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Amplifiers - Trends TA-10.2P
I reviewed the TRENDS TA-10 integrated amplifier three months ago. This one was a fantastic small amplififier, it obtained the maximum 5 stars award with this review.
Today, TRENDS has released a new version, -power amplifier only-, named TA-102.P.


As usual, TRENDS AUDIO has  created a very small device. Eveything is made of steel / aluminium and the weight is allways less than 500g without the power supply (AC 12or 24V).


Round 1 :
For this review, we used our Reference System #2  with the Jadis JA80 power amp because the KRELL is still on repair.
The TA-10.2P is incorporated inside the reference system #2, replacing the JADIS JP90MC preamp.

I have to remember you that my system is extremely optimized with high-end components and has a pair of loudspeakers amongst some of the most complex: the Apogee DIVA ribbons which are very difficult to drive.

Recent reviews on my system were performed (90% of cases) with class A amplifiers able to deliver huge power and consequent amp (>25A per channel).

The last digital amplifiers reviewed were the NuForce Reference 9 V2 mono blocs, which were good but nevertheless not at the same level than a state of the art class A amplifier..

Here, we have only 15W under 4 ohms !

All the amplifiers havong demonstrate their ability to work fine on the reference system #2, where top notch amplifiers from prestigious brands such as KRELL, ROWLAND, THRESHOLD, JADIS, MARK LEVINSON (those from the true "ML era", not the ones currently in production).
They where the only amplifiers that support Apogee correctly.

All the others like ELECTROCOMPANIET, have only worked for a maximum of 15mn before shutting down....

I have to confess that I did not expect anything from this confrontation with the PA-10.2P and the rest of the system.
Not in terms of musicality, nor in terms of power (ridiculously as low as 15W), neither in the ability to work fine with the APOGEE Diva

I also had a true fear about putting a so small amplifier on my system because I could destroy it !.(burn)



Here is the Front face of the Trends:
 

trends_ta10.2p_avant.jpg



 And the rear face:

trends_ta10.2p_arriere.jpg


and a view of "what is in the box":
 

trends_ta10.2p_inside.jpg



The type of operation is identical tp the TA-10 integrated: class T (and not D).
The Tehnology is interesting, because it is not a class D amplifier but a class T one. A chip is doing the amplification work with a frequency of 650 kHz, using the TRIPATH  TA2024.

So let's go the the most inetresting side of every review by studying the following question:

What is the conclusion from a musicality wiewpoint ?

Well, awesome is probably the word to be used.

The amplifier works correctly with APOGEE DIVA ribbon speakers, and this is an outstanding performance, because as you lnow, the efficiency of the Divas is only  87dB, meaning that we could not reasonabily expect this amplifier to work properly...
In comparison with the original PA-10, it seems that the definition is a bit lower, and the conclusion is the same regarding the speed.
The Bass is good and after 20mn, it becomes even better.
As for the PA-10, I emphasize  that a so narrow amplifier is a huge constraint regarding the cabling because the connectors are too close one from the other.
I have been obliged to put the amplifier on the floor because I use spades cables termination and not bananas (that I hate...).


trends_ta10.2p_amp.jpg

Like I said when I reviewed the TA-10, we strongly encourage TRANDS to use larger boxes for its future devices ! All your future clients thank you in advance !.

I even found me lucky because the speakers cable connectors are located out of the box, if this had not been the case, the review would have been impossible to perform...

My most important wish, is that TRENDS issues a more powerful amplifier, *even monoblocs !*, like the excellent class D amplifiers manufactured in the past, like for example the  BEL CANTO Evo 200.2 or AUDIO RESEARCH 150.2.
 
Round 2 :
For this review , I put away my reference preamplifier (JP 80MC Anniversary Edition upgrade) and used the Reference system #2 without the JADIS JA80. So the TA-10.2P is used with the PA-10 tube preamp from the same brand.

To make the result simple, with this couple the sound is not as great as before with the others components  (round 1). Based on my taste, I give you a spreadsheet summarizing my comments.
The combo seems to be less present, the magic is not really there, the sound is a litle bit dark, IMHA


Jadis JP80MC + TA-10.2P Excellent
PA-10 + Jadis JA80 Excellent
PA-10 integrated     Reference
PA-10 + TA-10.2P Good

The pros:

  • the medium is natural
  • excellent definition
  • accelerations like a 100W amplifier
  • very good dynamic
  • cold
  • accepts to work with the Apogee DIVA (an exceptional performance for a so small amp)
  • price

The cons:

  • cabling difficulties without bananas
  • sound a little bit dark (PA +TA only)
  • loudspeakers with more than 90dB of efficiency are required
  • only 15 W, please, we would like more ! 
TL_4.jpg

Article written by Florent.


Creation date : 06/08/2009 @ 15:06
Last update : 12/01/2016 @ 17:54
Category : Amplifiers
Page read 82 times


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Reactions to this article


Reaction #4 

by soundsmith 11/04/2011 @ 19:38

Based on your review this updated unit is every bit as good as its former version which received a 5 out of 5 from you.  I am looking to find an exceptional amp that runs cold and that can power a set of duel 15" subwoofers.  I know this amp is only 15w and am wondering if I will need more power to get full use of the subwoofers?

Reaction #3 

by hairyman 02/04/2011 @ 04:24

great article!  Keep it up.  Four the site on Google search.k

Reaction #2 

by Jeffry 26/01/2011 @ 11:45

This is really the best audio product I have ever used! Thanks for sharing the details with use

Best regards, Jeffry @ http://www.tubestime.com/

Reaction #1 

by Ali8 07/01/2010 @ 07:31

Amazin Amp / price and I have two of these here in Finland.
 I have tried these with very sensitive OB-speakers (95 / 98 dB /W !!) but...if you want best OB-bass cheap..You must use ...Eminence Alpha 15" speaker elements  in OB with this tiny amp l
 Open Baffle are the very best with this tiny amp ..so amazing BIG sound.
 I must use only one or two watts per channel and it is loud enought in big roomk
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