The Tron Voyager is a unique and very special amplifier, and has been a personal project for Graham for many years; as the concept of an OTA circuit he found both intriguing and challenging. It is a true OTA (One Tube per channel Amplifier). There are only three valves in the whole amplifier: one output valve per channel for audio and a rectifier valve in the power supply.
The Voyager is the simplest of amplifiers made today, it is the closest you can get to the theoretically perfect “wire with gain”. Simplicity is both an opportunity and a challenge; if you listen to a chorus of voices all merging into a coherent sound then one or two imperfections are lost in the shadow of the whole. Whereas a closely micro-phoned solo performance is totally exposed and naked, there is simply nowhere to hide, every imperfection or aberration is noticed. The OTA with such a simple circuit is the same and Graham has spent many nights working into the small hours listening and adjusting to get the whole to work as one. In the words of Graham “every tiny change affects the tone, personality and colour of the performance, and with such a simple circuit you can literally hear the differences in the solder types used. It has been incredibly frustrating, but ultimately so rewarding to find the perfect balance for the circuit. I have never learned so much in one project as I have with the OTA, and I named the amplifier the Voyager in recognition of this”
Input: – 2 RCA (L+R) 100k Ohms. 1 normal & 1 inverted.
Output: – 1 set of 2 x 4mm binding posts per channel.
Valve complement: – 2 x 20B, 1 x 5Z3.
Power output: – 5 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 × 370d × 280h
Weight: 25kg (net)
Warranty: 5 years (parts and labour)
The Voyager can also 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.
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 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.