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Latest Review

Trends Audio PA-10.1D SE

Pre-amplifiers  Tube

Reviewer Rating:  C

Review added by: dmitchell
Added On: 3/14/2014

Trends Audio PA-10.1D SEWhen reading reviews about audio gear I (like most of you) don't buy into the usual review rhetoric. We've all heard it ... things like "... embarrasses gear 3x the price", or "made me rediscover my music collection again ....", etc. 

When I was reading about the diminutive Trends preamp/headphone amp, there was also this type of rhetoric. I read a review from an owner that mentioned that it blew away a $3000 dollar Levinson pre-amp. OK, so I'm an eternal optimist, and I was willing to approach things with an open mind, as usual. Especially since in the past I've auditioned the well known Trends TA 10 Class D amp, and was pretty impressed with it.

The version that I ordered was the PA-10.1D SE. The SE suffix denotes "Special Edition", obviously, and is outfitted with upgraded capacitors and uses a 12AU7 or 6DJ8/6922 tube. It is more of a hybrid design, using dual mosfets per channel for output.

In my reference system (Cary Rocket-88, Jolida JD100 CDP, Ascend Sierra-1 speakers), this preamp actually sounded pretty good. It was not the typical liquid, syrupy tube sound people assume tubes make. Instead it was a bit lean, but fast and very transparent.

I used the stock Russian 6DJ8 that came with it, and also rolled in a Gold Lion 6922 as well. The sound difference was not insignificant. The 6DJ8 was more rolled off and smooth. The 6922 was more forward and detailed. I guess it all ...
Read the rest of the review here!


Your Canadian source for tubes

Latest News

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Date:  Sunday, March 30, 2014

Musical Paradise Launches new Tube Phono Preamp
After over a year of designing. prototyping and tuning, Musical Paradise proudly launches the new MP-P1 MM MC tube preamp.

Musical Paradise is a Canadian company that specializes in high-end tube gear, at sensible prices. They utilize the internet-direct business model that many audio manufacturers are using today. Middle-men mean higher prices, of course.

Here are the specs on the new MP-P1:
1. Passive RIAA network and zero global negative feedback design to provide extremely ...
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Date:  Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mies Audio - new Planet of Sound house brand
Planet of Sound is a brick and mortar high end audio shop with locations in both Toronto and Ottawa. Not only that, they are also online retailers of fine audio equipment, and not only that they are North American distributors of several well known product lines.

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Date:  Wednesday, January 29, 2014

McIntosh Labs announces new products
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The new MA100 headphone amplifier also functions as a 50 ...
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Date:  Friday, January 17, 2014

Tri-Art Audio -
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According to the company's founder, Stephen Ginsberg, Tri-Art was conceived to fulfill the needs of audiophiles at 3 distinct levels of affordability (entry level, enthusiast, and the seriously afflicted audiophile). These three levels are dubbed:

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Another new offering from Schiit Audio
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New Floorstanding Speakers From SVS - The Ultra Tower
SVS is a company that is most widely known as a manufacturer of high quality subwoofers. They formed in 1998 to provide a quality alternative to the run of the mill mid-fi subwoofers at the time. Not limiting themselves to building only subwoofers, they also offer loudspeakers that would feel at home in almost any audiophile 2 channel set-up or home theater installation.

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Special Promotional Code for TAVES 2013
Date:  Friday, October 25, 2013

Special Promotional Code for TAVES 2013
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The promotional code is "classical". Look forward to seeing you there!


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NAD D 3020 Hybrid Digital Amplifier
Date:  Thursday, October 24, 2013

NAD D 3020 Hybrid Digital Amplifier
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In their product sheet NAD promises that this little amp will "embarrass amps costing 10 times more". I doubt that, but as usual, I could be wrong.

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TAVES 2013
Date:  Thursday, September 12, 2013

TAVES 2013
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This year it will feature over 60 different exhibitors, and nearly 300 brands, where you can get a sneak peak at some of the newest products on the market. You can also attend seminars to learn about various audio/video topics, as ...
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New DAC from Emotiva - Stealth DC-1
Date:  Friday, August 30, 2013

New DAC from Emotiva - Stealth DC-1
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Rogue Audio releases the new "Pharaoh" Integrated
Date:  Sunday, August 04, 2013

Rogue Audio releases the new
Coming to a Rogue Audio dealer near you ....

The new Pharaoh Integrated amplifier is based on their "Medusa/Hydra" platform, which presumably means that it is a hybrid tube pre-amp/Class D power amp section design. Interesting ...

Rated at 175 watts at 8 ohms, and a whopping 350 watts at 4 ohms, this amp will obviously drive any speaker load you toss at it.

$3495 MSRP.

Hopefully Rogue can address some of their quality control issues ...
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Bowers & Wilkins Adds to the CM Line - The CM10 Loudspeaker
Date:  Sunday, August 04, 2013

Bowers & Wilkins Adds to the CM Line - The CM10 Loudspeaker
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From the B&W website:

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New products from Schiit Audio
Date:  Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New products from Schiit Audio
Schiit Audio, based in California, have quickly become popular for their mid-priced, but insanely good DACs and headphone amplifiers. There's been talk for awhile of them releasing an integrated amp, but until now it's only been promises and speculation. Now it looks like in the (hopefully) near future, their first integrated amp will become available. Following their tradition of using strange, Nordic sounding names for their products, the new amp is christened ...
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Triode Lab - A Canadian Tube Amp Company
Date:  Thursday, April 04, 2013

Triode Lab - A Canadian Tube Amp Company
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They appear to specialize in low wattage, pure Class A, single ended triode designs, offering both EL-84 and 2A3 units. Their line features power amps, integrated amps, as well as mono-blocks.

The EL84 amp was reviewed by 6Moons as the "ideal tube starter amp"

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/triodelab/1.html
...
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Interesting New Product From China - QA660 Digital Transport
Date:  Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Interesting New Product From China - QA660 Digital Transport
Recently came across this rather affordable CD Card media player from China:

http://www.qlshifi.com/en/wzcapi/qa660.htm

The QA660 is described as "High end digital music transport". It uses a SD card as it's music source and a "proprietary single threaded software framework". We have no idea what the second part means, but we assume it is probably running a stripped down flavour of embedded Linux as an operating system.

It supports all the current lossless music formats from ...
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Bryston BP17 Preamplifier
Date:  Friday, December 28, 2012

Bryston BP17 Preamplifier
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The BP17 utilizes a software controlled motorized balanced action analog volume control and integrated balance control, enabling the preamp to be operated remotely while still adhering to fully discrete analog circuits.  ...
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Hi-Fi World Names NAD M51 Best DAC for 2012
Date:  Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hi-Fi World Names NAD M51 Best DAC for 2012
Hi-Fi World magazine gives the new NAD M51 DAC 5 out of 5, and names it the best DAC of 2012.

As an owner of this DAC, I do not find this surprisingly at all. It's an amazingly good piece. 


Read more here
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Date:  Friday, November 30, 2012

Bryston Announces New DAC - The BDA-2
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The BDA-2 appears to be more than just an upgrade of the existing BDA-1, but instead is a whole different beast altogether.

From my knowledge of the BDA-1, the new BDA-2 is using a completely different DAC chip - dual AKM 32 bit DACs. The asynchronous USB ...
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Bryston Model T Bookshelf Speaker
Date:  Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bryston Model T Bookshelf Speaker
Bryston has launched a bookshelf version of it's new "Model T" speaker line.

It is probably common knowledge now that Bryston developed the Model T line in partnership with Canada's own Axiom Speakers.

Word on the street is the asking price of the Model T bookshelves should be around $3000.00.



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McIntosh now owned 100% by Italian Equity Firm
Date:  Wednesday, October 10, 2012

McIntosh now owned 100% by Italian Equity Firm
Fine Sounds Acquires McIntosh

Fine Sounds SpA of Milan, Italy, has purchased McIntosh Laboratory of Binghamton, NY, maker of audio and home-theater electronics and speakers for more than 60 years. Owned by Quadrivio, a private equity firm likewise based in Milan, Fine Sounds also owns Sonus Faber, Audio Research Corporation, Wadia Digital and Sumiko, which together account for $70 million in sales and 250 employees worldwide. McIntosh was previously owned by D+M Group.

The ...
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Musical Paradise MP-501 KT120 Amplifier
Date:  Friday, September 28, 2012

Musical Paradise MP-501 KT120 Amplifier
Musical Paradise is a Canadian company located in Edmonton, Alberta. They design their amps in-house here in Canada, but manufacture them (in all likelihood) in China, using only  "high quality and 100% genuine components".

The new MP-501 looks really interesting: 4x KT120 power tubes to push 55 watts. It also uses 4x 6J8P input tubes as well. Previous iterations of this amp used all point to point wiring, but this one uses printed ...
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AudioReview.ca and TAVES
Date:  Tuesday, August 07, 2012

AudioReview.ca and TAVES
AudioReview.ca is thrilled to be named as a part of the promotion network of the Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show (TAVES). Make plans to visit Toronto September 28-30! For more information, please visit taveshow.com
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NAD M51 Direct Digital DAC
Date:  Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NAD M51 Direct Digital DAC
Seems lately all the hi-fi brands are tapping into the new domain of computer based audio. The first stand-alone DAC from NAD looks really cool. This one is interesting in that it resamples the incoming signal from PCM to PWM (Pulse wave modulation) at an astounding 844kz. It also operates as a purely digital preamp as well. Very cool... Also includes both RCA and XLR outputs.

Haven't heard this one, but I'm really looking ...
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Bryston launches a new integrated
Date:  Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bryston launches a new integrated
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New Bryston Headphone Amplifier: BHA-1
Date:  Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Bryston Headphone Amplifier: BHA-1
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Exposure Enters the DAC Market
Date:  Thursday, February 02, 2012

Exposure Enters the DAC Market
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"The Exposure 2010S2 DAC is the first digital to analogue converter from Exposure electronics, featuring 6 digital inputs (including USB input) and high quality headphone amplifier. This is a perfect match with the Exposure 2010S2 amplifier designed both to improve the performance of the 2010S2 CD player and ...
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More New Stuff From Cambridge Audio
Date:  Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More New Stuff From Cambridge Audio
Looks like Cambridge Audio has even more new products coming out, especially in their line of digital products. Just recently they announced an update to the crazily popular DAC Magic, the DAC Magic Plus, and now a smaller, more compact DAC aimed at desktop computer systems it seems.
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Rega Introduces the New Apollo-R CD Player
Date:  Sunday, January 08, 2012

Rega Introduces the New Apollo-R CD Player
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The Apollo-R is the result of many years of innovation, advanced ...
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Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus
Date:  Sunday, January 01, 2012

Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus
Cambridge Audio has just released an updated version of their very popular DACMagic.  From the Cambridge Audio website:

"The world's best DAC just got better!"

I don't know if this is true, but I am a big CA fan. More from Cambridge Audio...

Improving on a legend is never easy, but Cambridge Audio has gone back to the drawing board to create the DacMagic Plus with exciting new features, wireless device connectivity, and best of ...
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W4S Goes Computer Based Audio with a Music Server
Date:  Wednesday, December 28, 2011

W4S Goes Computer Based Audio with a Music Server
Looks like W4S is joining an ever growing list of audio computers catering to the latest trend in audio: computer based sources (aka "music server").

This one is pretty cool in that not only is it a media server, it also is a built in CD ripper. 1 TB of storage on board will give you plenty of space for all your music, with plenty of digital outputs and an ethernet connection. It ...
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Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-11 DAC
Date:  Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-11 DAC

The TubeDAC-11 Turns up to 5 of of your source players into High-End Tube Source Players. 

This newly designed Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-11 is to replace the hugely popular DAC-09 but still keep all the popular features and will process 24/192 high res signal plus much more refined sound. 

High fidelity re-design from ground up, and still with budget in mind. This vacuum Tube Digital-to-Analog Converter will connect you with modern media storage technology without ...
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Trends Audio Introduces New SA-10 Loudspeakers
Date:  Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trends Audio Introduces New SA-10 Loudspeakers
Hong Kong, December 12, 2011 - ITOK Media Limited's innovative Hi-Fi brand "Trends Audio" (www.TrendsAudio.com)today unveiled its first Loudspeakers - Trends SA-10 and SA-10R speakers. It is the perfect match with Trends Combo Hi-Fi System, Trends Bi-amp Audio System, Trends TA-10 amplifiers and the high quality amplifiers on the market. Offering superb performance for their incredibly modest price, the SA-10 designs are perfect ...
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Ascend Acoustics Introduces the Sierra Tower Speaker
Date:  Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ascend Acoustics Introduces the Sierra Tower Speaker
From the Ascend Acoustics website:

Introducing our New Flagship Loudspeaker

Featuring our Exclusive Minimal Resonance
Solid Bamboo Laminate Cabinet and NrT Dome

...
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