Troy Audio had two systems: The first was made up of Triode Corporation tube electronics, a preamplifier and power amplifier using 300B tubes at just 8 watts. The digital source was an Esoteric CD transport, while the DAC was the small giant DAC212SE from DiDIT High End. All cables were Synergistic Research. Analog was handled by an impressive turntable from Thrax Audio with phono-preamplifier of the same brand. The new Achilles ($40,000 USD) loudspeakers of Troy Audio was however the star of the show.
The second room offered a great second system that began with Troy Audio Helina MkII loudspeakers, and included a pair of Thrax Audio Spartacus amplifiers working in concert with a Thax Dionysos preamplifier. As a digital source, a Metronome CD transport and a Mac computer which was streaming Qobuz. The DAC was the sophisticated Maximinus model also from Thrax. The analog portion consisted of a charming turntable and tonearm by Frank Schröder, while the Ana Mighty Sound Sculpture cartridge — designed by resident-genius Francois Saint-Gerand — graced the business-end. All cabling and AC protection was again from Synergistic Research.
I hate to say this, but large and in charge was written in my show reporting notes. Admittedly these systems would both be more at home in larger expo rooms, but with low power amplification and high-efficiency speakers — none were daring the volume control to get out of hand. This being my second experience with a Troy Audio system I had prepared to be mystified. The room packed with people, everyone somehow had a great seat. Moving around the room from chair to chair as people came and went, I noticed the sound off of the center spot was enveloping and delightful. To look at speakers of this size you might make the mistake of thinking they don’t do delicacy and the smaller bits of the music well — you’d be wrong. Finesse and nimbleness were trademarks of the sound impression I went home with.