Strength, Isolation, & Natural Materials…
To obtain full sonic potential, these three principals form the core of Tri-Art Audio’s approach to design. Every element has been selected for its performance in a Tri-Art Audio product.
The results: high quality products, normally only offered in the esoteric, high-end market.
We have selected bamboo to construct many of the structural parts of our systems rather than the industry standard of metal or plastic.
In addition to its natural aesthetics, it has a vital function: A constrained layer plywood variant is employed for its performance abilities. It is very stiff for excellent rigidity with the ability to dampen vibration. It is non-magnetic, providing a quieter electrical environment for our amplifier circuitry.
An eco-friendly resource, some variants of bamboo are capable of growing up to a meter (39 inches) per 24 hours period!
The interior of our amplifiers are packed with locally sourced, unbleached, sheep’s wool due to its ability to reduce sound transfer and vibrations, insulate, and natural heat resistance.
Wool fibres are particularly effective at dampening airborne vibrations and preventing them from affecting the performance of our amplifier chip.
The temperature stability of the system (class D) and insulating properties of the wool have the benefit of eliminating heat sinks. Wool also eliminates the need for fans which are both mechanically and electrically noisy.
We developed our locally manufactured concrete brick using a blend of cement and plastic fibres to re-enforce its strength, make it lighter in weight, and more porous.
Concrete absorbs sound frequencies and resonates at a narrow high-frequency, and its porosity allows for sound absorption.
Applies to Series: Block
Class D Amplification
Class D Chip
Tri-Art Audio amplifiers utilize Class D amplification. Until very recently, Class D amplifiers in audio had been used mostly in professional audio designs where the advantages of their efficiency, their low weight, and their low operating temperatures are of real benefit to touring concerts and musical productions.
The conventional wisdom has been that Class D amplifiers did not sound good enough to be considered for high fidelity applications – that they are extremely susceptible to external and internal noises, such as microphonics.
Our goal was to create an environment as close to vibration-free as possible in order to let the amplifier circuit work to its full potential: to be able to hear the chip, possibly for the first time, without the distortion of microphonics.
We have achieved this goal.
Class D amplifiers are particularly sensitive to any anomalies in their supply voltage. Although we are using an exceptionally good power supply, we decided to go the extra mile and incorporate a capacitor bank – ensuring sufficient current will be available to the chip to deal with high transient demand conditions.
Multiple smaller capacitors in a bank can be preferable to a single large capacitor, mostly for reasons of speed, but these must be very carefully designed to avoid the generation of eddy currents.
By strategically deploying small amounts of resistance to balance transient draw, we have created conditions antithetical to the formation of eddy currents.
All electronic components on our circuit boards have had their outer skin (plastic shrink identifying wrapping) removed.
And for good reason: we discovered during our listening tests that stripping away plastic wrapping removes the sonic characteristics plastic brings to the electronic component.
We remove as much associated materials as possible that have negative sonic signatures.
Fuses are an extremely important element for the power supply. They are the most significant choke point with the greatest potential for negatively affecting component performance.
Generic fuses are typically made from low-grade tin/metal spiral wire, which causes power loss and inductance issues. They use very thin glass tube bodies which are prone to microphonics. The metal caps are low-grade, resulting in poor contact and power degradation.
Tri-Art Audio uses AMR Gold Fuses exclusively in our amplifiers and Linear Power Supply in order to avoid these issues. Unlike the generic fuses, the AMR fuse is a reference replacement fuse made with high grade silver alloy wire in an anti-resonant ceramic body, with special gold-plated copper, and non-magnetic end caps.
AMR fuses have excellent conductivity, extremely low levels of microphony, and end caps that will not degrade, providing reliable contact for decades.
The power supply is by far the noisiest section electrically in all amplifier designs.
The single most important fact about our 24V DC Linear Power Supply is that it is housed in its own enclosure, physically separated from other units.
Instead of the less costly and more commonly used Switching Power Supply, we use a Linear Power Supply which are five orders of magnitude (10 000 times) quieter than the cheaper option, allowing our amplifier chips to operate to their full potential.
One Sonic Signature
Another feature to keep our products as vibration free as possible is to physically isolate our chassis from the surface it is sitting on.
We achieve this by resting the chassis on a trio of re-purposed automotive ball bearings, themselves sitting in an indentation at the top of shallow metal cones which are then set into a multi-layer, laminated, bamboo puck.
Our Turntable Bearings are composed of a chorus of materials, all working together, to achieve a high level of sonic unity.
- Our Pebbles bearing features a stainless steel shaft with inlaid copper into the spindle.
- The sub-platter is machined aluminum.
- At the base is a machined brass outer sleeve tube with a half-inch copper plinth that seats the main ball bearing, lubricated with grease.
- The collars that bolt the bearing to the base are machined aluminum as well.