Transcendent Sound OTL Stereo 30 Amplifiers

5/5 (5 Reviews)


Product Description

Output transformerless amplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by ken ambrose a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 19, 2002

Bottom Line:   
big improvment from dynaco transistor amp, which already sounded very good. This amp actually provides so much more natural sound. sometimes it is eerie- you wonder if there are some instruments or a singer behind a curtain!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by awm a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 26, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I grabbed this amp used, based on reviews of it on this site and others. I'd have to pretty much concur with what's been written previously about this amp -- especially the part about not having any further desires to upgrade. I have previously owned a Creek 6060, a VAL EL34 tube amp and a CJ Premier Four. The Transcendent is clearly superior to all of these and by a fairly wide margin. It throws a wide, deep soundstage and presents the music as it sounds in reality -- i.e., w/out amplification.
I was particularly impressed with the power and amount of bass this amp puts out. It goes low and with authority, especially for a 25w OTL. My speakers are 90.5db, so pretty sensitive, and the T8 can really drive them loud.

I will be pairing it with Ellis Audio's 1801's shortly and am excited to hear this combo.

Easy five stars, especially paired with the Transcendent Sounded Grounded Grid, which I still feel is the best value in high end audio to-date.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tubegroover a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: August 10, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Well I finally did it. I bought the Transcendent T8 LN Stereo amp from Bruce. After reading several reviews and his offer of a 2 week no risk in home trial period, he was sure I would love it. Little wonder on that matter after a brief listen. Prior to auditioning in my system, I drove 150 miles to audition a pair of monos that were being sold used. At the time I really didn’t have the room for them so I had to pass or would have bought them on the spot, the housing is rather large at 17.5 W X 18.5 D X 9" H. It was my wife’s decision, not mine. Within a week we came to an agreement about moving things around and I ended up in the living room and she got the former home of my set-up. One thing is certain about an OTL and that is the sonic character comes through regardless of the source, wires or speakers. During this audition in a completely unfamiliar system, I could hear right through to what the amp was doing almost immediately. And what does it do?

I am a tube afficionado and have been for years. It is that midrange palpability that they all seem to possess that always sways me to tube designs. Their shortcomings are generally at the frequency extremes although I can’t say that was the case with the 100 watt ARC tube amp I was using, or so I thought. In comes the Transcendent amp, a revelation on all recordings. One thing it doesn’t do is euphonize the sound. You get what is on the recording but you get it ALL. The dimensions of the venue is laid out right in the room. Separation of individual instruments and vocals is so real that recordings I though I knew very well came through so that you can actually feel the presence of the performer (s) with all the subtle nuances revealed. Reach out and touch someone, really. Imaging and soundstaging? It is 3-D and there is never a sense of exaggeration of anything, just real music in real space. This is one aspect of this amp that doesn’t vary regardless of the quality of the recording. What IS on the recording will be revealed. Better recordings will reveal the life of the music in a way that is hard to imagine without listening, words seem so inadequate in describing this. Low level resolution and immediacy (read realness) are the stunning hallmarks of this design.

I would best characterize this amp as being a cross between the best of solid state and tube designs. It offers the presence of tubes without any tubiness, or a thereness without the colorations heard with traditional tube designs which might be described as extra bloom. It is as transparent and clear as anything I am familiar with and very quiet. Put your ear next to the speaker and it is very hard to hear any noise. At the listening position, dead silence which equates to music emerging from instruments instead of loudspeakers. Then there is the speed and transient attack of the best solid state designs. And the highs are glorious, extended without brightness UNLESS it is a close miked recording. This isn’t the fault of the amp. Bass? while not giving you the slam of SS, clearly outlines the instruments without any overhang. Listen to a piano play the low registers, impact and ambient decay that sounds so very natural without getting fat, bloomy or boomy. I suspect that this is characteristic of most good OTL amps but I haven’t heard any others to compare.

So what does it all add up to? Well in my room which is quite large and L shaped it almost works. The amp is a little underpowered for the big orchestral pieces that I love to listen to but just a little. In a smaller room it would be more than enough. And if you are strictly a jazz, vocal lover or listen to string quartets and the like it would be enough in a room the size of mine. I expect to upgrade to the monos for that extra power when I need it. Beyond that I don’t expect I will ever feel the need to upgrade again because what I am experiencing is the highest level of enjoyment which is total involvement. No more analysis of the sound, just the music. Is there anything more one can ask for in reproduced audio? At the price it is tough to beat and the Emperor of this household has plenty left in the budget for new clothes which the Emperess couldn’t be happier about.

Associated Equipment:

Merlin VSM-M with single ended Battery Bam
C.A.T. SL-1 Mk-1 pre-amp with NOS tubes
JVC 1050ZN CD as Transport and Bel Canto DAC 1.1
SOTA Sapphire Turntable with Premier MMT arm and various cartridges.
Cardas Digital Cable
Miller Sound; MIT 770 Reference Tube; Analysis Plus Oval 9 Speaker Cables
Harmonic Truth-link cables throughout

Room is L-Shaped 16' X 18' X 10' and 8' X 12' X 10'



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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $2095.00

Purchased At:   Direct



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Tom Becherer a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: September 10, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I have owned several amplifiers solid state and tubed. This one makes me happiest by some margin. My speakers are also very revealing/efficient and use no crossover. Rather than make comparisons with other equipment or spew audio jargon, suffice it to say that the musical involvement (as opposed to analytical probing) and smile factors are the highest I have known.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Richard Unanue a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: May 4, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Have had this amp for a long time. It must have been amongst the first that Bruce designed. It replaced my VTLs and with friends AB'd against the ARC 60 and the Pass single end. Have nothing but the highest praise for this unit. It has worked to perfection, has none of the OTL mechanical temperaments, and the sound is glorious, glorious. In a world where philes hunger for continuous improvements and change, this amp will stop your reading of the Stphiles, TAS, etc. Now that Bruce R. is selling direct, as another reviewer mentioned, this is the best kept value secret in this country. As another comment which will bear on the listening experience, have this amp matched to a pair of Gallo References. On the surface, the low 30wpc and the OTL impedence characteristics would mitigate against this combination. But Bruce is right. There have been no mismatches and I believe the reason is that the amp is designed so well that it handles the Gallos to perfection. Direct from the tubes to the enclosureless, crossoverless Gallos! Can it get any more direct and simple than this. Try it!!

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile




Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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