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Trafomatic Experience Two integrated amp

06.11.2011..
..

I consider the Trafomatic Experience Two as the first step towards a development phase operated by the young Serbian company, which has already come to the fore of the International hi-fi world. In the next future, this brand will be definitely a wide-reaching protagonist in the production of tube electronic equipments.

After all, the premises were good since the very first realizations.

Actually, the designer Saša Čokić knows very well who is the main architect for a good thermionic tube amplification: the transformer.

The resolution of making at home the transformers has been a forced choice for Trafomatic, so I warn you: if you opt for Trafomatic, you are going to choose a unique amplification. The same thing arose a couple of years ago when you had to decide for expensive Japanese amplifications. Those were the days of the esoteric hi-end, a world for few privileged people only.

The Experience Two is an integrated amplifier with two 300B power triodes, two 6SN7 octal twin triodes and a 5U4G single rectifier tube. All made in Russia: Electro-Harmonix series Gold and Tung-Sol. The design is simple, elegant, in wood, and metal. In dark grey metal are also the three cylinders with inside the two output transformers and the power transformer, all manufactured by the company itself. The remote control is very simple, although well made. It can operate only on the volume. It has a regular shape with rounded corners and is made of the same wood of the chassis.

The inner part of Trafomatic displays some interesting particulars, like the care put in shielding all the chassis internal faces with a thin copper plate, but also some slights flaws like the soldering, surely to be improved, and some untidiness in the circuit layout. A better option could have been a fine air wiring instead of the card, even if its quality is good, and such choice could have improved the sound and a better evaluation of this product. Nonetheless, there should have been a comprehensible concern about its sureness, staked by the usual transport procedures of the carriers, which, as we all know, are hardly careful and dutiful.

The Experience Two, tested in my listening room, has been subjected to an important modification that makes it different from the models already tested by other Italian magazines. The sound I hear has some specs parameters that break away from those detected by other reviewers. Those modifications come to fruition through the substitution with components of better quality and in some circuit regulations that interest adjustments of the counter reaction in the very first gain stage. The Trafomatic Experience Two has got three line inputs and the possibility of choosing the output impedance between 4 or 8 Ohms.

Since there are two 300B tubes, it is easy to understand that we are talking about an 8-Watts Class-A amp. The Trafomatic has replaced the Audio Innovations 500 and has been connected to my Heresy I (USA 1978) with Boomerang power cables. As analogue source I utilize the faithful Michell GyroDec with Harmonix buttons set on graphite blocks and earthquake-proof Moss 050 table, SME IV tonearm, Transfiguration Spirit low output cartridge (0,4 mV), Fidelity Research FRT 3G step-up, AM Audio MM phono preamp, Teac VRDS 25X CD player with AM Audio modification, miscellany of DIY silver signal and power cables, plus White Gold, Audio Tekne ARA250 and Systems & Magic Pearl, tested here.

I run in the Trafomatic for a long time and I realize the character of this Serbian tube amplifier, also thanks to the revealing skills of the Klipsch, which are driven easily and can open themselves toward a fresh and captivating sound.

The Experience Two is a true tube gear, not a spineless, warm and velvety one! Nothing of the kind. The real vacuum tube sounds with transparent and real mid frequencies, which get closer to the listening pleasure thanks to a presence effect that is dynamic and rapid. Dynamics and rapidity. These are the main peculiarities of the Trafomatic Experience Two, which articulates the music with grace and decision, allowing a white light to illuminate the acoustic scene and all the actors in it. Charlie Parker’s sax in Now’s The Time is so beautiful, burnished and detailed. The listener is just in front of the mic placed in the recording studio, in New York, in 1952.

Jazz is OK!

What about classical music?

Just the same. The test is hard and I do not feel pity for the 8 Watts of the 300B. Here is the vinyl of the French Harmonia Mundi, Danses Anciennes De Hongrie, directed by Rene Clemencic. The Trafomatic proficiently untangles the knotty texture woven by strings, flutes, cymbals, trombones and bombards which, in places, seem to cause trouble to the entire audio chain trying to dry up the scene with paroxysms of rare sound and dynamic pressure. Nonetheless, everything is in the right place, without blunders or indecisions, with lots of microdetails and microdynamics that gratify the excursions of the strings with a sense of roughness and harmonic effects that make the listening enjoyable. With rock music, the Trafomatic Experience Two unexpectedly shows a biting and an aggressive soul. Gary Moore makes his Gibson Les Paul singing with pain and the few watts of the Trafomatic are sufficient also for the most exigent rockers.

This Serbian amplifier expresses itself in a homogenous way with all the musical genres, gratifying them all without depressing anyone. You forget it at once and you can listen to the music and just relax. That is saying a lot!

But why should you purchase the Trafomatic Experience Two?

Because you have to. Listen to it when you like and it will stay with you for a long time. Then keep it in full view because its look is great and one day it will worth because the companies that make transformers go down in history, without any doubt.

Useful info: running in the Trafomatic patiently. You can therefore be aware that the transformer is surely the most important part of a tube amplifier. Furthermore, the Experience Two is the demonstration that what is being said about the vacuum tube is not true: that it is warm and mellow. Bullshit! For me a class-A transistor is warmer, more delicate and softer and has more control in the low range.

If you want to have fun, and that also mean spending some money to purchase the tubes, then try to improve the 6SN7 or the 300B. I have changed them with a pair of AV305B gaining an extraordinary sound with inspiring instrumental tone.

In conclusion, I really like the Trafomatic Experience Two, especially after the modifications I made. Those ones have allowed me to stress all the skills of this tube amplifier, which takes advantage from the possibility of making the transformers autonomously with ideal characteristics and tolerances.

 

SCHEME SUMMARY

top score ***** ReMusic Sparks

Tone colour **** | Correct with an open mid range, mid high range very broad, mid low range present and controlled. Very involving.

Dynamics **** | Indeed realistic, attacks and releases rapid and controlled. Dynamic range wide.

Detail **** | High with no unnatural efforts in the perception of the secondary details

Clearness**** Only line | High level thanks to a very low noise floor.

Image **** | Realistic and proportionate, rightly bright and three-dimensional.

Rise time ****1/2 | Quick and realistic transients in every frequency range reached.

Manufacture ***1/2 | Good level but the internal parts can be improved. Good and pleasant look.

Price/quality ratio ***1/2 | Adequate for its category.

 

Official technical specifications: to Trafomatic Audio website

Official Italian dealer: to Audio Point Italia website

Official current price in Italy: 4,440.00 EUR

Associated equipment: to Roberto “The Rock” Rocchi's system

by Roberto Rocchi
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