Very High Output Powers

G 2000 R
G 2000 R

The Turntable

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.

For this reason we concentrated on minimising all external mechanical and electrical influences. One area of development aimed at designing a drive motor for the G 2000 R which was completely consistent and smooth-running; another was the creation of an overall system which was totally damped in order to minimise structural sound, resonance effects and vibration. The result of our labors is superb sound: absolutely transparent, extremely dynamic and forceful. Our turntable is available in various versions. We strongly recommend the installation of our PHE-G R MC phono pre-amplifier module in the turntable chassis itself. We install a modified High-End Carbon tone arm from Clearaudio and equip it with an extraordinary MC cartridge. Naturally we can also supply the G 2000 R without arm or pickup if you prefer.

Technology

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.

Our T+A development team came up with the ingenious idea of using a DSP to fine-tune the curve of the motor coil voltage, with the aim of persuading the motor to run completely smoothly and evenly, devoid of jerks and vibration. Even the initial rotation of the heavy disc platter is smooth and even, achieved by controlling motor torque. Motor speed fluctuations – known as wow and flutter – are no longer measurable, with the result that the interference commonly associated with uncontrolled motors is completely absent. Uncontrolled motors are also at the mercy of fluctuations in mains frequency and voltage, but DSP motor control also eliminates this problem. The innovative system also offers a further major advantage in the form of direct control of rotational speed: the belt no longer needs to be re-positioned manually for the available rotational speeds of 33 and 45 rpm. The turntable’s case was also designed to eliminate judder and vibration, again with the aim of maximizing sound quality. For this reason the G 2000 R is housed in a case made of solid MDF, which has excellent damping characteristics; all the sub-assemblies are located in this component. The turntable body is mounted on four shock absorbers. The external aluminum parts are of sandwich construction in order to absorb structural sound, while the aluminum case cover is bonded to the body, thereby suppressing and absorbing vibration and resonances. The heavy pressure-cast disc platter is manufactured using an accurate machining tool, fine-turned and mounted on an inner zinc platter for isolation. The friction of the large support surface isolates the platter perfectly, and prevents any last trace of structural sound. The heavy disc mat, made of soft silicone rubber, has the same effect, and also avoids damage to the delicate vinyl discs. The net result is that the disc platter is acoustically dead, and offers best possible conditions for the pickup system to make contact with the disc without suffering interference. The zinc platter can only be produced using the very latest automatic CNC machines, since it undergoes a further precision machining process after the platter shaft has been press-fitted. This process ensures absolute precision in the whole mechanical system. The plain brass bush and hardened, polished steel shaft are made to a tolerance of 5 μm.
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MP 2000 R MK II
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.

Please note: the MP 2000 R is not a computer; it is a first-class audio device incorporating many supplementary functions designed to ensure that all modern digital sources can be reproduced to the highest possible standard of quality. In pursuing this aim our engineers insisted on complete separation between the digital signal processing section and the analogue circuitry, and developed an ultra-modern, high-bandwidth analogue output stage which delivers the signal to the symmetrical (XLR) or asymmetrical (RCA) output sockets by the shortest possible path. If you use the F 100 remote control with screen, or the T+A MusicNavigator App, the whole system can be controlled via the MP 2000 R. The MP 2000 R delivers a stunning experience in sound reproduction, and finally exploits the full potential of high-resolution music.

Technology

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.

The local Master Clock is generated by two separate quartz oscillators which are adjusted to extremely precise tolerances: one for the clock family 44.1/88.2/176.4/352.8 kHz, and one for 48/96/192/384 kHz. This extreme sophistication ensures that the clock is absolutely precise for all frequencies from 44.1 kHz upwards.Once the clock has been generated, the PCM data are converted by the quadruple converter, which itself has undergone further improvement. The converter is based on a high-performance 56-bit signal processor, and offers four switchable oversampling algorithms. Each channel is assigned four of the latest 32-bit converter chips in a quadruple, double symmetrical circuit, which compensates very accurately for any lack of linearity, and reduces the residual noise – which is actually absolutely minimal with the 32-bit converters employed – by about a further 6 dB. The result is a level of dynamism, linearity and freedom from distortion which is virtually matchless – even in critical music passages, and with the most minute of musical details. To cater for DSD data which arrive via the PC USB input we have fitted the MP 2000 R MKII with the unique T+A True 1-bit DSD converter – a genuine analogue single-bit converter. Other manufacturers use the DSD mode of a PCM converter, but we eschew that route to ensure that DSD data are processed in a genuine one-bit stream absolutely without coloration and the harmful effects of additional conversion. Like our converters, the analogue output stage also takes the form of separate channels (double-mono), and is galvanically isolated from the digital section by means of jitter-free transformers. This arrangement ensures that external source devices cannot possibly deliver interference, and even the hideous computer interference is rendered innocuous. The output stage offers an extremely wide bandwidth of 100 kHz.Clearly this design is extremely sophisticated, but the results are worth the effort: totally natural, uncoloured sound, free of all the limitations usually associated with digital sources. The MP 2000 R constitutes a universal and genuinely audiophile device for digital music sources.
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MP 2500 R
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.

The machine’s streaming client takes the form of the new T+A high-res streaming board, which provides maximum resolution as well as the facility to access various music services, Internet radio, inclusion in the home network via LAN and WLAN, USB Master Mode and HD streaming from network servers.The digital tuner offers FM, FM-HD and DAB+ capability, and delivers excellent sound. The MP 2500 R also includes a high-quality Bluetooth streaming module for transferring music from mobile devices. The machine is controlled using the FM1000 infra-red remote control handset, or – ideally – the T+A MusicNavigator App. In contrast to many manufacturers’ Apps, this is capable of controlling every element of every function of our machines. Not only does it display the information pertaining to the streaming client, but also the screen content of all sources, such as the station name and radio text when used in FM radio mode. As an option the FD 100 bi-directional RF remote control system can be used as well. It displays the full content of the device screen and coverart as well.

Technology

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.

With the aim of eliminating all traces of interaction between the moving parts of the disc drive and the remainder of the player our disc mechanism features a mechanical isolation. A heavy aluminium plate and a solid case, which act as a mass damping devices, thereby preventing any structural sound from the mounting surface finding its way to the electronics and the disc mechanism. The disc drawer runs on two accurately machined stainless steel pushrods, while the disc rests in a specially coated, high-quality ABS cradle.
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PA 2000 R
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.

Technology

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.

R-series pre-amplifiers and power ampli­fiers are constructed in accordance with the double-mono principle. This means that we completely isolate the left and right channels from each other – even in mechanical terms – and use identical circuit boards, so that the sound quality of both channels is identical. The two separate amplifier circuit boards – with input section, volume control, high-voltage amplifier and current amplifier stage – are housed in the right-hand half of the case, where they are shielded from the mains power supply and the output section by the massive heat-sink. As with our HV-series machines, the circuit topology of the input stage is based on a cascoded differential amplifier with hand-selected audio J-FET transistors and stages of completely discrete construction, without operational amplifiers (op-amps). This overall circuit design, combined with the high quality of the components employed, virtually eliminates the need for overall negative feedback. The result is that the amplifier boasts excellent linearity combined with an extremely wide dynamic range. Signals up to 60 Vss can be processed without any hint of distortion. The volume control takes the form of discrete precision resistors and bi-stable gold-contact relays, resulting in absolutely exact channel matching combined with the shortest possible signal paths; this in turn virtually eliminates noise and distortion. The following voltage amplifier stage and current amplifier are completely isolated from each other galvanically. This uncompromising design completely avoids the danger of feedback effects from the loudspeaker currents into the voltage amplifier stages, and also precludes adverse effects from the loudspeaker load. The amplifiers are fitted with separate tone controls for each channel, and the function can be completely by-pased by means of gold-contact relays. A loundness circuit is present which can be adjusted to match the efficiency of the loudspeakers.
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PA 2500 R
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.

Technology

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.

We use low-loss mica capacitors with silver electrodes, zero-induction resistors, precision low-noise audio resistors, and nickel-free gold- or rhodium plated terminals specially manufactured for T+A. Many of these components were developed for military applications, and therefore fulfil exacting requirements in terms of quality and durability.All the electronic circuitry for controlling the machines is recessed into the solid aluminum front profile, where the shielding effect is outstanding. The front panel features a bright, dimmable screen (VFD) and control knobs with variable lighting. Another in-house development for the latest R-series is a completely new and very fast data bus for data exchange between the devices, which makes it possible to control a whole system with a single remote control handset. Alternatively, if the system includes an MP 2000 R, the equipment can be controlled using the T+A App for iOS or Android. Both amplifiers are equipped with a sophisticated protective circuit which is situated outside the signal path, and therefore cannot possibly have any adverse effect on sound quality. The protective circuit constantly compares the input signal before the output stage with the output signal, and instantaneously switches off the output relays if it detects the slightest deviation (clipping, distortion, etc.). The protective circuit is also triggered if overheating occurs, or if a short-circuit is present at the outputs.
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