Tri-The Triode Corp

Contemporary, beautifully engineered Valve Audio components from Japan
Tri brings out the joy, beauty & dynamics of music that will have you listening into the wee small hours.

The Triode Corporation of Japan – Mr Junichi Yamazaki comes to us highly regarded within the Japanese audio field having won many awards for his achievements. Mr Yamazaki designs and manufactures an extensive and beautiful range of contemporary styled tube audio gear including 300B, KT88, EL34, 6L6GC & 845 tube integrated, stereo and mono block amplifiers ranging from 7w to 200w, plus pre-amplifiers, phono amps, a special tube CD player.

Tri components have the rare ability to bring control and timbre to the bass while still retaining the famous value that tube brings to the mid range. The treble is open and airy without brittleness that is sometimes attributed to tube gear.

 Triode Corporation Ltd. which celebrated the 15th anniversary of foundation is the independent system specialized producer of not only a Tube amplifier fan but my national number widely loved by the audio fan. The headquarters was established in Koshigaya-shi, Saitama and Mr. Jun-ichi Yamazaki established. "VP-300BD" which won award in 1997. It was changed into the new version in 2003, and sale is still continued. Although it is thought that it was the start from the so-called back yard maker so, there are many products of a Tube amplifiers. Attention was attracted, lineup was also expanded and the power amplifier which used popular 300Btubes also for the its original work group as a Direct heating tubes trilateral pipe especially became present existence. Although it will be used in many cases at a usually simple single end if it is called 300B, in Triode, the parallel sigle-ended circuit which arranged two singles in parallel is adopted. It can be called the way of thinking which also maintains the purity by considering as single composition, compensating the power of small 300B of an output. Although it is dealing not only with a Tube amplifier type but with transistor amplifier, a center is a vacuum tube too. The unique DA converter using the vacuum tube also invited popularity to the output stage. Moreover, even if it calls it tube amplifier, unlike the garage product of a its original work level, it may also be called feature to have sense of stability truly like an industrial product, such as a transformer case by adoption and careful finish of a strong aluminum panel. In addition, the product of the company is sold in many cases by the kit simultaneously with finished goods. If confidence is in an arm, in the reason for becoming relatively cheap, it may also be one of the popular causes. 

Tri audio gear more than most, brings out the joy, beauty and dynamics of music that will have you listening into the wee small hours of the morning. 

Reviews

Awards

Testimonials

Reviews

the Triode Corporation and Acoustic Zen room held magic, something that was missing in all the other rooms I visited, alas.
Dick Olsher
 
Best Sound at RMAF
In general, I was not that impressed. Of course, such a venue is profoundly ill-suited to serious listening and quality sound reproduction. The rooms are too small and too crowded with both people and equipment. The Brits were on to something when they demanded single-speaker listening, as filling a room with unused speakers just muddies the sonic presentation due to the sympathetic vibrations and resonances introduced by other speakers. And once again, the simple binary result obtained: solid-state or tube sound. No matter how good the solid-state equipment sounded, I quickly grew weary of the sound; no matter how bad the tube equipment sounded, I was compelled to listen a little longer. And, yes, there are bad-sounding tube products. Just adding some glow to a ill-thought-out product does not transform it into audio jewel.
By the end of my last day there, I was more than a little bored and irked by the lousy music and the few good music selections being beaten to death from their repeated playing. It was close to closing time and I forced myself to walk into another showroom. I am, however, absolutely glad that I did. In Room 1009 of the Marriott Tower, I discovered Triode Corporation and Acoustic Zen products.
 
Triode Corporation makes a beautiful parallel, single-ended, 845-based power amplifier. This amplifier powered Acoustic Zen Crescendo speakers.
 
The resulting sound was breathtakingly natural. It flowed with ease and grace, pouring out the best sound I have heard at any audio show—and I have been to plenty. At first, I was startled, much as if I had found true love in the wrong place or honesty in a used car lot. Who would ever expect to hear blissful music reproduction at an audio show? Not me. But there it was, supple, natural, effortless. I wanted to find something wrong with it. Surely the highs were truncated, but they weren't. Well, the bass must have been a tad thin, but it wasn't. After days of listening to meretricious sound systems—by the way, "meretricious" does not mean deserving of merit, just the opposite—I had grown accustomed to boom and sizzle. Real bass and real highs, like real inner worth, are not showy. Here is an analogy. Long ago a friend told me that his girlfriend was perfectly lovely, which surprised him greatly.
 
He had seen her many times before, behind the counter of his favorite coffee shop, but she never dazzled him. One day they actually spoke, beyond greetings and chit chat, and found that they had much in common. Soon they were dating. Then, one day, he realized that she was perfectly formed and that not one aspect of her could be altered without harm to the perfection she exemplified. For example, her hair was brown, not golden blonde or fiery red or raven black, just brown; but changing her hair to one these other colors would only diminish her beauty. She was neither tall, nor short, neither skinny, nor rounded, just medium height and build. Yet, he could not imagine any improvement from her toes to her head, as she didn't need any—all was in proportion and harmony. My friend was troubled because he thought he desired and had hunted for someone flashier, sexier, something more obvious, such as large fake breasts and bottled blonde hair. He was also disturbed that he didn't see how truly lovely she was at first—was he really that shallow? In many ways, he had spent a life being trained not to see the perfect female form in its natural splendor.
 
Well, I wondered how many had walked into this same room and heard the same glorious sound and yawned. "Where's the boom and sizzle?" they would ask and leave.
 
I am a huge fan of transmission-line loudspeaker cabinets and I have built many. So, I am doubly embarrassed for not having instantly appreciated the fine bass from the Acoustic Zen Crescendo speakers, a transmission-line enclosure. (When I was a college student, a famous audio reviewer dropped by to hear my famous dual transmission-line sub-woofers. He wasn't impressed—at first. The speakers were as large as a coffin and weighed twice as much, so he expected SPecTacUlar sound. Instead, natural bass filled the room. But once the recording of Mahler's 3rd hit its deepest notes, he nearly doubled over, as if he had been punched in the stomach. I am lucky he didn't have a spontaneous bowel movement. The sub-woofer didn't create bass where there was none, but if the recording held true deep bass, it reproduced it faithfully.)
 
I am glad that I didn't stroll into this amazing room on the first day, as it would make all the other rooms sound even worse. Okay, I better back off a bit. To be honest, there was more good sound than worse sound at the show. Some of it very good indeed. It is just that the Triode Corporation and Acoustic Zen room held magic, something that was missing in all the other rooms I visited, alas.
Triode’s sounded perfectly balanced…full range, detailed and musical......this is an amp that has abundant dynamics, coupled with an almost iron fisted control of the bass.
Fred Crowder

I have thoroughly enjoyed having these amps in my system and will regret returning them to the manufacturer. While they are not cheap, they are clearly a bargain when you consider that to achieve a superior result, it may require the expenditure of four to five times the investment. 

A few words about the company
Triode Corporation Ltd. celebrated the company’s 15th anniversary last year. Triode specializes in the manufacture of high-end tube electronics including CD players, digital/analog converters, pre- amplifiers, amplifiers, and integrated amplifiers. They claim that their products are amongst the top selling in Japan. Junichi Yamazaki, the former Japan National Railway engineer, founded the company in Koshigaya-shi, Saitama, Japan. According to Mr. Yamazaki, his first and foremost design philosophy is to reproduce real life music at its best in a beautiful and affordable way. He says that “Happiness in listening to music is not fulfilled if not shared with many.”
 
Technical description
The TRX-M845s are physically imposing monoblock amps, each of which weighs over 100 pounds. The casework is gorgeous. The amps accept RCAs as well as XLRs. They will accept either 211 or 845 output tubes and in each instance, a switch makes the choice. Feedback is selectable via a rotary switch on the rear of each amp. Construction is by hand without printed circuit boards. Everything is hard-wired point to point in a very neat way. Components are chosen with great care, and include Koa resistors and Toichi capacitors. The tube sockets are nice ceramic and gold specimens that accommodate easy tube swaps, being neither too tight nor loose. The circuit has three stages of gain using a 12AU7 and 6SN7 as the initial stage into an 845, which in turn drives paralleled 211/845 outputs producing either 40 watts with the 211’s or 50 watts with the 845’s.
 
The review
Reviews tend to be the result of repeated evenings of listening, alone or with friends. If the product is really good, you find yourself, as was the case here, forgetting to take notes and instead listening to the music. While the review period stretched over several months, I have chosen for the purposes of this article to compress that period in notes from three evenings which occurred at different points during this period.
 
The first evening: I began my first listening session in factory supplied tubes with Steely Dan’s Gaucho, Side 1, an early MCA pressing. Comparing the Triode monoblocks to the Audio Note UK Balanced Kegon monoblocks, my long term reference running on 300B tubes and priced at US$95,000 the pair, the Triode seemed made for the enhancement of pop music listening. With the feedback setting on “1″, the bass was tight and the drums had muscle and punch to spare. The Triode did not provide much air between the instruments, nor as much delicacy and nuance as did the Balanced Kegon, yet the upper instruments and voices were very clean and centered, with no smear or hash. I was tempted to think of the 845-based Triode as providing a smart, satisfying and just plain “fun” sound, probably not unlike an enhanced version of what the engineers and players heard during mix-down. Compared to the way some high-end gear can sometimes seem too revealing, the Triode in feedback position “1″ were somewhat forgiving and easy to listen to, if lacking the last word in detail, nuance and delicacy.
 
Next on the playlist was the Blue Nile’s Hats, a late 80′s digital recording in which many of the instruments, including percussion, are synthesized. Even on vinyl, this recording can easily suffer from “digititis,” and frankly, had not been entirely satisfying via the Balanced Kegon — mainly because the ears were never for a moment fooled by the digital or synthetic tomfoolery.
 
With the TRX-M845, I was “back to the future.” The Blue Nile’s second outing — a brilliant effort — sounded as fresh, new and exciting as it did years ago — only with placement, punch, clarity and intensity at a new level. But it was here that I began to notice that some color was missing. That could be a side effect of early digital, or synthesizers…or could it be an artifact of the Chinese Shugang tubes? The Balanced Kegon was initially provided with Shugang 300B output tubes which, in comparison to Western Electric 300Bs, were almost painfully bland and “white.”
 
The acid test for color, and many other things, would be the early EMI/ Columbia (SAX 2548) pressing of Debussy’s Jeux, with Andre Cluytens and the Paris Conservatory Orchestra , one of the great recordings — and great pressings — of its day. With the feedback still set at “1″, I listened with eager anticipation. Everything was there — some shimmer in the cymbals, smooth, almost lush strings, and astringent oboe…Everything, except…the longer I listened, the more restless I became. It was like gluten-free, chain-grocery-store vanilla cake made with artificial sweetener…or the “free sirloin” they serve in the open steam table at the topless clubs…no real flavor, no real color.
 
I slipped back behind the amps and switched the feedback knobs to “0″. The soundstage immediately opened up, and an orchestra emerged. Not the same orchestra as with the Balanced Kegon — there still seemed to be a light layer of haze blocking the view — a result of the more complex circuitry, perhaps? But this was largely more satisfying…except for the climaxes. There, I still had a sense, as I could sometimes get with the Balanced Kegon, that the whole system of sound reproduction could not quite handle all of the information it was receiving. What was I hearing? Was this one of the drawbacks of zero-feedback? The purpose of feedback, at least in theory is to ensure that the output more closely resembles the signal coming into the amp and reduces distortion which result from the amp’s circuitry. At least with the Triode TRX-M845, adding feedback generally reduced noise and improves bass, making it tighter and increasing the slam. On the other hand, it definitely decreases air and dimensionality, reduces subtle detail and to some extent destroys that sense of hearing real instruments in a real space on classical music.
 
The next evening, listening during these sessions was with the feedback set at “0″.
 
I spent much of the next evening listening to various recordings of Rossini overtures, all on the Triode. At this point, it began coming into its own. Its funny, once you get your ears out of A/B mode, enjoying the music is not hard. I continued to get the impression that there is, accompanying the strong dynamics of large orchestral surges, an unfulfilled anticipation from the mid-range ….either a degree of inability to differentiate the instruments or a failure to capture a bit of the airy leading edge of the strings, thereby conveying an awareness that something is missing. There seemed to be an elevation of the upper grouped strings, a heightened impression of detail that may not actually be there.
 
The listening session included multiple versions of Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra Overture, the William Tell Overture, and the Semiramide Overture. I chose these primarily because they include numerous passages containing multiple single instruments, especially percussion, rising above the other grouped instruments. The characteristic quiet-to-loud transitions with full orchestral dynamics, and delicate passages of strings reveal virtually all aspects of a full symphonic orchestra and, depending on the orchestra, conductor, and recording venue, and quality of recording, lay out for the listener a large resonating hall, a symphonic band sound versus a full Reiner/Stokowski type of sound and ample opportunity to evaluate full bass, be it from the pizzicato of the basses, the large kettle drums, or merely the opening measures of William Tell. Staying with the William Tell, which horns and how prominent they are during the initial surge several minutes into the piece or the treatment of the “Lone Ranger” melody as the piece comes to its rousing conclusion reveal much about the strengths and weaknesses of the amps and the remainder of the system. This is an amp that has abundant dynamics, coupled with an almost iron fisted control of the bass. Where it is lacking, at least with the stock tubes, is in delivering that last bit of detail, nuance and delicacy which are the strong suit of the Balanced Kegon. The iron-fisted control of the bass may also be at the price of some detail in the bass – but then I think back to the Boz Scaggs, in which the bass had a lot of nuance.
 
For recordings that tend toward the shrill, the TRX-M845 seems to temper the shrill just enough to retain detail without the “ouch” that can accompany those upper frequency instruments. This was nowhere more clear than on an early Boz Scaggs recording on vinyl, Down Two Then Left, from 1977, Columbia. The greater the tendency of the recording to muddy the waters of midrange orchestra, the more the Triode will leave the listener hungry for detail. For guitar soft rock…Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler, Eric Burdon, the Animals…there is a huge improvement with the “1″ setting of the feedback, but when this is left with the orchestra, there seems to be an increase in ‘muddling middle’ and minute lack of air and resolution when playing the orchestral stuff. I got to where I preferred zero feedback even on pop, unless it was just a spitty-as-hell recording.
 
The Balanced Kegons, in comparison, are a bit brighter or more detailed, perhaps at different frequencies. Little percussive sounds such as an oboe, or flute, or clarinet playing a couple of measures against the background of the full orchestra might stand out a little more due perhaps to a frequency sensitivity. The increased level of detail elicited by the Balanced Kegon is generally a boon; however, it can make early digital recordings hard to endure and can emphasize the flaws in the recording. On the Triode, the opening cello or lower string instrument at the right of the sound stage on Invitation to the Dance might be a bit warmer, or slightly lower in pitch, or richer, certainly better controlled below 100 Hz. The Triodes at low-to-medium volume levels are not as detailed or nuanced as the Balanced Kegons and really come into their own at higher volume levels. Oddly, when taken by themselves and not in comparison to the Balanced Kegons, which are many times the price, the Triode’s sounded perfectly balanced…full range, detailed and musical.
 
I think the Triode with 845 tubes borders on smoothness, warmth and musicality, leaning toward less resolved and less nuanced, while the Balanced Kegon in the 300Bs have more of what I would call “inner detail” which will improve placement and dimensionality of the inner voices, especially.
 
The third time is the charm: As I have perhaps suggested, it is a crime to place Chinese tubes in an amp of this quality. Nonetheless, I am always somewhat reluctant to swap tubes in something that I have in for review, particularly given the often prohibitive cost of N.O.S. tubes. In this instance, the importer was kind enough to provide me with a pair of 1960’s vintage CBS/ Raytheon 6SN7tubes which he had found to rather dramatically, in his own words, enhance the sound of the amps. Given that the 6SN7 provides the initial stage of gain, it seemed at least possible that a change of this tube could have a rather audible impact. The remainder of the listening was done with either the Raytheon 6SN7 or a pair of 1950’s Chrome Dome Sylvania 6SN7’s sourced from Brent Jesse (www.audiotubes.com). Each of these NOS tubes to differing degrees mitigated what I had considered weaknesses of the amps without detrimentally impacting its strong points. This was perhaps most evident with respect to what I described as the bleaching or lack of color. This aspect of the sound was much improved with the Triode, moving closer to the robust tonal palette of the Balanced Kegon.
 
Each of these tubes has a distinctive sound. The soundstage created by the Raytheon tubes begins farther back and has more depth. Images have a somewhat softer focus. Depending on one’s perspective, you might either say that the Raytheon’s are more laid back or that they have somewhat less detail, although this is not an issue. The converse is that the Sylvania tubes are clearly more upfront with sharper image focus but sacrifice depth. They are somewhat more detailed but can at times sound a slight bit rough/aggressive in the upper midrange and lower treble. This may be that they are merely more accurate. One of the records to which I listened was the 180 gram reissue of the Yes album Fragile which is compressed and may be the source of the roughness. This is to say that the Raytheon tubes are either more natural or alternately smooth over a bit of the top end. In any event, the choice of tubes allows the user the ability to tune the amps to his taste within certain bounds.
 
Conclusion
I have thoroughly enjoyed having these amps in my system and will regret returning them to the manufacturer. While they are not cheap, they are clearly a bargain when you consider that to achieve a superior result, it may require the expenditure of four to five times the investment. The extra money will get you more delicacy, refinement, low-level detail, dimensionality and a deeper soundstage with more space around instruments and perhaps, a lower noise floor. However, improvements in these areas will not necessarily be dramatic or even apparent except in direct comparison, and you may sacrifice bass control and dynamics which the Triodes have in abundance. And for those listeners whose preferred listening material necessarily includes less-than-ideal source material, it is always a trade-off between the detail that you want to hear, versus the detail you’d rather not know about. The Triode could well offer an excellent compromise for those listeners, particularly with its ability to dial-in feedback, leading to a more forgiving presentation

It struck me after writing the review that the extent to which these amps sound different is at least to some extent a function of the difference in the output tubes, a 300B vs. a 211. Each has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. The 211 is a master of tonal density, the 300B more delicate and refined with better low-level detail. It would be interesting to have been able to replace the Shugang 211 tubes with N.O.S. General Electric or even better, United tubes, but I simply did not have access to either.

they are clearly a bargain when you consider that to achieve a superior result, it may require the expenditure of four to five times the investment.
Fred Crowder - Dagogo

For recordings that tend toward the shrill, the TRX-M845 seems to temper the shrill just enough to retain detail without the “ouch” that can accompany those upper frequency instruments. 

This is an amp that has abundant dynamics, coupled with an almost iron fisted control of the bass.

The Blue Nile’s second outing — a brilliant effort — sounded as fresh, new and exciting as it did years ago — only with placement, punch, clarity and intensity at a new level.

A few words about the company
Triode Corporation Ltd. celebrated the company’s 15th anniversary last year. Triode specializes in the manufacture of high-end tube electronics including CD players, digital/analog converters, pre- amplifiers, amplifiers, and integrated amplifiers. They claim that their products are amongst the top selling in Japan. Junichi Yamazaki, the former Japan National Railway engineer, founded the company in Koshigaya-shi, Saitama, Japan. According to Mr. Yamazaki, his first and foremost design philosophy is to reproduce real life music at its best in a beautiful and affordable way. He says that “Happiness in listening to music is not fulfilled if not shared with many.”
 
Technical description
The TRX-M845s are physically imposing monoblock amps, each of which weighs over 100 pounds. The casework is gorgeous. The amps accept RCAs as well as XLRs. They will accept either 211 or 845 output tubes and in each instance, a switch makes the choice. Feedback is selectable via a rotary switch on the rear of each amp. Construction is by hand without printed circuit boards. Everything is hard-wired point to point in a very neat way. Components are chosen with great care, and include Koa resistors and Toichi capacitors. The tube sockets are nice ceramic and gold specimens that accommodate easy tube swaps, being neither too tight nor loose. The circuit has three stages of gain using a 12AU7 and 6SN7 as the initial stage into an 845, which in turn drives paralleled 211/845 outputs producing either 40 watts with the 211’s or 50 watts with the 845’s.
 
The review
Reviews tend to be the result of repeated evenings of listening, alone or with friends. If the product is really good, you find yourself, as was the case here, forgetting to take notes and instead listening to the music. While the review period stretched over several months, I have chosen for the purposes of this article to compress that period in notes from three evenings which occurred at different points during this period.
 
The first evening: I began my first listening session in factory supplied tubes with Steely Dan’s Gaucho, Side 1, an early MCA pressing. Comparing the Triode monoblocks to the Audio Note UK Balanced Kegon monoblocks, my long term reference running on 300B tubes and priced at $95,000 the pair, the Triode seemed made for the enhancement of pop music listening. With the feedback setting on “1″, the bass was tight and the drums had muscle and punch to spare. The Triode did not provide much air between the instruments, nor as much delicacy and nuance as did the Balanced Kegon, yet the upper instruments and voices were very clean and centered, with no smear or hash. I was tempted to think of the 845-based Triode as providing a smart, satisfying and just plain “fun” sound, probably not unlike an enhanced version of what the engineers and players heard during mix-down. Compared to the way some high-end gear can sometimes seem too revealing, the Triode in feedback position “1″ were somewhat forgiving and easy to listen to, if lacking the last word in detail, nuance and delicacy.
 
Next on the playlist was the Blue Nile’s Hats, a late 80′s digital recording in which many of the instruments, including percussion, are synthesized. Even on vinyl, this recording can easily suffer from “digititis,” and frankly, had not been entirely satisfying via the Balanced Kegon — mainly because the ears were never for a moment fooled by the digital or synthetic tomfoolery.
 
With the TRX-M845, I was “back to the future.” The Blue Nile’s second outing — a brilliant effort — sounded as fresh, new and exciting as it did years ago — only with placement, punch, clarity and intensity at a new level. But it was here that I began to notice that some color was missing. That could be a side effect of early digital, or synthesizers…or could it be an artifact of the Chinese Shugang tubes? The Balanced Kegon was initially provided with Shugang 300B output tubes which, in comparison to Western Electric 300Bs, were almost painfully bland and “white.”
 
The acid test for color, and many other things, would be the early EMI/ Columbia (SAX 2548) pressing of Debussy’s Jeux, with Andre Cluytens and the Paris Conservatory Orchestra , one of the great recordings — and great pressings — of its day. With the feedback still set at “1″, I listened with eager anticipation. Everything was there — some shimmer in the cymbals, smooth, almost lush strings, and astringent oboe…Everything, except…the longer I listened, the more restless I became. It was like gluten-free, chain-grocery-store vanilla cake made with artificial sweetener…or the “free sirloin” they serve in the open steam table at the topless clubs…no real flavor, no real color.
 
I slipped back behind the amps and switched the feedback knobs to “0″. The soundstage immediately opened up, and an orchestra emerged.,  there still seemed to be a light layer of haze blocking the view — a result of the more complex circuitry, perhaps? But this was largely more satisfying…except for the climaxes. There, I still had a sense, as I could sometimes get with the Balanced Kegon, that the whole system of sound reproduction could not quite handle all of the information it was receiving. What was I hearing? Was this one of the drawbacks of zero-feedback? The purpose of feedback, at least in theory is to ensure that the output more closely resembles the signal coming into the amp and reduces distortion which result from the amp’s circuitry. At least with the Triode TRX-M845, adding feedback generally reduced noise and improves bass, making it tighter and increasing the slam. On the other hand, it definitely decreases air and dimensionality, reduces subtle detail and to some extent destroys that sense of hearing real instruments in a real space on classical music.
 
The next evening, listening during these sessions was with the feedback set at “0″.
 
I spent much of the next evening listening to various recordings of Rossini overtures, all on the Triode. At this point, it began coming into its own. Its funny, once you get your ears out of A/B mode, enjoying the music is not hard. I continued to get the impression that there is, accompanying the strong dynamics of large orchestral surges, an unfulfilled anticipation from the mid-range ….either a degree of inability to differentiate the instruments or a failure to capture a bit of the airy leading edge of the strings, thereby conveying an awareness that something is missing. There seemed to be an elevation of the upper grouped strings, a heightened impression of detail that may not actually be there.
 
The listening session included multiple versions of Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra Overture, the William Tell Overture, and the Semiramide Overture. I chose these primarily because they include numerous passages containing multiple single instruments, especially percussion, rising above the other grouped instruments. The characteristic quiet-to-loud transitions with full orchestral dynamics, and delicate passages of strings reveal virtually all aspects of a full symphonic orchestra and, depending on the orchestra, conductor, and recording venue, and quality of recording, lay out for the listener a large resonating hall, a symphonic band sound versus a full Reiner/Stokowski type of sound and ample opportunity to evaluate full bass, be it from the pizzicato of the basses, the large kettle drums, or merely the opening measures of William Tell. Staying with the William Tell, which horns and how prominent they are during the initial surge several minutes into the piece or the treatment of the “Lone Ranger” melody as the piece comes to its rousing conclusion reveal much about the strengths and weaknesses of the amps and the remainder of the system. This is an amp that has abundant dynamics, coupled with an almost iron fisted control of the bass. ...... The iron-fisted control of the bass may also be at the price of some detail in the bass – but then I think back to the Boz Scaggs, in which the bass had a lot of nuance.
 
For recordings that tend toward the shrill, the TRX-M845 seems to temper the shrill just enough to retain detail without the “ouch” that can accompany those upper frequency instruments. This was nowhere more clear than on an early Boz Scaggs recording on vinyl, Down Two Then Left, from 1977, Columbia. The greater the tendency of the recording to muddy the waters of midrange orchestra, the more the Triode will leave the listener hungry for detail. For guitar soft rock…Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler, Eric Burdon, the Animals…there is a huge improvement with the “1″ setting of the feedback, but when this is left with the orchestra, there seems to be an increase in ‘muddling middle’ and minute lack of air and resolution when playing the orchestral stuff. I got to where I preferred zero feedback even on pop, unless it was just a spitty-as-hell recording.
 
The Balanced Kegons, in comparison, are a bit brighter or more detailed, perhaps at different frequencies. Little percussive sounds such as an oboe, or flute, or clarinet playing a couple of measures against the background of the full orchestra might stand out a little more due perhaps to a frequency sensitivity. The increased level of detail elicited by the Balanced Kegon is generally a boon; however, it can make early digital recordings hard to endure and can emphasize the flaws in the recording. On the Triode, the opening cello or lower string instrument at the right of the sound stage on Invitation to the Dance might be a bit warmer, or slightly lower in pitch, or richer, certainly better controlled below 100 Hz. The Triodes at low-to-medium volume levels are not as detailed or nuanced as the Balanced Kegons and really come into their own at higher volume levels. Oddly, when taken by themselves and not in comparison to the Balanced Kegons, which are many times the price, the Triode’s sounded perfectly balanced…full range, detailed and musical.
 
I think the Triode with 845 tubes borders on smoothness, warmth and musicality, leaning toward less resolved and less nuanced, while the Balanced Kegon in the 300Bs have more of what I would call “inner detail” which will improve placement and dimensionality of the inner voices, especially.
 
The third time is the charm: As I have perhaps suggested, it is a crime to place Chinese tubes in an amp of this quality. Nonetheless, I am always somewhat reluctant to swap tubes in something that I have in for review, particularly given the often prohibitive cost of N.O.S. tubes. In this instance, the importer was kind enough to provide me with a pair of 1960’s vintage CBS/ Raytheon 6SN7tubes which he had found to rather dramatically, in his own words, enhance the sound of the amps. Given that the 6SN7 provides the initial stage of gain, it seemed at least possible that a change of this tube could have a rather audible impact. The remainder of the listening was done with either the Raytheon 6SN7 or a pair of 1950’s Chrome Dome Sylvania 6SN7’s sourced from Brent Jesse (www.audiotubes.com). Each of these NOS tubes to differing degrees mitigated what I had considered weaknesses of the amps without detrimentally impacting its strong points. This was perhaps most evident with respect to what I described as the bleaching or lack of color. This aspect of the sound was much improved with the Triode, moving closer to the robust tonal palette of the Balanced Kegon.
 
Each of these tubes has a distinctive sound. The soundstage created by the Raytheon tubes begins farther back and has more depth. Images have a somewhat softer focus. Depending on one’s perspective, you might either say that the Raytheon’s are more laid back or that they have somewhat less detail, although this is not an issue. The converse is that the Sylvania tubes are clearly more upfront with sharper image focus but sacrifice depth. They are somewhat more detailed but can at times sound a slight bit rough/aggressive in the upper midrange and lower treble. This may be that they are merely more accurate. One of the records to which I listened was the 180 gram reissue of the Yes album Fragile which is compressed and may be the source of the roughness. This is to say that the Raytheon tubes are either more natural or alternately smooth over a bit of the top end. In any event, the choice of tubes allows the user the ability to tune the amps to his taste within certain bounds.
 
Conclusion
I have thoroughly enjoyed having these amps in my system and will regret returning them to the manufacturer. While they are not cheap, they are clearly a bargain when you consider that to achieve a superior result, it may require the expenditure of four to five times the investment. The extra money will get you more delicacy, refinement, low-level detail, dimensionality and a deeper soundstage with more space around instruments and perhaps, a lower noise floor. However, improvements in these areas will not necessarily be dramatic or even apparent except in direct comparison, and you may sacrifice bass control and dynamics which the Triodes have in abundance. And for those listeners whose preferred listening material necessarily includes less-than-ideal source material, it is always a trade-off between the detail that you want to hear, versus the detail you’d rather not know about. The Triode could well offer an excellent compromise for those listeners, particularly with its ability to dial-in feedback, leading to a more forgiving presentation.
 
It struck me after writing the review that the extent to which these amps sound different is at least to some extent a function of the difference in the output tubes, a 300B vs. a 211. Each has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. The 211 is a master of tonal density, the 300B more delicate and refined with better low-level detail. It would be interesting to have been able to replace the Shugang 211 tubes with N.O.S. General Electric or even better, United tubes, but I simply did not have access to either.
.....you will have an amplifier That should keep you satisfied for many years.
Wojciech Pacula
Japanese manufacturer Triode Corporation , owner of Tri brand name is another, along with Leben and Oyaide , Japanese brand that I feel a bit more attached than to others. I feel like (regardless if  it is the right or wrong feeling) its Godfather. Its product was presented for the first time in Poland and possibly also in Europe in "High Fidelity" , in Particular in memorable issue called Made in Japan of September 2006 (No. 29). It was its Polish and probably also Europe's premiere. We had received the device Directly from Japan from Mr Junichiro Yamazaki, owner and chief designer of Triode Corp. Along with this first review we had also and conducted an interview with Mr. Yamazaki  

This time we have DECIDED to take a look at the sort of "basic" model, or in other words "classic" because of its design and tubes used. It is TRV-88SE with double triode 12AX7 at the input, two 12AU7 in phase reverse and working as drivers for power tubes - KT88. Power tubes work in classic push-pull configuration, in AB class, but they are working as triodes - kind of obligation if the company's name is Triode Corp. In my opinion all the tubes and also the enclosure are made in China. How else would it be possible that dry offer price for Japanese product? I do not see any other way to Achieve that - you have to look for savings somewhere. All the assembly, passive bridge elements, transformers come from Japan and very nice speaker's binding posts are made in the USA. Audition you and conducted in three stages - first you simple connection of amplifier to the speakers, second - device working as headphone amplifier and finally I rolled some tubes - both power and input tubes - I used the best I had at hand: KT88 from EAT - matched quarter from Diamond line and ECC803 with CoolDamper. The latter were used also for drivers.

 
So far the tested Us Help TRI products:
Tri-CD4SE TRV
TRV-35SE
Trii TRV-300SE

SOUND

Discs used for listening sessions:

Diary of Dreams Freak Perfume , Accesion Records, EFA 03647-2, CD.
Stockfisch Records. Closer To The Music Vol. , Stockfisch Records, SFR 357.4009.2, SACD / CD player.
Mark Knopfler, The trawlerman's Song EP , Mercury Records, 9870986, CD.
The Beatles 09.09.09 Sampler , EMI Records, Promo CD, 2 x CD; review HERE .
ELO Time , Epic / Sony Music Direct (Japan), MHCP-1161, CD.
Thom Yorke, The Eraser , XL Records / Warner Music Japan, WPCB-10001, CD.
Martin L. Gore, Counterfeit2 , Mute, 247725, CCD.
est, Viaticum , ACT Music + Vision, ACT 6001-2, 2 x CD; review HERE .
Ariel Ramirez, Misa Criolla , Navidad Nuestra, José Carreras, Philips / Lasting Impression Music, LIM K2HD 040, silver-CD; 
Hot Piano, featuring Mr. Marty Paich , Tampa Records / Muzak, MZCS-1178 CD.
As'd mentioned before I feel it somehow connected TRI. It is not that I am deeply in love (to continue this emotional language) but there is a small, warm spot in my heart reserved for it. Tri Corp created a great example - TRV-88SE to show how a manufacturer can reach out to Customers, Adopt a budget limitations an so on, without sacrifying music. Already first few minutes spent listening to this amp will tell you it does not even try to sound neutral. We could always dispute what "neutral" means - is it a non-emotional "accuracy" of the sound ?, or maybe rather to make an impression of live performance - Which surely involves emotions? Anyhow some elements are common for both definitions and That is what I understand as "neutral". Japanese amplifier offers warm, very rich sound. Its dynamics is attenuated so there is no chance for big band or orchestra's sound in a proper way. I mean it sounds properly if you Consider richness and power but not the timbre. That could be easily verified when listening to Misa Criolla that was recorded in a big church. The size of its interior was only slightly marked and the distances between the listener and the chorus and José Carreras were almost the same. So I would not count on ultra-precise presentation of interiors acoustics. But Tri has a virtue common among good devices (the ones That can catch you attention, intrigue you) - you do not want to change the CD, you do not feel like looking for some other recording That would better fit this device. As'd mentioned before - one of the methods of reaching to the customer is "seducing" him. The review hereby amplifier does it by offering warm sound and softening of the attack. So everything we hear is very ... "human", it fitted exactly what we need to hear.
 
 
Listening is more and more recordings with real pleasure I did not "lack" anything. Yes, I could still hear what is described above but it absolutely was not disturbing. It was clearly from Showed that amazing record - Hot Piano. Featuring Marty Paich . It is an old recording with leading roles of a piano, which was shown to Tri in a very accurate Manner. The strike was softened a bit but with long-lasting, full, rich and really nice sound. Pace in every recording was very good Which is quite surprising considering not that great overall dynamics. But that great pace made ​​me stay with electronic music for much longer than planned. For dry music pace and rhythm and strike are Substantial - you can not listen to electronic music because without them even the most interesting compositions would sound simply boring. I started with Counterfeit2 by Martin L. Gore. Particular This recording comes from the "dark age" of EMI - time when they used copy-protection from company Cactus, the very One That had not stopped anybody from coping they even record but in most cases Diminished sound quality significantly. Gore's recording is no exception but in very good systems you have a chance is still "extract" music from it - with slow rhythm, mood and something more than just sounds. Tri is not a high-end device - it is Relatively inexpensive amplifier but it played this CD amazingly well. Some irritating treble "spikes" and nervousness in the mid-range were still there but I simply knew that it was not the recording amplifier and Responsible Additionally I have some kind of allergic reaction for These Particular flaws of sound. When I tried just to listen to the music without analyzing it, just feel the mood - I could do it without a problem. There was rhythm, depth, strong bass. My feeling was the same with the next recording - Freak Perfume by my favorite post-Gothic, post-DM (Dependent Mode), German band Diary of Dreams. Also here I was positively surprised by the bass, but also that the ability is present the depth and coherency of the sound.
 
I think that one of the Reasons of me got "caught" was how the TRV-88SE presents low frequencies. Tri stood on Base stand right after I took Struss Chopin MkIV of, so it was an easy comparison and I heard immediately Freight That Japanese amplifier does not do as low as English solid-state amp and also resolution at the low-end was as good. But the mid-bass presented by Tri was amazingly strong, rich and really "reaching to my guts" even more than Struss did. It is really an expression in my vocabulary but I see it often in Readers letters , so it obviously has its meaning. Electronic music sounded really strong and rich. Not just electronics, also Marta's Paich piano was that good partially because it was not "lean", it was well "anchored" on the stage. I got exactly the same impression from the new recording of the same piano from a beautiful record called Viaticum est The sound is by itself very rich and tangible but Tri managed convey That is even better. Or maybe it did not convey anything, maybe just preserved in its original way. You might have a different opinion on That because That is not a perfect sound and it has its "Chinese-tube-amplifier-like" flaws. The biggest one is some simplification in the upper mid-range - somewhere around 1 kHz. This frequency can be bumped up because we realize what I described above.
 
 
Taking it Objectively this frequency is not really bumped up it is just as one perceives it. So to compensate That effect you have to bump up a bit lower mid-range. I think that is exactly what they did in the TRV-88SE. This is of course a deviation from flat frequency response throughout whole approach. I've heard though so many "neutral" sounding devices were made ​​neutral That would leveling of (measurable) range, that were absolutely unlistenable, so that I perfectly understand choices made ​​when designing this amp. If the voice in the recording sounds a bit lean - you will hear it. Diary of Dreams CD starts with Vin Diesel's monologue coming from Pitch Black movie (director David Twohy, 2000). Actor's voice sounds lean and Tri presents it in this exact Manner. Rights That comes after electronic music and everything gets back to normal but you already know that quality of vocal recording on this CD is not the best one. But still Mark Knopfler's voice and warm voices from Stockfisch Records sampler Closer To The Music. Vol. 3 were presented bit lower than that my system. Already'd mentioned "plastic" debris on the upper mid-range was audible (at least when comparing it more expensive amplifiers), but no bigger than in any other amp in a price range up to 10,000 PLN. You know what you get and what you pay for.
 
The most important virtue of this amp is it's "commitment" or a good time it offers. Americans call it simply "fun". And that's what it is about. What you get from Tri is music, not sounds. We listen to more and more recording to hear the music and not how Particular instrument would sound like. It lacks a bit of strong dynamics, but it is possible That with given set of virtues and flaws bumping up dynamics might ruin the final effect. Usually when we mention tube amplifier in mean some stereotype - gentle trebles, strong, rich mid-range, and not too well controlled bass. And this is what you get if you buy this one. Only the bass is better than in this stereotype description. This is a tube amp in the best meaning of this words. My Leben CS300 is also a tube device but offering totally different sound - more precise, faster and with much better resolution. It simply asks for the best sources and speakers. Tri is the opposite - it offers complete, finished sound That should satisfy you here and now. It will pay off to pair it with some source offering clear, precise sound like Azur 840C Cambridge Audio , or Cyrus CD 8 SE. And that's it. Than all you have to do it buy more and more CDs. In a way That is in contrary to the audiophile's concept of striving for perfection. But it might be as close to goal as That many audiophiles would ever get.
 
Tube rolling was an important experience during this review. If you take cost-wise approach there is absolutely no justification for such a huge investment as tubes and CoolDampers cost just a bit less than the whole amplifier. But still I was a useful experience That Showed me the route this project took from designer's computer screen to the final product. Thanks to Those elements I could follow all pieces of this puzzle are put right places by the designer. To make a long story short - tube rolling sound changed totally. Totally! And the changes were not Necessarily only good ones as they might have expected. Became sound crystal clear with amazing resolution. The change was huge! But amp's limitations Became obvious at the same time. It is Relatively inexpensive device and you can not expect it to work as well as amplifiers costing PLN 15,000 or more. TRV-88ES with its tubes was built to Achieve balance between what it was supposed to Achieve and what was really achievable. This is a great job done by designer. You can enjoy the music from this amp right out-of-the-box - this is an "instant" device, ready to use without any voodoo activities. When we get a clearer sound from tubes it will turn out That the mid-range is not so Precisely presented as to more expensive amps. Most likely it is not only about the Tri but also depending on the loudspeakers hooked up. 
 
If you want to tube roll the I suggest the omens from ETA and then connect to Stirling Broadcast, Harbeths or Spendors effect should be amazing. My suggestion - start with exchange of tubes in the first stage for EATs, than drivers from Siemens or Philips and finally power tubes for Genalex or Electro-Harmonix ones. Then you will have an amplifier That should keep you satisfied for many years. 
 
What about the headphone amp? Well - it sound exactly the same way as with loudspeakers. In Consequence if you use Chinese tube you should not go for Grado AKG. After rolling sound tube will be purer and you will gain lots of dynamics. In my opinion external headphone amp will not be needed. Leben CS300 offers a bit wider sound-stage, and the sound is more sophisticated, but the differences should not give you a headache of course if the character of the Tri is what you are looking for.
 
DESCRIPTION

TRV-88SE small, compact device with its characteristic feature - beautiful burgundy lacquer finish. The front is trimmed out in a thick aluminium plate and side panels are wooden. At the front you will find a mechanical mains power switch with blue LED (red would look much better I think), an attenuator, input selector and additional RCA input. Right next to the latter you will find the port for headphone jack (6.3mm) .At the back there two more RCA inputs, "pre-in" input and record out. IEC socket in the middle and next to it 2x3 speaker binding posts (for 6 and 8 Ω) - Those comes from a very good source - American manufacturer Charming Music Conductor . There are "classic" tubes used - in the input stage 12AX7 triode double, drivers are also double triodes 12AU7, power tubes are KT88 beam tetrodes, working as triodes in AB class in a push-pull circuit.

 
There a lot of quite precious elements used inside. All resistors are very precise Japanese products of KOA. Voltage from transformer goes to Pi filter, with a choking coil and two large Nichicon capacitors. We have the same Nichicon capacitors also in the input stage. Individual inputs are coupled with PPMS type Real Cap capacitors. But by the output tubes in already find beautiful oil Vitamin-Q capacitors. Those same ones as used in Pink Faun preamplifier . There is a PCB in the preamplifier section but all the rest is hard-wired point to point. There is a mechanical open input selector and the potentiometer is a black Alps.
Beautifully made and sound great!......this combination provides the best sound from these loudspeakers.
Ron Nagle

REVIEW SUMMARY: the TRI Monoblock Amplifiers, if matched with reasonably efficient high-resolution loudspeakers, honor the sound of music with a crystal clear view of the performance. Lest I forget, I place great value on a components ability to portray a detailed realistic stage comprised of depth, width and height. As you should expect a 60-watt tube amplifier will not have the same low frequency transient speed or impact at bass frequencies like some large solid-state amplifiers......  What I do want is something tonally accurate with a perfectly integrated frequency spanning continuous balance.

For me the TRI TRV-M88SE amplifiers would form the heart of a high-quality system. They look wonderful and the price is justified by high quality construction specifically the inclusion of first-rate components, materials and workmanship. I expect that this will translate into increased reliability and long life. This is certainly not the euphonic sound of an old style classic amplifier. Rather this is a very modern example of a mid power tube design by Junichi Yamasaki pushing the limits of what is possible with today's technology. Beautiful amps beautifully made they sound great and they certainly merit your audition. Wish I had room for them. 

EXTENDED REVIEW: Triode TRV-M88SE Monoblock Tube Amplifiers  As I recall, it was last year at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2006 in Denver when I first saw the TRI tube amplifiers in room 1121 it was the third weekend of October. This past January at the CES 2007 in Las Vegas I stopped by their room at the Venetian Hotel. I will have to admit even though I know you can't tell a component by its cover these little amplifiers certainly caught my eye, they were so damn pretty looking. I can easily imagine waking up some Christmas morning to find these Chrome and Candy Apple red beauties under my Christmas tree. Of the six TRI components on display it was the KT88 powered TRV-M88SE that I wanted to get my hot little audiophile paws on. To my way of thinking if I was going go the tube route then I wanted the most muscle they had and these pretty 60 watts per side power pushers filled the need. In my opinion there is a dichotomy concerning the name of this company. It lends the impression that the Triode Company makes only triode tube amplifiers and that is certainly not the case. The products they manufacture consist of an integrated amp and a preamp that can be paired with the company's mono or stereo amplifiers. They use KT88, 300B and EL34, power tubes in push/pull AB mode also in parallel single ended circuit configurations. So to be exact the TRI amplifiers of the Triode Corporation are not all triode. This is probably why the amplifiers only have only the first three letters TRI on the front panel. A lot of the metal fabrication is made in China. But the Triode Corporation is a Japanese company that like many others has some parts made in the Peoples Republic of China however the wiring and final assembly are done in Japan.

The Nut's & Bolts Below

Triode TRV-M88SE Monoblock AmplifiersA few weeks before I finished writing this article I removed the amplifiers bottom cover what I saw answered some remaining questions I had about the cost of these amplifiers. I realized that there exists strong competition from other amplifier brands with similar specifications at lower manufacturer suggested retail prices. Turns out that these amplifiers are not just another pretty face on the inside the workmanship and parts quality is unusually fine. All the wire runs are dressed in a neat military fashion squared off and bundled with cable ties. The internal parts consist of hi-quality plastic film and non-inductive Vitamin-Q paper in oil capacitors with excellent Nichicon electrolytic capacitors in the choke filtered power supply. In addition. many of the resistors are manufactured in Japan by Kiwame. The tubes are plugged into very nice ceramic sockets by the way. Everything seen is of unusually high quality construction, this is where the money was spent and that is exactly the way it should be.

The TRV-M88SE Monoblock Amplifiers operate in Class AB 1 Push Pull mode using two KT88 pentodes; like I said they are rated at 60 watts per side. During the time that I had them I did my usual product homework and I found some contradictions with the amplifiers specifications. For example one specific item on the web site lists the Triode TRV-M88SE power rating at 60 watts. But in the 6-page manual I received with the amplifiers they are rated at 50 watts. One other thing to scratch your head about, the owner's manual said the amplifiers power stage uses a toroidal transformer but those transformers are shaped like a doughnut, the TRV-M88SE amps have square transformer enclosures. O.K. so I guess you can put a doughnut transformer in any shape can if it's big enough. More than likely this dichotomy of descriptions is a result of translation problems into our English language. And so at the end of this review I will need to list both sets of specifications. Up front the amplifier uses one 12AX7 and one 12AU7 each of these are dual triode tubes. The 12AX7 is classified as a Hi-Mu tube and the 12AU7 is a medium Mu tube. The Greek letter Mu is used to specify tube efficiency.

Like I said these attractive chrome plated twin amplifiers are long on good looks. Even the black wire cage covering the tubes are stylishly good looking and these are held in place with very practical banana plugs. More importantly those candy apple red lacquer transformers are unusually large for a two-tube 60 Watt amplifier. These transformers are made with high quality 6N copper wire over a Shinnittetsu Orient core made in Japan. With these transformers the mono amp's weigh in at a hefty 33 pounds apiece. Keep in mind the single most expensive part of an amplifier is usually the transformers. Just by virtue of their size I would normally expect better sound. Think of it this way, the output transformers can be a bottleneck for music. They are at the last stage of the amplification process and can and do determine the bandwidth of the signals that pass through them. The design of transformers is indeed a complex process but we can say that generally you would need large current capable transformers to produce good bass. Now if you look at the amplifiers front panel you will see the power switch on the left side and just above that a small blue LED for power indication.

The right side has a knob for the non-detented Alps volume control. Lets turn the amplifiers around and take a look at the business end. The rear chassis has a mini toggle switch labeled balance select. This switch configures the amplifier for balanced XLR input or an unbalanced coaxial single ended RCA connection. Directly on the right side of this switch is the female RCA and just below that is the balanced XLR input connection. The rear panel has four WBT style binding posts for speaker cables; you can connect 16-, 8- and 6-Ohm speakers. These are arranged three side by side with the fourth negative post positioned above the middle 8-Ohm post. And on the right side is a receptacle for an IEC style power cord. Every thing that I have seen including all the external metalwork the wire tube cages the switches the tube sockets and all the connectors are first quality I don't see any signs of cost cutting.

Empirically Speaking

 could tell by the labels on the shipping carton that these amps had just cleared customs and that they came from the distributor directly to Moi. The very first time I fired up these amplifiers the sound was disappointing. To be fair, was right in the middle of something completely different and was taking notes on a British integrated amplifier while only stopping for about 20 minutes to plug in the TRI amps. There was a treble problem right out of the box the high end was very bright and hard sounding. I pulled them out of my system packed them up and I sent them off to an audiophile club for an upcoming weekend meeting. A week later at the meeting they were providing power to an older pair of Unity Audio CLA-1 speakers. This room was much larger than my own listening space and the sound reproduction was really good. Apparently all the TRV-M88SE amps needed was a decent break in period. For this gathering the sound was the best I've heard out of this particular system. The top end was wide open and the bass formed a perfect foundation for the musical performance. I guess if one had to characterize this particular reference system I would call it good Mid Fi.

A few days after that society meeting and back at my place I put the TRV-M88SE amplifiers on the floor between my Strata Mini speakers and in front of my equipment rack. Allowed the amplifiers cook for a day or two playing free HD radio captured by my intriguing new toy, a Sangean HDT-1 component tuner. Most of the time listening to the amplifiers was when they were hooked up to my Strata Mini speakers and they proved to be a tough nut to crack. By that I mean they were transparent like some mega buck solid-state amplifier. Surprisingly clean and clear to the point that I struggled to find a hook to hang a description on. Decided to run the amps with my little Aurum Cantus Leisure 2SE speakers and once again they helped to fill in many of the answers I searched for.

These are Chinese two-way speakers that use a 80mm Aurum Cantus G2 ribbon tweeter (Price for the tweeter $200) this is a super revealing and super fast speaker that has extension out to 35K Hertz and clean bass down to 65 hertz. Utilizing my Rives test disc and a Radio Shack SPL Meter at my listening position I measured a 40Hz signal at -7dB, lower than at a midband 1kHz reference point. Now that's still fair bass output. Originally I purchased the speakers to review cables reasoning that any small nonlinear response would be easy to hear. I powered up this pairing and all quite suddenly the TRI TRV M88SE and the Aurum Cantus were seemingly made for each other. Nothing is hidden save the last octave of bass. From the mid bass on up to the limits of my hearing they are fast detailed and sing with a natural harmonic totality that lets you hear deep into the performance. Just recently I bought a used CD; it was Paul Simon and the album Graceland (Warner 9-25447-2). My two favorite tracks are 5 and 6, "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes" and "You Can Call Me Al." At four minuets into the track of Diamonds you can hear the accompanying Ladysmith Black Mambazo as a deep background rumble growing louder underneath a complex layering way back in the center image. I love the way the electric bass lines of these two songs threads the music and the arrangement together it's much more than simply establishing a tempo. The midrange has the vitality and speed that can breath life into the performance. What a nice match these two make it was hard to stop my toes from tapping along.

Conclusions

I have used these reference Aurum Cantus speakers now with a total of six different amplifiers and two of those cost a lot more than the TRV-M88SE. And so far, this combination provides the best sound from these loudspeakers. Furthermore, I know these loudspeakers so well that I can listen back through them and hear the amplifier driving them and I know what they impart to the sound. Apparently all what was needed was speed and dynamic ability to show the amp's inherent tonal accuracy. Am still surprised at how extended the high frequencies are they seem to reach out to dog whistle territory. I love this wide-open airy quality.

 
At this point you might be thinking that's fine and dandy but I don't have your ribbon-equipped speakers. That maybe true, but the point is the Hi-Def Aurum Cantus speakers would most certainly reveal any amplifier related weaknesses if they had any. Let me put this another way, my experience with these TRI amplifiers shows the faster and more revealing your system is the better. It doesn't absolutely have to include ribbon drivers. The Krell LAT-1 speaker immediately comes to mind as an example of a highly detailed conventional piston driver system with extremely fast reflexes.
 
The TRI Monoblock Amplifiers, if matched with reasonably efficient high-resolution loudspeakers, honor the sound of music with a crystal clear view of the performance. Lest I forget, I place great value on a components ability to portray a detailed realistic stage comprised of depth, width and height. As you should expect a 60-watt tube amplifier will not have the same low frequency transient speed or impact at bass frequencies like some large solid-state amplifiers. Am not concerned much about the very deepest of bass notes. What I do want is something tonally accurate with a perfectly integrated frequency spanning continuous balance.
 
For me the TRI TRV-M88SE amplifiers would form the heart of a high-quality system. They look wonderful and the price is justified by high quality construction specifically the inclusion of first-rate components, materials and workmanship. I expect that this will translate into increased reliability and long life. This is certainly not the euphonic sound of an old style classic amplifier. Rather this is a very modern example of a mid power tube design by Junichi Yamasaki pushing the limits of what is possible with today's technology. Beautiful amps beautifully made they sound great and they certainly merit your audition. Wish I had room for them. Semper Hi-Fi
I have to say that this was the most impressive system I heard at CES 2012."
Aron Garrecht
Totally Tubular: Triode's all new TRX-M845 SECA 50w class A single-ended Mono Blocks @ CES 2012 
Over the years, the Venetian hotel has become the hot spot for higher-end products at CES, and anyone who has visited the Venetian knows it's important to keep a keen perspective of things because many of the two-channel music systems on display there can cost more than your house.
 
With my perspective in check, I began making my way up and down the halls of the Venetian looking for new products when I was unexpectedly stopped in my tracks by a fantastic-sounding system. Once I sat down for a serious listen, I learned it was a joint effort between two companies: Triode Corporation and Acoustic Zen. The system itself consisted of all Triode electronics: a TRX-1 tubed preamp, TRV-CD5SE tubed CD player), and a pair of TRX-M845SE monoblocks . The speakers were Acoustic Zen Crescendos. 
 
The sound was simply spellbinding. I can't recall hearing imaging this good on any system using conventional speakers for less than US$100,000, and if you do the math, you'll note that this system doesn't even reach US$50,000. Not only did it image well in front of me, but it placed instruments three to four feet in front, behind, and beside the speakers! Bass control was tremendous, and the balance of warmth and detail throughout the midrange and top end was some of the best I've heard in a system where every component utilizes tubes. What's more, two of the products used in this system, the preamp and the amplifiers, just went into production less than a week ago, as they're the first of their kind for Triode. According to the reps, they've never made a preamp or monoblocks before.
 
The amplifier is not only visually impressive; it's actually quite distinctive in its design. The TRX-M845SE takes advantage of a selectable-bias input stage using two different tubes (12AU7 or 6SN7), and it has an unusual output stage configuration consisting of one Triode 845 tube driving two other Triode 845s in parallel. The result is 50W of clean class-A power into an 8-ohm load. How big of an impact both the new monoblocks and preamp had on the sound I cannot say, but I can say that I could have listened to it all morning.
 
The relatively low price and tremendous performance of this system presents an enormous value in a world where a pair of monoblocks alone can cost well over US$100,000. For this reason, I have to say that this was the most impressive system I heard at CES 2012."
"Triode brings out the joy, beauty & dynamics of music that will have you listening into the wee small hours. "
Paul Burgess - Vintage Tubes
Hello Terry,
Coming from a sales and marketing background I tend to take statements  like these with a grain of salt ....
 
"Triode brings out the joy, beauty & dynamics of music that will have  you listening into the wee small hours. "
 
Well until I recently that is, but after listening to the TRIODE  TRX-PL6 REFERENCE AMPLIFER in my system for a few days and nights,
 
I did indeed find it very hard to turn off in the evenings or  worse/better still to give back to Terry of Audio Reference Co in  Auckland.
 
The Japanese designer has gone all out with his new reference series and has  produced a range of hi end equipment that can take on the big boys of the audio  world.
 
This little red coloured Lexus finished amplifier produces a musical rapture that is quite hard to describe in real terms.
 
This is the best way for me to describe it....
 
The amplifier allows the music to transcend my audio system.
 
It creates a 3 dimensional holographic image of performers and performance with an amazing front to back depth, in triode mode through my Audio Note AN-E speakers.
 
It captures the air and space of studios and concert halls and just shimmers with each instrument and voice in it's own space .
 
It can take a whole range of power tubes however I have found the KT88 is the best sounding in my system as it just has so much headroom to spare.
 
It has responded extremely well to tube rolling when I tried a range of vintage  valves in it and they took its magic to a whole new level of performance.
 
British Mullard 12AX7 and GEC KT88 tubes were the ones that suited it best.
 
Needless to say it is staying in my system and I am now listening into the wee small hours.
 
Best Regards
......Paul Burgess
Newport 2012: Acoustic Zen and Triode Corporation - Tubes. Bigger speakers. Sexy finishes. Sultry sound. Thundering bass.
by Part-Time Audiophile

Here’s the bottom line — audiophile gear can easily cost more than a car. In some cases, more than a house. I don’t really get that kind of gear, but whatever. But, as everyone keeps saying, quality doesn’t have to come with that kind of price tag. The Acoustic Zen/Triode Corp room was another, elegantly phrased, case in point. No, it’s not cheap by any means. But where the cost/performance/aesthetic grid meet to chart that epic curve, you’ll find this gear there, right at the start.

This look, this gear, this sound — this is why we’re audiophiles.
 
This is the gear we take home to our long-suffering families and loved ones and they finally say, “Wow. I get it now.”
 
This is the sound that stuns our friends and neighbours, rendering forever inadequate their box-store receivers and crap-ass speakers. This is where their plotting starts.
 
Hee hee!
 
I love finding an Acoustic Zen/Triode Corp room at an audio show. Every one of them has  been an exercise in the best possible kind of audiophile excess. This is luscious, gorgeous stuff. And it looks great, too.
 
Robert Lee of Acoustic Zen teamed up yet again here at Newport with Santy Oropel of Twin Audio Video (the importer for the excellent and affordable Triode Corp line of tube gear and more) to put together a textured, layered sound that was easily among the best at the show. Again. This is becoming something of a thing for these two, who seemed to have come up with a formula these last few years that has consistently and thoroughly soothed my savage beast, tickled my fancy, and sketched giant shit-eating grins all over my face.
 
Robert thinks I’m funny. But then, hey, looks aren’t everything (har, har). Ahem. Moving on ….
 
In this room, Robert was showing his mid-range $16,900 Crescendo loudspeaker in a burled finish you kind of have to see to truly believe. To say that it’s “furniture grade” does it something of an injustice, but that’s just where things start. This Acoustic Zen speaker is a transmission-line 3-way design with a horn-loaded tweeter and some giant bass drivers.
 
I got a chance to play my Chris Jones CD, Roadhouses and Automobiles. My bass torture track, “No Sanctuary Here”, is a tour-de-force of creepy atmospheric thunder — but only if the speakers can “do that”. Here, they “did that” in a way that made a couple of the other folks in the room look at me as if to say “what the hell are we listening to?” Robert promptly plucked the CD case from my hand and I wasn’t sure he was going to give it back. Anyway, thrilling stuff.
 
Moving on to the electronics, Triode Corp gear included a TRV-CD5SE CD, a TRX-1 preamplifier, and a pair of huge Triode TRX-M845SE monoblocks. A word about this gear — it’s all assembled in Japan, one. Two, it has a level of fit-and-finish that is startling to look at. For example, the first amplifier my wife looked at and called “pretty” was a Triode Corp integrated. There’s the red lacquer, gleaming chrome, and glowing bits that really lift this brand out of the haze of reasonably-price electronics. And lastly, three – all that’s irrelevant as it’s the sound quality that makes them a must-audition.
 
Here’s the bottom line — audiophile gear can easily cost more than a car. In some cases, more than a house. I don’t really get that kind of gear, but whatever. But, as everyone keeps saying, quality doesn’t have to come with that kind of price tag. The Acoustic Zen/Triode Corp room was another, elegantly phrased, case in point. No, it’s not cheap by any means. But where the cost/performance/aesthetic grid meet to chart that epic curve, you’ll find this gear there, right at the start.
 
Lucky for you, Robert and Santy do a lot of shows. Find them. Bring your CDs. Plan on taking your time. I think you’ll find the time well spent.
I find I have recently started enjoying listening to my CDs again
Paul Burgess @ St Johns
Hello Terry, 
After recently sending you my joyful endorsement of my new TRIODE TRX-PL6 REFERENCE AMPLIFIER there has been of a further development to my musical enjoyment.
 
I have about 400 odd CDs which have been sitting gathering dust for the last 4 years, as I have mainly been collecting and enjoying listening to records, as I love the warmth and natural sound of analog.
 
I find I have recently started enjoying listening to my CDs again as they sound very musical and natural via the triode mode of the Triode TRX-PL6 amplifier and so now I have the best of both world to enjoy.
 
Best Regards 
Paul
Image: 
A Legend Reborn
Dick Olsher

partnered by a first-rate front end, the M300 is capable of spooky dimensionality and image outlines that are palpable to the max. If at the end of a long day, you simply wish to kick back and enjoy the music with your favorite beverage in hand, I can’t think of a finer amplifier with which to unwind and forget your troubles. It is a superlative achievement from the prolific mind of Yamazaki-san and one that will do wonders for your mental health without devastating your bank account. 

Detail with Ease
 
The M300 delivered what can only be described as magical image solidity. Solid-state amps would kill for it, and even tube push-pull designs can’t quite compete. Image outlines were sculpted with palpable presence and anchored firmly within a spacious soundstage. In my experience, the sensation of reaching out and touching someone engendered by this amp has only been matched by a handful of SET-design tube amps. This spatial attribute should not be understood to merely denote static precision but to also encompass the ebb and flow of the harmonic envelope of each instrument. The end result was a convincing, breathing, 3-D spatial expanse. An illusion to be sure, but with my eyes closed, the impression felt about as real as it gets from a two-channel audio system.
 
Bandwidth and transient speed were pretty impressive for an SET amplifier, and this speaks to the quality of the output transformer. The single-ended output tranny has traditionally been a weak spot in many designs, accounting for a bandwidth barely exceeding 20kHz and consequently textures that are overly liquid with the consistency of maple syrup. By contrast, the M300 sang sweetly but with transient clarity and sufficient transparency to penetrate deeply into a complex mix. There was a fabulous amount of detail to behold, and I’m talking about detail that floated naturally to the surface rather than detail that was artificially highlighted by an excess of textural brightness and glare. What was so consistently wonderful about this amp was its relaxed manner, its fluidity of motion, and its ease of expression. It never appeared to work hard or complain even when driven to loud volume levels. It sounded far more powerful than its 8 watts power rating would suggest, but keep in mind that it was mated with a 96dB-sensitive load throughout the evaluation period. In fact, I would hesitate to recommend a less-sensitive load. There may be exceptions, however, especially if you plan to listen in a small room at low volume levels. In any case, I would not breach a sensitivity threshold of 92dB. I experimented with both the 6-and 8-ohm taps and preferred the 8-ohm set for its better bass damping and definition. When multiple taps are available, it’s always wise to try at least a couple of the available options to determine which sounds best in your system. Bass lines flowed with plenty of boogie factor and possessed a tuneful character that blended nicely with the core of the midrange. I didn’t expect nor did I obtain the bone-crushing low end typical of high-current solid-state amplification, but I was constantly surprised by the M300’s dynamic prowess. The ability to accelerate an orchestral crescendo from soft to loud was simply breathtaking, and in this respect it exceeded the macrodynamic performance of high-power push-pull amplifiers. The M300 offered a fitting testament to the potency of the first watt. It’s the first watt that sets the stage and ignites the microdynamic palette. And if the first watt doesn’t get the job done, there’s not much need in my book for another 99 watts like it.
 
Subtle Differences
 
As for tonal balance and timbre fidelity, there were noticeable differences among the three competing 300Bs. It was all the more surprising in the case of the Westrex and Psvane 300B since both are said to be exact replicas of the original WE design. The inescapable conclusion is that there must be some subtle construction and/or material differences between these two copies of the original. The Westrex possessed the best spatial resolution and on properly miked recordings delivered startling focus. It was able, for example, to resolve a naturally recorded drum kit without spatial smearing. It was also the sweetest and most refined-sounding of the bunch.
 
If music were a beauty contest, the Westrex 300B would surely be the winner. However, there’s more to music than beauty and the Psvane delivered a slightly more forward and energetic presentation, highlighting the fact that the Westrex is simply a bit too laid-back. When it came to timbre, the Psvane was nothing short of amazing, superbly rendering soprano voice with vivid colors. As you can surmise, the Westrex was far more forgiving of less-than-ideal recordings. The TJ 300B was no sonic slouch, but it was outgunned when it came to textural purity and timbral fidelity. Its major sonic calling card was a punchy big-bodied midrange that could generate plenty of visceral excitement. To confess, I could live happily ever after with the Psvane WE300B, though your ultimate 300B choice will no doubt be affected by the associated front end and matching loudspeakers.
 
At its best, partnered by a first-rate front end, the M300 is capable of spooky dimensionality and image outlines that are palpable to the max. If at the end of a long day, you simply wish to kick back and enjoy the music with your favorite beverage in hand, I can’t think of a finer amplifier with which to unwind and forget your troubles. It is a superlative achievement from the prolific mind of Yamazaki-san and one that will do wonders for your mental health without devastating your bank account. The 300B has often been thought of as a civilized and refined member of the directly heated triode family. But as the TRX-M300 clearly demonstrates, there is much more to its story than that. The Triode TRX-M300 showcases the beauty and dynamic power that is the full potential of the much-venerated 300B, and therefore earns my highest recommendation.
......an awesome well priced valve solution,
Shane
To summarise - the TRI TRV-4SE Pre-amp is an awesome well priced valve solution, its quiet, smooth, spacious and it is now imaging well into the room. I’m hoping Terry will forget I’ve got it at home. It will be hard to let go.
 
TRI TRV-4SE Preamp review:
OK so I work for Terry and I sell Tri Valve gear so naturally it was only time before I would take one home and try (should that be TRI) in my system. I’ve previously owned a VTL2.5 pre and loved the warm smooth sound of valve pre into my Perreaux Power Amp. Being in the HIFI industry I do change my home set up from time to time.
 
Firstly the TRI TRV -SE looks fantastic. I don’t know how anyone could craft such a lovely piece at the price point. Controls are smooth and the RCA connections are solid, it even has a RCA pair on the front panel for those drop in friend’s Ipods.
Straight out of the box the music was there in the room, The “Waifs” vocals imaged beautifully and had a lovely space. Within an hour it was 10pm and 3 LPs later at midnight it was well past bed time. The breathy Ryan Adams to and my ole favourites like Thomas Dolby’s “Alien’s ate my Buick” Album just rocked, ………just one more album. This is using the on board phono stage in the 4SE.

Next morning Danielle asked had I changed something in the stereo as she noticed it sounded better from down the hall. She has since had the stereo on every day playing her Joe Jackson “Jumpin Jive” favourite album amongst others, even the kid’s stories sound softer, which can be a blessing.

To summarise the TRI TRV-4SE Pre-amp is an awesome well priced valve solution, its quiet, smooth, spacious and it is now imaging well into the room. I’m hoping Terry will forget I’ve got it at home. It will be hard to let go.

Try a TRI, you’ll love it. It really does reproduce music. And being a muso I am very old school. Piano must be Piano, and don’t even bother if the acoustic guitar doesn’t have me guessing the brand and model.
 
Regards
Shane
(TRI also offer a wide range of  integrated units, mono blocks, pre and a CD play)
A delightful pure valve sound thats fast and clear, incredibly engaging......A REAL FRONT RUNNER IN THE RACE FOR FIDELITY
Noel Keywood

SEE: HIFi WORLD - JULY 2010 Volume 20 No5 Pg 78 for an excellent review on this wonderful little tube integrated amp.

HEADLINE:
NOEL KEYWOOD IS DAXZZELED BY TRIODE CORPS SUPERB TRV-88SE VALVE AMP........

REVIEW SUMMARY:
IT IS MUSICALLY ADEPT TO A DEGREE THAT I AM AFRAID TO SAY SILENCES A LOT ELSE.
SEEN AS A MODERN COMPACT, BEAUTIFULLY DOMESTICATED, HI-FI AMPLIFIER FREE FROM HASSLE AND RELIGION IT IS RIGHT ON THE MONEY. .
A SONIC WONDER IN ITS OWN WAY THE TRV-88SE AMPLFIES MUSIC WITH RARE ABILITY .....IT IS HIGH FIDELITY IN ITS PUREST TERMS AND SIMPLEST FORM AND A COMPLETE DELIGHT WHATEVER I PLAYER ON IT, SO ABSOLUTELY TOP MARKS ALL AROUND. ITS A LOVELY SOUNDING AMPLIFIER, A REAL FRONT RUNNER IN THE RACE FOR FIDELITY AND ELEGANT ON THE EYE TOO.....

JOY THROUGH TRIODE TRV-KT88 review

SUMMARRY REVIEW: This amp is an emotionally communicative joy and utterly addictive to whatever is playing through it. I’ve actually had to wait until the current CD finished playing to continue writing this letter,

None of my music sounds like it ever has before, a whole collection to now explore and rediscover anew. The KT88s drive the KEFs very well, bass is taut and punchy, midrange so open and clear, yet the sheer musicality of this wonderful musical instrument makes it very difficult to talk in the usual hi-fi terms, there’s just ... music ... effortlessly. How incredibly beautiful!

EXTENDED REVIEW: Hi team and in particular to Noel. Why? On the strength of his somewhat favourable review of the TRI TRV-88SE valve amplifier in the July issue, I ordered one immediately! OK, it wasn’t a totally off the cuff decision. I’ve been wanting to create a new heart for my hi-fi system for a little while now and I’d been mulling over the idea for a fully valve based amplifying system ever since auditioning the fabulous TRI TRV-4SE preamp in my home some months ago.

This wonderful bit of kit, when connected with a set of SlinkyLink interconnects to my highly upgraded headphone amp (Black Gates, Dale resistors and an Audio-gd HDAM) driving a set of Sennheiser HD 650s made the amp and cans sound like a million bucks. I simply could barely believe such bass and tonal definition coming from the Sennheisers. Such an incredibly smooth and detailed balance from top to bottom.

I began to wonder if the TRI TRV-88SE  integrated amps also had such qualities and so only weeks ago I was able to borrow a TRI TRV-34SE integrated amp, the EL34 tubed version. Not being certain that either the EL34s or the KT88 would drive my KEF Q7s very well, this would be a good test. I was impressed!

Yes, the EL34s were a touch rolled in the top end, exacerbated by the KEFs not having a particularly extended top end (although I’m very aware of this with them, I still love so much of what they bring musically to the party, so to speak) and lower bass was a little softened, the sheer magic in the midrange, the glorious openness and communication was enough for me to make the decision to go for the KT88 powered version.

Duly ordered, they were excitedly brought home to my living room just five days ago and have already notched up some 40 hours of running in time. This is my first brand new out-of-the-box amplifier in some thirty of thirty seven years in audio, so this is a huge treat for me.

Gee, what can I say that Noel hasn’t already said! 

This amp is an emotionally communicative joy and utterly addictive to whatever is playing through it. I’ve actually had to wait until the current CD finished playing to continue writing this letter, two visits to my listening seat left my laptop in mid sentence, Tanita Tikaram’s Ancient Heart CD having me utterly entranced, the strings on Valentine Heart so luscious and expansive and her voice and piano are so gloriously emotive ... what’s a bloke to do? The swagger and swinging beat of Twist In My Sobriety draws me like a magnet into the tune as a whole. None of my music sounds like it ever has before, a whole collection to now explore and rediscover anew. The KT88s drive the KEFs very well, bass is taut and punchy, midrange so open and clear, yet the sheer musicality of this wonderful musical instrument makes it very difficult to talk in the usual hi-fi terms, there’s just ... music ... effortlessly. How incredibly beautiful!

So Noel, thank you for helping to make a decision so right that I can barely imagine now not having made it. A truly fabulous heart to my new hi-fi system, it awaits a new set of even better matched speakers when I leave my current home for a smaller one in the near future. 

The KEFs portray plenty of soundstage in both width and depth and when I use my DAC as a preamp into the Pre-In sockets on the TRI amp, the walls and hi-fi system totally vanish even more. Actually, it’s almost spookily eerie in a virtual reality way, my lounge being replaced with the venue of wherever the Rutter Requiem was recorded, the soprano standing in space and surrounded by the choir and orchestra, the acoustics clearly heard from the roof of the venue. That’s really something in my book!

I am in great appreciation to you (and the team in general, as I so enjoy picking up my copy of Hi-Fi World each month!) for, in a way, transferring your great enthusiasm for this amplifier into my own lounge every day! A set of Shuguang Treasure Series Black Bottle KT88s are in the pipeline, maybe TJ Full Music 12AU and AX7s as well.

I adore this musical treasure!

       The Triode TRI 88SE amplifier persuaded Christopher White to buy their CD45SE CD player.

OH AND...I did mean to mention the fact that the TRI CD4SE player is the first and only player I’ve ever owned that I can just sit down and really listen to music with, no matter the genre. At this moment I’m listening to David Gray’s Lost Songs 95-98 and it’s utterly mesmerising. The only other CD player that has done that for me was quite a few years ago when a friend had a NAD Silver Line S1, it was connected to a valve preamp, upgraded Leak Stereo 12 monoblocs and Quad Electrostatics. From memory we were playing some female vocals in the form of Nancy Griffiths and it’s just as well I was sitting down, because I just melted and sank into the couch. No other CD player has done that for me until now. I’ll be happy if this is the last CD player I ever buy; sometimes I use my Apple laptop via Kimber USB cable to the MusicStreamer II+, through SlinkLinks ICs into the TRI amp and although there is yet another small increase in absolute purity and transparency in bass and high treble, I still prefer the emotionally communicative abilities of the TRI CD player, and whether some might say it’s added distortion of the valve or something else, I’m not bothered. Participating in the musical event is far more important to me than sitting there going, “Yes, the transparency is stunning and that extra cowbell in the back of the soundstage is more noticeable now ...... but .. I’m not moved.” The combination of the two TRI components is simply enchanting, made even more so by the addition of a Mullard 12AX7 in the front end of the TRI amp and the Mullard ECC88 in the CD player. Happyville!

Kind regards,
Christopher White (NZ)

A REPLY FROM NOEL - HI-FI WORLD
Ah, a convert to the bottle – the glowing bottle that is. Editor David Price will, however, suspect I wrote the letter, your praise is so effusive. He does not believe I am able to bring joy to readers (!).
 
But really, it can be quite a shock to hear a good valve amp and I’m glad you like it and find it as beguiling as I did. Valve amps come with a wide variety of presentations these days but the Triode Corporation TRV-88SE was classy – and KT88s usually have a bit more kick to their sound than the EL34
........NK

Awards

TAS - The Absolute Sound - winner of: LOW-POWERED SET AMP of the Year award 2013
When Triode Corporation’s Yamazaki-san decided to design a reference-caliber 300B mono block amp, he looked to the classic Western Electric WE 91A amplifier for guidance—a decision that deserves a standing ovation. Think of the M300 as a modern version of the WE 91A, complete with a 274B rectifier, a pair of 310A receiving pentodes, and a Psvane WE300B. The colossal gain of the original has been tamed to obtain a reasonable input sensitivity of 0.8V. Increased power-supply sophistication makes for an exceptionally quiet SET amplifier.

Image solidity can only be described as magical; solid-state amps would kill for it.

Bandwidth and transient speed are pretty impressive for an SET design. Don’t expect bone-crushing bass slam, but prepare to be surprised by its dynamic prowess and breathtaking acceleration of an orchestral crescendo from soft to loud.

In the company of high-sensitivity loudspeakers, the M300 offers a fitting testament to the potency of the first watt and showcases the beauty and dynamic potential of the much-venerated 300B triode. (DO, 236)

Testimonials

TriodeTRX-P6L stereo amp brings out the joy, beauty & dynamics of music that will have you listening into the wee small hours. "
Hello Terry,
Coming from a sales and marketing background I tend to take statements  like these with a grain of salt ....
 
"Triode brings out the joy, beauty & dynamics of music that will have  you listening into the wee small hours. "
 
Well until I recently that is, but after listening to the TRIODE  TRX-PL6 REFERENCE AMPLIFER in my system for a few days and nights,
 
I did indeed find it very hard to turn off in the evenings or  worse/better still to give back to Terry of Audio Reference Co in  Auckland.
 
The Japanese designer has gone all out with his new reference series and has  produced a range of hi end equipment that can take on the big boys of the audio  world.
 
This little red coloured Lexus finished amplifier produces a musical rapture that is quite hard to describe in real terms.
 
This is the best way for me to describe it....
 
The amplifier allows the music to transcend my audio system.
 
It creates a 3 dimensional holographic image of performers and performance with an amazing front to back depth, in triode mode through my Audio Note AN-E speakers.
 
It captures the air and space of studios and concert halls and just shimmers with each instrument and voice in it's own space .
 
It can take a whole range of power tubes however I have found the KT88 is the best sounding in my system as it just has so much headroom to spare.
 
It has responded extremely well to tube rolling when I tried a range of vintage  valves in it and they took its magic to a whole new level of performance.
 
British Mullard 12AX7 and GEC KT88 tubes were the ones that suited it best.
 
Needless to say it is staying in my system and I am now listening into the wee small hours.
 
Best Regards
......Paul Burgess
find I have recently started enjoying listening to my CDs again
Hello Terry, 
After recently sending you my joyful endorsement of my new TRIODE TRX-PL6 REFERENCE AMPLIFIER there has been of a further development to my musical enjoyment.
 
I have about 400 odd CDs which have been sitting gathering dust for the last 4 years, as I have mainly been collecting and enjoying listening to records, as I love the warmth and natural sound of analog.
 
I find I have recently started enjoying listening to my CDs again as they sound very musical and natural via the triode mode of the Triode TRX-PL6 amplifier and so now I have the best of both world to enjoy.
 
Best Regards 
Paul
....hope I can tear myself away to go to work tonight.
Hi Terry,
Payment has just been transferred for the lovely little Triode TRV-EQ4SE phono stage.

I will be listening most of today as well, I just hope I can tear myself away to go to work tonight.

Thank you for another wonderful sounding piece of equipment and of course your excellent service,

Regards
Mike

Thanks again for all your help in getting this gear together. I am thrilled......
Hi Terry,
Quick email to say how wonderful the Brodmann F2s sound driven by the TRV-845SE.

The Woo WA5 is a great headphone amp, but it really isn't an amp to drive speakers. The TRV-845 just kills it.

I have replaced the stock 6SN7s with some nice Shuguang Treasures and also replaced the 2A3s too the 845s are stock. Even with the standard stock output tubes this amp sounds great. I wonder how much better it will be with some burn in time and some higher-end tubes.

Each tube upgrade bumps the amp up another notch - this is a stunning bit of kit. The Brodmann F2s are really 88dB sensitivity speakers when calculated at 1m for 1W, and the TRX-845 drives them easily. I have volume knob at around 8 o'clock (barely on) and it fills my lounge with great. 

Thanks again for all your help in getting this gear together. I am thrilled with the SET + Brodmann combination.with the SET + Brodmann combination.

........Tony