Discovery

Discovery

The key to building a truly magical amplifier is to maximise the dynamics in the signal and minimise any corruption in the process of amplification. Graham's designs are very concise, using the shortest possible signal path. The Discovery, rated conservatively at 8 watts, is constructed with three carefully divided partitions to eliminate the disruptive effect of magnetic, mechanical and electrical fields for the critical aspects of the circuit. The amplifier is built around the famous 300B valve, that has only three resistors in the circuit and not one capacitor in the signal path. Graham has long been a fan of the 300B valve like many others, but wanted to try to resolve some of it’s apparent weaknesses.

Graham described the development of the amplifier as one of discovery. “There has always been a magical and beautiful richness to the tonal textures possible in the middle frequencies with the 300B valve, however I wanted to discover how to get it to stretch itself in the lower and upper frequencies with the same magic. I would describe the 300B as a little lazy, if you push it too hard it complains, and if you don’t challenge it then it is happy to relax. I honestly feel like I now have discovered the real personality within the valve and the circuit I developed entices a performance from this valve that is truly unique and captivating”

The choice of individual components was also a challenge to ensure the circuit stayed alive and dynamic without smothering the delicate agility of the valve to uncover rich tonal texture. All the components are hard wired and of the highest quality available as well as being oriented to limit interference. Most are specially made to order like the strip wound C core transformers and chokes that are all hand wound. The amplifier takes over 200 hours to carefully assemble, and Graham enjoys the meticulous and intricate work that allows him to focus in an almost Zen like manner. The real pleasure from the build is however the first time that the circuit is switched on, watching those valves wake up and prepare to sing, as you place a favourite LP on the turntable; musical bliss.

 

Features

Specification:
Input: - 1 RCA (L+R) 100k Ohms. 
Output: - 1 set of 2 x 4mm binding posts per channel.
Valve complement: - 2 x 6C45, 2 x 300B, 1 x 5U4GB.
Power output: - 8 Watts (Class A).
Frequency response: - 5Hz - 38kHz +/- 3dB.
Output impedance: - 4, 8 or 16 Ohms.
Mains Supply: 115–240 volts AC (50–60Hz). Earth lift included.
Power Consumption: 300VA
Dimensions (mm): 310w × 450d × 280h
Weight: 38kg (net)
Warranty: 5 years (parts and labour)

 

Model Options

Reference
The Discovery can be upgraded to the Reference specification to further improve the musical performance from all your musical sources. The output transformers form a critical stage in the amplification and in a power amplifier drive the output to the speakers. Ensuring that we maximise this element is critical and so to further improve the voyager we have specially developed some unique non-standard core material that we keep as proprietary knowledge and simply refer to as exotic. These exotic core transformers help to lift the musical performance and enhance the vibrancy and intimacy of the music, in a way that just makes everything sound more immediate and tactile. We also see the use of these cores in the output transformers for the power amplifiers delivering a greater sense of control and power of grip over the speakers; the effect is more like a speaker upgrade than an amplifier.

Ultimate
The Ultimate comes with all the additions of the Reference model, but also uses 99.99% pure solid silver wiring throughout the critical signal path. Silver as a conductor has the advantage of a more revealing and transparent reproduction of the music, however care needs to be taken to ensure that this is delivered in a complete and unified manner as sections of silver in a component in isolation rarely provide a benefit. Finding the right dielectric (insulation) for the cables is also critical to extract the best from this expensive material. Our choice of dielectric enables the ‘skin effect’ associated with incompatible insulation to be rendered almost non existent. This helps to bring the music to a tighter and more cohesive performance, here conventional cables tend to render the small details essential for the whole piece to really hang together in a muddled and incongruent way.

GT

GT Specification is the final step to perfection and to achieve this we have redesigned and built a more significant power supply that is carefully laid out in the existing chassis. This layout is very labour intensive to install but allows me to place the components in their perfect orientation. We have developed specifically designed capacitors for the circuit as readily available samples were not able to maximise the circuit Graham had been working on. We have also wired the whole of the power supply with 99.99% pure silver wire to be absolutely certain that the maximum performance possible is achieved. This has the effect of making silences darker and dynamic shifts in the music even more dramatic, and with a good recording this is phenomenal. I would describe this improvement by making the analogy to film photography; a good print film can have rich beautiful colours and a great tonal range, but when you compare it to a great slide film the depth and richness of the picture just takes your breath away.

Reviews

Telstar

Telstar

The Tron Telstar 211 is named after the famous communications satellite "Telstar", as well as the 211(VT4-C) tube being a famous communications tube. Amplification is achieved by a 6C45 single triode driving the 211/VT4-C output valve. Graham describes the 211 valve as behaving like a racehorse “The 211 valve has an enormous heart and can provide surges of power and dynamic contrast like almost no other, however it can easily be abused and the result is more of a workhorse than thoroughbred. I have worked very hard to capture the best from the valve in a way that allows it to breathe and run free; ensuring the loading is not equivalent to a cart for a racehorse.”

The choice of components in the circuit was also critical to ensure that the dynamic tension in the music was not lost or encumbered; Graham remarks “with such a powerful valve the temptation is to get it to do all the work unaided.” The power output we obtain is deliberately lower than we know is possible, and this is really to ensure that there is headroom for the dynamic changes that make the right music piece so dramatic and captivating. It produces a conservative 12 watts of power and is completely free of any feedback, which allows the circuit to remain both agile and simple.

The 211/VT4-C is transformer coupled to the loudspeaker by a specially made output transformer. The power supply is a valve design and is connected to a pi filter making a very smooth and quiet experience. Measured hum on the output is so low that it is completely inaudible even on loudspeakers of 110dB efficiency (Avantgarde Trio Omegas). Custom made components are used throughout Telstar and these are hard wired between stages, which is labour intensive but allows for the most efficient signal path. The 211 valve is a very special valve, we believe you will understand why the moment you here the Telstar.

 

Features

Specification:
Input: - 1 RCA (L+R) 100k Ohms.
Output: - 1 set of 2 x 4mm binding posts per channel.
Valve complement: - 2 x 6C45, 2 x 211/VT4-C, 2 x 5U4GB.
Power output: - 12 Watts (Class A).
Frequency response: - 5Hz - 38kHz +/- 3dB.
Output impedance: - 4, 8 or 16 Ohms.
Mains Supply: 115–240 volts AC (50–60Hz). Earth lift included.
Power Consumption: 300VA
Dimensions (mm): 310w × 450d × 280h
Weight: 35kg (net)
Warranty: 5 years (parts and labour)

Model Options

Reference

The Telstar can be upgraded to the Reference specification to further improve the musical performance from all your musical sources. The output transformers form a critical stage in the amplification and in a power amplifier drive the output to the speakers. Ensuring that we maximise this element is critical and so to further improve the voyager we have specially developed some unique non-standard core material that we keep as proprietary knowledge and simply refer to as exotic. These exotic core transformers help to lift the musical performance and enhance the vibrancy and intimacy of the music, in a way that just makes everything sound more immediate and tactile. We also see the use of these cores in the output transformers for the power amplifiers delivering a greater sense of control and power of grip over the speakers; the effect is more like a speaker upgrade than an amplifier.

Ultimate

The Ultimate comes with all the additions of the Reference model, but also uses 99.99% pure solid silver wiring throughout the critical signal path. Silver as a conductor has the advantage of a more revealing and transparent reproduction of the music, however care needs to be taken to ensure that this is delivered in a complete and unified manner as sections of silver in a component in isolation rarely provide a benefit. Finding the right dielectric (insulation) for the cables is also critical to extract the best from this expensive material. Our choice of dielectric enables the ‘skin effect’ associated with incompatible insulation to be rendered almost non existent. This helps to bring the music to a tighter and more cohesive performance, here conventional cables tend to render the small details essential for the whole piece to really hang together in a muddled and incongruent way.

GT

GT Specification is the final step to perfection and to achieve this we have redesigned and built a more significant power supply that is carefully laid out in the existing chassis. This layout is very labour intensive to install but allows me to place the components in their perfect orientation. We have developed specifically designed capacitors for the circuit as readily available samples were not able to maximise the circuit Graham had been working on. We have also wired the whole of the power supply with 99.99% pure silver wire to be absolutely certain that the maximum performance possible is achieved. This has the effect of making silences darker and dynamic shifts in the music even more dramatic, and with a good recording this is phenomenal. I would describe this improvement by making the analogy to film photography; a good print film can have rich beautiful colours and a great tonal range, but when you compare it to a great slide film the depth and richness of the picture just takes your breath away.

Reviews

Stereophile - Art Dudley

Stereophile - Ariel Britan

Confessions of a part-time Audiophile

Cessaro Liszt Review - Telstar used in the review

Seven DAC

Seven DAC

Graham had always preferred the sound of a good analogue source (turntable) to the digital sources with the most illuminating musical performances. For years the concept of improving the performance of a digital source remained a nagging thought in the back of Graham’s mind. What was missing in the conversion of music into digital information, and how could Graham build a solution that did the music justice? The answer could be found in the reverse of this process, the reassembly of the digital signal back into analogue; putting all the pieces back together as music not data. It was clear after listening to all the top high-end CD players over the years that to achieve superlative performance in the digital domain, pretty radical things needed to be done. Basically this involved throwing away the CD red book standard and designing for maximum audio performance without adding or taking anything away. Designing a CD player/DAC to measure to red book standards ironically actually makes it sound poor. It took many years of development and a lot of discussion with digital engineers to solve some of the more fundamental problems of musical integrity that digital reproduction can ultimately lack. The final results are spectacular, as one customer summarised it “this sounds more analogue than any other CD system I have heard, but what I actually mean is more musical and less digitally contrived.”

 

Features

The Seven DAC uses a "state of the art" 16 bit chip. There is no up-sampling, no over-sampling and no digital filter. In other words all the things that interfere and degrade the original 16 bit data stream are removed so the original data is preserved. This is then fed to a really elegant class A tube output stage. Digital replay really doesn't get any better than this.

Specification:
Inputs: 1 RCA input SPDIF & 1 XLR AES/EBU - USB to order. 
Outputs: 1 RCA Phono output (L & R).
Valve Complement: 2 × 6072 (low noise).
Frequency Response: 5Hz–37.5kHz ± 3dB.
Output 1.6volts.
Output Impedance: <1000 Ohms
Mains Supply: 115–240 volts AC (50–60Hz). Earth lift included.
Power Consumption: Nominal 12 watts
Dimensions (mm): 450w × 103h × 335d
Weight: 8kg (net)
Warranty: 2 years (parts and labour)

Model Options

Reference
The Seven DAC can be upgraded to the Reference specification to further improve the musical performance from your valuable record collection. Graham painstakingly sources truly unique resistors that in such a simple circuit really bring out a richer and more intimate performance from the artist. We also upgraded the capacitors to a custom specification to work in harmony with the improved resistors; as in most development activities changing one thing in isolation hardly ever results in a balanced improvement. Graham says "it never ceases to amaze me how improving one component can impact the music in such a significant way, and also how long it takes to find the right combination to retain true harmony."

Ultimate
The Ultimate is the last but one step towards analogue perfection, and involves the use of solid silver wiring throughout the critical signal path, and silver interstage transformers. Silver as a conductor has the advantage of a more revealing and transparent reproduction of the music, however care needs to be taken to ensure that this is delivered in a complete and unified manner as sections of silver in a component in isolation rarely provide a benefit. Finding the right dielectric (insulation) for the cables is also critical to extract the best from this expensive material. Graham has also redesigned and built a more significant power supply that is unique to audio, which has the effect of making silences darker and dynamic shifts in the music more dramatic. The result is a little like cleaning your windows; you did not necessarily notice they were blocking any light, until afterwards.

GT 
The Seven GT DAC is the final step towards digital to analogue perfection, and involves the use of a completely new power supply circuit for all the critical stages. Graham says this power supply was 5 years in the making and makes a huge improvement in fidelity taking the Seven GT DAC to one of the finest performing DAC's ever made.

Antares Headphone Amplifier

Antares Headphone Amplifier

A number of TRON owners around the world have been asking me for years to produce a headphone amplifier. Clearly if I was going to make one it would have to be something very special. So after listening to a number of top headphones and amplifiers it was clearly evident there was a massive difference in sound quality between the headphones and todays top loudspeakers: i.e. Cessaro, DeVore Fidelity and Avantgarde Acoustic. This made me think what might be possible if a "State of the Art" amplifier was specifically designed to power the very best high-end headphones in the world. This led to over 2 years of development and testing with all the top headphones from Sennheiser, Audeze, HiFiMan, AKG, Abyss, Pioneer and Ultrasone and this has resulted in the Antares Headphone amplifier being produced. This amplifier has a topology very similar to TRON's top SET designs so the sound is extremely natural, organic and dynamic, just like real music! If you really want to hear your headphones at their very best then you need to hear them through a Tron Antares - a star among headphone amplifiers...

Features

High Current Class A design gives a life like dynamic sound.
Specially selected high current active devices used throughout.
Output stage designed to easily drive all dynamic headphones.
Massively overrated power supplies for effortless dynamic range.
Dual Mono Linear power supplies for superior performance.
High quality “voiced” Audiophile components used throughout.
Designed and built to TRON’s exceptionally high standards.
No compromise analogue design to maintain maximum audio performance.
Able to power 2 - 3 headphones simultaneously.
Able to power two desktop speakers with optional wiring harness.
Switchable -6dB sensitivity switch for fine control over the volume level.

Specification:
Input connections: - 1 x line input (RCAs).
Output connections front: - 2 x ¼” jacks, 2 x 3 pin XLRs, 1 x 4 pin XLR.
Output connections rear: - 1 x line output (RCAs).
Power output: - 2.6w + 2.6w into 8 ohms load (Class A).
Power output: - 0.85w + 0.85w into 25 ohms load (Class A).
Power output: - 0.65w + 0.65w into 32 ohms load (Class A).
Frequency response: - 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.5dB.
Input impedance: - 12K ohms
Output impedance: - < 3 Ohms.
Mains Supply: 115–240 volts AC (50–60Hz). Earth lift included.
Power Consumption: 120VA
Size: - 40cm (w) x 25cm (d) x 10.5cm (h)
Weight: - 9.5kgs (21lbs)
Warranty: 5 years (parts and labour)

Model Options

Antares Signature Headphone Amplifier

The Antares Signature comes equipped with the following:
48-position stepped attenuator.
Pure silver wire used for all internal signal wiring.
Specially selected audiophile grade parts used in very critical positions to achieve the very best sound quality.
CNC machined Aircraft grade alloy chassis finished in the highest quality anodising.
All screws/bolts/nuts are made from non-magnetic stainless steel.
Every Antares is hand made by craftsman in the UK.
All parts used come from within the UK and Europe.
Colour: Silver top. Black front, back, sides, bottom and corner panels.
Each Antares is supplied in a custom made flight case.

Antares Deluxe Headphone Amplifier

The Antares Deluxe comes equipped with the following:
OFC wiring used for all internal signal wiring.
Selected audiophile grade parts used to achieve excellent sound quality.
CNC machined Aircraft grade alloy chassis finished in the highest quality anodising.
All screws/bolts/nuts are made from non-magnetic stainless steel.
Every Antares is hand made by craftsman in the UK.
All parts used come from within the UK and Europe.
Colour: Silver top. Black front, back, sides, bottom and corner panels.
Each Antares is supplied in a custom made flight case.
Note: This model is only available to order within the UK and Europe.