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Very High Output Powers
G 2000 R
Contrary to all the predictions, the vinyl disc has managed to sustain and even consolidate its right to exist over a period of several decades. Back in the 1990’s, when the medium was almost completely swamped by the CD, there were many who lamented its lost qualities; especially the almost tactile sound, with its subjectively warmer nature. In comparison with the CD there is no doubt that vinyl is impractical and space-consuming, but precisely for this reason it had something which the new media lacked: a distinctive character. The old R-series G 1260 R turntable was a very successful design, and we have carried out further development work on it and introduced a number of improvements. The unit now joins the new R-series as a means of reproducing high-quality analogue sound media, capable of setting standards with its sound quality and its unique design features. Although the vinyl disc is an »old« medium, modern turntables have to be designed and developed with great sophistication if the full potential of the disc is to be exploited.
T+A has carried out the development in two different directions: the one targeted the drive motor, which is required to runs as smoothly and steadily as possible, while the second aimed at avoiding structural sound, resonances and vibration in the system as a whole. We use a high-quality synchronous motor, whose accurately machined belt pulley drives the disc platter by means of a special ground rubber belt. This arrangement has proved excellent in many applications, and is employed by many other manufacturers of High-End turntables. However, we were not satisfied with this, and decided to tackle the basic problem of uneven rotational speed right at the root. In contrast to pure vinyl specialists we have great competence in electronic development, which has given us vast experience in using digital signal processors to control complex processes.
MP 2000 R MK II
The Multi Source Player
The MP 2000 R MKII is a genuine multi-talent. At first glance the casual observer may think it is just a classic CD player, but its true capabilities extend far beyond this. At its heart lies one of the world’s latest and most sophisticated digital – analogue converters (DAC). This converts PCM signals up to 384 kSps with the help of the quadruple converter – another in-house development – and even DSD files up to DSD 512. The MP 2000 R is therefore able to exploit every digital music format in order to deliver music to the amplifier in the highest possible quality. Our multi-source player houses a first-class CD mechanism; a high-performance digital tuner offering FM, FM-HD and DAB+ reproduction; a high-quality Bluetooth streaming module for receiving music from mobile devices, a streaming client with Internet radio and music services for connection to the home network via LAN and WLAN, USB Master Mode and HD streaming plus a digital connecting board with inputs for external sources (one USB device mode and four HD-S/P-DIF). The wide range of connections allows external equipment to exploit the machine’s superb converter to the full.
Within the MP 2000 R the data from the five digital sources pass through the same digital signal processing route, which offers all the usual ground-breaking T+A features: T+A DSP oversampling with optimised algorithms, and clock generation with jitter elimination and re-synchronisation. Jitter is one of the most severe problems, and is generated in the source device – especially in computers – and at the data transfer point between source and converter. For high-quality reproduction all traces of jitter must be removed from the data before the information is converted into analogue signals by the DAC. That is why we have developed a unique two-stage process for clock generation (jitter elimination): in the first stage the received data are processed and decoded. In this stage a basic clock is extracted from the received data stream, which undergoes an initial cleaning process in a PLL circuit aimed at removing coarse jitter generated by the source device and the transfer. This clock is now analysed extremely intensively by the micro-processor. If it fulfils certain minimum criteria in respect of frequency and stability, the D/A converters are switched to an internally generated, extremely precise Master Clock with extremely low phase noise. This clock is completely isolated from the source device, and therefore carries no trace of the jitter interference from the source and the transfer link.
MP 2500 R
The Multi Source SACD Player
The MP 2500 R is our newest and most sophisticated Multi Source Player and PCM / DSD DAC in the R-Series. He has the same overall design philosophy and technical facilities like the smaller MP 2000 R MK II player. Both have been developed to reproduce high-res audio files without any trace of compromise. Instead of a CD mechanism we have equipped the MP 2500 R with the SACD drive from our High-End SACD player MP 3100 HV which is a completely new development. As in the MP 2000 R MK II, PCM data is converted using our outstanding double differential quadruple converter with all it‘s sophisticated digital signal processing. DSD data are handled by the unique analogue T+A true 1-bit DSD converter from the PDP 3000 HV, which processes the DSD data in native form as a bitstream rather than converting them. This makes it possible to reproduce DSD data up to DSD 512, as delivered by the USB input of the digital connecting board, to the highest level of quality.
It is only natural that the SACD and CD continue to lose significance, as they are increasingly superseded by streamed content; a trend reflected very clearly in the huge success of our multi-source players with their extensive streaming facilities. However, it is clear that our audiophile customers still wish to be able to play music from CD and SACD, because none of us wants to throw away our old collection, and in any case there is an undeniable charm in owning a tangible data medium. Infact the SACD is currently experiencing what we can only term a renaissance all over the world. Therefore we decided to develop a completely new, modern SACD mechanism incorporating the latest decoder technology, offering very short access times and outstanding error correction. It is capable of reading CD (PCM 44.1 kSps ) and SACD (DSD 64 2.8 MHz) discs at the highest possible quality. We have invested a huge amount of effort in the mechanical design of the drive unit, incorporating a high-quality drive, double laser optics and heavy-duty motors.
PA 2000 R
The Integrated Amplifier
Building neat, compact integrated amplifiers offering high output power and superb sound quality is an art at which T+A has no peer. As proof of this claim we present the PA 2000 R integrated amplifier. It is incredibly dynamic, powerful and incisive. There are two reasons behind these characteristics: the extremely linear output stages with very low negative feedback, which are a completely new development, and the new form of mains power supply employed. We designed the latter specifically for audio devices, to ensure that they are ultra-stable under load, with no danger of collapse even when handling extremely high peak levels. The result is that the PA 2000 R can deliver a continuous power of more than 200 Watts per channel into 4 Ohms loudspeakers, enabling it to drive impedance-critical speakers whilst maintaining effortless control. Gas-tight gold-contact relays are employed to switch loudspeakers, inputs and internal signal circuits with total precision and zero losses. Separate tone controls are present for each channel, and they and the Loudness function can be by-passed completely. An optional audiophile phono pre-amplifier module for MM or MC can simply be plugged in. For operation in a surround system the amplifier can be set to Surround Pass Through mode, selected by a trigger signal.
The construction, circuit layout, components and sub-assemblies of the two R-series integrated amplifiers are identical, but they differ in output power, connection facilities and case size. The input and output sections are equipped with professional sockets (XLR and RCA) made of non-magnetic materials, and all feature hard gold-plated contact surfaces. All sockets are screwed permanently to the solid aluminum back panel. In the R-series the volume control and input select functions are entrusted to sealed gas-tight gold-contact relays, which are not prey to contact problems caused by corrosion, dust or ageing effects even after many years of operation. Integrating the relays directly into the circuit allows the signal paths to be as short as possible, and the signals pass from the input sockets to the pre-amplifier circuit boards without crosstalk. As an option, input 4 can also be fitted with one of two high-quality phono pre-amplifier modules; they feature different circuit topologies optimised for MM or MC pickups.
PA 2500 R
The Integrated Amplifier
Twice as tall, higher output power and even more connection facilities – the PA 2500 R exceeds the specification of the PA 2000 R in many areas, but its character in terms of sound quality is in no way inferior to its smaller sibling. This by no means goes without saying, because very powerful amplifiers often forfeit the finer points of dynamics and detail tracery. Our PA 2500 R integrated amplifier circumvents this danger: its basic circuit is the same as that of the PA 2000 R, and even the circuit board layouts are identical. However, its heat-sinks are twice the size, and the case accommodates two of our new high-performance mains power supply units, with the result that it can deliver more than 280 Watts of continuous power per channel into 4 Ohms loudspeakers. The amplifier is therefore effortlessly capable of controlling speakers which are extremely critical in terms of phase and impedance. The PA 2500 is even more powerful than the smaller machine, but retains exactly the same dynamism and cultured sound.
The quality of any output stage is determined to a very great extent by the mains power supply as well as the circuit topology. Mains power supply units must be as stable and resilient as possible, to ensure that the voltage they generate does not collapse even when very high peaks are encountered. In conventional equipment this requires very large transformers, but the limited space available in the low-profile R-series machines spurred on our engineers to develop an ingenious alternative solution: a regulated high-frequency sine-wave mains power supply with generous reservoir capacity, capable of delivering up to 1200 Watts without problem. The mains power supply can deliver very large quantities of current extremely quickly, even when the gradient of the peak signals is steep. Our experience in building amplifiers over a period of thirty years has taught us the importance of the quality of audiophile modules for the final outcome in terms of sound quality, and that is why we choose our components with great care and then select them according to strict criteria, to ensure optimum characteristics for each specific application.