A few weeks ago, I have reviewed some of the best digital amplifiers on my reference system using the Apogee DIVA. The NuForce Reference 9 V2 (last released) was good but not in the same league than a good class A amplifier like a KRELL or a THRESHOLD... Then I lessoned to a CL3 Gemincore 250 and a few other amplifiers (their brand is more confidential).
After these tests, I have reviewed the product that I have in front of me. It is very very small but it offers a stratospheric value and sound, particularly at its ridiculous price...
The system I used for this review is described herebelow:
- CD player: Studer Revox A730
- Amplifier: Trends TA-10
- Loudspeakers: Highland Oran 4301
- CD interconnect cable: MIT Symetric 330
- Loudspeakers cable: QED l'Original
Over the past 20 years, I have listened to many audio systems, and sometimes I had the chance to discover a true bargain, producing a magical experience during which... your heart starts beating like when you fall in love !
During this review, the TRENDS class T amplifier was cold (I did not take enough time to power it on, and let it the necessary time to reach its normal operating temperature). I believe it is important to mention that the TRENDS is a 15W (only) amplifier.
It remembers me the NAIM Nait 2 delivering 20W, that was a very serious contender for the AUDIO RESEARCH, and in another league the NAD3020; these have been 2 "small" amplifiers that have acquired an excellent reputation.
The tehnology of this TRENDS amp is interesting. It is not a class D but a class T amplifier. Inside the box, a sible chip performs most of the amplification, running at the incredible frequency of 650 kHz; this chip is a TRIPATH TA2024, and when we talk about "class T" the "T" stands for the initial of the manufacturer of this chip (T like Tripath).
So, what about the result ?
Well... I am wihout any voice ....
Except when using very big "monsters" amplifiers with a proper setup, I have NEVER heard so many informations with tons of details delivering si much pleasure. The performance of this amplifier is incredible, and becomes even more incredible when looking to its (ridiculous) size...
On the following photography, you can see how small it is:
This amplifier gets our highest award and provided its ridiculous price, maybe even more...
We also give you another useful information: some dealers, such as NDI-FRANCE
, propose an upgraded version with better parts. This should bring it further for an extra cost compared with the original price, but this extra cost remains very (very) low in absolute value.
Please be also informed that the CD player was a giant killer in the past. It uses the well known TDA1541 from Philips, which is a very good competitor in the DAC arena...
The small monitors from HIghland are also great loudspeakers having received a lot of serious awards....
- prince in class T: the 5 stars ranking take the very low price in consideration.
- medium sweet, silk, magic.
- great macro and micro definition
- top accelearation like a 300w
- huge difference in dynamic like class A amplifier
- you can do DIY on some components
- allways cold
- it is really not easy to connect the loudspekers because there is not enough space between the connectors.
- components and parts are basic
You can discuss about this amplifier on our Forum, just go directly here !
Article written by Florent