Tune Audio, Trafomatic, Rockna, WoodYard

In the Tune Audio/Trafomatic room, the Tune Audio Marvel (€15,840/pair), a 97dB, 8 ohm nominal, two-way, horn loaded loudspeaker, stood sci-fi bold and fantastic looking in slate gray with a candy apple red horn. The Marvel’s single 8″ full range driver joined to a folded back-horn was paired to a 1″ compression driver given expression by an epoxy compound tractrix horn.

Sources? A Rockna Audio Wavedream Signature Mk2 DAC (€22,000) and Rockna Audio Wavelight Server (€5900). Amplification? A Trafomatic Reference Line One Preamplifier (€6000) and Rhapsody PSE 300B Integrated Amplifier (€18,000). A Signal Projects Poseidon S30 handled line conditioning duties. WoodYard supplied the rack.

A HiFi News Outstanding Product, the class-A Trafomatic Rhapsody PSE 300B outputs 20Wpc via four 300B and two 6SN7 tubes and looks super slick, also in red. The Trafomatic Reference Line One Preamplifier was accompanied by a stunning looking Trafomatic Luna phono preamplifier, though no turntable was in sight.

This rig dazzled the eye and the ear.

“Creating machines to reproduce music is a sacred task and should be done in the most delicate manner,” the Tune Audio website states. “Altering the recorded art in any way, even if it is done to make it more pleasant for personal taste or fancy, should not be accepted as high fidelity audio.”

“Most people spend their lives in noisy environments with less live music experiences. More and more settle for poor sources and or material. They are shifting their preference for more ‘circus like’ reproduction techniques with blown up frequency extremes, sloppy bass, razor sharp highs, artificial imaging, unnatural dimensions, uninvolving mids.”

The Tune Audio site introduces their range of grade A, Baltic birch horn speakers including the Marvel shown at the Munich show, plus the three-way passive horn-loaded Avaton, the striking Epitome, the Anima (which looks like a 1950s robot), the smallish Prime, and entry level Kion. All the speakers feature beautiful finishes and visually arresting horn and cabinet designs.

With system details chores out of the way, I began listening.

A classical piano recording was faithfully reproduced with excellent note attack, impressive but not piercing treble, and robust, plump bass, all produced within an effortless flow of notes. Nat King Cole’s “Just You Just Me” was lively and spirited, if rolled off on top, while his classic “Sweet Lorraine” was lovingly detailed and natural sounding. This system consistently produced deep, sweet lows and succulent highs—a delight.

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