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Trends Audio TA10.1 Class-T

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      08.06.2009 12:51
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      Great piece of kit to join the HI-FI world

      When it came to the sound system for my room, the biggest concern (aside the quality) was space. My room is very small which, on one side constrains the size of the things I put in it, on the other it reduces the amount of power required to fill it with my favourite tunes. My head turned to Class-T amps, the rising star of "bang for your money neatly packed in a little case". At the time of my purchase there were 4 offerings: the T-Amp and Super T-AMP from Sonic Impact and the TA 10 and TA10.1 from Trends Audio.

      I read many reviews over the internet, each and every one of them praised the qualities of all four, but at the end of the day I settled with the Trends Audio TA10.1. It is (I believe) the most expensive of the offerings, but checking in at just more than the 100£ mark I though it was worth the investment. The TA10.1 max output on 8 Ohm speakers is around 6Watts, for this reason you need to pair it with a suitable set of speakers. Anything under 90db is a NONO, better still if you match it up with >93db high sensitivity ones if your budget can stretch that far. In the end I settled for some very nice Monitor Audio Bronze BR2 which clock in at 90db. Just in case you're going off the idea of a class T amp let me give you an example: the BR2s produce 90db 1 meter away with 1Watt applied to them, the question is how much is 90dB? Well, the Nürburgring has a 95db limit for trackday cars and that includes Ferraris, Porches, Motorbikes, Lambos... That being said decibels work on a logarithmic scale so 91 is a lot more than 90 and 92 is a lot lot more than 91 so be aware.

      Now that I've got that out the way what does it sound like? Both speakers and amp need to go through at least 50 hours of braking in (just like a car) but I must say they did sound pretty good straight out the box! I cannot speak of sound stage and depth and dimension as one of them is next to my desk and the other one is housed under my bed, but one thing I can say is that they definitely bring quality to the table. Comparing them to my headphones (HD212 Pro) the sound is much more balanced, I don't have to tweak the equalizer to compensate for generosity in one range and stinginess in another... all the frequencies are treated equally and fairly with a touch of very pleasant warmth. I was pleasantly surprised by the how low in the base department this pair can get and I was also greatly impressed by just how much detail and musicality there is even at very low volumes.

      There are a few things to be desired though... for example there is no remote control, so every time you need to adjust the volume or switch it ON/OFF you actually need to make physical contact with the device (I know, I know... it's just not fair for those potato couches out there, it's just not politically correct!). A way around this is to have the device around the half volume mark and just adjust the volume on your source (mine is plugged into my laptop) but hey, it has a very nice blue LED to show you that is on... show me anything with blue LEDs and I need it!

      Overall I have been very happy with my purchase and I would definitely recommend it. The package is so small that you would not believe Trends Audio could stuff so much quality in it.



      On a side note there are many other features (such as volume bypassing) that I have not had a chance to play with that I haven't touched in this review.

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