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Marja & Henk
Financial Interests: click here
Sources: PS Audio PWT; PS Audio PWD; Dr. Feickert Blackbird/Zu DL-103;
Streaming sources: Foobar2000; XXHighEnd; iTunes
Preamp/integrated/power: Tri TRV EQ3SE phonostage;  Audio Note Meishu with WE 300B (or AVVT, JJ, KR Audio 300B output tubes); Yarland FV 34 CIIISA; Qables iQube V1; Devialet D-Premier; Qables iQube V2; Qables iQube V3 [in for review]
Speakers: Avantgarde Acoustic Duo Omega; Arcadian Audio Pnoe; Vaessen Aquarius;
Cables: complete loom of ASI LiveLine cables; full loom of Crystal Cable cables; Nanotec Golden Strada #79 nano 3; Nanotec Golden Strada #79; Nanotec Golden Strada #201
Power line conditioning: Omtec Power Controllers; PS Audio Powerplant Premier; PS Audio Humbuster III;  Isotek Syncro [in for review]
Equipment racks: ASI amplifier and TT shelf
Sundry accessories: Furutech DeMag; ClearAudio Double Matrix; Nanotec Nespa #1; Exact Audio Copy software; iPod; wood, brass, ceramic and aluminum cones and pyramids; Shakti Stones; Manley Skipjack
Room treatment: Acoustic System International resonators, sugar cubes, diffusers
Room size: ca 7 x 5m with a ceiling height of 3.50m, brick walls and concrete floor downstairs,
ca. 14.50 x 7.50m with a ceiling height of 3.50m, brick walls, wooden flooring upstairs.
Price of review item: €5.500/pr direct from Trafomatic Audio

We were very intrigued by the Kaivalya project when we first read about it. For those who missed out, the full story is here. In brief, Srajan had been looking for a special tube amplifier to complete his stash of amplifiers on endless review rotation. He was not looking for the full-bodied sound of a 300B based design nor for the rippling muscle of a KT88. What he was after was more the long-distance runner’s toned type of physique. Enter the EL84. As the market is short on high-quality versions of such amplifiers, Srajan commissioned Trafomatic Audio’s Sasa Cokic to design and build him one.

In the end the white Kaivalya monoblocks with solid-state rectification, one ECC82 driver, interstage transformer coupling and four EL84 in class A push/pull configuration emerged from this request. The EL84 has seen itself neglected by (too) many audiophiles for its small size, low price and allegedly concomitant meager performance. As a result it's mostly budget-priced amplifiers primarily from China which sport this tube. That’s somewhat incredible as in fact the EL84 is a full relative of the direct-heated triode family - the same family ‘designers’ make use of for their outrageously priced 300B contraptions where gilded knobs are often more important than sound quality.

A pair of Kaivalyas flanks the Vilobhas for size reference

When Srajan received the finished product he was a happy reviewer. Not only had he acquired a very special pair of power amplifiers, he had inadvertently helped make these amps available to anyone else interested. That's because Trafomatic subsequently made the Kaivalya part of their regular product line. With a wrinkle that is.

While the white Kaivalyas have since spawned equally white stable mates which are available through the existing Trafomatic dealer network [Experience 2 integrated to left], they themselves are sold only direct from the Serbian factory. This keeps the retail price more attractive. [This is true also for the absolutely massive 75TL Vilobha monos above which we previewed here - Ed].

Due to Srajan’s report and his personal enthusiasm for the Kaivalya—it’s a sort of baby to him even if it's only a brain spawn since Sasa did all the real work—we’d wondered for some time what the Serbian amplifier would sound like in our high-efficiency crib. After all this amp had seen itself used in the single-driver 100dB Voxativ Ampeggio review in these pages not only to the satisfaction of the writer but also the manufacturer of the speakers who had demonstrated with that combination at a subsequent show.

Dealer-sold new Reference One preamp