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I just completed my TRK-3488 last Friday and was able to start using and listening to it the same day and half a day on Saturday afternoon. I was very impressed with the sound and even more I havenít even break-in the unit for 24-hours. Without even turning the volume control to the maximum, I can tell that it can produce around 114dB up to 120dB using speaker pair with 88dB efficiency which can surpassed my calculated output of only about 107 to 110dB SPL. I used two speaker types, the BMB speaker with horn tweeter just to check if it sound without smoke and it sounded great and then I finally put it to my well-ventilated audio rack where I paired it with my DIY speakers I bought from Parts express, the model is TriTrix MTM TL speakers where I spent about $300 total including the paint, the glue, etc. I attached photos here just to show and at least visualize how happily I enjoyed this Tube amp.
Comparing TRK-3488 to Transcendentís ďThe BeastĒ OTL using only about 80Watts of Power (half of 160Wpc), I would say it cannot beat the Beast but at least it can be a candidate for runner up based on my own comparison. The Beast is a $5,000.00 Tube Amp(my friend bought and built it) which me and my friend auditioned a week ago and yet itís very close comparing the sound quality, the muscle and brilliance of every instrument that comes out of it. Comparing TRK-3488 to Jolidaís JD502 CRC (60W/ch @ 8-Ohms) Class AB tube amp, it easily beats the Jolida when it comes to clear sound reproduction and at high volume TRK-3488 is dead-quiet listening in front of my speaker. The Jolida amp Iím using already reached the break-in period and so itís now producing a clear, brilliant and complete detailed sounds with wide bandwith and yet the TRK-3488 surpassed that quality even before reaching its break-in period.
All of these comparisons just to tell you how happy I am with this Triode. I havenít even use my Polk LSI speakers yet and not even using the Vitamin Q caps Ė Iíll post the result when I already did. So, I want to thank Victor for recommending me this unit and without argument this is the one I will keep.
I attached some photos for reference.
This is a follow up on the upgrade. I finally installed the (4x) Vitamin Q caps and used (2x) KT88 Genalex(Cryo) tubes with (2x) PSVANE 12AX7 TII. The result is 30% improvement in sound quality based on sound stage, clarity and details. The bass response improved as well and the vocals comes closest to the original intended sound studio reproduction.
I'm planning to build the Son Of Beast and use it also for comparison. Will post the rest when I'm done building.
Looks good Alex. I am going to order one soon.
Here's another photo of my unit which I failed to upload the last time!!
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