about the sustainability of our purchases and seriousness of the actors involved in the distribution of the products we test and recommend if any, we wanted to obtain information about the potential service on TP10, given its unusual provenance. When asked about this, Pierre Paya, SiteHelmets Headphones-assured us that the importer proves to be quite responsive and efficient, so here we are reassured.

Furthermore, we draw your attention to a very important point: compliance with the safety standards of the European Community. These stringent criteria have been established to ensure consumer safety for all products manufactured or imported in the member states. It is not a question of an "option" but a requirement which, if not met, may result in sometimes dramatic consequences. The physical risks to people, of course, with no support for claims by insurance companies but also and especially the extended responsibility of the person who brought the nonconforming product in France EVEN IF RESALE .

The Canor TP10 is manufactured in Europe and found to comply with these standards as evidenced by the letters "CE" mark on its back. In this regard, China operates a logo very similar in design but which means "China Export" ... However, all with CE devices actually do not use the official logo, probably by omission, which makes them things sometimes complicated. An information taken from the importer if in doubt remains the best solution.

Regrets ?

To say that the TP10 is a heart stroke is an understatement. All those who tested it in writing have been seduced by its performance and versatility. During our listening session we had several online systems, including a Stax together a Beyerdynamic A1 ... He never disappointed us.

The only small regret envisaged may lie in the closed mode chosen, and that makes it not easy-rolling tube. On the other hand, even with the original tube, performance is such that it is ultimately a half regret.

Marketed around € 850, the TP10 proudly hoisted pole position of our recommendations in terms of headphone amp to less than € 1,000. If the sum may still seem high, for example in the context of a first acquisition, it must be understood that we are not dealing here with a simple "headphone" more or less decorated as is all too often the case, but a stereo camera that will enter the ground floor in high-end and take full advantage of its source and his helmet while being able to follow future developments (and c 'This is probably the most important).

As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, finding the right headphone amp that accords with good headphones, often the responsibility of an insoluble quest and very expensive. Canor provides a solution by offering material that passes the near-miracle to know magnify "small" headphones, such as a K701 or Beyerdynamic DT880, but also to be able to tame monsters such as Audeze LCD3 or Fostex TH900, through intermediaries such as headphones Sennheiser HD800 Beyerdynamic T1 or for example! Few products on the market can boast of this, and some we know the price of TP10! It will always be possible to find an amp that will go further with a particular helmet, but it will then be ready to put often much more expensive for a gain which will not be provided proportional.

The TP306 VR+ finds the ideal synthesis from elegance and strength for every tonearm pickup.
Thomas Schmidt -(translation from German LP magazine)

REVIEW SUMMARY: Next to the performance of the singers you get a lot of extra information: breath and lip sounds and small variations in the timbre as well as the used echo effects. The tubes often rumored “whitewashing” can’t be heard here – the music has verve and character. Another strength is the clean separation between voices or instruments within a wide but still clearly defined reproduction zone – but despite all this airiness there is still cohesion between the musicians.

So the TP306 VR plus finds the ideal synthesis from elegance and strength for every tonearm pickup...

Through its many connection options you can connect nearly all pickups which were ever built to the Canor TP306 plus. It converts the technical flexibility and maturity in an absolutely outstanding reproducing quality.

EXTENDED REVIEW: The Canor it’s not about setting prices that are too high for normal people. OK you can see it elsewhere but to lovingly refine a small range of payable devices. From time to time we tested tube amplifiers from Canor sporadically – beginning with a pretty, but still a little bit immaturity full amplifier in the early days of the LP to the small sister model of the big phono stage that is in our premises today.

You wouldn’t connect the tube amplifier at that time known under the name Edgar with Canor anymore. The baroque shapes with many chromed areas changed to a plain and elegant style of all current devices – small oddities in the handling to a clear concept. Even at this time the device was at a remarkable tonal level. Without checking it is claimed that this improved as well.

OEM production lines for other hifi producers make up a big part of the manufacturing capacity in the new built Canor factory. I don’t think there is a better business card. But let’s seriously start with our tester, the biggest of a total of three phono stages from Canor. All three are working with tubes in the MM section; all MC able devices use a Lundahl exchanger for the preamp of the low MC output voltage.

Like mentioned above, the TP306 VR plus is kept in the now classic Canor design – that means an aluminium front panel split by a curved acrylic stripe that we ordered in a matt black – the alternative is matt white. The rest of the chassis is made of a folded steel sheet that is welded on all abutting edges- this should last forever. Except for the front, all metal surfaces are powder coated in a way that creates much confidence in the stability of it.

For a phono preamp this is a quite massive casing which fits the width of the component of the own house. A look at the interior – and the technical information from the producer of course – tells us that the TP306 VR plus is a completely in tube technically built phono preamp. Even the rectification of the anode voltage is completed with a EZ81 tube while semiconductors are used for the stabilisation of the heating voltage.

The filtering of the high voltage is designed multistage and looks quite elaborate. The Canor works without negative feedback and with a purely passive RIAA distortion correction that is designed two stage – a total of four 65L7s take on the amplification at this point. Two double triodes from the type 6922 are inserted in the output stage so that it has a low enough ohm- value for longer cable routes.

The producer selects the inserted tubes before installation. That’s something that is sure by products from Canor because Canor made itself a name with self-made tube testers, which are meanwhile used by important producers worldwide. In contrast to the small preamp TP206, the 306 allows clearly more elaborate circuit modification options to the connected cartridge. The plus model signifies the use of high quality Mundorf capacitors in the signal path, in contrast to the normal TP306 which isn’t manufactured anymore – nice, that this is standard now.

Despite the effort, the two separately built circuit boards for the signal amplification and the power supply current are getting lost in the interior of the casing. That reduces disruptions as effective as the extra vibration damped circuit boards. The TP306 VR plus is in many ways adjustable to the connected pickup (s). the input capacitance for MM systems can be adjusted in four levels, but three worked with the lowest level the whole time. The amplification is 42 dB.

With a second pair of cinch bushings you can plug a MC system in parallel to the MM system which is switched by a toggle switch that is on the rear panel of the device as well as the dip switch for the modification options. Thus the Canor should be easy to reach if you change pickups often. I really like the extensive options for the MC branch which amplification depends on the selected transformer, 56, 62 or 68 dB and so prepared for every case.

Practically the lowest input impedance at the highest amplification is 5 ohm, while you can choose up to 5 kohm at the lowest amplification levels. Something else about the chosen transformer: we couldn’t feel an influence of the Lundahl transformer and we measured a wide usable range of frequencies. The 3 dB points for the MC range are at 25 Hz and 30 kHz - a really respectable range. The deep tones are firmly defined in both operating modes, but still very energetic – for example by good recorded rock drums, which the Canor reproduces without any sign of compression.

Much prettier and more elegant is the tonal range of a good recorded orchestra, where the contrabasses are building a trusting and stable fundament. But you can still locate musicians with deeper frequencies – important criteria for me. The same applies for the voice reproduction in the bass and middle frequency range. On the other hand, male voices are reproduced with strength and authority.

Next to the performance of the singers you get a lot of extra information: breath and lip sounds and small variations in the timbre as well as the used echo effects. The tubes often rumoured “whitewashing” can’t be heard here – the music has verve and character. Another strength is the clean separation between voices or instruments within a wide but still clearly defined reproduction zone – but despite all this airiness there is still cohesion between the musicians.

So the TP306 VR plus finds the ideal synthesis from elegance and strength for every tonearm pickup.

Conclusion

Through its many connection options you can connect nearly all pickups which were ever built to the Canor TP306 plus. It converts the technical flexibility and maturity in an absolutely outstanding reproducing quality.

Thomas Schmidt

Canor TP306 review (translation from German LP magazine)
Thomas Schmidt

CONCLUSION: Next to the performance of the singers you get a lot of extra information: breath and lip sounds and small variations in the timbre as well as the used echo effects. The tubes often rumoured “whitewashing” can’t be heard here – the music has verve and character. Another strength is the clean separation between voices or instruments within a wide but still clearly defined reproduction zone – but despite all this airiness there is still cohesion between the musicians. So the TP306 VR plus finds the ideal synthesis from elegance and strength for every tonearm pickup.Through its many connection options you can connect nearly all pickups which were ever built to the Canor TP306 plus. It converts the technical flexibility and maturity in an absolutely outstanding reproducing quality.

EXTENDED REVIEW: At Canor it’s not about setting prices that are too high for normal people. OK you can see it elsewhere but to lovingly refine a small range of payable devices. From time to time we tested tube amplifiers from Canor sporadically – beginning with a pretty, but still a little bit immaturity full amplifier in the early days of the LP to the small sister model of the big phono stage that is in our premises today.

You wouldn’t connect the tube amplifier at that time known under the name Edgar with Canor anymore. The baroque shapes with many chromed areas changed to a plain and elegant style of all current devices – small oddities in the handling to a clear concept. Even at this time the device was at a remarkable tonal level. Without checking it is claimed that this improved as well.

OEM production lines for other hifi producers make up a big part of the manufacturing capacity in the new built Canor factory. I don’t think there is a better business card. But let’s seriously start with our tester, the biggest of a total of three phono stages from Canor. All three are working with tubes in the MM section; all MC able devices use a Lundahl exchanger for the preamp of the low MC output voltage.

Like mentioned above, the TP306 VR plus is kept in the now classic Canor design – that means an aluminium front panel split by a curved acrylic stripe that we ordered in a matt black – the alternative is matt white. The rest of the chassis is made of a folded steel sheet that is welded on all abutting edges- this should last forever. Except for the front, all metal surfaces are powder coated in a way that creates much confidence in the stability of it.

For a phono preamp this is a quite massive casing which fits the width of the component of the own house. A look at the interior – and the technical information from the producer of course – tells us that the TP306 VR plus is a completely in tube technically built phono preamp. Even the rectification of the anode voltage is completed with a EZ81 tube while semiconductors are used for the stabilisation of the heating voltage.

The filtering of the high voltage is designed multistage and looks quite elaborate. The Canor works without negative feedback and with a purely passive RIAA distortion correction that is designed two stage – a total of four 65L7s take on the amplification at this point. Two double triodes from the type 6922 are inserted in the output stage so that it has a low enough ohm- value for longer cable routes.

The producer selects the inserted tubes before installation. That’s something that is sure by products from Canor because Canor made itself a name with self-made tube testers, which are meanwhile used by important producers worldwide. In contrast to the small preamp TP206, the 306 allows clearly more elaborate circuit modification options to the connected cartridge. The plus model signifies the use of high quality Mundorf capacitors in the signal path, in contrast to the normal TP306 which isn’t manufactured anymore – nice, that this is standard now.

Despite the effort, the two separately built circuit boards for the signal amplification and the power supply current are getting lost in the interior of the casing. That reduces disruptions as effective as the extra vibration damped circuit boards. The TP306 VR plus is in many ways adjustable to the connected pickup (s). the input capacitance for MM systems can be adjusted in four levels, but three worked with the lowest level the whole time. The amplification is 42 dB.

With a second pair of cinch bushings you can plug a MC system in parallel to the MM system which is switched by a toggle switch that is on the rear panel of the device as well as the dip switch for the modification options. Thus the Canor should be easy to reach if you change pickups often. I really like the extensive options for the MC branch which amplification depends on the selected transformer, 56, 62 or 68 dB and so prepared for every case. 

Practically the lowest input impedance at the highest amplification is 5 ohm, while you can choose up to 5 kohm at the lowest amplification levels. Something else about the chosen transformer: we couldn’t feel an influence of the Lundahl transformer and we measured a wide usable range of frequencies. The 3 dB points for the MC range are at 25 Hz and 30 kHz - a really respectable range. The deep tones are firmly defined in both operating modes, but still very energetic – for example by good recorded rock drums, which the Canor reproduces without any sign of compression.

Much prettier and more elegant is the tonal range of a good recorded orchestra, where the contrabasses are building a trusting and stable fundament. But you can still locate musicians with deeper frequencies – important criteria for me. The same applies for the voice reproduction in the bass and middle frequency range. On the other hand, male voices are reproduced with strength and authority.

Next to the performance of the singers you get a lot of extra information: breath and lip sounds and small variations in the timbre as well as the used echo effects. The tubes often rumoured “whitewashing” can’t be heard here – the music has verve and character. Another strength is the clean separation between voices or instruments within a wide but still clearly defined reproduction zone – but despite all this airiness there is still cohesion between the musicians. 

So the TP306 VR plus finds the ideal synthesis from elegance and strength for every tonearm pickup.

Conclusion

Through its many connection options you can connect nearly all pickups which were ever built to the Canor TP306 plus. It converts the technical flexibility and maturity in an absolutely outstanding reproducing quality.

...............Thomas Schmidt

Testimonials

I have been enjoying myself immensely, more late nights to come...
Hi Terry,
Well what can I say except that you have done it again...

I have decided that I would like to keep the Canor TP-206. As you said it is a step up from my current phono and once it settled down and I had found the best loading for the EMT I have been enjoying myself immensely, more late nights to come...

Regards
Mike

In a nutshell the Canor is like WOW;

Hi Terry,
The setting you made on the phono stage seems to be right for the Goldring. In a nutshell the Canor TP306+ phono is like WOW; singers are more expressive and music is more well 'live'. Would most likely sound better with a MC cartridge, but that can wait as I would like to get an Oppo from you next. In the meantime I would like to get some Clearaudio stylus cleaner, thanks.
Cheers,
Ramon

Videos

Canor Audio Showroom: International CES 2011 Las Vegas, USA

Videos

Canor Audio Showroom: International CES 2011 Las Vegas, USA

Canor Audio Showroom: International CES 2011 Las Vegas, USA